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Kid Icarus: Uprising

by Neal Ronaghan - January 20, 2011, 2:32 pm PST
Total comments: 6

Sorry to keep you waiting! The fight is on!

Following the E3 2010 trailer, there seemed to be a general consensus that Pit's triumphant return was going to be a lot like Sin & Punishment. It turns out that assumption was right on the money, especially if the demo at Nintendo's 3DS event is any indicator.

Kid Icarus: Uprising uses the DS first-person shooter-style controls that people either hate, love, or love to hate. You use the Circle Pad to move Pit around the screen, the touch screen to aim, and the L button to fire. If you hold the L button, you'll rapid fire, but if you let it charge, you can do a bigger one-time blast.

Due to the placement of the Circle Pad, there is no left-handed option, which is important for me since I'm a lefty. However, it actually wasn't too bad, primarily because the touch screen control didn't have to be precise. There are certain games where the Circle Pad placement will be an issue, but Kid Icarus: Uprising won't be one of them, at least for me.

The game is split up into two styles: air and ground. The air segments are extremely reminscent of Sin & Punishment. The level scrolls forward automatically, and you move around the screen firing off projectiles to fight enemies. It's frenetic and fast-paced, with pretty graphics and nice landscapes.

The ground segments seem to be where more of the game's depth should come from, but that wasn't present in the demo. It controls similarly to the air segment, but now Pit walks on the ground, and he can dodge by "smashing" (like in Super Smash Bros.) the Circle Pad left or right. You move around at your own pace, dispatching enemies and making progress through the level.

As James Charlton said in his impressions, the turning while on ground is super slow and very frustrating. To turn, the game instructs you to quickly move the stylus to the left or right on the touch screen. This never really responded properly for me, and I almost always turned slowly, allowing enemies to attack me mercilessly. It reminded me of the rolling in The Legend of Zelda: Phantom Hourglass, as in it might make sense on paper, but it is a difficult gesture to execute in practice.

I fought some spectacular bosses at the end of the two demo levels, including a two-headed Cerberus-esque dog. They were visually stunning, in line with the rest of the game, which, by the way, was probably the best-looking game at the event, but they lacked substance. You just shot and dodged one of their three different attacks.

From what I heard, the music was good and inspired by the original game's soundtrack. There was also a ton of voice work for Pit and Palutena during the levels. Is Pit's voice annoying? Yes, but the cheesiness of some of his lines is funny. I personally like the fact that he repeats some of his taunts from Super Smash Bros. Brawl. There was also a funny reference to the fact that Medusa was defeated 24 years ago, which is how long it has been since Kid Icarus was released in North America.

The representative told me that later levels of the game will contain puzzles and more involved level layouts, but the two demo levels did not show any of that off. I remain cautiously optimistic that this game will turn out well, chiefly due to the development team and the fact it's at least several months away from launch.

Kid Icarus: Uprising is a 2011 release, though there is no specific range other than not launch window.


AVJanuary 20, 2011

maybe they should use the face buttons to move and circle pad to aim , that potentially could help 'ds-arthrisis' ? Is analog movement really required for this game? Maybe shoulder buttons dodge? it might be awkward but so is FPS ds controls to an extent

Kytim89January 20, 2011

The one true game to push me towards buying the 3DS and it is not even a launch title.

Ian SaneJanuary 20, 2011

These controls sound very similar to Metroid Prime Hunters which I argue is not a good model to emulate.  Having any sort of comparison to Phantom Hourglass isn't so hot either.

The game sounds cool but I hate touchscreen controls.  The rest of the DS development world got past their phase of shoehorning it into every game.  It's time Nintendo got with the program.  The touchscreen only makes sense in certain situations.  It is borderline worthless for character movement.  I would argue that NO GAME should combine the touchscreen with the other buttons.  It either works as a touchscreen-only game or a buttons-only game.  Any title where you have to switch between the two or use some sort of awkward combo controls like crap.

The priorties should be player comfort and responsive controls.

Michael8983January 22, 2011

Reading the impressions the game sounds like it's awkward and difficult to control but watching the demo it doesn't seem like the player is having any issues with it. I suspected turning would be an issue with this type of control scheme however I imagine that most of the ground levels will be fairly straight-forward. I would have preferred them on rails actually.  I can see this being compared to Phantomn Hourglass however that game's issue was that it relied entirely on the touch-screen and would have benefited with more traditional controls mixed in. Metroid Prime Hunters may not have been that good a game but the controls were just fine IMO. Certainly better than aiming with an analog stick or d-pad - a concept that Nintendo has pretty much put to pasture.

The only thing that worries me is that it may be difficult to keep the screen positioned in the "sweet spot" to really appreciate the 3D visuals.
I'm hoping that this game's success will lead to a sequel on either the Wii or Nintendo's next console. The nunchuck/pointer combo would be ideal for this kind of game.

Mop it upJanuary 23, 2011

This game is similar to Sin and Punishment? That seems like an odd choice. This is the one 3DS game I had some interest in, but not anymore.

Kytim89January 23, 2011

Just tell me when where this game is released and I will gladly pay for it.

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Game Profile

Kid Icarus: Uprising Box Art

Genre Action
Developer Sora

Worldwide Releases

na: Kid Icarus: Uprising
Release Mar 23, 2012
RatingEveryone 10+
jpn: Shin Hikari Shinwa: Palutena no Kagami
Release Mar 22, 2012
eu: Kid Icarus: Uprising
Release Mar 23, 2012
aus: Kid Icarus: Uprising
Release Mar 29, 2012
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