I really don't like it when the internet grabs their pitchforks whenever a reviewer falls out of line. Unless a review is factually false, minority opinions are more valuable IMO than yet another review that falls in the consensus and says nothing new.
So often you read comments about how a game is "overrated" and people wondering "I really thought I'd like this since it's so well-regarded, how come no one made a big fuss about these flaws that are ruining my experience?". Well, most of the time, these outliers did point those flaws out. You were perhaps just too busy making up theories in your head about the reviewer risking his long-term relationship with the publisher in favor of a few quick hits to notice.
I don't think Jim genuinely finding this game "meh" is really out of the realm of possibilities. I think his score matches his review.
I'm way more surprised to read the following from Marty Sliva's review on 1up:
Kid Icarus Uprising doesn't altogether fall apart once Pit lands, but a multitude of glaring flaws appear as soon as his feet touch solid ground. For starters, roaming through these environments will inevitably leave you questioning a slew of the game's design choices, such as why does Pit move with such a strange gallop? Why is jumping, a major mechanic in the original titles, relegated to a consumable powerup ability? And speaking of abilities, is it really a good idea to force players to look away from the action in order to slide through a list of powerups? For as great as the aerial segments are executed, the land battles consistently feel rough and unfinished. This is also brought to light by the fact that the melee combat plays out like a button-mashing crap-shoot compared to the skilled accuracy promoted via ranged attacks. And then there's the control setup, which may end up being the one facet of the game that everyone can agree is a bit of a mess.
Maneuvering Pit in a 3D environment quickly becomes a cumbersome task, leading to an ailment that may go down in infamy as the "Icarus Claw." It honestly becomes physically uncomfortable to play the game after about 30 minutes. If you're right-handed, you'll be using your left hand to hold the 3DS, move Pit via the analog stick, and fire using the L trigger. At the same time, your right hand will be busy using the stylus to navigate your reticule, control the camera, and choose various abilities on the bottom screen. The fact that your left hand is forced to assume a sort of claw-like pose will inevitably lead to muscle pains after only a handful of missions. Lefties are given the option to use the Circle Pad Pro to essentially reverse the control scheme, but I can only imagine that the extra weight makes this even more of a hassle. Nintendo was obviously aware of this problem, and tried to deal with it by including a plastic stand with each copy of the game that allows you to prop the 3DS up on its own. While this does alleviate some of the burden, it's not a suitable solution if you're playing the game anywhere but at a desk. This whole mess makes you questions whether there could there have been a more comfortable control system for this game, and if not, should it have been created for the Wii instead of the 3DS?
Does that look like the game deserves the B+ (or 8.5 if you prefer) it got, to you?
If a reviewer or gamer doesn't have the same issue, fine. But this reviewer did
, and I'm dumbfounded as to how he ended up giving the game as high a score as he did.
Did anyone look at the Destructoid review? At the end by the score he said, "Basically, this is like a "7" on your grandfather's blog." That sounds like, as some of you had said, that he gave it a lower score than he felt it deserved just to cause a ruckus.
That's their scale, though. They just prefer to dedicated more of their scale for the good games than the usual "anything below 7 isn't worth your time" most sites use. A 6 on Destructoid is still a recommended game to some degree.