Kid Icarus: Uprising Review


Project Sora




Nintendo 3DS


1-6 (Local & Online Multiplayer)



Release Date:

March 23, 2012


Third-person shooter

-Jovan St. Lawrence

The year was 1987. The NES was introduced to Kid Icarus, a 2D platformer with role-playing elements. It was really one of the few games ahead of its time. In 1991, the Kid Icarus sequel on the Game Boy, Of Myths & Monsters reunited us with the main protagonist, Pit. The game was also praised for its gameplay, music, and graphics. Pit also made an appearance as a character in Super Smash Bros. Brawl for the Wii in 2008 along with a revised stage for Skyworld. 20 years after Of Myths & Monsters was released, Kirby and Smash Bros. creator, Masahiro Sakurai takes on a new Kid Icarus game, generations ahead of its predecessors with Kid Icarus: Uprising.

Unlike the first two installments, Uprising is a 3D third-person shooter adventure for the 3DS. The plot of Uprising follows the angelic protagonist Pit fighting his way through different worlds and troops of the Underworld Army to ultimately face Medusa who seeks to use her troops to destroy mankind. The goddess of light, Palutena aids and assists Pit on his epic journey. Many enemies, allies, & surprises contribute to the plot as well. The dialogue between Palutena & Pit is very informative, clever and quite funny, especially if you get all the references and frequent breaking of the fourth wall. A few plot twists are present and make for an engaging story to follow and replay.

The gameplay is the real reason for purchasing Uprising. The control scheme is quite unorthodox, however. The game can be controlled either with the default controller and stylus or with the Circle Pad Pro. The default controls include using the stylus to aim your selected weapon and pressing the L button to fire and/or melee attack. The Circle Pad Pro peripheral is compatible and can be used for left-handed players. Each new copy of the game ships with a stand to hold the 3DS in place specifically to support the control scheme. Each of the game’s various chapters involve air and ground sections. The air sections are on-rail, arcade style shooting segments in which the player shoots flying Underworld troops while dodging enemy attacks and projectiles. Once on the ground, players have more control over Pit, performing fancy dodge moves while firing slightly more powerful projectile based attacks and melee attacks are included. As you progress throughout the story, you earn weapons such as bows, clubs, claws, cannons, blades and more used for both melee and projectile attacks. Different weapons have different stats and various powers have progressive levels to them. Choosing which weapon you desire to use in the story or multiplayer will determine how mobile you can be. Various weapons have weight properties added to them. Cannons are usually the heaviest, and claws are usually the lightest. You can also collect hearts from enemies you defeat. By collecting more hearts, you can bet these hearts to increase the “intensity” of a chapter, or increasing the difficulty. 

Along with the single player, the game also features multiplayer for up to six players both locally and via Wi-Fi. There are two modes, Free for All and Light vs. Dark. In the 3 vs 3 Light vs. Dark, each team has a health meter that depletes when a player is defeated. The player whose death depletes the meter, becomes the team’s angel, a more powerful character representing the whole team. The match ends when the other team’s angel is defeated. Just as in single player, weapons are crucial when deciding what to use. Being mobile is just as important as being effective in your attacks whether they be ranged or melee. Various achievements are attainable through the story and multiplayer. 

Kid Icarus: Uprising is a fantastic game full of superb action, great visuals, and art style. This also includes a brilliant original score that can match some of Nintendo’s most recent masterpieces in music such as the Super Mario Galaxy games, Zelda: Skyward Sword, & Xenoblade Chronicles. The control scheme does take some time getting used to, the screen can be a bit too busy during the air combat sections and the characters talk a bit too much sometimes. Although, Uprising has its flaws, you’ll be too busy having too much fun on one of the 3DS’ best games to notice.

The Pros:

  • Stunning 3D effects
  • Amazing world and enemy designs
  • Incredible music
  • Funny, witty, & useful dialogue
  • Satisfying combat
  • Scalable difficulty
  • Endless weapon variations
  • More than 100 achievements

The Cons:

  • Characters converse a bit too much for too long
  • Awkward controls may spoil the experience for those with little patience
  • Multiplayer has some framerate issues
  • Multiplayer combat can be a bit more chaotic and hectic than single player

Verdict: 80%

Kid Icarus: Uprising Launch Gameplay Trailer

Did you like this game or the original NES Kid Icarus more?