Wednesday, 1 July 2015

Kid Icarus Uprising: "Sorry to keep you waiting"

Remember when I said that Nintendo tends to neglect some of its franchises? Well, this is one of them. Only three games ever made, and one only because of his appearance in Super Smash Brothers Brawl. So, in the Post E3 craze (and while I'm at TGF, the power of scheduling and planning in advance), lets take a look at the Starfox game that became Kid Icarus Uprising. And no this will not talk about anything at E3, this is being written the day before E3 starts.

So what's the plot? Medusa has been revived, and she's, in the kindest language I can use that fits the situation, pissed off. Her armies start attacking the human world and its up to Pit and Palutena to stop her and her underworld forces. If I go into any more detail, I'd be getting into spoiler territory so I'll leave it as that. The plot's simple, but for a first game since the days of the original Gameboy and an early 3DS title, I can let it slide, I don't need complex plots, I like memorable characters.
Yes its fan made, but it has all the characters, so I'll use it

And Uprising has some of the best characters I've seen in games in a long time. There's no character here who feels out of place and each one gets some great lines. To those who have Super Smash Brothers for WiiU (Which I will get to, I'm trying to do it in a joint review of Project M, but that requires a PAL version of the mod), if you're familiar with the Palutena's guidance in Palutena's Temple, imagine a whole game like that, featuring more gods. I have to say though, hands down Hades is the best character. While the Disney animated movie Hercules was meh at best, Hades in that is a favorite villain of mine. For a basic look at it, take Hades from Hercules, and put him into Uprising.

The artwork in this game is also beautiful, from all the different armies, to the character portraits on the bottom screen, which annoyingly most people wont see due to all the action being on the top screen. A good way to describe them though is, they're like the portraits from Shantae and the Pirate's Curse, something I do want to review at some point. The major difference is the art style used as Uprising's portraits use a more water colour style to them, if that makes any sense. Again, the best way to look at it is the Palutena's Guidance in Smash WiiU, its the same pics. Music is also great, with my favorite tracks being Dark Pit's Theme, Thundercloud Temple, and the main Boss Battle theme... how coincidental that they're also in Smash 4...
"You can't catch me, I'm the flightless angel.. wait..."

Gameplay is quite good, however one complaint people have is the controls, which I'll get to in a sec. The game is split into two main sections. An Air battle, and a land battle, with most levels having both of them at some point. You go in with any weapon you have at your disposal, which you pick up by either finding them as loot in levels, purchasing them using the hearts (this game's points) you've collected in a way almost exactly the same as Smash 4's Trophy store, or by fusing weapons together into new combinations. No two weapons are exactly the same, even if they are the same weapon. For example, myself and a friend of mine could have a weapon called the Beam Claws, however one of them could have stronger sub properties then the other. Imagine Pokemon as the best example. The game play is really good and the weapons system is really well implemented. My one complaint is the randomness of it. You get stronger weapons by going into harder versions of levels (again, think Smash 4 classic mode, noticing a trend here?) The harder the level, the better the rewards. However this does mean that people who are still getting used to the game play will struggle in the harder levels as they haven't been able to get the better weapons and powers (which works the same way as the Smash Run Powers in Smash for 3DS). However, the counter for it is that it does encourage re-playability, which I do recommend...

Especially if you want to do online multiplayer, which I picked up for the sake of this review, and then quickly put back down because I was being destroyed. It's basically team land battles though.

Finally, the controls. Kid Icarus Uprising has been known to cause wrist and or spine cramps due to the nature of the controls. Right handed controls are as such: C-stick to move, L-button to shoot, Touch screen to aim. I do not know the left handed controls, because I am right handed. Now to fix these problems, Uprising should come with a stand that can rest your 3DS... I didn't have that as I was renting this from a friend of mine, along with Layton vs Wright. If you don't have the stand, do yourself a favor, and play this game only at home. The way I played this was that I turned my thighs into a make shift stand and played this sitting on my bed, which helped with the cramps.

If you can find a copy of Uprising, I recommend picking it up as it is a lot of fun to play through, and it has that Pokemon esque multiplayer thanks to the weapons and powers. Up next, we have an angry nerd and his movie to watch. See you next week for The Angry Video Game Nerd: The Movie.

Oh, and for the record, just encase you don't know why all the Smash brothers mentions, the developer of Uprising is Masahiro Sakurai, the man behind the Super Smash Brothers series.

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