Nintendo kicked off its three-day Nintendo World 2011 public preview event in Tokyo, Japan, over the weekend with the announcement of a long list of upcoming and launch titles for its new 3DS handheld console, due to launch at the end of February in Japan and before April in other territories.
As part of the event, the publisher also held half-hour-long preview sessions for a number of its major 3DS titles, revealing more information about the games and how they will look and play. The first of these sessions was for the NES revival game Kid Icarus: Uprising. We watched the preview event video and did our best to decipher what exactly Pit will be able to do this time around.
As already announced, Kid Icarus: Uprising will feature both land-based and flying combat and will see young protagonist Pit, a spritely angel wielding a magical bow, battling against a newly reborn Medusa, the Goddess of Darkness (not to be confused with Medusa, the terrifying female creature of Greek mythology, who shares very similar characteristics to the Kid Icarus version). Pit is aided in his quest by Palutena, the Goddess of Light, who grants him the ability to fly.
The Nintendo World 2011 demo began with a short gameplay video that featured a wide array of beautifully rendered sky and land environments; Twinbellows, the recurring two-headed dog boss in the Kid Icarus series; a bow and blade; combat sequences; and Pit as a giant aubergine (no doubt after suffering an attack from the Eggplant Wizard).
After the gameplay video, the developer went through a brief history of the Kid Icarus franchise before firing up a copy of the original NES platformer and making a series of well-received quips. The next topic discussed was the art style of the original title and how it compares with the 2011 3D version. Using a series of side-by-side screenshots of Pit character models, the developer tracked Pit's progress from a young child (NES), into an attractive, feisty teen (Game Boy), and finally into the still-attractive-but-slightly-less-cocky-and-wiser-looking version in Kid Icarus: Uprising.
Following more side-by-side comparison screenshots of some of the game's other characters--including Medusa--and a gallery of different environments depicting castles in the sky, ancient temples, deserts, and forests, the developer began playing the game to showcase the controls and some of Pit's moves during combat.
The first scene depicted an air combat sequence in which Pit had to fight a swarm of Monoeyes, which he first targeted and then defeated in quick succession with his bow in twin blade mode (from Super Smash Bros. Brawl). This flight mode appears to be timed: during the demo there was a meter on the top left of the screen that measured how long Pit had left to use his wings.
The next stage of the demo depicted Pit on the ground, locked in combat with various enemies during which it was possible to see the developer's hands while playing as he showed that players will be able to use the 3DS stylus to target enemies and use the console's circle pad to fire or the left bumper for a secondary weapon. After dealing with the bad guys in the temple, Pit made his way up a spiral path of light that transported him to the next platform where he encountered a boss. Pit had to use a number of small, pink air vents to get enough height to enable him to aim at the boss's head, which appeared to be the only worthwhile place to fire, while simultaneously dashing out of the way of blows and lasers from the monster's eyes.
After defeating the boss using a combination of the bow and blade weapon, the developer jumped out of the game, and the demo finished.
For more information, check out GameSpot's latest breakdown of the 3DS.