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Kid Icarus


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...


The return of Mr. Angry Eyes, Kid Icarus edition

Jan 17
// Tony Ponce
Masahiro Sakurai can't catch a break. The "angry eyes" curse that plagued the Kirby series seems to have followed him to Project Sora and rooted itself in Kid Icarus: Uprising. How dare he try to present a character who is cu...

Standageddon: Kid Icarus: Uprising comes with a stand

Jan 15
// Jonathan Holmes
Kid Icarus: Uprising will be bundled with some free AR cards and a special stand for your 3DS. Placing your console on the stand will make it easier to play the game, as you wont have to support the weight of the console...

Destructoid's most wanted DS / 3DS games of 2012

Jan 13 // Chad Concelmo
Resident Evil Revelations (3DS)Developer: CapcomPublisher: CapcomRelease: February 7, 2012 I just recently replayed the undeniable classic Resident Evil 4 and fell in love with the game all over again. And as much as I liked (not loved) Resident Evil 5, after playing RE4, I have been craving a more classic Resident Evil experience. Resident Evil Revelations looks to satiate that need. Set on a creepy boat floating on a creepy sea, the gorgeous, "is that really running on a handheld?" Revelations should be the return to form the classic series desperately needs. I can't wait for the game to scare the bejesus out of me ... all in 3D! Kid Icarus: Uprising (3DS)Developer: Project SoraPublisher: NintendoRelease: March 23, 2012 I'm not going lie: out of all the games I am excited about in 2012, Kid Icarus: Uprising gives me the most reservations. I obviously love the character and am super stoked for the action-heavy gameplay, but I am very nervous about the controls. In my short time with the game, the controls were very uncomfortable, to say the least. But when a game is delayed (Kid Icarus: Uprising was originally supposed to be released in 2011), sometimes it is for the best. I am cautiously optimistic for this promising, wildly different sequel. It could end up being a surprise hit! Luigi's Mansion 2 (3DS)Developer: Next Level GamesPublisher: NintendoRelease: Q1 2012 The original Luigi's Mansion was such an odd little launch title for the GameCube back in 2001, but that was one of the reasons I fell in love with it. When Nintendo does "odd," the results are always, at the very least, memorable. Now, more than 10 years later, the game is getting an official sequel on the 3DS! Once again starring Mario's tortured, often-forgotten sibling, Luigi's Mansion 2 looks better than the original and promises to feature multiple mansions, more stuff to do, and more ghosts to suck ... into the Poltergust 3000! I played the game at E3 and absolutely fell in love with its crisp visuals and addictive gameplay. I can't wait to play more of Luigi's Mansion 2 when it comes out later this year! Paper Mario (3DS)Developer: Intelligent SystemsPublisher: NintendoRelease: 2012 This is it. Out of all games on all systems, this is the one I am most looking forward to in 2012. I have never been shy about my love for the Paper Mario series. I think it is one of the most charming videogame series of all time, and the original is one of my favorite RPGs ever. Not much is known about Paper Mario for 3DS, but does it really matter? It's a brand new Paper Mario game! That's all I need to know. I am so freaking excited! I am going to play the sh*t out of this game! Honorable Mentions: Professor Layton vs. Ace Attorney, Theatrhythm Final Fantasy, Professor Layton and the Mask of Miracle, Kingdom Hearts 3D: Dream Drop Distance   Pokémon + Nobunaga's Ambition (DS)Developer: Game Freak, Tecmo KoeiPublisher: Nintendo, The Pokémon CompanyRelease: March 17, 2012 (JP) I am what you call a "lapsed fan" of the Pokémon series, having only played through the first generation before hanging up my towel. I've also never played any entry in the Nobunaga's Ambition series, nor am I consumer of strategy RPGs. However, take these two properties that would never in a million years eat at the same table then make them eat at the same table, and my interest is piqued. It's such a natural progression, really. For years, we've been exposed to our fair share of historical games that take extensive liberties with the events. Tecmo Koei itself has been pumping out a parade of Dynasty and Samurai Warriors sequels featuring outlandish skills and high-octane rock soundtracks. Sengoku-era warriors chillaxing with the likes of Mewtwo and Jigglypuff is the obvious next step. Extreme Escape Adventure: Good People Die (3DS, PlayStation Vita)Developer: