VGM – Kid Icarus: Uprising (Dark Pit theme)


Well people it’s time for another look into the more audio aspects of the video game culture and yes it’s another Boss Theme – technically. Now as we all know Kid Icarus: Uprising is an awesome game for just existing, but its natural goodness is magnified by its stellar soundtrack. Again I could have picked anyone of the game’s soundtrack and it would’ve have been gold. However at the end of the day I’ve chosen the Dark Pit Theme, because it surprised me with the instruments they used and made something epic. Composed by Motoi Sakuraba this little ditty herald the coming of Pit’s mirrored double: Dark Pit (or Pittwo to his friends). With the use of Spanish guitar, drums, bells, symbols, and horns this theme is not only full of its own natural energy, but its own uniqueness from any other boss theme out there. I dare you all to pick five boss themes from resent games and then play this one. They all have that intense cord of action that inspire players to do battle with an opponent; but only Dark Pit’s theme truly stands out.




E3 Aftermath / My picks of the show – Heroes of Ruin


Now people be honest, we all love Kid Icarus: Uprising; we love the characters, the story, the many different weapons and abilities, and the multiplayer. But its been a couple of months now and even the most dedicated fan boy needs a change of pace every now and again. Fortunately in only a few weeks’ time a rather interesting title from SquareEnix and N Space for the 3DS goes live. It’s called Heroes of Ruin. Basically players take on the role of one of four mercenaries: a beast swordsman, a gunslinger, a mage, and a savage brawler. Their mission is to save the dying leader of a country from a mysterious curse; but knowing SquareEnix as well as I do I’m sure this will all lead to a chain of events that will affect the entire planet. Now despite only having four classes to choose from player can customize their fighting style, armor, and weapons to their liking. Also the world of Heroes of Ruin is quite large and expansive; literary everyday a player can find a challenge out there in the world for your character to overcome. Finally why play alone when anytime to can join a game with fellow players you know or online with anyone – easy as pie. So yeah this game sounds a little like Diablo III, but who cares; the one downside to D III is that you can’t take it with you on the road (and easily play). Now thanks to Heroes of Ruin that dungeon crawling itch that most gamers get on long road trips will be a thing of the past – like calamine lotion for the soul.




Character Quotes – All the cast of Kid Icarus Uprising

“G Force, IN MY FACE!!!!” – Pit

 “Maybe because of my slightly botched laser eye surgery.” – Palutena

 “No doy.” – Pandora

I know, I know I talked about this already in my game review of Kid Icarus Uprising, but the more I’ve play this game the more awesome this feature of the game becomes. Almost each and every thing that comes out of the characters mouths are instance classic quotes. I’m not kidding; they could easily added garbage, generic dialogue throughout the entire game with only few good lines. Instead these characters speak their minds about the situation they’re in, use comedy like pros, reference their current game with the original one 27 years ago, and all the while doing it without going too far or being annoying. In fact the only thing that could a problem this that the lines are middle of the action of the game – it’s hard to take out the Great Reaper when you’re doubled over laughing at another Palutena zinger. Anyhow, if you haven’t done so before: Go. Buy. NOW!




Game Review: Kid Icarus Uprising – Too big to fail



Ah yes I remember when the Nintendo 3DS premiered at E3 a couple of years ago, the ones you saw it there thought it was the best thing ever especially after playing Kid Icarus: Uprising. In fact many people pre-ordered the 3DS just to play Uprising at launch. Well sadly the game didn’t make it at launch nor did it make for the holiday season last year, leaving the handheld to gather steam on its own (and it did according to me). Finally, however, Kid Icarus: Uprising is out and available to all now. So the question is: is the game all that or just E3 fluff that should go back into hiding.




Game Info



Kid Icarus: Uprising is actually the latest sequel to the original Nintendo Entertainment System game Kid Icarus; where the main character, who is not named Icarus (or ‘Kid’ for that matter) but rather Pit. He serves the goddess of light Palutena, keeping order in Angel Land and protecting humans from Medusa the dark goddess of the underworld and her monster horde. At the end of the first game Medusa was put down, but only 27 years later she returns swearing vengeance against all of Angel Land. So once again, guided by Palutena, Pit goes into the breach and faces down the underworld. And that’s it on the story front; it may seem a little light but trust me they make up for it in other ways.


This game is a part rail flight combat, part third person shooter in which the controls are highly customizable to individual players (from movement to targeting and so forth). In combat Pit can attack at range or melee depending on distance (of course) and the type of weapon he wields. That’s right; players can equip Pit with nine different weapons this time around each with their own strengths and weaknesses. Also goddess Palutena grants Pit various powers to make his mission easier, but he must equip them to use them and since there not a lot of pockets in his tunic players must pick and choose which powers would help them best. I mean a huge death beam is nice but healing is just plain smart. Outside of saving the day and cracking skulls players do battle with the demonic forces for hearts… Serious, hearts. Don’t worry it isn’t anything touchy-feeling, no; hearts in Uprising is cold, hard, cash, and have many different uses within the game. And of course the Nintendo fanboys (in which I am a lifelong card carrying member) would have a serious cow if multiplayer didn’t make it into the game (seeing how it was a major selling point at the beginning). It only comes with two modes, team and free for all, but playing multiplayer can net you special weapons, abilities and extra hearts for your use in single player.



The Goods



Action: Now people don’t get me wrong I like the modernization of video games; how they tell a story, how they make us as players identify with the characters we play and interact with, and so forth. The one thing that more and more current games seem to lack is constant action (meaning from a start of a level to its end is nothing but putting down enemies). It’s not exactly as bad when games like Mass Effect or Gears do it correctly, but too many games follow the formula of:


  • A little action
  • A long cut scene
  • Repeat til boss cut scene
  • Fight boss
  • Long aftermath cut scene


This formula can be so plotting it’s like watching a movie (a very slow paced movie) where all you want to do get down with your bad self. Uprising doesn’t do that; oh sure they have their unique way of filling in exposition (more on that next) and make use of cut scenes as well, but their cut scene are no long than ten seconds long. Everything else it straight, unhalted action and combat – it’s like playing a small arcade game right in the palm of my hand. What more, the action can be ramped up or down by the power of heart(s). See in addition to using your hearts to buy things, you can also use them to ‘gamble’ in stage difficulty. The harder the stage the better the hearts you earn, weapons you find, and treasure you collect. However if you lose your life, you lose your hearts (which seems backwards) you betted on. Consequently players will have to pay hearts to take the stages to its easiest level as well. So yeah Nintendo well done.



Single player Characters and Voice overs: By all that is good I love these characters! You wouldn’t think an over 20 year old cast would be interesting, but they are – and surprisingly Meta. While Palutena & Pit stay on task defeating the evil forces of Medusa; their off topic conversations and hi·jinks throughout the stages range from hilarious to heartfelt. Who would have thought an angel and a goddess could be so down to earth. Often they compare the standard gaming conventions (slyly might I add) in relation to their opponents, obstacles, and even the first game. The other characters are also just as unique in their personalities whether they’re allies or enemies of Pit. After all it’s one thing to have a three-headed hydra attack Pit just for the sake of being evil; it’s another thing entirely to have that same hydra have three different personalities (a brute, genius, and stoic respectively) depending on the head who’s talking – and they hate each other as much as they hate pit. Awesome.



