Kid Icarus Uprising

Date Completed: September 19th, 2012
(International Talk like a Pirate day, ARRR!!!)

In a time not long ago when the 3DS didn’t have any games available except for 3rd party crapware Kid Icarus Uprising was announced for the 3DS.  I suppose I bought into the early hype for the title and while I’ve never been a Kid Icarus fan in the past I found myself believing that Kid Icarus was going to be the game that made buying a 3DS worth the money.

When launch time came closer a 3D remake of the original Kid Icarus was made available as a pre-order bonus and when I discovered that the game came with a 3DS stand I knew I would have to buy it.  I love peripherals.  I’m that guy.

Kid Icarus is a great game with a few major design flaws.  Each level has an aerial portion and a land portion that is played on foot.  The aerial portion is played on rails and is quite fun but it’s a bit too simple to make an entire game on it’s own.  The land portion of the game takes up the majority of the time and it is awful.  Your character (Pit) is controlled with a combination of the stylus, the analog pad and the left shoulder button.  If you are burdened with a normal human hand you may already suspect there is no way to comfortably use these controls together.  For that reason Kid Icarus comes with a stand peripheral to make the experience more possible.

If only we had these things built into our hands.

I found that the stand did help a little bit but the only way to use it effectively is to place it on a table top which sort of defeats the purpose of a portable console.  I played most of the game while sitting on a couch and there was no good way to use the stand.  I did find that the stand makes a really good iPhone stand when sitting at my desk at work so the peripheral is not a complete waste.  I just don’t see myself using it for gaming.

My quest for comfort didn’t end with the stand.  I read up on the Internet and I found that the Circle Pad Pro attachment is compatible with this game.  I finally managed to find a used one for below retail price on eBay.  Sadly I learned that while the Circle Pad Pro does work with Icarus but it only allows you to subject your right hand to the same mistreatment as your left.  If Nintendo had released the 3DS with a built-in second analog this wouldn’t be a problem.  Alas, it looks like we’ll have to wait for the 4DS.

The game has high production values, high quality graphics, an extensive amount of content and an entertainingly cheesy script with lots of fan service.  Missions run anywhere from 15-40 minutes long but there is no way to save progress mid-stage.  Since missions took so long I frequently had issues with the 3DS battery running out mid-stage.  I also would frequently be unable to finish a stage in a single sitting so I’d have to pause the game and suspend the 3DS until I could get back to it.

This game looks great in 3D.

There is a TON of extra content outside of the main game.  Weapons can be purchased, sold, fused and equipped.  There is a trophy board for hundreds of achievements.  There are physical augmented reality cards that can be collected, scanned and imported as idols (which can then be viewed in 3D).  Steetpass mode allows you to exchange weapons with other 3DS owners you pass close enough to (I picked up my best weapons from the Wii U Event).

Augmented Reality!

The game is fun, has high production values and lots of extra content.  The poor control scheme for the on-foot portions of the game keep it from being great.  I think it would have made a better Wii U launch title.


  • High quality graphics.
  • Entertaining story / script.
  • Lots of extra content.


  • Controls designed to destroy your hands.
  • Missions are too long with no mid-point saving.
  • Circle Pad Control support is for lefties only.
Is it fun: Yes
Score: 5/10
Length:  ~13 hours
System: Nintendo 3DS
Genre: Action

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