ChunsoftPublisher: TBARelease: February 16, 2012 (JP) When I first heard about 999: Nine Hours, Nine Persons, Nine Doors, I expected a beefier successor to the escape-the-room Flash games I enjoyed in college. I was blindsided when I popped the cartridge in and discovered a text-heavy visual novel without any respite, not even within the aforementioned puzzle rooms. Not one for excessive narrative, I shouldn't have liked this game. Not only did 999 become my favorite title of 2010, a lot of other people became hooked as well. It performed beyond Aksys' expectations, completely selling out and forcing the company to produce a second run. Good People Die is the sequel to 999; if it's even half as good as the original, I'll be a happy man. Already, the details have gotten me excited, the most interesting bit being the cooperation / betrayal mechanic. The participants are once again shackled with death watches, though they operate differently than in the last adventure. By choosing to help or turn on your partner, you collect points, and if you earn nine points, you can escape. However, points are awarded based on both parties' decisions, so should you choose to cooperate with someone who in turn betrays you, you lose points. If you hit zero, the watch will inject you with lethal poison. Oh boy! Professor Layton vs. Ace Attorney (3DS)Developer: Level-5, CapcomPublisher: Level-5Release: 2012 (JP) It's the season of crossovers! The union of Pokémon and Nobunaga's Ambition is (hopefully) like a pairing of foods that you wouldn't think tastes good but does, like sugar cookies filled with potato chip crumbles. Following that logic, Professor Layton and Ace Attorney is like peanut butter and Nutella -- two great tastes that taste even better combined. You know this to be true. How can Phoenix even legally practice law outside of the country? I say that because there is no way that town is just a Renaissance festival passing through California. Then again, Phoenix and Layton aren't supposed to exist in the same century, so I probably shouldn't try to introduce logic to this discussion, despite logic being the cornerstone of both franchises. Theatrhythm Final Fantasy (3DS)Developer: indies zeroPublisher: Square EnixRelease: February 16, 2012 (JP) I was writing these little blurbs when I suddenly realized that none of my top picks have a US release date. Sure, it might just be a matter of time before the respective companies make "the call," and the only title I'm almost certain won't be localized can be imported and played on any vanilla DS without any region-locking hassle. Still, I'm upset that publishers in this modern age continue to be slow to respond to fans who show genuine interest in their more alternative catalog. But I digress. Where were we? Ah, Theatrhythm! The character art is deliciously adorable and the gameplay reminds me of Taiko Drum Master and Osu! Tatakae! Ouendan. I don't even think it's possible to dislike Final Fantasy music -- at least, I've never met anyone who does. Theatrhythm is most certainly a spin-off I can throw my full support behind. Rodea the Sky Soldier (3DS, Wii)Developer: PropePublisher: Kadokawa ShotenRelease: TBA I doubt many of you even remember this guy. We haven't seen or heard anything solid of Rodea, from Yuji Naka's Prope studios, in almost a year. All we discovered recently was that development completed some months back and that it's up to publisher Kadokawa Shoten to decide the next move. I want to play Rodea not only because I think it could be decent but also because I want to see a massive Prope game that isn't a shallow minigame package. Ivy the Kiwi? was fine, but let's aim a little higher, shall we? I definitely noticed shades of NiGHTS into Dreams... in the original trailer, so I pray I'm not setting my hopes up for a touch of that 90s SEGA magic in the final product. Honorable Mentions: Flipper 2: Flush the Goldfish, Kid Icarus: Uprising, Professor Layton and the Mask of Miracle, Mutant Mudds, Sakura Samurai: Art of the Sword , Rhythm Thief & the Emperor's Treasure, Kingdom Hearts 3D: Dream Drop Distance, Resident Evil Revelations Additional staff picks for the DS / 3DS: Sean Daisy: Monster Hunter 4, Luigi's Mansion 2, Kingdom Hearts 3D: Dream Drop Distance Jonathan Holmes: Pokémon + Nobunaga's Ambition, Guild 01, Resident Evil Revelations Andrew Kauz: Tales of the Abyss, Resident Evil Revelations, Kid Icarus: UprisingTara Long: Resident Evil RevelationsJonathan Ross: Professor Layton and the Mask of Miracle, Professor Layton vs. Ace AttorneyMax Scoville: The Binding of Isaac Josh Tolentino: Shin Megami Tensei: Devil Survivor 2  

