Tuesday, November 8, 2011

GAMEX 2011 - Preview: Kid Icarus: Uprising

Kid Icarus has had a hard time as a franchise. The original game met with decent success, but the sequel for the Gameboy is something a lot of people don't even know exists. The inclusion of a redesigned Pit in Super Smash Brothers. Brawl certainly helped boost the series popularity again however and Nintendo finally answered by letting Masahiro Sakurai get his hands on the franchise. Was it for the better? Time will tell, but for now, let's have a look at the demo I played.

Kid Icarus plays in two general styles. Flying Mode and Ground Mode. At the start of the stage you have the power of flight for up to five minutes as you fly across a on-rails segment not unlike Sin and Punishment. The controls are fairly simple, move Pit with the circle-pad and use the touch-screen to aim your weapon, in my case I chose a Bow and Arrow, that you fire using the L-Button. Now and then Pit an Palutena speak to eachother with the dialogue popping up on the lower screen, thankfully with voice-over so you don't lose your focus. It also gives you hints on how to fight certain enemies.

But after up to five minutes you land on ground and the main gameplay of Ground Mode starts. The controls here are fairly standard DS-FPS controls. Have you ever played Dementium for the Nintendo DS? Then you know the deal, although these controls did not feel as polished yed. Circle-Pad to move, double-tap to run and L-Button to shoot your bow. If you run and attack Pit will also do a dodge-roll before shooting, very useful in combat. The only thing that I felt was missing, was platforming. I'm not sure if this was just the stage I played or not, but there was no platforming to be seen what-so-ever, maybe there'll be a Zelda-style jump-on-edge thing in the final game for some platforming good, but that's something we'll have to wait and see about.

The game was fun and ran at mostly a decent framerate, a few slow-downs here and there but nothing major. The game is really pretty, almost as pretty as Resident Evil: Revelations, and the soundtrack sounds great so far, the art-style is something I also approve of. To put it short, Kid Icarus: Uprising looks to be shaping up nicely, but there's no telling yet whether or not it will actually make that final stretch from great concept to great game.

Level of Anticipation:
6/10 - Above Average

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