I remember two years ago, during the summer, I woke up, poured myself a bowl of Frosted Mini Wheats, and watched Nintendo’s E3 press conference, where they unveiled something I’ve been excited for since it was announced – Kid Icarus: Uprising.
Now, weeks after its release, and I’ve finally gotten around to beating it. That means it’s time for a review!
Let’s start with the plot. It’s been 25 years since Medusa took over Sky World and imprisoned Paulutena, the Goddess of Light. Now, she’s returned with a vengeance, and Pit must stop her once again! The actual plot is actually pretty awesome, especially once you hit Hades and Pyyhron. It’s not too serious, and the characters play off the plot really well. Actually, it’s awesome to see that the characters are what really drive the plot this time. The entire plot is set in motion through Hades, and it’s driven by Paulutena, Hades, and Viridi. It’s good, but it gets crazy and outlandish (space pirates? Really?), and while those outlandish parts can be pretty cool, it just didn’t really strike me as coherent to the world.
This is where Uprising really shines. The characters are, in short, fantastic. They’re full of color and vibrance, both in appearance and in personalities. The way Paulutena and Pit joke around while you’re beating up enemies really gives a sense of how confident the two are. The way they grow serious during a few boss battles also gives way to show that they never mess around. It’s funny. Scratch that, it’s hilarious. Hades, Viridi, Pyyrhon (oh my god Pyyrhon), and even Medusa all make the game’s campaign so, so enjoyable. Don’t even get me started on some of the bosses!
The dialogue is flawless. The way the characters play off of each other (especially Pit and Viridi) is incredibly well-done, and the writing is nothing short of fantastic. And the best part is, despite the comedic dialogue, the characters do grow and mature. To see Pit not rely on Paulutena, to see Dark Pit accept Paulutena, to see Viridi grow to help Pit instead of oppose him (despite her denying it) all really facilitate good plot and character development, and to be able to do all that with a comedy act is really impressive. If you’ve been looking for good dialogue and character in a game, stop reading this right now and go get Uprising. It’s shortcomings will not stop this game from pleasing you.
Uprising smashes this category into pieces. The music is great for every level and every boss battle. The graphics, from the Underworld to space, are incredibly done, and everything looks crisp in 3D. DId I mention how good the 3D is? It’s fantastic. Everything about the music and graphics are fantastic. Then only gripe I can see is that the menu looks almost exactly like Super Smash Bros. Brawl‘s menu, which actually makes sense given that both were made by the same team.
This is Uprising’s weakest point, but even at its weakest point, it’s still good. There are a lot of plusses to Uprising, from the difficulty scale (for those who want to enjoy the story and those who want a real challenge) to weapon fusing. The difficulty scale affects items received and rewards given – the more hearts (money) you bet, the better the rewards.
Weapon Fusing allows you to fuse together two weapons to create a more powerful weapon with abilities gained from the two fused weapons. It’s an awesome feature, and while we’re at it, let’s talk about the amount of weapons: bows, blades, clubs, palms, claws, staffs, cannons, orbiters – there’s so many, and each with a different aesthetic look (including shots fired) and different individual stats that you can’t help but try to test them all out! I found myself liking the bows, clubs, orbiters, and palms the best.
And then there are abilities, which grant Pit status boosts and the ability to inflict status on others for a short amount of time. All of them are pretty useful, and they’re all fun to use.
But, there are some downfalls. Let’s talk about the controls, which by no means are bad. They’re actually pretty intuitive and make sense. Hold the L button to fire, joystick to move, and touch screen to aim. Pretty nice, yeah? Here’s the problem: holding your 3DS like that can get a bit…uncomfortable. You almost HAVE to use that stand, and even then it felt weird to me. Of course, I found a way that works for me (by setting it on my lap), but I never truly felt comfortable while playing Uprising, especially during ground battles.
And the Multiplayer…well, I haven’t really played it much because I didn’t get hooked when I played. It’s fun, but it wasn’t fun enough for me to want to continue playing it. I enjoyed the campaign much, much more.
All in all, Kid Icarus: Uprising is sure to please, I think. Whether you’re new to the series or familiar thanks to Super Smash Bros. Brawl or the original Kid Icarus, you’ll enjoy a lot of what Uprising has to offer. And unlike me, you may even find the Multiplayer more captivating the controls less uncomfortable.
I highly recommend!