Kid Icarus: Uprising Hands-On

We finally get the sequel fans have been asking for: Does it fly or fall?

Has it really been 24 years since the original Kid Icarus hit the NES in the US? If you know that the answer to that question is "yes," then you've probably been chomping at the bit for more information on the upcoming Kid Icarus: Uprising for the Nintendo 3DS. We had a chance to get some time in with the anticipated sequel for Nintendo's upcoming system at its New York press event and are happy to say that it's definitely headed in the right direction.

Who's Making It: Nintendo's own Project Sora Studio, which, fans may remember, was founded by Nintendo president Satoru Iwata and former HAL Laboratories wunderkind Masahiro Sakurai.

What It Looks Like: As seen in the game's E3 trailer, the game features the visual overhaul that main character Pit and the goddess Palutena received in Super Smash Bros. Brawl. The world and enemies also share the same cartoony aesthetic, which we like.

How It Uses 3D: Given that the game has been designed to be a 3DS game, Kid Icarus: Uprising definitely highlights the hardware's capabilities. The flying and ground sections throw a lot at the screen for you to react to. The flying sequences offer the most dramatic showcase for the 3D visuals, but the ground combat sequences offer a broader range of 3D moments due to the different attacks used by the various enemies you'll face off against.

What You Do: The demo on display featured two "abridged" chapters from the upcoming game that offered two different difficulty levels. Chapter 1 (The Second Coming of Palutena) was the easy choice in the menu, while Chapter 4 (The Reaper's Line of Sight) offered the hard choice. Both levels featured the same basic level structure in that they started with an on-rails flying sequence that runs you through a set path in the sky. The flying segments segued into a ground combat section that lets you move freely and explore a modest-sized area on your way to face off against a boss. Chapter 1 offered an expectedly mellow run in the skies, which set up the game's conflict with Medusa and included tips from Palutena on how to play. This section culminated in a boss fight against Twinbellows, a fiery Cerberus-esque canine. Chapter 4 featured a much more challenging run through the skies that required a hefty amount of multitasking. You'll have to dodge obstacles in a canyon run, face tougher enemies on the ground, and go up against a massive Reaper boss that forces you to maneuver Pit between two floors to avoid being squashed.

How It Plays: The controls in the game made sense, although they could still use some refinement. You'll move Pit with the 3DS's analog nub. When you're in the air, this lets you dodge incoming enemy attacks or avoid obstacles by moving up and down or left and right. We were happy to see an onscreen icon on the touch screen that lets you switch between normal and inverted controls on the fly. When you're on the ground, you can move Pit around in the open areas. You'll attack in both flight and ground sections using the left trigger.

The demo let us choose from three weapons that featured unique attributes. The blades were the most balanced of the three, having no specific weakness. The claws offered greater attack speed but a shorter reach. Finally, the orbitars fired two powerful shots that grew in power after being released. There appeared to be two types of attacks that could be performed in the demo, each with a more powerful secondary option. Pit appears to automatically switch between melee and ranged based on the proximity of the enemy in your targeting reticle. You'll be able to perform a more powerful secondary charged attack that requires you to line up your shot and hold on firing to build up power. In addition, it appears that you'll automatically use attack items, like a grenade we picked up, with the next attack you perform after collecting them. Finally, you'll use the stylus and touch screen to move Pit's targeting reticle over enemies in flight. While this is also how targeting works on the ground, you'll also be able to rotate the camera around you by flicking right or left on the touch screen. The degree of rotation is based on how vigorous your flick is, letting you rotate in small increments or broader 180-degree chunks.

What We Say: Overall, we have to say we like how the game feels. The level structure keeps things moving along at a good pace, and there's definitely fun to be had. The controls feel almost right but need some refining (especially in the ground sequences where you need to control the camera with the stylus) to keep the experience smooth. We're also hoping the tongue-in-cheek tone of the demo--which had had Pit, Palutena, and Medusa bantering back and forth--actually makes it into the game. While there's not a specific date for Kid Icarus: Uprising's release outside of "2011," we'll be keeping a close eye on this one thanks to the positive impression it made on us. Though it still has some elements to refine, we really can't deny its appeal. Look for more on the game soon.

