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Found 4 results

  1. Jordan Haygood

    Kid Icarus: Uprising

    From the album: Kaptain's Gallery

    © Nintendo

  2. As if you needed yet another good reason to nab a copy of Kid Icarus: Uprising! Today, Nintendo has announced an awesome sounding sweepstakes that gives you the chance to win a set of Kid Icarus AR cards. 400+ cards, to be precise. All you need to do to enter in this giveaway is register your copy of Kid Icarus: Uprising on the Club Nintendo website. Fill out the survey as you would any other time on Club Nintendo, but make sure you check the box at the end of it stating that you wish to enter this super special sweepstakes! "What about the people that have already registered Kid Icarus: Uprising?" you may ask. Don't worry. Simply go to your to-do list on Club Nintendo and complete the sweepstakes item that shows up. Good luck to everyone that enters!
  3. Jordan Haygood

    Review: Kid Icarus: Uprising

    Developer: Project Sora Publisher: Nintendo Platform: Nintendo 3DS Release Date: Out Now ESRB: E10+ for Everyone 10+ "Sorry to keep you waiting!" When these words were first uttered at Nintendo's E3 2010 press conference, they were quickly followed by a certain flightless angel, who had been missing-in-action for the past 20 years, swooping onto the scene to announce a new Kid Icarus game. Needless to say, not many people were expecting this. But our expectations are meaningless in this case, because it happened. After all these years, we finally return to Skyworld in Kid Icarus: Uprising for the Nintendo 3DS. So does this long overdue sequel ascend into greatness, or do Pit's wings burn as the game comes crashing down into a pitfall (get it?)? Let's find out, shall we? After making us wait for over 20 years, Pit finally returns. Kid Icarus: Uprising puts you in the sandals of the cherub warrior known as Pit, who is fighting to save the world from Medusa and her Underworld army. If this plot sounds familiar to you long-time fans, it should. The game begins with a plot fairly similar to that of the original, where Medusa also wreaked havoc with her crazy shenanigans. Uprising, however, takes place after the snake-haired goddess has somehow been resurrected. You'll find out how before the halfway point, as well as the role her resurrection plays in the bigger picture. And no, I won't spoil it for you. If you're interested in Greek mythology, Kid Icarus: Uprising does a great job reinventing it with its own creative charm. There are some familiar faces to mythology such as the flamboyant God of Death Thanatos, the petrifying Goddess of Darkness Medusa, and [censored due to spoilers], as well as the series' own original characters such as the Goddess of Light Lady Palutena, a certain reimagining of Mother Nature known as Viridi, and, of course, Pit. By the way, Pit actually alludes to the story of Icarus - an angel who flew too close to the sun that he burned his wings and became unable to fly (hence the title of the series). And don't worry if you haven't played the old NES classic or its Game Boy sequel, because everything you need to know is explained within the first few chapters of Kid Icarus: Uprising. The game does a great job re-introducing spectators to the main players of the Kid Icarus series, as well as the newcomers who introduce themselves later in the game. Our favorite two-headed dog also makes a return While we're on the topic of the story, the writing in Kid Icarus: Uprising is superb. The writers did a brilliant job writing a story that hooks players from the start and keeps them hooked throughout the game with its interesting characters and intricate plot points. Once you get through one chapter, something big happens in the next chapter that gives you that itch to play more as you get further and further into the plot. And that itch is hard to scratch without playing all the way through to the end. And it's not just the story that's well-written; the dialogue in Kid Icarus: Uprising is often very funny, with humorous jokes, cheesy lines often followed up by sarcastic remarks that point out the cheese, and a complete lack of fear when breaking the fourth wall (such as Pit pointing out how much one of the enemies looks like a metroid). And to top it all off, these lines are all complimented very well with some astonishing voice work (albeit a tad annoying at times). Of course, the dialogue can also be a hit-and-miss at times. While it's fun to listen to the witty banter between the characters, it can sometimes get in the way, since characters will often converse while you're fighting enemies. Basically, there will be times when you have to make a choice between ignoring the dialogue and fighting with precision or listening to the conversations and getting pummeled by enemy fire. It's a tough choice sometimes, and only a master multitasker can do both with relative ease. Another thing that compliments the quirky dialogue of this game very well are the game's colorful and overall stunning visuals. It's like watching a classic cartoon Disney movie - it simply wouldn't work as well without the surreal imagery. The game is simply gorgeous, showing us just how stellar 3DS graphics can be. And that's only the primer of the graphics; when you see the