Kid Icarus Uprising Review

Kid Icarus: Uprising

Kid Icarus Uprising sought to resurrect Nintendo’s long-dormant Kid Icarus franchise (last seen on the Game Boy twenty-one years prior) and turn it into a modernized action game. For the most part, Uprising succeeds in its mission. Taking cues from the likes of star Fox 64 and God of War, Uprising’s stages alter between hectic on-rails shooter and grounded beat-em-up.

Both segments use the same style of control, Pit’s movements are controlled with the thumbstick, the touch screen is used for aiming,and the L trigger performs attacks. It’s a simple setup that’s easy to learn, and works in surprisingly versatile ways. Though the setup works best in the flying segments, because when Pit is on land, the touch screen is also used to control the camera. As one might guess, using a touch screen to move a camera and target enemies can feel muddled, which takes away some of the smoothness from the experience.

Kid Icarus: Uprising

The story is typical Nintendo: The forces of the underworld are causing mayhem and chaos, and the goddess Palutena sends her warrior angel Pit to put a stop to it. It’s a simple plot, but one that comes alive due to the colorful personalities of the characters, and a good dose of fourth-wall breaking humor. It does introduce the trope of a black-clad “dark” version of its main character, but at the least, the game and character in question are aware of the trope. What might have otherwise been a series of anime cliches is made into an amusing parade of charm and character. There are also few cinema tics, with the characters instead giving their say-so about nearly every situation Pit finds himself in. It can get a little too chatty at times, but for the most part it’s entertaining banter.

A sleek visual look make the game one of the most eye-catching in the 3DS library. The character models are detailed, and the world’s colorful. It’s 3D effects are limited, but turn the 3D off and you’ll soon find you want it back on. The musical score is surprisingly versatile, taking cues from Super Smash Bros., Uprising’s score is suitably epic and oftentimes gives the game an heir more akin to a console title.

Multiplayer modes come in two varieties: Free-for-alls see players battle each other down to the last man standing, while Light Versus Dark mode sees two teams of three face one another, once the team members of a team are damaged enough, one of their comrades will become one of the angel characters (Pit for light, Dark Pit for dark). Victory is attained by defeating your opposing team’s angel. These multiplayer modes are fun additions to what is already a hefty adventure, and playing both modes unlocks more weapons and items that can be used in single and multiplayer, giving you plenty of reasons for return visits.

Kid Icarus: Uprising

There are many unlockables, trophies and challenges to be found. Long after you’ve finished the main adventure, Uprising makes sure you have plenty more to do. You’d probably want to replay it all anyway, as the story mode is a much larger scale adventure than you would expect from a handheld title. And the multiplayer modes – while sometimes a little too chaotic for their own good – are fun little deviations. It’s not only a great 3DS game, it also brought a relevance to an abandoned Nintendo franchise that it never quite had before.



Author: themancalledscott

Born of cold and winter air and mountain rain combining, the man called Scott is an ancient sorcerer from a long-forgotten realm. He’s more machine now than man, twisted and evil. Or, you know, he could just be some guy who loves video games, animations and cinema who just wanted to write about such things.

3 thoughts on “Kid Icarus Uprising Review”

  1. Honestly? I feel this game perfectly represents my feelings towards the majority of the 3DS in itself. I enjoyed it the first time, but going back at it really showed its uglier side.
    The camera and controls of this game are a disaster, it’s super common to either suffer cramps or having your hands going numb from trying to find a somewhat comfortable pose to play this. Even barring this asides, the combat of this game is dull, there’s not much in terms of options given to the player outside of mashing buttons, and this never proves to be very satisfying (neither does zoning), and alongside the problematic controls and camera, going close quarters often feels like the worst possible plan. I also really don’t like the stages from the game, ground segments drag on for way too long and feel like it punishes trying to explore for treasures with how easily you come across invisible walls that just keep you away from backtracking. Adding to this, I honestly have grown numb to the games dialogues, what I once thought was entertaining banter among some of Nintendos most endearing characters has quickly grown to simply be a source of annoyance and unfunny jokes (although Hades is still pretty good).
    This is probably one of the most painful games I’ve had to revisit in recent memory, it’s not a nostalgic trip to realize the stuff I enjoyed in my childhood was nowhere near as good as I remembered given how much more recent this title is, but I expected my quality standards to be decently defined by 2012.
    It also makes me all the more annoyed how much love KI got in Smash 4, where I stand, that series has no good games to speak of.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. This is another review I may have to go back to. Looking back, I don’t even really have any standout memories of this game, but I do remember the controls being awkward and clunky. Again, this was one of the reviews I wrote during my earlier reviewing years, and one of the ones I published on day one of this site. A revisit may be in order.

      And yeah, the profuse representation it got in Smash 4 was eye-rolling. Three characters, multiple stages and items, Palutena’s guidances… We get it, Sakurai, you made Uprising. Moving on.


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