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Kid Icarus

Palutena exclusive photo
Palutena exclusive

Palutena amiibo is an Amazon exclusive

Here we go again
Jul 14
// Brett Makedonski
While four of the five other major retailers have had multiple exclusive amiibo figures, Amazon's just now getting its first. Palutena, which makes up half of North America's wave 5a release, will only be available to order t...
Kid Icarus photo
Kid Icarus

Adorable fan-made mock-up of Kid Icarus Advance

By one of the creators of Cats Outernet
Jan 21
// Jonathan Holmes
We've seen a lot of great indie developers propose fun reinventions of classic Nintendo franchises lately. The sports-action Daisy title imagined Konjak looks amazing, as does the concept for a new Wario Land game by Snakepi...
Smash Bros. photo
Smash Bros.

Lady Palutena confirmed for Super Smash Bros.

The Kid Icarus star is the latest addition to the roster
Jun 10
// Alasdair Duncan
The roster for Super Smash. Bros. keeps growing and growing as we found out at the end of Nintendo's E3 Digital Event. Reggie snuck in a little teaser that showed a cartoon of Palutena arriving to help out Pit as he battles L...

Review: NES Remix 2

Apr 21 // Chris Carter
NES Remix 2 (Wii U)Developer: indieszeroPublisher: NintendoReleased: April 24, 2014MSRP: $14.99 Much like the first iteration, the premise for NES Remix 2 is extremely simple. You'll have access to a number of microgames selected from an array of NES hits developed by Nintendo (above), which grant you access to bits and pieces from said games. So rather than play through large portions, you're going to be playing, at maximum, one small level at a time in the form of a challenge. Each challenge can net you up to three stars (including a soft four-star rainbow rating), which can be used to unlock more games, stages, and even remix levels where modifying factors are at play, or characters are combined. Got it? Good. Where NES Remix 2 shines, quite simply, is the superior selection of games. Instead of starting off with a middling selection of mostly arcade titles, Remix 2 gives you the good stuff right away, with games like Mario 3 unlocked immediately. It also helps that there's a ton of variety this time around, since Dr. Mario and Wario's Woods (puzzle games), and Punch Out!! join the fray, in addition to sport-centric games like Ice Hockey and Mario Open Golf. Not all games are created equal, however. Punch Out!! fans in particular will be disappointed that there are only a scant few levels featured -- and remedial ones at that. But for the most part I was happy with the variety, and the challenge level is slightly superior to the original Remix -- Lost Levels and Kid Icarus in particular have a few really fun challenges that will definitely test your reflexes, and some of the Kirby minigames are clever with their use of singular powers. [embed]273431:53463:0[/embed] "Remix" levels return from the original, and they're more or less the same as they were before. As a mixture of singular game challenges with a twist and "insert game character into other game here" modifications, the Remixes are often the most fun part of the game. They'll range from things like "defeat Birdo in Mario 2 while it's invisible," or "get through an entire Mario 3 level in the dark," while mixed challenges might have you play a portion of a Mario 1 level as Kirby, or see boos invading Dream Land. But like the first time around, my chief complaint is that there simply aren't enough remix levels, and not enough of them combine characters. There's a concerted effort this time around to get to that concept rather early (such as Mario 2's Peach transplanted in Mario 3 or Toad in Zelda II), but really, Remixes should wholly consist of those dream team matchups. Despite what you might think at first glance these mash-ups actually work, and mainly serve as a tease while you go back to each game that only serves within the confines of its own retro rules. NES Remix 2 thankfully gives you a cherry on top in the form of Super Luigi Bros. The concept is as simple as it gets -- it's a full remix of the original classic Super Mario Bros., but with Luigi in tow (and his unique jump), and a pretty big caveat -- the entire game is backwards. While this is mostly just an official ROM hack, as an extra, it's greatly appreciated as part of the overall package. It's also technically the last celebration for the extended Year of Luigi in the US (for those who care -- and if you don't, you're a monster). If you bought the first game you'll have another extra included called Championship mode. It's modeled after the Nintendo World Championships event in the '90s, which tasked people with completing various challenges across a few select games, scoring them with an elaborate system. For the challenge, you're tasked with collecting 50 coins in Mario 1 as fast as you can, collecting 25 coins in Mario 3 (the original featured Rad Racer instead), and grabbing a high score in Dr. Mario (which was originally Tetris in the NWC) -- a final score is tallied using a formula similar to the original competition.  This is something that I'm going to be playing for quite some time with friends every so often, comparing scores until the cows come home. I wish this mode was a bit more fleshed out overall though (two Mario games is a bit much), and I'd love to see it as a standard in future iterations of this franchise (SNES Remix, perhaps?). In other words, I wouldn't buy it just to play Championship mode, but it's enjoyable all the same. NES Remix 2 is a solid follow-up with more "must have" games and a few extras to sweeten the deal. If you passed due to the ho-hum nature of some of the titles in the original offering, think about checking it out this time around.
NES Remix 2 reviewed photo
A better remix with stronger samples
NES Remix was able to scratch an itch for many retro enthusiasts out there, but it lacked a certain spark that made it a must-buy for the average gamer. It would be hard to really consider half of the selections "classic...

