Kid Icarus: Uprising hands-on

At the Nintendo World 2011 event in Japan this week, Nintendo gave the public – and many members of the press – the opportunity to play many 3DS titles for the first time. One of the games we were most eager to get our hands on was Kid Icarus: Uprising, the first new title in the series since 1991’s Of Myths and Monsters on Game Boy. While our time playing the game was limited, we came away extremely impressed with how things are shaping up.

As we waited our turn with the demo version, monitors above the booth showcased goddess Paltena and hero Pit talking about the series’ history and the new gameplay elements seen in this title. Unlike the original game, which is a more traditional platformer with exploration elements, Uprising is a pure 3D action title that makes great use of the handheld’s depth-display capabilities. Action sequences are divided into flight and on-foot segments, each filled with beautiful environments and drooling nasties begging for the business end of an arrow.

When we got our turn to play, we were immediately thrust into one of the game’s high-speed sky-shooting levels. In this mode, we controlled Pit with the DS’s analog slider, while the L button fired shots aimed with the stylus on the bottom screen. The controls were very easy to grasp and worked extremely well, allowing us to accurately target foes while deftly avoiding obstacles. These sequences also showcased the benefits of the platform’s 3D depth-display technology, allowing us to accurately gauge the distance between us and enemies. As with all 3DS games, the actual 3D display is optional and can be adjusted, but having it on in Kid Icarus will clearly be a major boon.

After the flight sequence, we got a taste of the on-foot action. The aiming scheme was roughly the same, with the touchscreen now used to control camera rotation, and the analog slider controlled Pit in a more traditional third-person action fashion, as he went up against a variety of bulbous-looking monsters. In addition to rapid-fire arrows, Pit can also perform ultra-damaging melee strikes while on foot – which came in handy against the fearsome-looking Cerberus boss that reared its ugly heads as the demo drew to a close. At the end of the fight, Medusa loomed far off in the background ominously, as if to challenge us to our next battle.

Even from our brief time with it, it’s clear that Kid Icarus: Uprising will be one of the 3DS’s first must-have titles. The action is fast, fun, and easy to control, the 3D adds to the game’s playability, and the visual atmosphere is wonderful.

One thing that worried us just a little, however, was the chattiness of the characters: Medusa, Pit, and Paltena were constantly exchanging dialogue throughout the demo. While some of the conversation obviously felt like a tongue-in-cheek placeholder (Paltena commented that it’d been “about 25 years” since she last saw Medusa), it seems likely that the final game will also have a lot of voice-over work – which may or may not turn out to be a good thing. But even if the characters never shut up, it’s clear that we’ve got a potential new classic on our hands.

Jan 11, 2011




  • losthero15 - June 8, 2011 4:24 a.m.

    i feel like the characters are talking alot to make up for 25 years of Mario and Link just grunting and yelling.
  • darksongbird - April 12, 2011 2:22 a.m.

    My absolute must-have on the 3DS. When I do get the system, it'll be one of the first titles I pick up!
  • Spybreak8 - January 15, 2011 8:31 p.m.

    Lol "however, was the chattiness of the characters" Do a barrel roll Pit!
  • Fuzunga - January 13, 2011 8:41 a.m.

    It's really unlike Nintendo to have chatty characters.
  • Ilyere - January 12, 2011 9:19 p.m.

    I liked Pit from Smash Brawl (don't laugh at me now), so this was definitely a must-have title for me.
  • Ravenbom - January 12, 2011 8:51 p.m.

    Saving money for this as I type
  • AWBrawler - January 12, 2011 4:40 p.m.

    so in the sky will be Pit and Punishment, while the ground will be Devil May Pit? lol I can do that
  • ChipTheExecutioner - January 12, 2011 6:02 a.m.

    What's up with the grey lines around the 3DS logo in the screenshot? seems like they're always there in screenshots.
  • erreip199 - January 12, 2011 5:34 a.m.

    A Metroid Prime Hunters 3DS could pretty well use this gameplay scheme :D
  • Nintendophile - January 12, 2011 3:09 a.m.

    I was REALLY hoping that this would be a release game, but now that it's been revealed that it's not even in the launch window, and seeming that an "early build" was shown, AND knowing Nintendo's penchant for delaying things, I wouldn't expect this to come out till the next holiday season, September at the earliest. I hope I'm wrong, though.
  • miningguyx360 - January 12, 2011 2:13 a.m.

    Do you think there could be a possibility of a port like Super Mario Galaxy to the 3DS or is that asking too much from The Big N
  • Xifihas - January 11, 2011 9:03 p.m.

    No comments about the difficulty? I can't decide if I should get this or not without knowing how fair or cheap it's going to be. The original was incredibly cheap and completely screwed you over for the tiniest mistakes which ruined it for me. I'm really hoping it won't be the case with this but I have to be sure. I like hard games but only if the challange is genuine. Fake difficulty kills games worse than anything else.
  • SteampunkJim - January 11, 2011 8:43 p.m.

    Yeah, seems like it'll be slightly hard to hold onto. But with the DS, they had those attachments that basically turned it into a next gen controller grip. Seems like that'll be necessary for games like this. Still super stoked!
  • Nap1400 - January 11, 2011 8:42 p.m.

    You may want to mention that if your playing this game and you're a lefty, you're screwed. From what's been seen there aren't any left-handed controls. Even then, I've been dying to get this game ever since it was unveiled, and it seems great.
  • Hullonotna - January 11, 2011 8:42 p.m.

    Didn't expect anything less from the 3DS ;)
  • iKOemos - January 11, 2011 8:39 p.m.

    Do Want.
  • TheElephantManchurianCandidate - January 11, 2011 8:37 p.m.

    *gameplay seems cool
  • TheElephantManchurianCandidate - January 11, 2011 8:34 p.m.

    Sounds like you'll have to set the 3DS down on something to control this comfortably but the gameplay cool

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