NWR Staff's Favorite 10 Games of 2012

Kid Icarus: Uprising

by Neal Ronaghan - January 10, 2013, 9:08 pm PST

Regardless of the controls, Kid Icarus: Uprising is freaking amazing.

The concept of Kid Icarus: Uprising, first revealed at E3 2010, was extremely appealing. The game looked kinetic, with action running at a mile a minute and gameplay that echoed Sin & Punishment. Then, I played the game before release and wasn't a huge fan of the controls. I was a doubter of the game's director, Masahiro Sakurai. I was a fool.

When the final version of Kid Icarus: Uprising came out in March 2012, it was a verbose, action-packed triple does of insanity. The story was over-the-top and insane, and went everywhere from the Greek Underworld to outer space, complete with some of the best humor and voice-acting in all of video games. The script was penned by Sakurai in Japanese, but thanks to smart usage of Saturday Night Live and The Onion writer Mike Drucker for the localization, the game soared in English, with references to Nintendogs and Metroid among other things.

The gameplay was divided into magnificent halves, with auto-scrolling air segments that were as cinematic as nearly any moment in Star Fox (or Star Wars, for that matter), and controversial ground areas that featured puzzles, fierce combat, and oodles of secrets. The controls might not have been everybody's bag, but if you put time into them, the portable brilliance shined. While slightly obtuse, the method of control is finely tuned to work with the game, as the touch screen is used like a trackball with excellent precision. Even this lefty, who originally used a Circle Pad Pro religiously, adapted to the right-handed controls and enjoyed them.

The multiplayer might be Uprising's greatest achievement, though. With intense Free for All and 3 vs. 3 team battles both locally and online, Uprising is like a third-person Smash Bros., with zany items and a breath-taking intensity. I'm not normally an online gamer, but Uprising turned me into one for several months. Rekindling that magic every time I pick up the game and play multiplayer is wonderful, especially since there are almost always more weapons to craft and collect.

The weapons are glorious, as they offer such variety, and with so many weapons with so many variations, you can find the perfect weapon for your play style, and then try to make a better version of that. In addition, The Fiend's Cauldron gave you near-endless difficulty settings, and a high barrier to strive for. And you can't forget the Treasure Hunt, which featured hundreds of challenges to accomplish to earn different weapons, abilities, and more. The AR Cards, while largely superfluous, added another fun element to the game. Seriously, Uprising is bursting at the seams, so much so that my own case for the game is bursting at the seams because I placed my AR Cards inside of it. Kid Icarus: Uprising is a damn fine game, and easily one of the best of 2012.


spitmanJanuary 07, 2013

Skylanders Giants

Pixelated PixiesJanuary 07, 2013

Crashmo is a slice of perfection. It's right up there with Beat the Beat, The Last Story and Hotline Miami as one of my top games of last year.

As for Little Inferno.

"It’s a very well-rounded product, and while it may never be clear whether it’s a game or not, what can’t be argued is how enjoyable it is."

Desire...to...buy game...just to...make...point...rising!
:P: :

Truthfully though, I have no intention of ever buying Little Inferno.

purevalJanuary 07, 2013

Crashmo I am kind of meh about. I enjoyed it, but I got stuck way too often and finally gave up pretty darn early. Just could not change my mindset.

Little Inferno I am absolutely loving. Think of it as a puzzle game and I think you will get it. It is my favorite of the Wii U games I have gotten so far (Batman, NSMBU, Nintendoland and Sonic Racing).

coffeewithgamesJanuary 08, 2013

I don't even like mentioning one part of the game mentioned in the piece, as I hope it's a "surprise" to many new players of it.

I usually refer to it as "Bacon", and if you have played it you may know why.

I thoroughly enjoyed my time with ZombiU, and fortunately I didn't hit/experience any "game breaking" bugs or glitches in, that being said though I do hope Ubisoft releases a patch to fix some of the glitches. I think a patch fixing the issues would help new players not get frustrated with it, and I could take out my default, "It's not perfect, you may experience glitches that cause you to have to start over..." lines here and there, but I'm very glad to see ZombiU see the light of day, and I do hope we get more of it in the future...in some fashion.

DarthBradyJanuary 08, 2013

I wanted a Wii U very badly upon release, but there wasn't a game I didn't already have or couldn;t wait to get. So I bought a Wii U, and took a chance by making ZombiU my first Wii U game purchase. That was a great choice.