Super Mario Crossover photo
Super Mario Crossover

Super Mario Crossover 3.0 is finally out

Work on the team's original game, Super Retro Squad, is progressing slowly
Aug 03
// Tony Ponce
Super Mario Crossover, the pixel-for-pixel recreation of Super Mario Bros. that features a selectable cast of NES stars, was all set for the big 3.0 update this past June. It was unfortunately delayed a month, but it is now a...
Captain N concept art photo
Captain N concept art

Captain N concept art reveals Paperboy as the main hero

Also, Mega Man was supposed to have a Mega family!?
Jun 23
// Tony Ponce
Captain N: The Game Master is a show that simply couldn't exist today. A gathering of videogame heroes and villains from all your favorite NES games, of both the first- and third-party variety, interacting and going on advent...
Super Mario Crossover 3.0 photo
Super Mario Crossover 3.0

Super Mario Crossover 3.0 is just around the corner

Third major version of the star-studded fan game coming in May or June
Apr 28
// Tony Ponce
Three years ago as of yesterday, indie dev Exploding Rabbit's Super Mario Bros. Crossover was unleashed online, and the reception couldn't have been warmer. For the benefit of the unfortunate few who haven't heard of this da...

Check out the new Dead Space 3 and Kid Icarus figures

Plus the return of Mega Man X
Dec 18
// Hamza CTZ Aziz
Kotobukiya is working on a new Isaac Clarke figure based on his latest look in Dead Space 3. The 1/6-scale figure will feature light-up LEDs, a ball-jointed neck, and will be available June 2013. Dear Santa, I need this figur...

Kid Icarus: Uprising OST available for special pre-order

Aug 13
// Jayson Napolitano
Yes, the folks in Japan really got a lot of Kid Icarus: Uprising soundtrack love. Not only did Club Nintendo put out a single-disc 'best of' compilation CD, but Sleigh Bells, the record label of Yasunori Mitsuda, is releasing...

Kid Icarus' Pit and P4 Arena figmas give ladies boners

Jul 30
// Tony Ponce
One of the unspoken but generally understood tasks of Destructoid is to make sure you guys part with your hard-earned cash on frivolous crap that you probably don't need, because dammit, I'm poor and all of you should be as w...

Sunset for Kid Icarus Uprising dev, Project Sora shutters

Jul 11
// Kyle MacGregor
Perhaps the studio that revived Kid Icarus flew too close to greatness, Andriasang reports that Project Sora has melted away after the release of its first and only game. According to its official website, the ...

The DTOID Show: 2012 in Retrospecticus

Jul 01
// Tara Long
I know what you're thinking. "But Tara, the year's only half over!" Well yes, technically that's true, but it doesn't mean we can't stop and take a moment to gather our thoughts on this year's video game releases, does ...

