In 1986, an angel descended upon us. Sent by the Goddess Palutena, he was named Pit. His mission: find the 3 sacred treasures, defeat Medusa, and save Angel Land. This was the very first Kid Icarus. And sure enough, it was a game we got a sequel to….25 years later.
I have no idea why it took so long for a sequel to come out to this game. Either it just wasn’t as popular as I thought it was, or they just wanted it to be a standalone title (Ok, yes I know there Gameboy sequel, but since I have never heard of it or ever even heard it mentioned until I looked it up, I’m going to keep pretending it doesn’t exist). Whatever the case may be, we do finally have a sequel. Released in 2012 for the 3DS, Kid Icarus Uprising serves as a direct sequel to the original and was developed by Masahiro Sakurai. Yes, THAT Masahiro Sakurai, the Smash Bros guru himself. So did his “genius” show in this title? Let’s find out.
One thing I should mention is that it seems when this title was in development, it was actually meant to be a Star Fox title. However, Sakurai decided to make it Kid Icarus instead. I guess that franchise has “ZERO” chance of being great again (get it?). Hysterically amazing puns aside, I can see the Star Fox-like roots in the gameplay. There are 2 play styles in this game, air battle and land battle. It’s the air battle part that really feels like Star Fox to me, simply due to the targeting, charge shots, and how you can move around the screen while flying. Oh and on a side note, it was interesting to see just how many items have been used between both Kid Icarus and Smash Bros. Especially since they both have essentially the same design when it comes to selecting level difficulty.
Roots aside, I do want to focus on the alternating gameplays. Almost every level tends to follow the same patterns. Air battle first, and then Land battle next, which can seem like a dull and predictable formula, it honestly isn’t. While it is fairly easy to know what’s coming segment wise, having fast paced action really makes that not very noticeable. Both segments feature a nice variance of monsters and scenery, while keeping the challenge and intensity of the game in nice balance as you progress. What’s more, you also can choose from different weapon types and even fuse the ones you have to create even stronger weapons. It’s not exactly groundbreaking, but it is cool to see what you can create.
As fun as these levels can be, it is here that I need to mention the biggest complaint this game has: The Controls. Basically, you control Pit with the thumb stick, while holding down the left trigger to fire, and aiming with the stylus. It doesn’t sound too bad at first, but if you have meaty man hands like me, you start to feel the burn pretty quickly. This was a pretty common complaint that the game had. For me, my hand was cramping after the first two levels. Which was a shame because I wanted to keep going in spite of my pain.
So what does this title have outside of its gameplay? Well great characters that are part of a fun story for one. One of my absolute favorite parts of this game is how the Gods/bosses basically talk crap to and about each other throughout the entire game, and it’s honestly pretty freaking funny (Viridi is especially sassy). This includes making of fun of obvious parts of the game, fourth wall breaking, and just fun explanations of plot points. Though since the gods seem to always hear each other, it makes me wonder how any strategies are made. Either way, it really keeps the light and fun in spite of all of the raining death that’s happening in the game.
This leads me to the story. There is a crap ton that happens in this game and half the time it feels like it’s out of nowhere. The first 9 Chapters are spent as a kind of retelling of the original game since you are fighting Medusa. But then Hades shows up, and then Viridi with Reset bombs (which are no joke), and then freaking aliens because reasons, and then a space bug demon thing! The crap is going on!!! And what’s weird is that they find a way to justify most of it somehow. And keep in mind; millions of people are dying throughout all of this, which is probably why the humor is needed to keep this from being a ridiculous “gritty” title, which I like.
Overall this game was a fun ride and definitely worthy of being in your gaming library. It’s listed at GameStop for $39.99, but I have seen it cheaper in store as well, just keep an eye out for a good deal. My only advice would be that it if you do pick it, please limit how long you play it. The game can hurt your hand, and no matter how fun it is, no game is worth the hand pain. Other than that, my ultimate verdict is a definite: