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E3 2011: Kid Icarus Uprising hands-on: has it been worth the wait?

Has it been worth the wait?

Kid Icarus Uprising hands-on preview Kid Icarus' transformation from forgotten man to new Nintendo hero is really starting to take shape, and with the development of Uprising in the hands of Project Sora head and Smash Bros. legend Masahiro Sakurai, it's certainly got pedigree.

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Visually, it's a delight. Each stage is split into (roughly) five minute chunks, the first of which unfolds as a Sin and Punishment-style on-rails shooter. The stylus handles aiming and the Circle Pad moves Pit around to dodge incoming fire.

Textures are detailed, the amount of enemies on screen is impressive and the backgrounds look fantastic. Nintendo has also added in constant dialogue between green haired siren Palutena and our hero Pit to keep up the sense that there's always plenty going on.

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The continual chit-chat is imbued with cheeky humour and some bizarre references; there was something about chicken being economical in the demo we played, and while it certainly won't be winning any Pulitzers, the banter is enjoyably bonkers.

There are some nice in-jokes too - when Palutena's explaining who enemies are and what exactly is going on, pixel art from the NES original will flash up on the touchscreen (with a pithy, enjoyably condescending remark) and Pit himself is in the habit of making knowing references to gaming terminology - 'is this a mini-boss?', he asks at one point.

Uprising is a proper videogame and it wears its colours with pride.

The aerial sections will be popular with classic shooter fans and the people who bought and loved Sin and Punishment 2 on the Wii, but question marks remain over the on-ground sequences. Controlling the camera with the stylus will require practice (You have to spin it around 'like a globe' says Palutena) and the bosses I encountered were tricky to fight without sufficient time and practice with the control system.

Also, it's not lefty-friendly. As a proud left handed man (The internet says there are more left-handed people with IQs over 140 than right-handed people therefore lefties are better), I found it really hard to use the stylus with my right hand and have Pit run around with the Circle Pad. Let's hope Mr Sakurai works in some alternative controls schemes to soothe those concerns before release.

Uprising looks spectacular, and it's about time that Nintendo got behind a new(ish) hero. With Sakurai at the helm we're confident that when Kid Icarus returns later this year, it'll be worth the wait.

Don't miss a thing from E3 2011: Check out the rest of our E3 2011 coverage here.


7 comments so far...
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  1. pokemanD Thursday 9th Jun 2011 at 22:14

    Damn, I thought it wouldn't be that hard to use the controls. :(

  2. JamieRIOT Friday 10th Jun 2011 at 10:21

    I just found a report from 1989 which is about when Mr Sakurai was imprisoned for spreading hatred on 'lefties'.... Ok, so that may not be true.
    Back on topic now. Initially when Kid Icarus Uprising was shown last year i was excited about Pit starring in a new game of his own, but i'm not too convinced how this one will end up now. My main gripe is that he uses a gun and not the traditional bow... Oh, and that god awful voice acting!

  3. Violet Friday 10th Jun 2011 at 11:04

    I would love to see people get behind this, its a proper game with a lot of stuff being thrown into it by the talented Smash Bros. developer. I'm sure he has time to come up with some alternate controls for lefties before release, too. Love to hear that the game has some in-jokes! Its been a long time since I played a Nintendo game that really broke the fourth wall, Super Paper Mario was the last one.

    Bosses being tricky isn't an issue for me... aren't they meant to be? Sounds like the controls just require an element of precision. I'm sure the game will be worth the learning curve, just like the old NES adventure.

    Its great to see a whole new (well, practically) Nintendo world being fleshed out in a big way.

    Oh, JamieRIOT, he still has his bow too. He seems to have a variety of weapons, they're not all guns.

  4. Karsch Friday 10th Jun 2011 at 13:20

    I bought the new Sin and Punishment a while back and found it extremely repetitive, and while it was undoubtedly fun, it was more like an expansive mini-game than anything else. The fact that this game has a kind of dual-aspect gameplay should make things a whole lot more interesting.

    And, having played Dragon Age, I've really warmed to the idea of conversations going on in the background during gameplay, especially when there's humour involved. (Morrigan and Alistair, I'm looking at you.)
    As far as voice acting is concerned, the sound of the voices itself isn't what matters to me, but rather how it's used.
    But even so, if Pit calls her "MADOOSA" every time, I may throw my 3DS against the wall.

    The game looks incredible so far, and it's definitely on my to-buy list. Needless to say, I am concerned about the camera controls, but being a righty I probably won't have too many problems.

    Hurry up and release this Sakurai, and move onto Super Smash Bros!

  5. WarioBros Friday 10th Jun 2011 at 17:58

    I'm planning on getting this, so I hope the controls are made south paw friendly.
    It's nice to see pit in an up-to-date game.

  6. LinkTTC Wednesday 3rd Aug 2011 at 19:48

    im hoping for a nuke.simply a nuke.wipe out everyone everywhere. :shock:

  7. rabbidlime Friday 20th Jan 2012 at 19:57

    YES <3 :D Hopefully slightly easier than the NES version :P

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