Japan gets 3-disc Kid Icarus: Uprising OST, we get jack

Jun 23
// Tony Ponce
[Header by Casval-Lem-Daikun] Club Nintendo of Japan offered purchasers of Kid Icarus: Uprising a 25-track sampler CD of the game's music for but a handful of points, and the rest of the world got squat. Annoying? Sure, but w...

You may have to wait 25 years for another Kid Icarus

May 10
// Chris Carter
Say it ain't so, Lady Palutena! When asked point blank by IGN regarding a potential Kid Icarus: Uprising sequel, project head and famed Smash Brothers creator Masahiro Sakurai had this to say: “because we pushed a lot i...

Kid Icarus: Uprising anime returns to Nintendo Video

May 05
// Jonathan Holmes
Despite it's flaws, Kid Icarus: Uprising did a lot of things right. The game channels a particular energy that is usually only found in a certain brand of 80's and 90's anime. The light weight, sweet-and-strange narrati...

Nintendo DLC: Kid Icarus, the good one

Apr 19
// Dale North
Oooh, sick burn! Naw, I'm just playing. Kind of. Kid Icarus: Uprising was all over the place, but some of the downer segments made washing over the good stuff, and the whole mess had me longing for the good ol' days. Today we...

Kid Icarus: Uprising soundtrack hits Club Nintendo Japan

Apr 03
// Jayson Napolitano
Okay, whether you loved or hated the ground combat in Kid Icarus: Uprising, I think we can all agree that the soundtrack was fantastic. Masahiro Sakurai took away an important lesson from Super Smash Bros. Brawl by recruiting...

The DTOID Show: Kid Icarus, Dishonored, and PANDAS!

Mar 19
// Tara Long
Happy Monday, folks! Max and I are back from our weekend vacations in Hangover City, and before you ask, yes - we brought souvenirs. By which I mean, we brought back gaming news thinly disguised as souvenirs. Today, we've go...

