March 30, 2012

Kid Icarus: Uprising review

Hi! Rhycen here!
OK, so this is my first video game review, and I'm just doing this out of excitement, so it's not going to be the most comprehensive review, they are merely my thoughts on the game.

Kid Icarus: Uprising is a fast paced shooter/action adventure game developed by Nintendo for the 3DS, released in Australia on the 29th of March. You play as Pit, an angel and also the captain of the goddess Palutena's personal guard. The gameplay consists of flying shooter levels, where you just shoot the enemies that appear on the screen, and ground levels, where you have to find your way to the boss at the end. The gist of the story is, Medusa, the goddess of the underworld, is attacking, and it is up to Pit, with the aid of Palutena, to save the world.

I bought Kid Icarus uprising today, and I don't regret it one bit! At first I was slightly sceptical of getting this game based on reviews that complained about the terrible control scheme. However, a 20% off sale was too good to miss and I bought the game. As I expected, the reviews were quite exaggerated. The controls are nowhere near as bad as they make it out to be, although the camera is quite a handful to control and point in the right direction, but I imagine this can be perfected over time. The stand that comes bundled with the game certainly does help make gameplay more comfortable, although it doesn't help the fact that in exciting battles, I push my console on an angle, obscuring the 3D view. The gameplay is very fast paced, and you'll find yourself flying through the chapters at a blistering pace. After only about an hour of playtime I have already cleared 5 chapters, and also thoroughly explored all of the games features. The cut-scenes and animations are extremely well done and polished. The graphics are stunning, and the level design is interesting and non-repetitive. The game loads up very quickly, which is a plus for people like me who like to play games in short bursts. Also, the user interface is well designed and colourful, with large buttons that just beg to be tapped.

The action is heating up!
When beginning the story mode, after a short tutorial video on movement, you are thrust straight into the action of the first stage. There is no lengthy cutscene explaining the backstory  of this game. You are learning about the scenario at the same time as Pit. Palutena and Pit, and occasionally other characters, will constantly have conversations while you fight your way through each chapter, teaching you about enemies or how to get around obstacles, or even just joke around among themselves. I found this feature quite ingenious, as it provides information during gameplay, as well as additional "ear-candy" over the already beautiful soundtrack. The difficulty adjustment is also quite unique in this game. To raise the difficulty of the stages, you must spend "hearts" which is the basic currency of the game. This may seem a bit redundant, after all, why spend hearts to make it harder? Well, the harder the difficulty, the better weapon rewards you get for completing the stage. Having a strong weapon very important in this game so you can dispatch enemies quickly before they can hurt you. Speaking of weapons, the variety of weapons in this game is quite impressive. There are 9 different classes of weapons to choose from: Blade, Staff, Claws, Bow, Palm, Club, Cannon, Orbitars, and Arms. Each weapon has it's own advantages and disadvantages. There should be a weapon out there for any type of gamer. You can choose to fuse different weapons together to create even better weapons. I find this kind of collecting and combining very engaging.

The multiplayer is a very strong aspect of this game as well. After barely any wait at all, I was thrust into a beautiful arena with 5 other contestants. Although I did not fare as well as the more experienced players out there, I found the combat to be smooth and enjoyable. There was no lag at all during the match, which is awesome considering I am running on slowed down wi-fi as I am capped for the month.

Let the games begin!
Now, let's talk about the AR card feature. This feature was strongly advertised as a main focus of the game. It can take a while for the camera to register an AR card, but that could have been a result of my shaky hands. The models that appear above the card are well animated. A feature of these AR cards is, when two cards are placed head to head, a combat sequence initiates. During this sequence, you can view the cards' combat stats, which are health, attack and speed. When you press the fight button, the cards proceed to auto-attack one another, with their damage and rate of attack corresponding to their stats. The first card to lose all health points is defeated. Besides a big red X covering the card that last, there are no other effects after the cards are reset to full health. I find this feature kind of gimmicky, as there really isn't much use for it.

AR cards. Just a gimmick?
I have yet to complete the storyline, but I am going to enjoy every bit of it. This is a definite must buy game for 3DS owners, and one of the best 3DS games released to date.

Gameplay: 9/10
Graphics: 8.5/10
Cut Scenes: 9/10
Sound: 9/10
Controls: 6/10
Story: 7/10

Overall: 8.5/10

(This review can also be found at )