When the 3DS was officially revealed at last year’s Electronic Entertainment Expo, Kid Icarus: Uprising was the showpiece for Nintendo’s exciting new handheld. It’s been 20 years since the last Kid Icarus game was released so naturally loyal Nintendo fans were excited to see Pit return.
Kid Icarus: Uprising has very little to do with the 1986 adventure game. The original Kid Icarus was a Metroid-styled action platformer whereas Uprising has more in common with rail shooters such as Panzer Dragoon.
The thing you’ll notice when playing Uprising is just how fantastic the game looks. Up until now 3D has felt like a tacked on feature for most 3DS games but Uprising looks and feels like it designed from the ground up to take advantage of the 3DS’ hardware. The game is split up in to two sections, the first of which is an aerial shooter where I shot weird looking eyeball monsters to death and engaged in a mid-level boss battle against a gigantic medusa! During these in-air moments Uprising impresses on both a technical and gameplay level. I was particularly amazed by the game’s phenomenal water effects which really showcase what the 3DS is capable of.
Unfortunately the latter half of the game is where things fall apart. Once the flying sections are over, Pit takes the action to the ground where the game becomes a terrible third person shooter. The lack of dual analog sticks makes controlling Pit painfully difficult and aiming with the stylus while simultaneously using the circle pad to navigate makes the system uncomfortable to hold.
At this point, Kid Icarus: Uprising feels like a great game and a terrible game smash together on to one cartridge. I’m hopeful that a great story will compensate for Uprising’s shortcomings but with Star Fox 64 3D already available on the 3DS, Pit might have missed his flight.
Kid Icarus: Uprising is due out next year.