Review: Kid Icarus: Uprising

Mar 19 // Jim Sterling
Kid Icarus: Uprising (3DS)Developer: Project SoraPublisher: NintendoReleased: March 23, 2012MSRP: $39.99 Kid Icarus: Uprising does a lot of great things. Its lighthearted story full of camp characters, shameless self-references, and constant desire to break the fourth wall is entertaining and often amusing. The sheer wealth of content is impressive, with a full-fledged campaign, multiplayer options, and additional content. There's also a brilliant difficulty adjustment system, allowing you to make precise tweaks to the "intensity" of a level in exchange for more rewards. There's so much to love about Uprising, and that's why it's so distressing that over 50 percent of it is actively unpleasant to play. Each stage of the solo campaign is split into two rough halves: a flying section and an on-foot section. Both segments of the stage control about the same, using the analog nub to directly maneuver Pit, the stylus to move a targeting reticule onscreen, and the left trigger to handle attacks. Holding down the trigger will see Pit spew a consistent payload of firepower, while pausing between shots sends out a more powerful attack. Due to the awkward button layout, it's almost essential that the included stand be used, as it allows for far more comfortable play. However, due to the static position of the system, the 3D will likely need to be turned off completely. I find myself often repositioning the 3DS in my hands to keep the 3D focused, but when it's fixed in place on a desk, I have to stay hunched over to get it to look good. It's easier to just switch it off.  The flying sections are rather enjoyable to play through, thanks to the more streamlined combat and automatic flight path so that players simply move to avoid enemy attacks. While repetitive after a while, the first half of each level is a simple rail shooter affair that marries fast-paced action to some truly stunning visuals, providing a rather inspired rollercoaster ride through Uprising's imaginative, colorful world. If the entire game had been like this, I'd have hailed it as one of the best handheld games of all time. [embed]224073:43111[/embed] However, half the game is not like this, and I even suspect that more of the game is played on the ground than in the air. These sections are horrible, due to a control scheme that simply does not work for the type of third-person combat that Project Sora insisted on using. As with flight, the nub moves Pit, the touchscreen aims, and the trigger fires. However, due to more direct control over Pit, Uprising attempts to squeeze more actions out of the limited input, and the result is an absolute mess. The touchscreen controls the camera as well as the targeting, meaning players constantly have to stroke the screen in order to get a bead on targets or see where to go next. The nub not only moves Pit around at a stuttering pace, but also controls all of his dodging. If you want to dodge, you must move the nub quickly in a given direction, and you can keep it in place to make him run. If you just want him to walk, you must carefully slide the nub, otherwise he'll sprawl over the floor before sprinting off. Now, keep in mind that the nub is rather sensitive and that heavy combat situations don't lend themselves well to precise, methodical movement. Also keep in mind that a vast number of levels feature very thin platforms with plenty of gaping chasms. While we're at it, you might like to know that Pit can only dodge or run for a few seconds before getting winded and stopping to have a breather, even if you accidentally dodged one too many times or if he keeps running when you just want him to walk. Oh, and "walking" consists of this awful hopping motion that's about as unwieldy as a survival horror protagonist from two generations ago. Now, imagine how tempting it is to toss one's 3DS, with the cart still in it, under a train when all this collides in one metaphysical sphere of torment. This is the overwhelming feeling that almost every stage in Uprising leaves me with. The latter half of each level, and all but a handful of boss encounters, force this wretched control scheme on the player, and it severely hurts the entire affair. The only other option is to use the face buttons to move pit and the circle pad to aim, which is even more awkward (it's unintuitive to move with the buttons and if you change directions too fast, Pit will still dodge of his own accord). Meanwhile, the secondary circle pad peripheral is only functional for left-handed use. As Pit constantly flops around each stage like a wet fish, all I can do is marvel at the arrogance of a studio that was so committed to a failed idea that it would rather mold plastic stands to try and reduce the torture rather than actually fix the underlying problem of a game that simply does not work on the platform it was designed for. Every now and then, this miserable dance of disarray is broken up by vehicular sections that at least allow Pit to move with a sense of consistency, but they suffer from awful gliding physics that see him bump into walls more often than not. There are also a variety of power-ups that can be equipped, selected with the D-pad and performed by touching an icon with the stylus. However, many of them require precise aiming, which is ludicrous when you're being asked to use the stylus to aim and attack a fast-moving enemy. Things like that give me the impression that Project Sora just didn't care how the controls worked, it simply wanted to use them at any cost. Outside of the campaign, there's a multiplayer mode consisting of team and free-for-all battles. These six-person bouts put players in the bodies of generic soldiers, all running, dodging, and flailing about while attempting to kill each other. Eventually, losing players get to take control of Pit or his obligatory opposite, Dark Pit, becoming a walking objective for the enemy team to neutralize. The online play is functional, but due to the use of the same unsavory input as the campaign, it's hardly a superior alternative. Uprising comes packed with a selection of AR cards, nobly attempting to take advantage of this underutilized 3DS capability. I was really looking forward to seeing what the game did with these cards, but the disappointing answer is that hardly anything was done at all, with functionality barely above that of the cards in the 3DS system's box. Each card will produce a character, monster, or weapon from the game that bounces around in a relatively cute fashion. If two cards are made to face each other, they can fight, but "fighting" consists of a few slash effects while two health bars deplete. That's it. One of them will lose while the winner continues its canned animation. The AR mode is worth using once then never again.  If only someone had stopped and wondered if the need for a 3DS stand was a clear indication that the concept was broken, maybe things could have been different. The requirement for a peripheral does not fix the issue, it simply wallpapers over it. It's a jerry-rigged solution to a problem that needed complete elimination. Because of that, the game lets itself down, time and time again. Kid Icarus: Uprising is equal parts tremendous and terrible, with a fine line clearly separating the two distinct territories. Unfortunately, since each stage ends on a sour note, the overall emotion one gains is that of bitter disappointment. It's a game that repeatedly starts strong and ends despicably, and as much as I want to adore it, I ended every session cursing its name. For its humor, its ambition, and its genuinely thrilling flight segments, it deserves a lot of credit. However, everything else it does is a bitter pill to swallow and damages all the genuine good that has been accomplished. Truly a shame.