ZombiU is a fresh and challenging take of a Zombie game. In a world flooded with Zombie games, it really stands out, and shines. It easily justified the usefulness of the new Wii U game pad, and yes - it scared the hell out of me too.I have tried to explain the game to curious non-Wii U owning friends, which can be a challenge in it;s own right. It usually goes something like this:

"ZombiU, is a zombie survival challenge game. It's not like other zombie games in a sense or 'guns blazing zombie-slaying hero', at all. You don't run around picking up crates of ammo and items - in fact, anything you find you cherish as a survival too no matter how simple it is, whether its 2 bullets or a can of soda. ZombiU sets you in a world taken over by zombies. Mankind's fate, (as well as yours) seems desolate and hopeless. You are alone. You are outnumbered. You are unprepared. You don't get to try or do anything over. You are screwed.You WILL die in this world, and you will die alone. The only connection to any other form of sentient life a mysterious voice on the radio. SO, you have two options: give up and die, or die a warrior that gave his/her all to the fight on the way down. Fight as long and hard as can, with one goal: SURVIVE. You have a cricket bat, a motion sensor and a backpack - good luck."

- I think that sums it up.

AVJanuary 08, 2013

ZombiU is exactly my cup of tea and I am enjoying the hell out of it. I love true survivor horror and resource management in my FPS's and this is everything I would have wanted. So glad I have this game.

Pixelated PixiesJanuary 10, 2013

The best Mario platformer in 21 years?

Ha! You guys crack me up.

*2D platformer

xcwarriorJanuary 11, 2013

None of these comments make sense with Kid Icarus, but I for one totally agree. It's was a great game and only The Last Story beat it out for my GOTY. I've gotten so used to the controls I don't consider them an issue anymore. Great dialoge, awesome levels, multiplayer is tons of fun. Love fusing weapons together. Just so much replayability to it. Still playing it multiple times a week.

MrPhishfoodJanuary 11, 2013

I tell ya in Kid Icarus I spent hour and hours crafting the perfect weapons.

Like the phosphora bow that already has the best homing shots of any weapon with passive paralysis, the one I made had even more homing and paralysis. It was almost impossible to evade my shots unless you were already in the evade animation.

Because of that article, I might go on an Uprising bender. Fuuuuu!

acccJanuary 12, 2013

One of the last significant titles for the Wii, (Rhythm Heaven) Fever is leagues more spirited and exciting than the fading console on which it was released

What kind of comment is that? Just because the Wii is at the end of its life, doesn't mean that the console was lacking in spirit or excitement. Especially when you compare it to the alternative consoles, which delivered nothing but boring FPS games with ugly colorless graphics and stagnant control schemes.

I think it's a perfectly accurate statement, but I'd argue it also applies to the other two consoles. All three of them have faded over the course of an extra-long console cycle.

Pixelated PixiesJanuary 12, 2013

This is nothing new for Nintendo fans. We're very familiar with the concept of having little or no releases towards the end of a console's life cycle. I'm sure some might point to other games, but in my opinion the last 2 years of the Wii has given us a total of 4 noteworthy releases.

The Last Story
Skyward Sword
Rhythm Paradise/Rhythm Heaven Fever

As good as those games are, 4 releases does not a health release schedule make. During the same period the 360 and PS3 have had much more to offer in terms of quality retail releases (contrary to what some might have you believe not everything released on these consoles are drab First Person Shooters).

It should not be surprising that Nintendo turn off the water for an outgoing console, but it's always disheartening that they seem to do so with so many months still on the calender before the sucessor is even released. I appreciate that there is always going to be certain drop off in support in the lead up to a new console release, but Nintendo's approach seems to be very precipitous indeed.

Or perhaps it just seems more sudden because Nintendo don't seem to be able to garner the same level of third party support that the other console manufacturers have.

VahneJanuary 12, 2013

Still sad that we never got Pandora's Tower in America :'(

StealthJanuary 13, 2013

this is no step forward for rpgs, its just another good rpg

pokepal148January 13, 2013

nobody is complaining about kid icarus controls

Pixelated PixiesJanuary 13, 2013

Quote from: pokepal148

nobody is complaining about kid icarus controls

I complained incessantly when it was released (I think Uprising boasts one of the worst control schemes on the 3DS). I liked everything about Uprising except for the part where I had to play it. The visuals are incredible, the voice acting is top-notch and level designs are inventive and surprising. Those controls, however, were for me awkward and at times painful. Of course, not everyone takes that view but that was my experience with the game.

I'm still torn between Sticker Star and Uprising as to which was more disappointing.

pokepal148January 13, 2013

i feel like some plastic grips or the xl would help

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