Kid Icarus: Uprising review: Is it bad if the boxart is my favorite part of the game?

The boxart is perhaps still my favorite part of the game.

Kid Icarus: Uprising has had many Infendo contributors, myself included, wondering if the game was going to have some serious problems when it finally released. Since then, it has, and let’s just it has never been more fantastic to be proven wrong. Project Sora has with their first project already proven that they are a top tier developer, making the wait for Super Smash Bros. Wii U/3DS all the more unbearable.

The first thing I have to say about the game is to use the stand. Just do it. I played the game through equally with and without the stand, and found that the stand just felt right. My hands never got so uncomfortable that they hurt playing it either way, but when I wasn’t using it or couldn’t, I just felt myself longing for my stand.

For the entirety of the game, the action is split on two fronts, in the sky and in the air. While in the sky, the game plays very much like an on-rails shooter. You can still move Pit, the main character, around, but his flight path is predetermined. Movement of the cursor is controlled via the touch screen, while movement and firing is done via the circle pad and shoulder button respectively.

When Pit lands, the game turns into a third person shooter of sorts, and is where the game really takes off. Control problems aside, the land sections are where the game excels. As you defeat enemies and explore areas for treasure chests, you will acquire new items and earn new abilities. This has driven a collector like myself mad because all I can think about is acquiring new items to fuse with my weapons.

The game handles difficulty rather intelligently. Pit collects hearts for every defeated enemy throughout his adventure, and before each chapter you are given the choice to either lower, or raise the recommended difficulty. Chose to lower the difficulty and enemies will not shoot as many projectiles, and are generally easier to defeat. You will be charged a few hundred hearts for this, and will notice enemies will drop far fewer items and hearts. Go the opposite route and opt for a tougher difficulty, and enemies will be tougher at the reward of having a higher drop rate. The higher the difficulty, the more hearts you will be charged. It is a gamble, however, because if you are defeated you will lose all the charged hearts.

Both sections use the same control scheme, and this is where some of my problems with the game lie. It isn’t exactly easy to manage camera movement, as well as cursor control via the touch screen. It is perfectly manageable, but you have to wonder had the game been developed with dual analog inputs in mind if the circle pad pro would have become a required purchase at that point.

There are numerous control options in the game, so more likely than not you will find an option to suit your needs. The circle pad pro actually adds lefty support for all you southpaws out there. I actually dug out my old DS Phat wrist strap, and played with the plastic nubbin on the end of that and it felt great.

Multiplayer is very addictive, and I can see many sleepless nights in my future just to play “one more match.” The game supports up to six people with any combination of on and offline players. Equipment acquired throughout the game’s campaign mode can be brought into the multiplayer arena, and is balanced by awarding more points for taking out players with higher value gear.

There is plenty of replayablity to be found in Kid Icarus: Uprising. Just acquiring and fusing new items alone can take dozens of hours. There is so much content packed inside the tiny little 3DS cart that it is mind blowing. I didn’t even get to mention the awesome AR functionality in the game. If you could tell by now, I really enjoyed the game, and I think you will too. The game often breaks the fourth wall with its smart dialog and surprisingly not terrible voice acting. I was actually laughing out loud when when character told me she couldn’t see “Because of my slightly botched lazer eye surgery.” Go out, buy Kid Icarus: Uprising, and enjoy the hours of gameplay to come.

8 Responses to Kid Icarus: Uprising review: Is it bad if the boxart is my favorite part of the game?

  1. Richard says:

    Great review! I love this game; pure fun from beginning to end. I’m on my second play-through of the main quest, seeing how far I dare ramp up the difficulty. Also loving boss battle mode and multiplayer. And the AR cards are fantastic.

    I love the everything-but-the-kitchen-sink approach, which seems to be Sakurai’s trademark. It’s even got chariot racing, a musical number and a puppy dog! And, like you, I’m hooked on the weapon collecting/fusing.

    And — yeah, the box art design is awesome! 🙂

  2. Robert says:

    I hope to pick it up this weekend! I sure am missing my Phat wrist strap right about now.

    My question is, how is your touchscreen holding up? I’m hearing reports that the intensity of the game is leading people to scratch the heck out of their screens.

  3. Richard says:

    My 3DS’s touch screen is doing fine, but I often finish boss battles aware that I’ve been pressing the stylus against the screen with far more pressure than necessary! Makes me feel kind of silly; it’s as if I subconsciously think pressing the screen harder is somehow going to make the shots have more impact! 🙂 My advice: make sure your stylus doesn’t have any nicks or rough spots!

  4. Hitokiri_Ace says:

    Nice review for a very awesome game! As you mentioned, it’s definitely worth digging out the ‘ole thumb nub from the DS. I’m one of those south-paws, and I really have no issue with the standard control settings. It really is awesome, and I’m only on like chapter 12-ish of single player… Playing together has taken up much of my time, and it is truly a blast.

    I’m also stuck on weapon collecting/fusing! I just hope I can figure out how to really make better stuff… lol So far, I’m just guessing, and trying out stuff.

  5. Michael says:

    Did you know that the paper insert for the box art can be reversed and features a lot more than just Pit and Palutena poking through the holes? This is, to my knowledge, the first time Nintendo has offered alternate, reversible box art for people to choose between.

  6. Michael says:

    @Robert: I wouldn’t worry about scratching your 3DS touch screen that much…if you’re careful. It shouldn’t matter how long or frantic your touch screen gameplay sections are, so long as you keep the screen clean. Dust being dragged along the screen is what causes scratches, so just start clean and do a little in-game maintenance whenever the action lets up for a moment.

    And don’t press hard, obviously, because that’ll kill the screen without dust.

  7. monkat says:

    I didn’t read the review. Not because I don’t respect your opinion, but because I don’t need it, already having beaten the game, and I am a little woozy from donating blood.

    That said, I came here to talk about the title. That I absolutely agree with that. This box is beautiful, and I love how even the binding on the inside cover has art on it! It really has that extra touch that makes it excellent :)! The art on the front-cover is average, but the inside is really the star, considering that it was a volitional and unnecessary gesture.

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