As a thank you for purchasing two Japanese 3DS games, Nintendo gave 3DS owners in Japan advance copies of 3D Classics: Kid Icarus. While this is far from a remake of the NES game, it’s more than a ROM with 3D filtering too. Arika updated the game with backgrounds.
Whether Pit was inside a dungeon or jumping on platforms outside, the original game had a solid black background. The most colorful thing in the environment was the checkerboard floor.
3D Classics: Kid Icarus updates the Famicom game with a stone wall in dungeons and plains or a volcano (with frozen lava) when you’re outside. The background extends beyond the screen and changes as Pit climbs up or runs to the right. Arika placed sprites on different layers so columns stick out of the background and Pit stands out in front of them. Neat, but not as dramatic as 3D Classics: Xevious where the added depth helps you see spots to bomb.
3D Classics: Kid Icarus is just as unforgiving as the original. Fall off a ledge and you have to restart a stage unless you have a feather with you. The first few stages are probably the toughest since Pit can only take a few hits and you don’t have any divine weapons like the sacred bow or fire arrows. Once you get those (by hiding in a corner shooting flying blocks) and a life bar upgrade, Kid Icarus becomes much easier.
Compared to the other 3D Classics titles, Arika put more effort into 3D Classics: Kid Icarus than, say, Excitebike. It will be interesting to see if Nintendo tries to refresh other NES games with the same strategy in the future.