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Discussion

85 comments
TwiliPrincess93
TwiliPrincess93

Never played kid icarus but this game looks awesome!

vampyren
vampyren

Lol the dude isnt even holding it which proved my point which is the fact that you need 3 hand for using the 3DS. Had they added a second analog stick would have made things so much easier but as it stands now it will pretty much suck to play games such as this with the stylus in my opinion. i save my money for NGP, 3DS hardware is also not so very attractive compared to even the phones out there today but thats just me. I dont get very excited over street-pass and starts popping over the screen (AR games or what they are called) and childish stuff, i want proper gaming experience and good graphic, iphone4 got me covered for minigames so why pay 50+ dollar for games on 3DS is beyond me.

Crazy_Vulture
Crazy_Vulture

So, I'm left handed...That means I'll never ever be able to play this game with the analog stick? Nice going.

GunGriffin
GunGriffin

WOW this system is amazing.......... NGP or not Nintendo wins by simply staggering first party developer support, and third party Developer support, plus support for the system in the future......... Netflix, flash 10.1 browser, eShop, 3D Movies, and trailers, game updates, and DLC, 3D video recording.......... All in firmware updates after launch! OMG! What a massive list! If this platform gets any better I think we might have the next Wii 2.0 mobile on our hands...... Why can't they update the Wii to support some of these? eshop, movie trailers, and a better browser, plus online updates for games, and a friends list would go a long way to extending the Wii platform..........

riariases
riariases

@ileadufollow They always have left-handed support. You would have to a, b, x, y as a d-pad. I guess you wouldn't be able to use the analog circle that way though.

ileadufollow
ileadufollow

I'm left-handed, and I'm not trying to complain, but I wish they would put in left handed support. Besides that, the game looks awesome. I wonder how they make a nes character into a real 3d looking character?

DARKNESSxEAGLE
DARKNESSxEAGLE

They really need to make some poper level of animation for the flying scene. Pit's just sitting there ni the same position almost all of the way through. Kinda goes to show why it's not coming out on release

vega13mv
vega13mv

looks cool, almost star fox like with ground combat too, might be nice for those looking for an easy to get into game that shows off the visuals, but i'm looking for something that has a little more depth

ironmonk36
ironmonk36

I planned on buying this when I buy my 3DS but the gameplay looks absolutely horrible. Nintendo always ruins games with the stupid stylus controls. The flying stage looks really bad. Forget this crap. I guess I won't have any good game to buy for it untill LoZ:OoT comes out

RACiEP
RACiEP

Ehh... the genre doesn't look my style, although I'm very happy Nintendo brought Pit back. I'd like to see him on a Wii game, too. :)

Willy105
Willy105

@b0sse: You wouldn't be saying those complaints if you even had an idea of the Nintendo side of gaming is like. You believed Nintendo made no new game concepts at all, yet this past generation completely contradicts this, with games like Steel Diver, Nintendogs, Flingsmash, Wii Sports, Trace Memory, Hotel Dusk, Art Academy, Rhythm Heaven, Warioware, and a bunch of other stuff. And the reason people don't complain about game franchises that have been going on for 20 years is because they are rare! In the time span between Zelda: Twilight Princess and Zelda: Skyward Sword, there were 5 years! That's five console Call of Duty games between two console Zelda games. Make it seven if we go back to Wind Waker. Also, you seem to think that games and names are the same thing. There is a HUGE difference between Super Mario Galaxy 2 and Mario Kart Wii. The same difference between MGS4 and Gran Turismo 5. And if you want new characters, then why don't you pay attention to all the new characters and series they have come up with last gen (Chibi-Robo, Drill Dozer, Captain Rainbow, Endless Ocean, Xenoblade, The Last Story, among others) instead of just pretending Mario and Zelda are the only things that exist!

