by Jason Clement
reviewed on 3DS
Clumsy Controls and Vibrant Visuals
However, you likely won’t play Kid Icarus: Uprising for too long during each play session because of its unique control scheme. It’s not terrible, but the setup requires you to use the circle pad to move while using the stylus to aim and the L button to shoot. Naturally, this doesn’t make for the most comfortable of positions so Nintendo included a stand along with the game to help, and while it doesn’t help make the game any more portable, it does do a fairly good job of alleviating any hand cramping you might encounter while playing. I was even able to use it while lying down and it was still pretty effective. Make no mistake though; this is a game that makes it all too apparent that the omission of a second circle pad on the 3DS was a glaring mistake on Nintendo’s behalf.
Moving on, one of Uprising’s most impressive features are its graphics. They’re completely gorgeous, and perhaps some of the best seen on the 3DS to date. Each character has an incredible amount of detail to them, and the attention to detail is never more apparent than during the flight sections, with draw distances that are equally as impressive as the sheer detail of the texture of the earth below. In one segment, you’re flying over a battlefield as thousands of soldiers wage war below, and the resulting panorama is stunning and something I wouldn’t have thought possible on a handheld like this. The hand-drawn pictures of Pit and Palutena are quite attractive as well, showcasing the development team’s stellar artistic abilities. And the music recalls a lot of the tunes from the first game, but reimagines it with all-new arrangements. It’s a great soundtrack overall.
New and Old Tricks
Project Sora also included some interesting new game mechanics; one being the ability to "bet" hearts (which serve as in-game currency) in a pot before each level, and the more you "bet," the harder the level difficulty will be, but the payoff from the rewards are much bigger as it affords you the chance to acquire more rare treasure. You will also have the ability to buy new weapons as well as equip the ones you’ve acquired through playing the campaign, and not only that but you will be able to combine weapons to make entirely new ones. The actual amount of different weapons in the game is pretty staggering, and is a nice addition as it allows each individual player to play with a weapon that best suits them. You can even try out each weapon in a practice mode before you use them.
Also, in true Sakurai fashion, the game includes an achievement-like system not unlike the one found in Smash Bros. Brawl, in which you unlock certain pieces all over a giant board for accomplishing certain objectives in the game. Once all objectives are complete, the board will reveal a mural of sorts. In addition, a competent multiplayer mode is available for those who wish to match their battle prowess and skill against others, either online or with a friend nearby. There are two different modes to select: "Light vs Dark," which is a team-based battle mode, and Free-For-All, which is a battle royale mode. Playing online also offers the incentive of getting rewards at the end of each battle. The development team also made sure to include an extensive gallery of multimedia where you will be able to unlock and view 3D models of characters, music, a portrait, and more.
The Kid’s Still Got It
Overall, Kid Icarus: Uprising is an amazingly robust game that’s chock full of content. You’d be hard pressed to find a 3DS game that presents more value than this one. In fact, I’d almost be willing to call it the best original 3DS game yet if not for some niggling issues, first and foremost being the control scheme and the lackluster camera controls. Both actually work, but they could have been made so much better and thus drag the experience down a bit, but it’s hard to get too disappointed when there’s so much else to love in the game. If you are looking for a great, action-packed experience and the best bang for your buck, you will definitely want to check out Kid Icarus: Uprising. Barring a few inconveniences, it’s easily one of the best games on the handheld to date.
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.