Kid Icarus: Uprising
Developed by Nintendo / Sora, release date: TBA
Demo time: 8 minutes
Estimated wait time: 30 minutes
If there were a "Demo of the Show" at Nintendo World 2011, Kid Icarus Uprising would certainly be mine. It was the demo that was clearly the furthest along in terms of both gameplay and graphics, while providing two different difficulty modes, easy and hard, for players to try. A long overdue sequel to the NES classic, Kid Icarus: Uprising “pits” Pit against a flurry of familiar enemies and bosses that fans of the original will appreciate.
Due to time limitations and lack of familiarity with the game before trying it, I chose easy mode. The two different difficulties came in the form of two separate chapters, Chapter 1 and Chapter 4. Chapter 1 begins with an on-rails aerial battle that Masahiro Sakurai, the game’s director, likened to Space Harrier during the game’s stage show at the same event. Using the touch screen and stylus to move the aiming reticule on the upper screen, Pit shoots enemies using the L Button. The Slide Pad moves Pit sideways as he dodges attacks from enemies. The aerial battle was short, but sufficient to demonstrate this portion of the Uprising.
The demo then moved onto a land battle segment. This time, we could move Pit around relatively freely, although for a third person adventure game, his movements are quite unusual in that he moves sideways. Slight stylus flicks on the touch screen turn the camera, so players can follow Pit’s movements. It sounds very confusing and indeed does take some getting used to. Aiming and shooting is the same as in the aerial battles, with the L button and targeting reticule. After taking down some enemies and progressing through the stage, I reached the final boss, Medusa, which was once again an aerial battle.
Kid Icarus: Uprising had splendid graphics. The game’s art direction is quite charming and fits the universe quite nicely, the framerate was stable and there was plenty of action going on at once. The 3D effect was impressive, but at the same time not too overwhelming or “in your face.” I could tolerate the 3D near the highest setting from the beginning of the demo. Enemies attack from a distance, which the 3D effect assists in helping the player perceive as the enemies charge or shoot at Pit. The game’s audio was also memorable, which is unusual for a technical demo given the convention hall’s noise level and lack of high quality headphones. There is plenty of dialogue going on in the background between Pit and Palthena (the namesake of the Japanese version, titled New Myth of Light: Palthena’s Mirror), who guides Pit through the mission by giving him advice and objectives.
The demo was short, and the controls may give people trouble at first, but players who are able to master the controls will appreciate the game’s consistent action, imaginative graphics, and well-implemented 3D visuals.