Even though this game will be coming out in around a month’s time, Kid Icarus: Uprising is still a game I want to talk about. In the year 2012 I think it is clear that this game is one of the most highly anticipated titles of all games coming out due to the legacy of the games that have come before and the bold new direction that Uprising is heading in too.
Since the game’s announcement back at E3 2010 I have been very interested in this game. From the first trailer I was hooked, I happened to see the trailer during Nintendo’s live stream but didn’t see that it was a 3DS title and mistook it for a Wii game that looked a little rough-around-the-edges. Even back then the game looked very impressive, colourful and vivid and when I found out it was coming to Nintendo’s current portable console I was so surprised at the amount of detail that was squeezed into the 3DS. But even beyond the graphics, I was interested in the gameplay that happened to be a far cry from the original game on the Nintendo Entertainment System. Rather than being an action platformer, the game had opted for an on-rails shooter type of game while flying through the air while on the ground it has an action adventure sort of side to it.
One cool thing about Kid Icarus: Uprising is the fact that it that appeals to two types of gamers; the gamers new the world of Kid Icarus and the veteran fans who’ve been waiting for another entry in the series since the second game back in 1991. Most people picking up Kid Icarus: Uprising will probably be new to the series and won’t know of the history behind it, unless they did their research or got what little information that they could from Super Smash Bros. Brawl. For those not in the know here’s a small history lesson; the first Kid Icarus game came out in 1986, it was a 2D action platforming game with you taking control of Pit as he goes on a quest to collect 3 sacred treasures to save his world and rescue the goddess Palutena. While it had a mixed reception at release it gained a cult following and still has pretty big fan base. The second game in the series showed up on the Game Boy in 1991 in the form of Kid Icarus: Of Myths and Monsters and it was well-received at the time and many fans since had been waiting for another game for ages. So when Super Smash Bros. Brawl came out on the Wii in 2008 and gave us a new look at Pitt, the fans saw it as hope for a new game to be made… Luckily Nintendo decided to pull this franchise out from the old gaming library.
For me my knowledge of the Kid Icarus series is mainly research-based. I first encountered something relating to Kid Icarus in Super Smash Bros. Melee in the trophy section seeing a trophy of Pit and reading the information that came with it. So then a few years down the line Super Smash Bros. Brawl was announced at E3 2006 and in the trailer we had a completely new version of Pit to play as in the game. His new look was completely different from his past incarnations on the NES and Game Boy. Only after that trailer was I truly interested in Pit’s past and I checked it out on Wikipedia, and it was after my research that I learned about the significance of the franchise. So fast forward to E3 2010 to when the first trailer for Uprising came out and I saw that he had the same as he did in SSBB. I thought this couldn’t be a coincidence. So then I did some more research and found out the main man behind the Kirby and Super Smash Bros. series’, Masahiro Sakurai had created another company, Project Sora to craft this game. And since that point my interest in Kid Icarus: Uprising has always stuck.
Above you can see the art style that Pit adopted in Super Smash Bros. Brawl which was carried over into the new Kid Icarus game.
I must have watched the first trailer for Uprising at least 10 times. I thought the music, gameplay and visuals were incredible. From the first trailer we saw that the game would have two main styles of gameplay: on-rails shooter taking out enemies while flying through the air and action adventure way of things when you are on the ground in full control of your movements. We also saw that he’d take on enemies from a distance by shooting them or engage in close range combat with melee attacks using weapons, but one of the highlights was seeing he massive boss battles.
Since 2010 the information for Kid Icarus: Uprising has been coming continuously in the form of videos, screenshots and interviews. We learned that Pit could charge his attacks while shooting in the air or how in ground combat he has a variety of moves to dodge and avoid enemy attacks. We also discovered that Pit was able to have different types of weaponry to attack enemies with including bows, claws, blades and others with different advantages and disadvantages, there’s also been the confirmation that the level’s difficulty can be increased collecting hearts from defeated enemies. And one key aspect that surprised me about the game wast he inclusion of multiplayer via Wi-fi for 6 players to fight in Team Deathmatches or Free-For-Alls using standard fighters, with losing players given the chance to plays as Pit or Dark Pit. With all of the stuff going on with the main story mode I didn’t think that the developers could add a multiplayer mode to this already full-looking game and then there’s also the AR cards that have mini games you can play using the 3DS’s augmented reality features.
This game has been delayed from its original release point of 2011 to the first quarter 2012 and while a lot of fans were initially gutted about that, if anything the delay has only increased the hype for the game. And from what most games journalists and gamers who have tried th game say that the controls are a tad questionable, most people either have said that the game overall works or after adjusting to the game’s control scheme that everything falls into places with all of the beautiful visuals. Even if controls are an issue for some gamers the game will have the Circle Pad Pro to use instead if the extra circle pad is necessary for your needs. Masahiro Sakurai has put a lot of work into this game and it is very apparent and since this man the legend behind the Kirby series as well as the Super Smash Bros. series too, so he does have epic powers and I trust him.
Whether fans will be able to accept these massive changes to the series’ formula will remain to be seen but there is no reason why this game shouldn’t be successful. Kid Icarus: Uprising is one of the first games to come from Nintendo that wasn’t just another Mario or Zelda title, it is a part of games series that was long forgotten until Smash Bros. brought Pit back to the world of gaming and then Nintendo gave the series a new coat of paint and a new game for a new game system. Hopefully Kid Icarus: Uprising is the start of something and will open doors for other forgotten Nintendo franchises like Pikmin, F-Zero, Star Fox and so on. March 2012 couldn’t come sooner.