Kid Icarus: Uprising
One of Nintendo's oldest heroes takes flight.
Nintendo has made millions releasing games based on popular franchise characters like Mario, Kirby and Link. In fact, these heroes are so big that it's common to see new entries on a yearly basis.
That said, Kid Icarus is without question the oddball in the company's storied history. Originally released in 1987 on the NES, this Greek inspired adventure went on to become a cult favorite, eventually spawning the 1991 Game Boy sequel, Of Myths and Monsters. At the time, it seemed like the series (and its main character, Pit) would become engrained in the publisher's culture, worthy of numerous follow-ups for each new platform.
Fast forward to 2011, and legions of diehard Nintendo fans have endured a 20-year dry spell. Despite countless pleas to revive the franchise, Mario and Co. kept Kid Icarus under wraps, at least until the 2010 Electronic Entertainment Expo, when the powers that be finally unveiled Kid Icarus: Uprising, a new adventure set to debut on the 3DS, possibly before the end of the year.
Once again, the heroic Pit accepts a mission to stop the nefarious Medusa from destroying the land. That said, the game looks much different than its retro counterparts. Uprising breaks away from the series' 2D roots in exchange for glorious 3D environments, made possible by the 3DS' advanced processing muscle. As such, you'll explore gorgeous environments full of detail, including imposing fortresses teeming with enemies and plenty of other locations.
You can also expect to see a Pit that bears a striking resemblance to his Super Smash Bros. Brawl counterpart. This should come as no surprise, since Masahiro Sakurai (direct of Brawl) has taken up the reigns to create Uprising. Suffice, to say, the game is in great hands.
On that note, there's more to this highly anticipated quest than enhanced visuals. Uprising was divided into two unique parts: aerial and ground combat. Palutena, the Goddess of Light, granted Pit the ability to fly for extended periods. This important plot point allowed the developers to design thrilling on-rails segments where Pit soars through the air vanquishing different monsters, as you use the circle pad to maneuver him, the stylus/touch screen to aim and L to fire.
From there, Pit transitions to ground combat, where you harness the power of three weapons, each of which possesses different advantages in combat. The Blade, for example, is well balanced, while the Claws are perfect for close range attacks. The Orbitar, meanwhile, is best used at long-range, where shots grow in power.
Make it through this area, and Pit reaches the boss. Nintendo has yet to reveal a full list of creatures, but we do know that Twinbellows, the two headed and fire breathing canine from the original Kid Icarus, makes an appearance. We also spied Monoeye and Shemum, two staple bad guys from the series, and the infamous Eggplant Wizard will make an appearance.
Our only concern at this point involves the inability to jump. Instead, Pit has a very effective roll that enables him to dodge incoming attacks. We just hope it's a good substitute for leaping.
Otherwise, Kid Icarus: Uprising looks incredible and we can't wait to play the final version. Expect detailed impressions, as well as a release date, in the coming months.