true polish of Uprising with the 3D turned on, the game really shines. It's a visually-striking experience that will keep you staring at the screen until your eyes burst. Soaring through the gorgeous skies is truly magical We spoke earlier about how astonishing the voice acting in Kid Icarus: Uprising is, but that was only the tip of the iceberg with just how good the audio work is in general. The sound effects in Uprising aren't really the auditory focal point of the game, but they get the job done. You'll hear many bashing, blasting, and bursting sounds as you fight enemies, and that's about it. But all that, along with the other 20% of the game's sound effects, are top-notch and realistic enough to sound how a game should sound these days. Of course, the true auditory focal point of Uprising, as with most games, is the soundtrack. And boy does this game deliver. First off, the game gives us some classic Kid Icarus tunes remixed for this fully orchestrated musical masterpiece. Well, I guess I shouldn't say FULLY orchestrated, as the game also gives the original a few more nods by throwing some sweet chiptunes into the mix. And as far as original music goes...well, I did call this soundtrack a musical masterpiece, didn't I? Here's an example of why I think so: Dat Spanish guitar... In terms of gameplay, Kid Icarus: Uprising is many things. For starters, each chapter begins with roughly five minutes of in-air, on-rail shooting similar to games like Sin & Punishment. These sections of the chapters are always such rewarding experiences, and a splendid way to begin levels. Being on-rails, you move your little angel around the screen, dodging projectiles as he travels along a set path. You also have a reticle in front of Pit that you control using either the stylus or the face buttons. This reticle acts as the aiming tool for Pit's own projectiles, which you fire via the left shoulder button. It's very fun and engaging, with special thanks going to the amazing cinematics that you see in the world around you. And the reason you get only five minutes of flight has something to do with Pit being the flightless angel that he is. Your buddy, Lady Palutena, uses her powers to give Pit the ability to fly, but her powers limit you to only five minutes at a time. This explanation, of course, is just an excuse to force the gameplay mechanics to shift and keep the game interesting. However, things get a bit cumbersome once you put your feet on the ground. During ground-based sections of the chapters, you are no longer on-rails and have total control over Pit, fighting enemies head-on as you take him through the levels. But since you are no longer following a set path, you now have to guide Pit a full 360 degrees, which is where the control scheme turns a little sour. As a beginner, you'll find that using the stylus to aim this way is pretty difficult, and the complete change in simplicity can make you feel a bit aggravated at first. You'll get used to it over time, but many players might get turned off by this and give up on the game before that ever happens. Not to mention the 3DS itself is a tough beast to handle when it comes to playing on the ground. Using the circle pad, left trigger, and stylus throughout the game makes holding the system highly uncomfortable after a short while. This is exactly why the game comes packaged with a little stand to play the game on, but then you're pretty much restricted to playing the game on a flat surface just to play it comfortably. Fortunately, you can always customize the controls to whatever fits your preference, includng the simple use of the face buttons to control the reticle/camera (both of which are controlled by default via the stylus). Using this option certainly takes some getting used to, but once you play around with it a bit, you may find it to be the better way to play the ground segments. The game even allows lefties to play the game by using the Circle Pad Pro, which is a nice touch. Overall, the on-land control scheme is tough at first, but once you get used to it, it gets a lot easier and things begin to feel more natural. The controls take some getting used to Honestly, I could play Kid Icarus: Uprising for hours-on-end. The single-player campaign will only take a dozen hours or so to complete, which is almost a shame, but thanks to an insane amount of replayability, Uprising has plenty of reasons to have you come soaring back for more. One of these reasons is the unique difficulty scale (or "intensity" scale) that you can set before each chapter, which range from 0.0 (Effortless) to 9.0 (Nothing Harder!). The idea is that you wager your own in-game currency (hearts), which is a higher amount depending on the intensity you choose, and you get rewarded if you can survive the chapter. If you can't survive your chosen difficulty, however, you not only lose a number of hearts gathered throughout the level, but you are also forced to lower your intensity in order to continue. And when fighting certain bosses for the first time, this can get a bit frustrating, since learning how to win can sometimes cost you a lot of hearts. There are also certain "Intensity Gates" you will find throughout the chapters. As the name implies, they are gates that you can only open if your intensity is high enough. And