Of all Nintendo's classic franchises, Kid Icarus is one that has sorely been lacking in love, with protagonist Pit's failing to make even a playable Super Smash Bros. appearance until Brawl rolled around in 2008. However, tha...


Leaked memo: Microsoft, Activision, pull support for GAME

Mar 15
// Jim Sterling
GAME is still dragging its broken legs behind itself as it crawls across a field of broken glass, suffering further indignity today with reports that both Microsoft and Activision have decided to pull back their support of th...

Club Nintendo peeps and more get free Kid Icarus AR cards

Mar 14
// Tony Ponce
One of the hooks of the upcoming Kid Icarus: Uprising is the use of AR Cards to play special augmented reality minigames. The game itself will come with six cards randomly drawn from a pool of 20, but there are still tons of ...

Check out these stills from the Kid Icarus anime shorts

Mar 07
// Tony Ponce
You might remember that, at September's 3DS conference, Nintendo announced a series of animated shorts to be streamed on 3DS' Nintendo Video this year. On March 5, a series of tweets from the respective animation studios reve...

Multiplayer and more with Kid Icarus: Uprising

Feb 22 // Wesley Ruscher
Kid Icarus UprisingDeveloper: Project Sora                Publisher: NintendoRelease: March 23, 2012Twice the the Pit, twice the multiplayer madness.Beyond Uprising’s single-player escapade lies two multiplayer modes --available online or locally -- for stylus soldiers to duke it out in: Free-For-All and Light vs. Dark. Each mode allows players to take their best weapon and power setups into the field for some heavenly warrior-on-warrior action. Up to 16 slots can be customized ahead of time (or prior to battle), with a 17th slot designated as a random weapon and power distributor. Once a desired setup is selected, players will enter a practice arena where they can test their selected gear while waiting for the contest to begin. Each mode supports six players, with the game assigning CPU determined fighters to fill any slots left vacant. In Free-For-All, the objective is rather simple: have the highest score at the end of the match to win. Score is controlled by the weapons each player has equipped. The more powerful the weapon, the higher the value it possesses. When one player kills another, that value is thus added to their score. So, while more powerful weapons contain higher values, they run the risk of building an opponent's score faster, which can be disadvantageous to novice players.Light vs. Dark -- a team based mode -- was by far the most original of the two offerings. At its core, it is a 3-on-3 battle to the end. What separates it from being run-of-the-mill is the life meter that each team shares during the match. When a player dies, their team’s overall health reduces based on the value of that member’s weapon. Once the meter is completely depleted, the player who died last becomes either Pit or Dark Pit (depending on their team affiliation), is given a new weapon at random and has increased strength and agility for the duration of the match. From this point on it’s up to the opposing team to hunt down the rival Pit and kill him to secure the victory. While both modes offer their own levels of fun, I found Light vs. Dark to be the more well rounded of two multiplayer experiences. The combination of a shared life meter and the strategy needed in weapon selection provided an engaging multiplayer affair. Like Free-For-All, there is a definite risk-versus-reward component, which keeps this mode -- well, both actually -- from coming off as just another deathmatch shooter. Don’t like your weapon, then make a better one. In our single-player preview, it was mentioned that over the course of Pit’s adventure, the angelic warrior would stumble upon countless amounts of weapons from nine different classes -- each with their own unique properties and stats. And while going through the game at higher intensities (the game’s difficulty system) and playing multiplayer rewards players with stronger and better weapons; what’s a player to do when the doubles start piling up? That’s where the Weapon Fusion system comes into play. While a player cannot craft a weapon they have not found in the game (further encouraging players to up the intensity) the ability to take one weapon and pass on its beneficial stats to a pre-existing weapon type serves as the main motivation for constantly crafting. For example, some weapons contain properties which increase a player’s running speed while equipped. Being able to transfer this ability to a large weapon (i.e. clubs or cannons) is beneficial because these weapon classes hinder both Pit’s speed and endurance, making him more susceptible to enemy attacks. Once two weapons are merged, both are lost but each new weapon created can be endlessly forged with others to the heart’s content. Unfortunately this part of the preview was hands-off, but with what seems like an almost infinite amount of weapons and an easy to navigate menu -- which breaks down weapon fusion results prior to fusing -- it’s simple to see how one could spend hours on end making the perfect weapon.  Make some bling, then share it on the streets. Uprising’s Street Pass mode merely functions as an extension to the weapon crafting system. Taking any weapon available, a player can turn it into a gem to be shared with whomever comes in contact with their 3DS. On the flip side, once one is received, a player has three options for that gem. It can be directly changed into the weapon it represents (for a price), fused with another gem in possession, or outright converted into hearts -- the games form of currency -- to be used elsewhere in the game. The Street Pass mode is simple, but the fact that any weapon can be received from the kindness of stranger feels like a fun, mysterious way to trade -- though I guess one could always be a dick and share their most worthless weapon. I guess I’ll have to wait till PAX East to find out. Putting the foot down -- final thoughts. Between the single and multiplayer offerings in Kid Icarus: Uprising there is a lot of content to digest. The weapon fusion system, paired with the Street Pass functionality, looks to provide an addictive component to an already solid game. I enjoyed my time with the multiplayer and though the ground component of the single-player was my least favorite experience when I previewed the game back in January, it transitions itself better than I would have imagined in a competitive scenario. Look to take flight with Pit this March 23, when Kid Icarus: Uprising soars into stores for the 3DS.

