Hello all! Last week, I replayed an old-school JRPG that’s awesome despite being an impossible mix of characters and gameplay.
Today, I look at a 3DS title, a long -awaited sequel to an NES classic, and a game the latest Super Smash Bros. shares a bit in common with.
Kid Icarus: Uprising is, of course, the third in the Kid Icarus series that began on the NES. The first one came out on NES in 1987, then Of Myths and Monsters hit Game Boy in 1991. Then, a mere twenty-one years later, we finally got a new entry. And it was well worth the wait.
So essentially, Uprising is a very Nintendo take on Greek mythology. Sort of? As Pit, the winged angel and star of the first two games, you’re tasked with defeating Medusa, who’s looking to conquer/destroy the world, because...well, the point is, she’s evil and you have to stop her. Along the way, you’ll meet all sorts of colorful characters, gather a huge variety of weapons, and have all kinds of fun.
Most screenshots are kinda blurry; the game looks MUCH better in action.
Uprising’s primary mechanic is flight. With the help of Palutena, Goddess of Light, Pit is able to soar through the skies for a limited time. Gameplay wise, it’s very similar to StarFox, only significantly faster, and you can fly and target independently. That latter part is made somewhat uncomfortable by the control setup (move with the Circle Pad, aim by sliding the stylus around the Touch Screen), and really, it’s my only knock against the game. You can put the DS on the silly little stand Uprising came with, but it’s not a huge improvement.
Still, control issues aside, it’s worth it, because the flying levels in Uprising are some of the most exhilarating moments to be had. There’s something about flight that, when done right in games, sticks with you forever. It’s such a rush, such an unparalleled feeling of unlimited freedom. Even when it’s on rails, it can be amazing. Most games don’t get it right. NiGHTS did, as I wrote way back, and so does Uprising.
So. Flying around in Uprising generally means targeting and blasting enemies out of the sky while avoiding attacks. The game keeps it simple, which is smart, because you never get bogged down in details. You can focus on shooting, dodging, and generally being awesome.
Eventually, though, you have to go to ground level. Each level consists of a flight portion and a ground portion. Ground levels function about the same (movement and aiming controls remain the same), but, naturally, that rush you get from flying is lost. It’s still pretty fun, though, as there’s rail-grinding segments, and oddball vehicles you can pilot to add some variety to the game.
I love the flying, and I kinda like the on foot action. But my absolute favorite part of Uprising, and the reason I’m even writing about it, is the personality.
I mean, Uprising is simply bursting with personality. This time around, Pit, Palutena, etc. are all defined characters in this extremely lighthearted, hilarious tale. Pit and Palutena constantly-constantly-talk to each other throughout the missions, and the amount of chatter in the game is staggering. There’s always a back-and-forth between Pit and the various bosses of the game that’s endlessly witty and charming. The characters even openly make reference to the fact that this is a video game. You’ll enjoy Pit, as he’s not your typical hero; he’s altogether not that bright, but he’s almost infuriatingly optimistic.
If you don’t like the game’s sense of humor, it’s because you’re made of stone. There, I said it.
I mentioned how Uprising kind of influences Super Smash Bros. for Wii U/3DS. That’s because they were both developed under Masahiro Sakurai. Smash’s difficulty adjustment mode for classic mode (spend Coins to increase the challenge and rewards) is lifted directly from this game, as is the Menu Screen aesthetic, Pit, Dark Pit (who’s hilariously called “Pitoo” by Pit here) and Palutena obviously come from this game, as does the Ore Club and Daybreak. There’s a lot of Uprising in Smash, as it turns out.
This is one of my favorite games on my 3DS shelf, and I loved coming back to it. To be honest, I come back to it a lot. Easily worth the price of admission; like I said, my only gripe is the controls, as they can hurt your wrist. Still, Uprising’s a great experience, filled with more charm and personality in one level than most entire games have.
Thanks for reading my stuff! As always, leave comments, suggest future games to be featured as Game of the Week, and find me on Twitter! Also, catch up with my (currently on hiatus) other article series here!
Next week’s game is commonly thought of as the “black sheep” in an otherwise nearly-flawless series (a series that is my all-time favorite franchise). I am, naturally, here to tell you why that’s not the case!