Kid Icarus Uprising Initial Review - 10/10

No game has received this much hype and media presence on the 3DS. Kid Icarus Uprising, despite what other critics say, is the best game on the 3DS hands down. Now this is saying quite a bit, but the game is pure entertainment with how it was designed.

Pit has returned after 25 some odd years since his last full game in 8bit glory. Medusa's army is rising after a 25 some odd years hiatus, I see what you did there Nintendo. Anyway, Pit must take flight, shooting enemies in Star Fox fashion before landing on ground for some CQC, and an eventual boss fight for each level of the game.

The game was designed by Masahiro Sakurai, who also worked on S.S.B.B (Super Smash Bros Brawl), and you can tell with the menu layout and game modes that he implemented, as well as all the extra features.

Here's a breakdown of the main aspects of Kid Icarus Uprising.

Narrative: You are thrown into the fray, with no back-story or reason to fight, other than Medusa's army is rising and you must seek her defeat, with the help of Lady Palutena. The story is simple, nothing fancy, but the environments and enemies help convey the setting and overall feel of game. In each level there is constant chit-chat between Pit, Palutena, and any other character in each chapter. The dialogue is hilarious at times, and there is never a silent moment. Some critics find the dialogue to be a bit annoying, but it is much more amusing than having pre, or post chatter after the action like Fire Emblem or other conversation heavy titles that help develop a character outside the actual game-play.

Game-play: There are three segments to each level, Star Fox air shooting, followed by ground combat, and finally a boss fight. The game is incredibly fun for land and air combat, and can get ridiculously hard if you set the difficulty to 9.0. Before playing any chapter you can spend the game's currency (hearts) to increase the difficulty from 2.0 - 9.0, gaining more rewards such as weapons and collectibles in each play-through. In certain levels, "Intensity Gates" will grant access to special areas if you are playing at the right difficulty, these areas reward players with mini boss fights and better loot. Other than the story mode, you can play online which is also surprisingly fun and addictive without worrying about lag or connection issues. The game features an abundant amount of weapons you can gain, fuse, and purchase. Each weapon allows you to explore multiple play styles such as close combat with claws, or long range sniping with rail guns or bows. It is also fun fusing these weapons to create more powerful variations. Additionally, Masahiro has introduce some SSBB features such as collectible "Idols", which are the "Trophies" of S.S.B.Brawl.

Online: I was skeptical at first, but after playing a "Light vs Dark" game mode with some folks in Japan, I had no lag until the game was already over. There are two game-modes for multiplayer, first off you can play locally with friends, or globally with anyone online. "Light vs Dark" pits 2 teams of 3 against each other in death match fashion, granting the last killed player on a team to take the role of either Dark Pit or Light Pit, then it's up to each team to kill off Pit to win the game. "Free-for-All" puts you against 5 other players in straight up free-for-all action. Both game modes let you choose any of your weapons you have gained throughout the story mode, and balances out how much you are worth upon dying based on your items level, meaning a low level weapon player can gain the advantage over someone with a high powered weapon.

Difficulty: You can easily set the pace and take gambles on your skill level by setting the difficulty anywhere between 0.0 and 9.0. This severely reduces the amount of hits Pit can take, and I still struggle on the very first flight section of the game on 9.0. The amount of enemies increase as the difficulty goes up, but what is great about this jump in difficulty is it forces you to actually strategize when you want to shoot and when you want to stop shooting in order to gain the movement boost to dodge incoming attacks during the flight segments. Shooting your weapon during flight segments severely diminishes your dodging abilities and really forces you to plan out when to attack and when to dodge. The difficulty difference is very enjoyable for taking risks in order to gain better weapons for fusing. The only negative outcome of this difficulty is the boss fights, the bosses hurt like hell, but the problem resides in how quickly they are dispatched if you dodge well and time your attacks, it isn't game-breaking, but the early bosses are a bit weak for taking hits (imo).

Extras: Weapons, Idols, Puzzles, collections are everywhere, there's even a mini-game where you toss these egg like objects into the air in a chance to collect a new idol, similar to Super Smash Bros Melee coin operated trophy mini-game.

Controls: The game is super easy to play, the circle-pad is your movement, the "L" button is your shooting, and you use the touchscreen to aim and control the camera by swiping towards your desired direction. The controls are very fluid, but critics have been saying it is a bit difficult to get use to swiping the touchscreen to change your camera. I however find that this camera mechanic adds skill to the game, being able to move around swiftly, altering your view before aiming is a skill that will set apart the good from the great.

If there was ever a reason to buy the 3DS for a certain game, Kid Icarus Uprising is one of those games. The game brings something for everyone, a fun, comical cast characters; two addictive game modes; a reliable online PvP experience; and enough collectibles and weapon fusing extras to keep you busy.

Kid Icarus Uprising is worth the buy.