Tuesday, 17 April 2012

Kid Icarus: Uprising - An Angelic Experience

Once upon a time there was a game on the Nintendo Entertainment System known as Kid Icarus that met with mixed reviews. A simple platformer that had a difficulty curve like a brick wall. Once you got the hang of it though, you got turned into an eggplant. Then you'd turn off the game and play Mario Bros. 

Kid Icarus: Uprising is the new 3DS action platformer spectacular. Eggplants are still involved but not so much a problem anymore. Nintendo had been holding out on this project since early Wii days. Anyone who played Smash Bros Brawl would know that Pit, or Spammy the Spam Angel, is the main character of Kid Icarus. As a Smash fighter he could spam arrows, spam melee and spam jump/fly. He could also summon a ton of cherubs during his super smash attack that were almost impossible to avoid. 

Pit has maintained his voice, model and attitude from Brawl and given a bigger, less spammy, arsenal too. This is unsurprising as the lead designer, Masahiro Sakurai, was in charge of both (and Kirby - which would explain why Kirby and Pit seemed to be the only ones who knew what was going on in Brawl). The game also has a habit of looking at the fourth wall and smashing it with a comedically over-sized hammer. Making references to the previous game, or just silly banter between the Goddess Palutena and Pit really gives the game life in a way that's seldom done. The voice acting is amazing, and even the over the top villains sound more funny than annoying, each with their own characteristics. And full voice acting in a Nintendo game!!! GASP!

The game has a somewhat unique control system, similar to that of Metroid Prime Hunters. You move Pit with your analogue stick, fire with the L button and aim with your stylus, almost a keyboard/mouse thing. A system that took me a few minutes to get the hang of, but as you play the game you find yourself easily adapting to it. All of a sudden you're dodging enemies, spinning around them and opening up all sorts of cans of whip-ass seamlessly. And all this after a very fun on-rails-esque shooter, which is part of the level intro. Pit flies to his destination, guided by his Goddess, and the player aims and shoots for him. Very "Shmuppy" but very enjoyable. You use the lower screen to aim, but watch everything on the upper screen. Eventually you shoot and dodge like it's second nature, and find yourself upping the difficulty for sheer challenge.

The amount of extra content is amazing, especially for modern gaming where they like to 'surprise' us with day 1 DLC. The menus are fantastically designed and customised perfectly for the entire game. There's little trophies you can collect, similar to that of Brawl, and even using your Nintendo coins, or Spot and Street Pass hits, to gain little extras. Theres tons of weapons to collect, fuse and trade. There's a little puzzle/achievement thing that rewards you with hearts and items. And there's even a little bonus where you can get "closer" to Paletuna by donating hearts to her alter. All this extra content sprinkled over the already amazing single player sundae that is Uprising.

And the multiplayer, praise Paletuna for the multiplayer. Nintendo is learning the ways of online gaming.
So in this reviewers humble opinion, brilliant single player, amazing multiplayer (online and local) and a cornocupia of gifts thrown in for good measure and all you're missing is a little cartoon...
oh wait...

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