Icarus too close to the sun again? - Kid Icarus review: Uprising
More than twenty-five years after the debut of the iconic Kid Icarus brand, we have received a new version of it. In Kid Icarus: Uprising, the Angel Pit traveled back to the Underworld to put an end to the actions of evil forces. Unfortunately, not everything went as planned. What went wrong and why am I sorry about it?
Kid Icarus: Uprising is a hybrid of two genres - rail shooters and TPP action games. This combination turned out to be excellent in the wash. Well, each level has two main stages. We start the game by fighting opponents in the skies, carried by the Flying Power given to Pit by the goddess of light Palutha. The control over the hero in this mode is very limited. In fact, we can only move within the screen (avoiding attacks or terrain obstacles), because the Pit flies automatically along a predetermined path. Additionally, the player controls the crosshair, tracking the enemies that appear. This form of gameplay allowed the creators to let their imagination run wild and design spectacular levels. The pit very often flies through narrow inlets, plunges into clouds, visits chasms and sneaks low, just above the ground, and we can admire beautiful pictures. Thanks to high visibility and an interesting play of lights, Uprising is in the forefront of the most beautiful 3DS games . The great speed and dynamics of the game are also impressive.
Typically, after about 10 minutes of flight, the Pit reaches its destination, lands and travels the rest of the level on foot. Then the camera goes behind his back, and the player can explore the area at his disposal without any problems. As the hero progresses through the locations of the hero, they are attacked by enemies, against whom it is worth using natural covers and surface relief. There are also scripted actions here - for example, there are closed passages that can be unlocked by eliminating all opponents, and sometimes Pit jumps on magic rails and the gameplay returns to rail shooter style. The vast majority of boss fights are also played in this mode.
By the way, the final rivals were designed with panache, the clashes with them are interesting and require the use of additional skills of Pit. In Kid Icarus: Uprising, even lesser enemies can get under the skin - to defeat them, you need to find and use their weak points, which can often take some time. While traveling the game world on foot, we also unlock secrets, find new weapons and gain access to new magical abilities. Unfortunately, the quality of the walked levels does not make such a good impression . The locations are rather simple - usually slightly larger areas are connected by narrow corridors (or footbridges suspended in the air) - they suffer from having to go through the same parts of the stage several times. Fortunately, there are exceptions to this rule (e.g. mission with optical illusions).
Kid Icarus: Uprising is - as for the rules governing the genre of shooters - an incredibly complex position . Let's start with the fact that the creators managed to put about 25 missions in it, which will take you from 8 to 10 hours to complete. Although most of the tasks come down to the same, repetitive activities, they are effectively masked by interesting location designs, constantly expanding bestiary and solutions surprising in places (e.g. architectural). How much time we spend on completing the story depends on the chosen difficulty level. It is set before each task, and the process in itself deserves a reward. We have at our disposal an "intensity axis" with a slider, by means of which we determine the number and fierceness of opponents, while making a bet for a specific amount of hearts (acting as a currency). The latter fall out of the opponents, we find them in chests, jugs, we get them in exchange for selling weapons, etc. Setting a sufficiently high level of difficulty involves not only an increase in the number of enemies, but also access to alternative paths and gates leading to secrets (they symbolize them dials with a number denoting the value necessary to open them). Reaching them, however, is not easy, because each death of Pita reduces the sum of hearts in the plant, and thus reduces the difficulty level.
The production of Masahiro Sakuraia also surprises in terms of finds. The latter include not only standard hearts, but also unlockable add-ons in the form of figures, information about heroes, opponents, buildings available in the game, etc. In addition, the arsenal is constantly expanded - depending on the difficulty level, Pit receives more or less powerful blades, bows and cannons (you can find them - and all other collectibles - also in surprise eggs opened on a special altar). The number of available weapons is overwhelming , so the developers have prepared a special menu that systematizes the equipment and allows you to evaluate what is the most powerful in the current base. At any time, we also have a chance to use a handy forge and combine two selected types of weapons into one, with statistics being the resultant of both previous ones.
In addition, the player has the opportunity to choose from countless additional Pita skills (so-called perks), creating special sets from them. This brings to mind Tetris puzzles and as such is very addictive. Abilities are also very useful - among them there are a lot of offensive perks (including various attack buffs, skills that speed up movements), defensive ones (e.g. additional armor, shield, dulling enemies) or hard to classify (e.g. fireworks that distract enemies , healing spells). There is a lot of fun here - if it takes 8-10 hours to complete the main story, you can be sure that you will spend as much time on combining weapons (as well as testing the effects in the arena), arranging perk sets, and unlocking and browsing secrets.
At the beginning of the review, I found that not everything went well in Kid Icarus: Uprising . Before the game's premiere, I thought that the developer would not be able to cope with the gameplay mechanics. Ultimately, he performed this task with flying colors. However, problems have arisen in the control system, which does not allow you to fully enjoy playing Pita's new adventures. The gameplay is incredibly inconvenient , which Nintendo is well aware of (see the next box). The situation is not changed by the fact that the above-mentioned controls are almost freely configurable, because the game requires the use of the touch screen anyway. Aiming, rotating the camera, activating additional skills, releasing energy in flying stages (so-called "cleaning" the screen from enemies) is often only possible through it. As a result, on higher difficulty levels, you can aim, select perks, shoot, dodge and so-called simultaneously. dashów is a task that requires superhuman abilities. For this reason, I am very sorry - Kid Icarus: Uprising is an extensive, refined production, one of the best on 3DS, but losing due to poor control. And while it absolutely should be given a chance, I'm sure that many people won't break through this wall or limit them to playing at lower difficulty levels, which closes a lot of additional content.
To warm up the atmosphere a bit, I would like to add that the problems with the controls largely disappear during the multiplayer game - mainly because the chances of all players are then even (unless some lucky person has the Circle Pad Pro attachment). The multiplayer option is an interesting addition to the single player campaign. It allows you to compete locally or over the network. In the latter case, you can limit yourself to spending time with friends or rely on the matchmaking system and face strangers. Two modes of play - team Light vs. Dark, where two teams of three players compete, and Free For All - provide a lot of entertainment, which is not interrupted by sudden connection losses and lag (I played on an 8 Mbit connection). Of course, you can customize your character to your liking by choosing a weapon and a set of perks. It is true that you can complain about the simple structure of maps and chaos, especially when people who are just learning to control join the game, but there are really spectacular matches. Unfortunately, sometimes 3DS does not keep up with the action and the gameplay loses a few frames of animation.
Kid Icarus: Uprising is a great shooter that combines the features of a rail shooter and TPP action games. The developer did a great job filling the game with a huge amount of content. The title also provides a lot of entertainment - it can take us even several dozen hours when you add up the single player campaign, playing with secrets, weapons and perks, as well as time spent in the multiplayer. Unfortunately, in order to enjoy the game, you have to break through the disastrous controls. If you can't handle it and master the basics, it could be one of your worst 3DS purchases.