This entire week, we have covered our most anticipated 2012 games for the 360, PS3, Wii, and PC. Now it's time for Tony Ponce and I to enter the hardcore, baby-making world of portables. With the Nintendo DS going out with a ...


Kid Icarus gets spruced up in this Flash remake

Jan 11
// Tony Ponce
[Update: It turns out that the enhanced maps and tilesets were made by Jon Leung of VGMaps back in April 2007. He wasn't properly credited for the use of his edits. Not cool, Flip Industries. Not cool at all.] Kid Icarus wil...

Kid Icarus gets a release date and some fun new facts

Dec 26
// Liam Fisher
During Nintendo's Direct 2011 showcase, they showed off some more of Kid Icarus Uprising, a game that I had managed to forget about completely. During the game's quick spotlight, we were given some new info regarding its mult...

Kid Icarus: Uprising gets thirteen lucky screens

Dec 14
// Jim Sterling
Here are thirteen delightful screens for Kid Icarus: Uprising, the game that's been in development for 10,000,000 years. The game's finally due out in Spring of 2012, and it's looking like it might be a hot one.  I'm hop...

Nintendo 'intentionally delayed' 3DS games to 2012

Nov 01
// Jim Sterling
Nintendo has confessed that it's purposely holding back some of its upcoming 3DS games, planning to release them next year in a bid to maximize sales.  "For us to provide software titles one after another, one idea is, '...

Kid Icarus coming to 3D Classics

Oct 21
// Jim Sterling
Kid Icarus is the next game confirmed to hit the 3DS' "3D Classics" range, and at least it's a classic this time. A classic that people have tricked themselves into thinking is good despite it being a bit rubbish, but a class...

