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.
But the one thing they all had in common is that none of them had a bizarre design decision that could potentially damage the experience for a large portion of the people playing it. All of that changed when I picked up a 3DS and started playing Kid Icarus: Uprising.
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?
|9:00 PM on 08.13.2012|
Kid Icarus: Uprising OST available for special pre-order
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...more
|10:00 AM on 06.23.2012|
Japan gets 3-disc Kid Icarus: Uprising OST, we get jack
[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...more
|9:00 PM on 04.03.2012|
Kid Icarus: Uprising soundtrack hits Club Nintendo Japan
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...more
|7:00 AM on 03.19.2012|
Review: Kid Icarus: Uprising
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...more
|4:00 AM on 03.14.2012|
Club Nintendo peeps and more get free Kid Icarus AR cards
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 ...more
|6:30 PM on 02.29.2012|
Nintendo to hold Kid Icarus: Uprising multiplayer tourney
To gear up for the big Kid Icarus: Uprising launch on March 23, Nintendo is holding a national multiplayer tournament! GameStop locations in four major cities will hold regional bracket style competitions, starting in San Fra...more
|8:00 PM on 02.24.2012|
New Kid Icarus: Uprising trailer details multiplayer
This Kid Icarus: Uprising trailer will talk you through some of the finer points of the multiplayer mode, as detailed in our preview. That is, unless you're epileptic, in which case you can't watch this video. Yes, those anti-epileptic lobbyist bastards got to the Nintendo corporation again. When will they ever stop?more
|3:45 PM on 02.20.2012|
Kid Icarus: Uprising trailer showcases 'Sacred Treasures'
In anticipation of Kid Icarus: Uprising's upcoming March release, Nintendo has released new footage. In this trailer, take a trip with Pit as he once again retrieves the three Sacred Treasures in order to defeat Medusa. If y...more
|5:00 AM on 02.13.2012|
Kid Icarus Choco Snacks to include AR cards
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...more
|3:00 PM on 01.28.2012|
Pre-order Kid Icarus: Uprising, get 3D Classics original
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,...more
|9:29 AM on 05.17.2013|
New Super Luigi U release date, standalone ver. revealed
Luigi is rockin' it hardcore! The upcoming New Super Mario Bros. U expansion, New Super Luigi U, is ready to drop on eShop on June 20 for $19.99. Not only that, there will be a special standalone disc, which doesn't require y...more
|9:28 AM on 05.17.2013|
Oracle of Ages and Seasons discounted at launch on eShop
Nintendo announced today during their Nintendo Direct event that The Legend of Zelda: Oracle of Ages and Oracle of Seasons will be $4.99 for three weeks (down from the price of $5.99) after the May 30th launch. This is basic...more
|8:00 AM on 05.17.2013|
Wii U owners don't know how to play Super Metroid
If you're a jaded hardcore gamer, and if you've ever complained that the new generation of "dumbed down" console gamers are the bane of life, prepare to feel justified. The arrival of Super Metroid on Wii U demonstrates the d...more