Momo-momo
Momo-momo

Played this at the Nintendo Pre release event in Glasgow. It was awesome, though ground combat was a little tricky, and the boss at the end of the demo was a bit easy, though i did select easy difficulty :P The 3D in this particular title is incredible, I just wish it had been a launch title

dawnofhero
dawnofhero

@b0sse Telling Nintendo to ditch Mario and the gang is like telling Disney to get rid of Mickey Mouse.

Sgt_Crow
Sgt_Crow

@ b0sse: comparing crap like Mario Sports to flagship franchises like Super Mario or The Legend of Zelda shows how less you actually know about these franchises. People don't buy those games because they are suckers. People buy those games because they represents top-notch quality EVERY time. And having a non-continuated story makes it meaningless? No comment to that...

b0sse
b0sse

@Teurnak: Okay so maybe the word "remake" wasn't the proper word I was looking for here. More like "sequel" then. My point was, Nintendo can't seem to come up with any new game concepts at all. They just keep rehashing the old classic figures from 20 years back, and puts them in new games. It's getting pretty old. Oh, and your comment about Kratos in GoW, thats not really comparable, since GoW is a 3-part story, and all games are continuations of each other. Plus, the GoW franchise started only a couple of years ago, and ended with GoW 3. Compared to Mario, or Zelda or whatever other Nintendo game you can think of, that has been going for at least 20 years, with same same same same... It's not even continuations of story etc. It's just one new meaningless game after another. Just check the useless Mario Sport and crap like that. How about Nintendo actually sat down and brainstormed for a while and actually came up with some new interesting characters and ideas, instead of just coming up with new ideas to put their old "mascots" in, just cause they know people are gonna buy it cause they are suckers...

Coolyfett
Coolyfett

I wonder if this game will be better than Uncharted Portable. I kinda like the third person shooter adventure games.

Teurnak
Teurnak

@Grimo187 : Just you wait til sony announce the official price for the NGP and take a look everywhere were someone is talking about the 3DS if no one is gonna buy one... @b0sse : Uprising isn't a remake at all, so isn't every zelda game that came out after the first one and so on with every game nintendo made that wasn't actual remake... BTW, is this Kratos in your profile picutre? Why aren't you complaining about the success and sequel to GOW?? Isn't this game doing the exact same thing your complaining about Nintendo?

naas10x12
naas10x12

@grim0187 The sold out pre-orders in Japan say otherwise.

Yodelyfish
Yodelyfish

grim0187: Get off the internet. That was the most uneducated response to an article I've ever seen. You aren't helping anyone with that.

Yodelyfish
Yodelyfish

I'm not getting one myself, my ipod touch does what i need it to do, but everyone who thinks this is gunna fail out of the door is retarded. I bet you all thought the original ds was gunna fail out the door too. The world could do without all you naysayers because since you've gotten sick of complaining about your own life you've somehow turned to yelling at a device for comfort.

gohan69er
gohan69er

@grim0187 I think if you started a partition on this forum then you'll be corrected on the bases of "no one is going to buy the 3DS" Nintendo will make it work in there favour as per usuel ive had my DS lite for years and not touched it in awhile but ive very excited for the 3ds not really for the gimmiky feel but the better hardware and more advanced games (Resident evil,MGS : SE, and Street fight, Zelda) c'mon.... just sold my ds lite on ebay for £140 with 1game and got another one to sell too...gives me enough to buy the hardware and a game :P.

grim0187
grim0187

No one is going to buy the 3DS. Not enough for Nintendo to turn a huge profit. 250 bucks for a handheld? What is this world coming to...

b0sse
b0sse

Nintendo keeps living in the past. They've been stuck making remakes of their classic games for 20 years... *sigh* how about some new concept for games? Not just mario, sonic, zelda and same old remakes over and over and over

soul_e
soul_e

looks like an awesome game :) looks like the 3DS will make it big my only comment about the game is.. why did they made him walk like a r@ped f@g ?

XxParasite
XxParasite

@grim0187 Glad that you can see how well it'll sell. (I assume that that was your intention, since bricks are a very popular building material...)

