by Jason Clement, reviewed on
An Old Hero Returns
Having originally gotten his start on the NES with Kid Icarus, Pit makes his grand return to a series that is more than two decades. In Kid Icarus: Uprising, the evil goddess Medusa is reborn and leading the underworld army against humanity, so itís up to Pit along with the help of the light goddess Palutena to stop them. Knowing that the game plays out differently than its predecessors, I wasnít quite sure what to expect from Uprising, but suffice it to say that I was impressed with what Masahiro Sakurai and Project Sora came up with in the end.
Unlike the original NES game and its Gameboy sequel, Of Myths and Monsters, Uprising is not a platformer but rather a 3D shooter that combines aerial shooting segments with land shooting segments. Each level begins with a flying section that lasts only 5 minutes (since that is the duration at which Palutena can sustain the flight of Pitís wings before he must land) after which point he will continue on foot until he reaches the levelís boss. The aerial segments are actually some of the best parts of the game, but the on-foot segments are an interesting diversion due to the fact that you are directly in control of Pit and what direction he moves in. In addition, you are also given the ability to slash foes with your weapons when you encounter them at close range, helping to break up the gameplay a bit.
Fasten Your Seatbelt
The aerial segments play out a bit like a rollercoaster ride, with the game controlling your flight path and destination and leaving you up to controlling Pitís positioning in order to attack and dodge incoming enemy fire from the Underworld Army. While the action unfolds on the top screen, the bottom screen of the 3DS will show Pit and Palutena conversing about his current in-game circumstances as well as certain plot points, not unlike the banter that happens between crew members in the Star Fox games, but a large difference in this game is that a lot of comedy is peppered about in the conversation; some of it good, some of it not so great, and sometimes they will even break the fourth wall with some of their humor as well. Still, while a lot of the gameís dialogue may be goofy, I found myself laughing at certain points and have to admit that the voice acting is fairly well done for a game that doesnít take itself too seriously.
The ground segments are a little less enjoyable (especially early on), but are nonetheless a nice diversion from the mindless dodging and attacking of the aerial sections. One downside, however, is that the controls make it difficult to truly navigate areas with ease. This is due to the fact that the camera is mapped to the touch screen, and to change views you need to swipe it in the direction you want to look; the experience being much like turning a globe. Itís not the most ideal way of dealing with the camera, especially when youíre in a circumstance where something is attacking you from behind. Camera issues withstanding, the land segments afford you more of an opportunity to explore each area and find hidden treasure and whatnot, though at the same time the game helps make it clear as to which direction you must go with little arrows pointing the way.
Great visuals and music. Lots of throwbacks to the first game. Deep, engaging action and lots of content to keep you busy.
Controls may make your hands cramped; camera controls aren\'t the best.