It goes without saying that Nintendo has a lot riding on the revival of their winged warrior in Kid Icarus: Uprising. It’s the first major, first-party release of the year for the thriving 3DS and something even more...


Kid Icarus Choco Snacks to include AR cards

Feb 13
// Hiroko Yamamura
Get ready to start snacking on some Japanese treats, as there is going to some exclusive AR cards packaged in boxes of Kid Icarus: Uprising Choco Snacks. There are 20 different cards to collect, with one included in each pack...

Sakurai: Movies are better at telling stories than games

Feb 05
// Jonathan Holmes
I'm feeling pretty cautious about Kid Icarus: Uprising. I'm still buying the game day one, but I'm not going to be surprised if I end up somewhat disappointed with it in the end. Everything about the title just seem...

Pre-order Kid Icarus: Uprising, get 3D Classics original

Jan 28
// Ian Bonds
Still on the fence on whether or not you'll be getting Kid Icarus: Uprising for 3DS when it's released this March? The fact that it comes with a stand not enough for you? How about a free download of the original NES classic,...

Kid Icarus: Uprising screens are full of monsters

Jan 23
// Jim Sterling
Here's another tasty wad of Kid Icarus: Uprising screenshots for you. The main theme appears to be bosses, as many images feature huge, roaring monsters that will doubtless need taking down. Monsters are assholes like that.&n...

The DTOID Show: The world's tiniest hamburger for dolls

Jan 20
// Tara Long
If you thought you'd seen the smallest food mankind was capable of making... think again, because I've got pictures that prove otherwise. The impossibly tiny food at Capcom's Fright Club last night has provided us with enoug...

Soar above the clouds in this Kid Icarus Uprising trailer

Jan 19
// Wesley Ruscher
If you somehow missed my preview for Kid Icarus: Uprising -- which you can read here -- Nintendo was also kind enough to send over a new gameplay trailer the helps do this beautiful game, a little more justice than the onsla...

