The triumphant return of Pit and an amazing one at that.
I was honestly surprised by how awesome the story was. While it may seem standard and cheesy at first, the story takes a lot of twists and turns and unfolds pretty unpredictably. At first it just seems like a set piece like how Mario saving Peach is just an excuse to get him on an adventure but as you progress, you find that the story is very well crafted and wonderfully written, along with silly and funny dialogue from the characters, giving them a modern attitude in the way they speak, as if your friends took the story and told it their in the silliest way possible but still ensuring that the story makes sense.
Kid Icarus: Uprising is a stunning looking game, while it technically doesn't look at smooth as Super Mario 3D Land, the animations are great and the environments are very well crafted. This is one of those games where you do want to play with the 3D on as it does enhance the visuals.
Aside from the great music, the voice acting is spot on. While Pit may sound a bit dopey at first, you soon realize that it fits him perfectly considering the kind of character he is, the voice actors do a great job of delivering the dialogue in a convincing manner, adding humor to the gameplay. Hades is especially funny, not really what you'd expect from the God of the Underworld.
The game consists of 25 stages, nearly all following the same formula of on rails shooting to land based action to boss battle. You control how difficult the stage is and even on normal settings (4-6), the game is still pretty difficult and rather unforgiving. The on rails sections section is more challenging in terms of dodging and shooting down enemies, the land based portion is more unforgiving in that getting hit by an enemy could lower your life down by a hefty amount. I got hit by a laser one time at full health and lost nearly all my life.
In preparation for battle, you can equip power ups that come in the form of shapes, you need to fit these shapes in a 5x5 square in order to use them. The biggest draw back to this game is the controls, while not bad, they take a lot of getting used to. Being left handed and not having nor wanting a Circle Pad Pro, I had to use my right hand and even though I got accustomed to it, it was still pretty challenging to control due to the stylus being used to control the camera during the land portions. On rails played perfectly fine but the land sections would be very frustrating sometimes as you could easily run Pit off the ledge. Also if you're not using the stand, the game will make your hand sore after one stage. Once you get used to the controls though, it's good action packed fun.
As far as online multiplayer goes, I haven't really had a chance to use it so I can't say how well it works, but from what I've read from others, it works really well and is lots of competitive fun.
While 25 stages may not sound like much, most of the stages are around 10-15 minutes long, some of the later ones were longer than 20 minutes. I think 2-3 stages were at least 30 minutes, add to the fact that you'd want to replay stages to pick up items, tackle it at harder difficulties to reap greater rewards, a ton of weapons to find, achievements, and the multiplayer aspect and you have a game that will occupy you for a long time.
While the controls did lead to some frustrating moments during the land based sections, that was no where near enough to ruin the experience of this game, with super fun and highly challenging gameplay, a bevvy of weapons, collectibles and achievements to unlock, great visuals, a hilarious yet compelling story coupled with spot on voice acting and an addicting multiplayer mode, you have one of the most ambitious handheld titles Nintendo has created in a long time and easily one of the best games for the 3DS.