Hands-on: Kid Icarus Uprising

Oct 20 // David Rayfield
I'll be honest. I have not played either of the previous Kid Icarus games. However, I'm well aware of some of the reverence that Nintendo fans have for the series and going into this demo I tried my best to disconnect myself from that, simply looking upon the third in the series as just another game. The Nintendo booth at the EB Games Expo was expansive with a heavy emphasis on the 3DS. Four handhelds were running Uprising and it had been busy most of the morning. When I finally grabbed it, I seemed to be the only one; the Mario Kart 7 demo drawing most people away. Protagonist Pit was already in the air. From a third-person perspective, the flight controls felt natural and easy with the 3DS' circle pad. Moving Pit through the sky was a breeze and when the floating enemies showed up, it was tons of fun to attack them through the clouds. The depth of the environments looked amazing in 3D. At this point, I was excited to play more. The backdrops of landmass far below Pit were incredibly detailed and with the 3D slider turned all the way on, they became real, tangible locations. I was all the more surprised when Pit flew down in between buildings to fight some enemies on the ground. All the action took place on the top screen of the 3DS. The bottom screen was reserved for story-based text conversations between Pit and the goddess of light, Palutena. While in the air, a colossal Medusa appeared and I engaged in what seemed to be a short boss battle. Using Pit's barrel roll (yes, I did a barrel roll), I managed to avoid her attacks. While I was doing so, in the midst of battle, I glanced down to the bottom screen to notice story text scrolling past. Pit and Palutena were talking to each other. Granted, it was just encouragement from Palutena and energetic battle cries from Pit, but I completely missed it as I was too busy fighting Medusa. When the game took over control and landed Pit in a courtyard, the 3D once again shined. Tiny as they were, I noticed alleyways and balconies on the nearby buildings just before wave after wave of enemies headed my way. I could switch quite quickly between weapons, using a bow and a sword. When the enemies hit, the screen filled with attacks and I had to be constantly on the move. Sidestepping attacks and dishing out some of my own required pretty much all of my attention, otherwise Pit's life would be over. Halfway through the battle I glanced down to the bottom screen to see Pit and Palutena talking again. The text scrolled across the screen and I immediately realised I had again missed quite a large amount of what they were saying. The top screen during a battle afforded very little room for error and even glancing down for a few seconds proved costly. Now, I consider myself a relatively fast reader but there was a problem with trying to keep up with anything the two main characters were saying while I was getting bombarded with projectiles. This wasn't simply encouraging remarks I was missing anymore either, Palutena was relating story points and directions about the enemies (possibly improving my chances in battle). It was strange. I couldn't quite believe what I was seeing. The developers, Project Sora, had specifically inserted text on the bottom screen that was important to the story during a battle. Which seemed to be only time you couldn't really afford to look at it. I tried to be quicker in glancing at the text but then it became more about me fighting the game rather than Pit fighting monsters. Perhaps speed readers will have no trouble with this feature. They glance for a split-second, absorb all the information and then go right back to the action. I certainly couldn't manage it every time. And as far as I know, a large portion of the people buying Kid Icarus: Uprising will be kids. Kids who might not be able to keep up with the quick-paced conversations. Finishing the demo, I was confused. Was this feature present throughout the entire game? And if it was, how would that impact the story and the overall game as you progress through it? Sure, you can say "Story in a Kid Icarus game? Who cares?" but wouldn't it be preferable to know why you're fighting in the first place? And not just fighting to stay alive so you can read the story?

For the most part, the games I saw and played at the EB Games Expo were impressive. None really disappointed me or made me lose hope in a franchise. Some weren't for me, some made me want to pre-order that very same minute.&n...


Metroid, Dark pit, and AR action in Kid Icarus: Uprising

Oct 04
// Jonathan Holmes
Like Metroid Prime: Hunters was for the DS, Kid Icarus: Uprising is slowly turning into the 3DS's very own "initially announced as a console selling killer app, but now is more of an afterthought" title. This video does a lo...

Smash Bros. won't be developed until Kid Icarus is done

Sep 21
// Jim Sterling
Recent rumors have cropped up concerning a game called Smash Bros. Universe for Wii U, sparking all sorts of wild debate online. Series director Masahiro Sakurai has, however, stomped on any Smash Bros. talk, claiming th...

Kid Icarus delayed again, free 3D videos of Pit coming

Sep 13
// Conrad Zimmerman
One bit of disappointing news came from today's 3DS press event. It seems that the long-awaited Kid Icarus: Uprising has been struck with yet another delay. In a statement, Nintendo says that the development team has det...

Star Fox, Kid Icarus, Link/Sonic porn, and more now in 3D

Aug 28
// Jonathan Holmes
One of my favorite features of the 3DS is the ability to explore the world of mainstream media in 3D. Unfortunately, other than the still expanding Nintendo Video (which has some good stuff from college humor and few quality ...

Smash Bros. sequel a long way off, says director

Aug 03
// AceFlibble
If you're anything like me then you're eagerly anticipating the next two games in Nintendo's outrageously brilliant Smash Bros. series which are due to hit both the new Wii U console and the 3DS. Unfortunately a recent interv...

E3: More details revealed on Kid Icarus: Uprising

Jun 07
// Brian Szabelski
Last year, one of Nintendo's surprise announcements was the return of Pit with Kid Icarus: Uprising. Today, we got a few more details about the upcoming 3DS title. The plot revolves around he resurrection of Kid Icarus antago...

New website for Kid Icarus Uprising promises parade float

May 20
// Dale North
There's nothing in the way of game media at the newly launched Japanese website for upcoming Nintendo 3DS game Kid Icarus Uprising. It's older trailers from last year. I suspect that it will be updated next month, closer to E...

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