as you would expect, some pretty cool things are hidden behind these gates, which mostly include rare weapons. Gambling at its finest. Speaking of weapons, that's another thing that makes coming back to this game worthwhile. The weapons have an immense amount of variety. Seriously, you have everything, from your classic bows to things like clubs, swords, cannons, claws, and...a few things I have a hard time even describing (palms?). And with each weapon class, you're introduced to a plethora of different weapons, which will each come with their own specific stats (like how good of a ranged/melee weapon it is) and buffs (such as making you faster or raising your defense). It's things like these that make you want to experiment a little. And to make the weapon system even more innovative, you can also fuse your weapons together to make other weapons in the Arms Altar. This allows you to take certain stats and buffs from two weapons and put 'em into a completely different one. This fun little mechanic puts a whole new spin on the idea of "mixing and matching." Also, if you don't see a certain weapon you're interested in fusing with, or just to use in general, you can always redeem some of your hearts for weapons to put even more weapons at your disposal. You can also convert weapons into gems, which can then be traded with players via StreetPass for either fusing into your own weapons, selling, or simply claiming the weapon it came from. I don't even know what this thing is, but it looks cool. Not only is this game full of weapons and difficulty levels, but it also provides a vast achievement system, just in case the game wasn't getting you hooked enough. There are a total of 360 achievements (a nod to the Xbox 360 achievement system, perhaps?), and they can be as tough as nails to receive; like beating the last chapter on 9.0 difficulty, or easy as pie; like playing the game's multi-player mode for the first time. The amount of content packed into this little game is truly incredible... Oh, did I not mention the multiplayer mode yet? Silly me. The multiplayer in Kid Icarus: Uprising is, for lack of a better word, fun. You can either duke it out with up to five others in a simple Free-for-All match or team up in a 3-on-3 battle in Light vs. Dark, whether with friends locally or strangers online. The first option is self-explanatory, but the second is a little more interesting. Basically, you start out sharing a certain health bar with your companions, but once that health bar depletes completely, the teammate who was defeated last will transform into Pit (Team Light) or Dark Pit (Team Dark), and the other two will have to protect him while attempting to defeat the other team's angel. And if you've gotten some pretty awesome weapons and powers in your single-player game, don't worry, because they transfer right over to your multiplayer matches for you to use as you see fit. Be forewarned, though, that your team's health bar in Light vs. Dark depletes faster the stronger the weapon. Basically, your double-edged sword can indeed be a double-edged sword. But aside from that, you also have several different options to customize your matches with, including handicaps, item frequency, AI difficulty levels, and time limits. But the multi-player in Uprising certainly isn't perfect. While the single-player game is pretty well-balanced with its simple level-progression, fighting with friends can get a little too helter-skelter at times, which can often cause players to struggle a bit with the controls, especially since it's not really the best idea to play unless you've gotten past the initial hurdle of the game's ground controls. Another thing that gets a little helter-skelter at times is the framerate, which occasionally gets choppy from the stress of all the action going on all at once. After playing multiplayer for a while, it's pretty obvious that single-player is the main draw of the game. Pit and his posse in Light vs. Dark All-in-all, Kid Icarus: Uprising is a fantastic revival to a classic gem, and has a lot going for it as a fantastic game all in itself. Boasting a great storyline, hilarious dialogue, gorgeous graphics and art design, breathtaking music, solid gameplay, and a ton of replayability, this game truly is a terrific experience that shows just what the 3DS can do. However, the game still has its flaws, including initially-awkward controls, chatty characters that can distract you from the action, and a multiplayer mode that is only really there so that the game can have a multiplayer mode. But despite the minor faults this game has, Kid Icarus: Uprising is a game no 3DS owner should be caught dead without. Pros: + Wonderfully-written story with interesting characters + Gorgeous graphics with inspired art direction + A soundtrack that puts many to shame + Fun, solid gameplay + An insane amount of replay value Cons: - Controls take some getting used to - Dialogue can get in the way sometimes - Multiplayer isn't as great as it could be Overall Score: 9 (out of 10) Fantastic A revival to a classic franchise that carries the legacy to new heights in gaming. Once you get past the initial hurdle of the control scheme, the game provides a brilliant experience to immerse yourself in.
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