Rickystickyman
Rickystickyman

Anyone find it slightly weird that all of the title (most of them) for the 3DS are remakes of older games? I think Nintendo needs to stop making remakes of the classics. Why do you buy a game? To have a new experience, not to have the same thing as last time. Nintendo really needs to make a game that will compare to titles of other great games.

Willy105
Willy105

Looks fantastic. Especially the music.

EdibleFood
EdibleFood

@grim0187 Nintendo is like apple, after the success of the ds and the wii, people will buy their products no matter how overpriced... They have sold multiple ds's with only minor improvements to people over and over... They will have no problem selling the 3ds

grim0187
grim0187

The 3DS is a waste of everyones time and is gunna sell like a brick because of the price point.

Shamwownow212
Shamwownow212

I dont think im gonna be getting a 3DS this year after all i have so many PS3 games to get but i will probally get Chirstmas 2012 because chirstmas 2010 i got a new tv and last chirstmas i got a ps3 so i just want to keep it simple next chirstmas

Wolflink001
Wolflink001

Hmm. Maybe if I see it used when I've had my 3DS long enough. Not really excited about this game like am about Ocarina of Time 3D and Starfox 3D.

dawnofhero
dawnofhero

Ocarina of Time 3D, Mario Kart 3D, Kid Icarus Uprising, and Star Fox 64 3D won't come out until June 2nd. GameStop's official release schedule. Oh well. I'm still glad I pre-ordered the 3DS.

Yoweeh
Yoweeh

Hope it's a hell of a lot better than the past Kid Icarus games.

Jir11
Jir11

Very much looking forward to this one!

Aletunda
Aletunda

looks alright, not going to get a 3ds until the price drops and the gameslist grows more

Tokinblckgie
Tokinblckgie

The on rails portion looked like it could've used a little more imagination with the design. the on foot portions look pretty fun though.

WolfGrey
WolfGrey

And in the console world Nintendo is always BEHIND the times.Whats your point? BackwardsCompatibility- said screw you til the Wii Allowing Gameboy advance play on the system and many games enjoyed free content from them.Taken away in the next gen.And no pokemon does not count. Used one of the most ancient possible ways for online for the DS and the Wii.Might as well been stone age. Its only saving grace was a motion control idea that is now been passed up and done better. No nintendo is almost never smart when it comes to their systems.Im not even going to bother covering the DSlite to DSi switch that alienated thier newest pokemon game's feature at the time.Pal park became useless unless you owned two DSes. They are doing better this time on the 3DS but the fact it has passed up their own Wii in graphics and other capabilities(even online) says something about their console making abilities.

Dejon09
Dejon09

@Bjmage16 Because he has wings numnuts! Nintendo is always ahead of the times. This handheld is really revolutionary.

Wormkid_64
Wormkid_64

I'll need a grant from Bill Gates if I'm going to afford the 3DS and all the great games I've seen announced.Nintendo Power has a massive list of games that have been announced for it.This is the device of the year.

Jshaw71
Jshaw71

It's different than the nes version from years gone by, but it's always nice to see pit back...

xmootoo95
xmootoo95

Another great game for the 3DS, my wish list is piling up. Gotta get more money lol.

dawnofhero
dawnofhero

Looks amazing. A definite buy for me.

Biffx
Biffx

@feryl06 He cant stand still. lol. Its like he smoked a lil bit of crack and cant stop twitching. o well. The game still looks fantastic for a hand held. @bjmage16 He smoked crack and has an over abundance of energy. But seriously I think its cause he is light and wants to be ready to fly at a moments notes.

bjmage16
bjmage16

Looks fun, but why does he walk like a galloping horse?

master_zidane
master_zidane

Daedalus and Icarus were imprisoned in a labyrinth+tower hybrid...only way out was to fly out...they made wings with bird feathers and wax...Icarus flew too close to the sun...the wax melted...he fell down and died.

Harvestbuddy
Harvestbuddy

Yeah, Icarus' father warned him not to fly too close to the sun, but Icarus ignored his warnings (cocky) and he fell to his doom afterward.

Harvestbuddy
Harvestbuddy

@ wolfyrabbit, They didn't get burnt alive, Icarus flew too close to the sun and his wax wings melted. :X