Nintendo Consoles

Nintendo Consoles

Thursday, April 7, 2016

Kid Icarus: Uprising - Sorry to keep you waiting!!

Kid Icarus: Uprising - Nintendo 3DS

Kid Icarus: Uprising is a 3rd person shooter / rail shooter released for the Nintendo 3DS back in 2012. Immediately upon launch, the game was met both with ruthless criticism and professional acclaim. 25 years separates this sequel from the franchises' original 1986 installment and as a result, both games are radically different.

But different, in this case, is awesome. Though the NES Kid Icarus took the form of a vertical platformer, featuring our protagonist, Pit, jumping to scroll up and down to complete levels, Kid Icarus: Uprising features Pit soaring through the skies, shooting down soldiers of the Underworld Army, and using Mega Lasers, explosions, and swords to defeat famous mythological bosses over the course of 25 levels. The game employs fully 3D models, has bright colors, a consistent frame-rate, impressively adjustable difficulty levels, an appealing interface, a variety of game modes including multiplayer, customizable weapons and ability configurations, a good length, high replay value, cute dialogue, likable characters, beautifully crafted levels, and fun gameplay that should be appreciated both in long and short play-sessions.

Wow. That's a lot of good things. How is it that this game hasn't got everyone foaming at the 3DS-game-deprived mouth? 1 thing: the controls.

The controls of Kid Icarus: Uprising are really the only thing that keeps the game from perfection. Stay with me here as I describe them.

You have two different sections of every mission: Air and Ground. The air sections are on rails, so your flight path is taken care of for you, but dodging enemy fire is your own responsibility. Use the Circle Pad to dodge and move. Great. Shoot and attack with the L button. Strange that attack is not A, B, X, or Y, but whatever. Fine. Circle Pad and L. Now aim by sliding your stylus on the touch-screen- an action that uses up the entirety of your right hand. While on the ground, everything is the same, but camera is controlled by flicking the touch screen, much like how you would spin a globe to rotate it, and you use the circle pad to move through the levels as you would in a typical action game.

Basically, in order to really aim effectively with your right hand on the touch screen, you must hold your heavy 3DS in your left hand alone. This can be uncomfortable. And dumb. It really does take away from the experience. Everything offered in Kid Icarus: Uprising is crafted with extreme attention to detail and with mastery of game design in general, but the hand-fatiguing controls will inhibit you from playing more than one or two levels at a time.

DISCLAIMER: the controls can be changed in order for aiming to be performed with the ABXY buttons, but while this is way more comfortable, it is slower, less accurate, and less responsive.

The controls are disabling enough to warrant considerable score reductions for Uprising, but they do not make this game bad. Kid Icarus: Uprising is still a fantastic shooter overflowing with Nintendo charm, but it is nearly impossible to play for long stretches of time, which is a huge bummer. When a game is this good, it is disappointing and frustrating to have it physically hurt to play. Still, during the moments without discomfort, I argue that Uprising is a masterpiece. Simply put, it is a hard sell: if you can get past being unable to play this title for more than 30 minutes at a time, you'll love it; if you're looking for something to relax with and play for hours and hours on, say, a long car ride, Uprising is not for you.

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