Preview: Two hours of flight with Kid Icarus: Uprising

Jan 19 // Wesley Ruscher
Kid Icarus: Uprising (3DS)Developer: Project SoraPublisher: NintendoRelease: March 23, 2012  I have to say, it felt a little surreal playing a near finished copy of Uprising earlier this week. While the game excited both fans and the press alike, all the way back in the Summer of 2010, it's sort of became Nintendo's version of Sony's Last Guardian -- a game that should now be titled the "Lost Guardian." Luckily, Nintendo fans have escaped the same fate with Kid Icarus: Uprising, and can finally take Pit on his much anticipated legendary adventure this March 23. Without getting into too much the story, Uprising follows the events of the original NES game. The evil Medusa (who was destroyed by Pit in the first game) has been reborn and, like all evil villains, seeks to destroy mankind. This is where Pit comes in; he's a hero, so naturally it's up to him to save the world. It's a simple premise, but one that sets the stage for an adventure that hopefully is not as forgettable as his past endeavors. Set in a world loosely based off Greek mythology, it only takes a fleeting moment to be captivated by the beauty that Kid Icarus: Uprising brings to the 3DS. There's a certain magic that Nintendo is known for and the team at Project Sora -- lead by Kirby and Super Smash Bros. designer Masahiro Sakurai -- has created a game that not only stands up to some of the companies most respected franchises visually, but also ushers in a new level of 3D fidelity that has yet to be witnessed on Nintendo's portable powerhouse.It's kind of a shame that no video or screen can truly capture how gorgeous Uprising is -- as soaring the skies and blasting enemies (classic and new alike) is even more spectacular in 3D mode. From the lush vistas visited in the beginning levels to the spectacular, psychedelic-like flight amongst the stars -- battling space pirates -- it's hard not to be taken back by just how impressive the 3D visuals are in the game's flying sequences. Where Uprising loses a little of its visual pop though, is in the land-based sections of each chapter. Every chapter in the game is broken up into two parts: flight and ground. While the ground levels are impressive in their own rights, they fail to capture the exhilarating intensity of the flight sections for mainly two reasons: freedom and chaos. Having freedom is never a bad thing, and in Uprising's case this still holds true for the most part. It's just that the each flight section is an on-rails shooter (akin to Panzer Dragoon or Sin and Punishment) and because of that, Uprising guides its players through amazing set piece after set piece. A literal roller coaster of visual and shooting splendor, that is hard to replicate on the ground.Chaos on the other hand, is the game's biggest visual detractor when it comes to the 3D department. In flight the chaos is controlled. The ground, on the other hand, opens up more complexity to the combat -- especially when the games difficulty, called intensity is turned up -- and (in my experience) causes the 3D's sweet spot to constantly shift with the frantic movement of one's hand. While I know, the 3D can be turned off, Uprising does such an amazing job with the immersive technology, it's hard not to want to play the game this way throughout, regardless of how intense the action is. Increasing a chapter's intensity is by far Uprising's biggest gameplay hook. Ranging on a scale from 0.0 to 9.0 (2.0 is the game's default level) and adjustable in increments of one tenths, players can alter the difficulty of any chapter in the attempt to earn more of the games currency; hearts. The higher the intensity, the higher the rewards in chapter -- both in terms of hearts awarded and weapons discovered. For players who just want play Uprising for the story, they can (for a price of hearts) drop the intensity below 2.0. I was told it makes the game a cake walk, making it perfect for the casual player or those who want to better understand a chapter's layout. I had a chance to play the game at intensity well beyond the 2.0 level and while I made it through the first chapter somewhat unscathed, I was easy fodder on later stages due to the increased and more relentless enemy AI. Those looking for a Nintendo game that will test all their reflexes should look no further.So for those wondering how Uprising plays... well that is sort of a mixed bag. For the most part combat is relatively simple. The circle pad controls movement, the L button attacks, and the stylus aims. It can be a little cramping, but for those who prefer to game at home, the stand announced for Japan is coming with the US version and does alleviate some of the hand-numbing issues. During combat, depending on the proximity of an enemy (regardless of being in flight or on the ground) Pit's attacks will alter. When enemies are far, his weapons act