Multiplayer: Yes people you can relax, multiplayer is pretty good. Like I said before there is only two modes: Team battle (Light vs. Dark) or Free for all. Basically in these two modes players take on ‘Fighter’ forms and use the weapons and abilities from the single player to beat the crap out of your opponents. Each stage has their own little quarks to them as well as interesting temporarily weapons that’ll make someone’s day unpleasant. In LvD however if you beat the life bar out of the enemy team; one player from that team will spawn as a ‘pit angel’. Pit angels are powerful and have twice the heath as a fighter does, but if they go down the team loses and its game over. Admittedly the multiplayer still uses the Nintendo friend codes to a certain agree, but if you have a wireless internet connection you can play against one in the world for five minutes. And trust me, you can dish out a lot of pain in that short amount of time.



3D Graphics: Do I really have to say anything about the graphic superiority of the 3D graphics of this game? Ok I’ll say this: remember how I said that it was impressive that the 3rd party game Tales of the Abyss 3DS used the 3D in a creditable way. Well I still stand by that statement, but there is a reason why Nintendo games are some best games in the business. Uprising is the best looking, most colorful, handheld game to date; I dare you to play this game and call me a liar.



The Bad



Controls: Even this they tried, they gave players all sorts of options to control Pit and his targeting reticular. D-Pad, thumb pad, touch screen, heck even the ABXY buttons can be co-opted; but at the end of the day the controls are still a sore spot. The 3DS control scheme manipulated in the they need is awkward at best; they know this and even included a desk stand for stability, but for a handheld that doesn’t make sense. If I go to the bank for example and I wanted to play Uprising I don’t want to whip out a plastic stand just to play it – I would look like a dork. The killing part is that it wouldn’t be so bad if they added a target lock function to the controls and not be just a power to active (and find might I add) – very lame Nintendo. As it stands the learning curve on the controls is very high and almost brought the score down I’m sorry to say, but you can’t keep a good game down.




Since the release of the Nintendo 3DS, which is a year old now, there have been games that properly show off the goods of the system but none I would call an icon title for the system (outside the Mario clone games out there). Well no more, Kid Icarus: Uprising will now and forever be synonymous with the 3DS as the very face of its lifecycle – it’s that good. Difficult controls aside the game has enough under the hood to keep 3DS owners entertained for a very long time. Go. Buy. NOW!

Yes people the AR cards return...



And they fight now, watch out Yu-Gi-Oh, Palutena is coming for you.




Games & Gear of 2012 Reloaded – Kid Icarus: Uprising (3/23/12)


Hey, hey, hey people, just when I typed saying the list was done, they pull me back in. Thanks to release dates, the Game & Gear list of 2012 is back on and reloaded. Sadly its only for a few games, at least it’s a step in the right direction, and with that Kid Icarus: Uprising. Now the closest thing I’ve played of anything dealing with the Kid Icarus series is SSB:B. However the constant trailers I’ve seen on this game has got me excited to be newest member of the Kid coalition. Utilizing the full 3D technology of the Nintendo 3DS is only the beginning for this game. Uprising will feature both intense flight combat and 3rd person shooting elements, different interchangeable weapons, and even wireless multiplayer with created characters. Add to the mix an engaging storyline equal to any home console game and, for pre order gamers, the original Kid Icarus game and you got yourself a deal and a half. This game was the reason so many people wanted the 3DS in the first place; now that it’s only a few months a way it would be foolish to miss out on it now.





Armada’s E3 picks – Kid Icarus Uprising

Last E3 my mind was blown when they announced the Nintendo 3DS to the world; a console with the capability to play games in 3D without the need of special glasses. The titles they showed were impressive but there was only one I wanted more than the others: Kid Icarus. When they showed that video at the end I was reminded why Nintendo rules the video game world. One year later the 3DS launches and is doing well, its online functions are up and running, but still no Kid Icarus. But hey it can’t be too much longer right? And when it showcased once again at E3 this year, it reviled a multiplayer mode that only makes me want the game all the more (you can become a battle angel, who wouldn’t want that).  Fortunately more 3DS games are coming out every day to make the wait more bearable, but like last year Kid Icarus Uprising is the one  I, and many others, are waiting for.





Tomorrow’s Pick: I swear BioWare, if you make us wait one more year…