Kid Icarus: Uprising review
Control Issues Prevent Perfection

The good:

+ Excellent graphics and 3D effect
+ Excellent sound track
+ Excellent replay value

The bad:

-Controls awkward for land battles
-No dual analog stick support
-Lefties are at a disadvantage with controls
-The included stand is useless


This review uses a weighted total
Graphics – 20%
3D Effect – 5%
Game Play – 40%
Plot – 15%
Music/Sound – 10%
Replay Value – 10%

This game has some of the best graphics available right now for the Nintendo 3DS. Excellent colors and excellent background design cover the entire game. The game resembles a well done PS2 or Nintendo Wii game. The amount of detail from characters to weapons to enemies is remarkable. This is truly a job well done. (10/10)

3D Effect:
The effect really gives the environment true depth. This is especially true for the air battles. The effect is a little less useful during land battles. Overall, this is one of the best uses for the 3D effect behind only Super Mario 3D Land. (9/10)

Game Play:
The game has the ability to store three separate save files for players to use. After a file is created, players have a series of choices for the main menu: Solo, StreetPass, Vault, Together, and Options.

Solo is the main campaign and story line. Players control Pit, the Angel, throughout 24 chapters. Each chapter has two main parts: air battle and land battle. Air battles have Pit flying through the air shooting at enemies. Pit can only fly through help from the Goddess Palutena. This help only lasts for five minutes. The circle pad is used to move pit around the screen and to dodge enemy fire. The stylus is used to move the aim reticle, and the “L” button is used to fire. The control work well for air battles, and most players won’t have problem using them. However, this changes for land battles.

For land battles, the stylus is used to spin around the camera since the game is a third person shooter/combat game. This makes game play awkward during battle since using the stylus to rotate the camera and what players are viewing is ineffective. This is especially true when battle become intense. It is hard to see who or what is attacking Pit during fast combat. Ultimately the controls become hard on the hands and wrists. The game does come with a stand, but I found the stand does little to solve wrist problems. Also during land battles, players have the opportunity to use powers. These powers range from inflicting poison damage to healing Pit. Players are given a square to assign powers. Each power has a shape and size, and it is up to the player to decide which powers best fit into the square. I like the concept, but power are hard to use in the heat of battle. Powers are used through a mini menu on the touch screen. It would have been nice to be able to assign a few of the powers to button shortcuts.

Lefties are at a disadvantage for this game. Players have the option of moving Pit with the A, B, X and Y buttons, but this isn’t comparable to using the circle pad. Nintendo has released the circle pad pro accessory. The accessory is to allow certain games to use two analog circle pads. For Kid Icarus, only one circle pad may be used at a time. There is no support for duel circle pads, and I think the game’s controls would have greatly benefited from the duel pad support. So Lefties have a choice: A) Use the normal controls with the stylus in the right hand. B) Switch the controls to the button scheme or C) pay an additional $25 - $50 for an accessory that provides very little additional functionality to the controls. None of the options are very appealing.

Defeating enemies will earn players hearts. These hearts are used as currency. Players can exchange these hearts to buy weapons. Speaking of weapons, the selection is just huge in this game. There are nine different categories of weapons. Each category has strengths and weaknesses.

• Staffs – great for long, ranged shots; weak in close combat
• Bows – High velocity and decent homing; weaker in close combat
• Clubs – Powerful charged shot, deflect enemy shots; no continuous shots
• Orbitars – Two ranged shots; poor close combat
• Blades – The most balanced weapon between range and melee attacks
• Claws – Excellent melee attacks, rapid fire; short range for fire
• Palms – Excellent homing shots; lower on range and power
• Cannons – Exploding charged shots; poor homing ability
• Arms – Excellent melee attacks; shortest range of any weapon

There are several weapons in each category, and each weapon has more powerful version to obtain. These versions add enhancements to things like defense, dodging, and health. However, sometimes the weapon will subtract from stats. Players are encourage to experiment will all the weapons to find one or two that fits each person’s style of play.

Players can enable the StreetPass and SpotPass feature to exchange weapon gems. These gems can either be converted into weapons or exchanged for extra hearts.

Vault displays content players unlock throughout the game such idols and music.

Together is the multi-player feature. Players have the option of seeking games Far Away or Nearby. As the names suggest, Far Away is to play multi-player with others from anywhere in the world or play with registered friends not in the same room/building. Nearby is to play with friends with 3DS systems and the Kid Icarus game in the same room. There are two multi-player games: Light vs Dark and Free-for-All. In Light vs Dark, a player is assigned to either the Light team or the Dark team. Each team has three players. Each team’s goal is to defeat the other team’s angel (Pit and Dark Pit). The angels appear after a team’s gauge goes down once. Every time a player is defeated, the gauge will decrease. The gauge will decrease in relation to how powerful the weapon the player is using. Therefore, powerful weapons will decrease the gauge more. After the angel appears, the gauge will then represent the life of the angel. Free-for-All is everyone versus everyone (six total players). Last player standing wins. I would have preferred that this mode have respawns with the player having the most kills being the victory after a set time period. Overall, multi-player can be fun if you can find people around the same skill level as yourself. There is an extra incentive to playing multi-player. There is a chance that players can gain a powerful weapon. I won a set of powerful Hedgehog Claws through multi-player. So be sure play a couple of matches.

Options contain the ability to change to the controls among other things.

Overall, I like the game play, and it fun to play. However there are some controls issues.

This game comes from the original Kid Icarus released back in the eight bit era of video games. In the original, Medusa, Goddess of Darkness, captures Lady Palutena, Goddess of Light. Medusa seeks to take over the world. It’s up to Palutena’s servant, Pit to rescue her and save the world from Medusa. Fast forward to Kid Icarus Uprising and Medusa has been resurrected. Palutena and Pit must defeat her once again. However, she isn’t the only one who wants to destroy or dominate the world. I’ll leave it at that so I don’t give too much away. This is a good story line with a few twist thrown into the mix, but I think most player will be too busy shooting enemies to pay close attention to the story line. (8/10)

I love the music in this game. I would buy the soundtrack if I could. There are different themes and tracks for every chapter and situation. I especially like the Spanish guitar theme for Dark Pit. As for the sound, this game has the most extensive voice acting I have ever heard from a portable game. Usually, portable games rely heavily on text dialog with no voices, but this game uses plenty of voice dialogs. The dialog ranges from what is going on in the game to tips for the player. I liked that they used voice acting for this game because most of the time players need to focus on the top screen and not the bottom where the characters are talking. (9.5/10)

Replay Value:
This game has plenty of reasons to play it again. Let’s start with the Fiend’s Cauldron. This allows players to gamble hearts to play at a higher difficulty level. Passing higher difficulty levels will give players better weapons and powers. Naturally, higher difficulties have more enemies and those enemies hit harder. The Cauldron has a range of 1.0 to 9.0. The difficult may be increased or decreased by .1 in either direction. The default is 2.0. It will cost players hearts to move beyond the default in any direction. Needless to say, failing to pass a chapter at a higher difficulty level will result in the loss of hearts and the difficulty will automatically go down. This detail allows players to find the right level of difficulty to play. It also allows players to challenge themselves.

In addition to the difficult levels, these are also several achievements to unlock. These are called treasure hunts in the game. Unlocking certain achievements may give players certain weapons or powers. Finally, as mentioned before, there is the multi-player mode. This game has excellent replay value (10/10)

20% 10 2
5% 9 0.45
40% 7.5 3
15% 8 1.2
10% 9.5 0.95
10% 10 1
Final Score 8.6

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