like a gun -- providing ranged attacks -- but when up close, he instead changes his tactics to melee strikes. Holding down the L button creates a rapid fire shot -- highly useful on the smaller airborne enemies -- but when the reticule is left to build, a powerful charge blast can be released to decimate larger foes. Knowing when and where to switch from ranged to close attacks, as well as when to charge an attack becomes ever important in the games later stages and when the intensity is turned up to insane levels. In my travels through Uprising I came across a few enemies that were more than a handful if I tried to battle them with the wrong style of attack. There's a want to try to just blast everything to bits, but surprisingly there is actually a lot of depth to Uprising's combat, especially when playing the ground game. Using the stylus to control Pits movement on the ground does come with a slight adjustment period, but after a level or two it all becomes second nature. Flicks of the stylus control Pits head and the camera, while the circle pad handles overall movement. For those who played Metroid Prime Hunters on the DS, there is instant level of familiarity in this setup. On top of the standard move set, quick flicks of the circle pad afford Pit with some useful dashing abilities and, like the Smash Bros. series, when timed properly with an attack create a much stronger offensive strike. Helping to build Pits offense are nine different weapon types: blade, bow, cannon, arm, claws, palm, orbitar, club and staff. The blade is Pits standard, all-purpose weapon, but with the variety available there is a solution to be found for any of his problems. I got my hands on the lightning quick, melee focused claws; the tactile and powerful cannon; and the long ranged dual-blasting orbitars, but it wasn't until I got Pit's paws on the cumbersome club that smiting fools turned into a "guilty pleasure" for me. With the Black Club (pictured below) fully charged, I was able to launch devastating cannon balls that were great for clearing out enemies. Having such a powerful weapon makes Pit nearly unstoppable, but there is a price for this unbound strength. Due to its massive size, Pit's agility and stamina are greatly reduced throughout the level. Often after dashing, I found Pit out of gas and in need of a moment to recuperate -- leaving him vulnerable to attacks. Choosing the right weapon for a chapter can be tricky at first -- as only after death can one be switched out for another. Thankfully, Uprising encourages multiple playthroughs, due to its intensity level rewards and constantly improving weapon drops. In my playthrough, I came across multiple variants of each type of weapon. Players will also find identical named weapons, but they will differ in their value and bonuses (i.e. 2X speed, or no fall back from enemy damage) making them unique in their own special way. When weapons start piling up they can be sold -- as well as purchased -- in what is called the Arms Alter. It's just one of the many ways to constantly keep upgrading Pit's arsenal.Speaking of upgrades, weapons aren't the only way to improve Pit's prowess. Powers, which can be found during any given chapter, are perks that can give Pit the upper hand in his quest. There are a variety of powers ranging from the Sky Jump -- which lets Pit jump high -- to the Mega Laser -- which as it sounds shoots a deadly blast that can help the angelic warrior out of a tight situation. What makes Pit's powers extra unique is in how they are quipped. Similar to Resident Evil 4's items storage system, each power comes in the form of a puzzle piece (varying in size and shape) and has to be carefully fitted in a confined equipment square. Up to four arrangements can be planned ahead of time, with one formation equipped at time. There is even an auto-fill that selects the overall best configuration for those who don't want to put too much effort into it. The auto-fill is fairly simple though, and does not allow a player, to say, choose an optimized offensive configuration for example. I feel like I only scratched the surface with Kid Icarus: Uprising and to be honest I left a few things out. For example in some levels -- which I can't say which -- there are vehicles for Pit to pilot (though I can't tell you what they are like either). That being said, Uprising is one of the deepest games to hit the portable market in quite some time and should please gamers of all types. Expect more to come in the next few months about Nintendo's much anticipated 3DS game that is set for March 23. I, for one, am definitely excited to find out more.  

"I can't believe I'm actually flying!" These are some of the first words that Nintendo's, once forgotten hero, Pit utters in disbelief during the opening moments of Kid Icarus: Uprising -- his long awaited return to the foref...

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