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Consistently good games from developer

Review: Kid Icarus: Uprising

by January 23, 2013

“Sorry to keep you waiting!” Yes Pit, I’m sorry too that it took you so long to return to the video game scene. Though the wait might have been worth it, as Kid Icarus: Uprising is one of the weirdest Nintendo titles ever made and that’s not a bad thing by any means.

Kid Icarus: Uprising features the best graphics that the 3DS has seen to date. It is vibrant, full of color and the 3D effect is exceptional. Although the 3D effect might not add anything to enhance the gameplay, it is still immersive and a unique experience that adds to the overall package.

The story and dialogue in Kid Icarus: Uprising is some of the most ambitious Nintendo has ever done. There is a ton of great voice work in the game and the dialogue is witty and smartly written. Kid Icarus: Uprising is a strange game story wise, but that is what makes it so enjoyable. It does not take itself seriously, it is full of self-aware references and it offers the player hilarious dialogue between Pit and Lady Palutena. It is definitely something that will make you relax and get you into the mood, it is especially great if you are a huge Nintendo fan like myself.

Each level in Kid Icarus: Uprising is divided into three parts: Air Battle, Land Battle, and Boss Fight. The first section is an entirely on-rails experience, where you can only move Pit around the top screen with the analog stick. You control the reticle by using the 3DS’ stylus on the bottom screen and you fire shots by pressing the L button. It sounds very cumbersome, but it actually works out quite well the more you play. The game is shipped with a 3DS stand, which might make things easier – however based on my experience, I only ever used it once.

Kid Icarus: Uprising is a strange game story wise, but that is what makes it so enjoyable.

The second portion of the level is the Land Battle. In this section, you control Pit using the analog stick again but you are given the freedom to go wherever you want, it is no longer on rails like the Air Battle sections. Controlling Pit on ground is a lot more stressful, especially if you just want to relax while you play. You’ll definitely suffer hand cramps until you get used to it and these sections tend to be a lot more tense, making it harder to recommend playing this section of the game when the player has anxiety.

The third section is the Boss Battle section, which is equally as intense as the Land Battles. Just like the title of this section, it is just a boss battle. Defeat the boss and you are done the level! It should be noted that Kid Icarus: Uprising has levels that last up to 20 or 30 minutes each, so it is definitely not a game that can be played in bite sized portions of 5 to 10 minutes.

America’s Next Top Angel

Although the controls sound fairly difficult to use, the more you play the better you will be using the controls. They are awkward at first and most likely will cause hand cramps, but once you find how you want to play the game, you will be good to go. Also, the game does feature a mode for left handed players but it requires you to buy the second analog stick attachment, the Circle Pad Pro. It is definitely off putting to have to pay an additional $19.99 to play with a comfortable control scheme if you are left handed, but you might find the default controls to be okay.

All in all, Kid Icarus: Uprising features the ability to scale difficulty to your liking. Similar to Smash Brothers, you have nine levels of difficulty, the higher you go the harder the game is, but the rewards you get when you play levels are a lot better. These items include weapons, attachments and enhancements. These are incredibly useful, as the game allows you to fully customize your weapon, from type (Bows, Blades, Claws, Clubs and more). This is ideally good and bad for players with anxiety, as going to a higher difficulty only adds to the amount of stress and tension you are already feeling, however if you play on level 0, 1 or 2, it’s enough for a light session of play without feeling stressed out. Personally speaking, I almost always kept playing on low levels because I felt playing on higher levels aggravated me.

Kid Icarus: Uprising also features a robust multiplayer mode that can be played online or locally through Nintendo Network. There are two modes that are both entirely ground based, one is a team based mode and one is a free-for-all mode. Free-for-all allows six players to face each other trying to defeat one another. There are a variety of arenas that are available for the player to fight on, that provides a great deathmatch type experience.

Pit also suffers from the angry Kirby in North America Box Art effect.

The team based multiplayer mode is a Light vs. Dark mode, this mode is far more interesting than the first. You work in teams of three fighting the other team, one side has lost all of their life gauge. Once that happens, the player who died last turns into either Pit or Dark Pit and has extra powers, however the team must work harder to protect Pit or Dark Pit from dying, otherwise it is game over. It is an enjoyable mode, however it is fiercely competitive and probably not something you would want to participate in if you are trying to relax, as it can get your blood boiling and feel more panicky.

The music in Kid Icarus: Uprising is also fantastic. Sections of the game provide great relaxing music, while other sections have songs that get you in an adventure type mood. The game’s music also has sections which feel more tense and get you anxious and anticipating the next fight or enemies.

The game offers 25 levels for single player – all in all it’s not a very long game if you do not plan on coming back to it (lasting about 13 hours). Though, if you do plan on taking a second trip into Kid Icarus: Uprising, you will have a ton to do. The game has a massive amount of collectables and features new areas in Land Battle depending on what difficulty you play on.

Kid Icarus: Uprising will be remembered as one of the most weird, yet still great Nintendo titles ever made.

Kid Icarus: Uprising will be remembered as one of the most weird, yet still great Nintendo titles ever made. It has got everything in it for players who want to simply relax while they are playing, but it also offers more challenging sections that may or may not aggravate you more as you play. Thankfully, this can be remedied by the great difficulty system in place. If you are looking for a game that does a lot right, that offers something funny and quirky, this is definitely for you – but you should be aware of the steep learning curve of the controls.

Why it may be helpful for people with anxiety:

  • Lots to collect
  • Scalable difficulty, play at a comfortable difficulty level
  • Relaxing music
  • Hilarious dialogue and story

Why it may be unhelpful for people with anxiety:

  • Steep learning curve
  • Not good for playing in short bits
  • Awkward controls for left handed players
  • Tense moments in the game might further add to tension and anxiousness

Why you should be playing this game:

Kid Icarus: Uprising is one of the most interesting Nintendo games to date. It is full of voice work and witty dialogue that will keep you laughing. The music is wonderful, uplifting and relaxing while feeling pretty epic at times too. The gameplay is fun once you get past the initial learning curve and there is a ton to do for players who are actively looking to unlock everything.

The game is a complete package that will keep you coming back and extend the life of the title. The initial playthrough might only take 13 hours, but there is a ton to do afterwards, making Kid Icarus: Uprising a product with a lot of value for the player

This review was based on the 3DS version that was provided by the reviewer.

Release Date

March 23rd, 2012

Digital or Retail





Project Sora



AwardsConsistently good games from developer

Immersive 3D effect, great gameplay, tons of collectables, solid multiplayer mode, replayability, hilarious dialogue, scalable difficulty


Awkward control scheme for left handed players, difficult portions add more tension and stress, steep learning curve with the controls.

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Haziq Agha
21 Year Old, Avid Gaming Fan, Technology and Open Source Junkie.

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