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Kid Icarus: Uprising

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Posted

First off, this is gonna be a spoiler-free review, anything even remotely related to anything whatsoever will be spoiler-tagged, as well as any minor digressions I have in the middle (although those will be marked as such) also, at the moment, I have not beaten the game. this is a sort of late write-as-I-go concept (late because whenever I thought of writing this, I'd just wind up playing the game more)

quickie about Pit's history:

Despite being called an angel, he's heavily based in Greek mythology, mostly (obviously) on Icarus, with side bits of Eros and Perseus. Uprising is the third game in the series, the firstbeing on the famicom/NES 25 years ago, where he fought Medusa (there's the Perseus, guys. also, remember that number.) and the secondbeing on the Gameboy (as in, black and white)

basically, he was AWOL until super smash brothers: brawl.

alright, let's get started.

after you fire up your file, you've got some sub-menus:

Solo—story mode, I’ll get to that later.

Together—pvp, I haven’t done that yet, so I cant say anything there

Streetpass—more on this later, too.

Vault—records and such.

Options—self-explanatory

AR—this is where you use the cards that come with the game

How to play—tutorial videos, all voiced. If you wanna see a side-by-side comparison of difficulties, they’ve included a nice one of those here. Not much to say otherwise.

Solo mode:

Most of what I’m gonna talk about here is the controls and general gameplay, little tidbits, etc. First of all, if you haven’t played the original kid icarus games, I’d recommend getting a NES emulator and playing some of the first one. You don’t have to get very far, but a few levels of it will make the 3ds game that much better. Nintendo is painfully aware just how long Pit has gone between games, and has taken this fact and used it to their advantage.

So first off, there's three save files, which is great for when your friends wanna play your file on difficulties they really shouldn’t, but the files themselves are tied in to your miis. Im not too fond of that, but im not fond of miis in the first place, so whatever. Nothing I can really do about it.

As far as differences between games go…..the old games are almost completely unrelated to the new, as far as gameplay and controls. The NES game revolved around jumping, in a sort of side-scrolling vertical game, like the vertical-scrolling stages in super smash brothers. Uprising's view and action is something akin to starfox during the flying parts, and Zelda during the ground parts, if links only weapon was a bow with slight homing abilities. Not to mention, Pit can't jump. not in most scenarios, at least. The enemies are completely native to the kid icarus games. They've retained their original appearances and general behavior, and the 3ds game will actually supply you with tips and tidbits that help on the NES game. Palutena tends to fill you in on how (some) enemies behave, what to watch out for (although by the time that’s mentioned, it’s pretty obvious what you’re supposed to do and dodge) and sometimes the differences between the games. Moreover, these explanations are triggered, depending on where in the level you are, and if all the area-specific text has been said or not.

That’s visually, though. The actual controls are the L button, control stick, and touch screen, with a slight sprinkling of the D-pad. Stick to move, L to fire, touch screen to aim, and D-pad is for special abilities. (Admittedly, I’m a bit worried that this game might do to my L button what the megaman battle network games did to my GBA-SPs R button….that is, totally wreck it. But it did take 4 or 5 of those games to trash the R button, so it’s probably not going to be an issue)

I had some issues with the controls at first, not just because my 3ds is devoid of a touch-screen protector, but because they didn’t work quite like I wanted them to. I was constantly picking up my stylus to move the cursor further (like a computer mouse with only an inch of operating space, or the sensitivity turned down), and it was only worse during the land battles.

See, the battles are always broken into two parts, a flight battle and a land battle, and the controls and weapon responsiveness vary slightly between the two. But the biggest difference between them is the way the touch screen works. In the aerial battles, you’re on a guided flight path, and the cursor moves as you would expect it, in a very screen-matching-screen fashion. The land battles, though, involve 360-degree action, and the stylus also has to control your view, and so acts, as Pit puts it, “like spinning a globe”—a globe with a lot of friction in the axel, maybe (a spin won’t send your view spiraling in a nauseating circle, as it stops very quickly). This is where the controls broke down for me, in that I had to pick up the stylus repeatedly to turn the view, and the picking-up motion resulted in a lot of overshooting the target—using the globe metaphor, it’d be like giving it a spin, and then not stopping it—it drifts a bit too far, quickly.

Luckily, this is fixed entirely by going into the options menu and jacking the sensitivity to max. I can’t spin the view in a 360 by sliding the stylus from one side of the screen to the other, but it makes the screens correlate better so that aiming is almost exactly like the aerial battles.

Note: despite all this whining and nitpicking, this game is one of the few with really freaking good touch-screen-based controls. the others are the LoZ DS games and The World Ends With You. and unlike those two, you get to see all the beautiful action, and have none of it covered by your hand/stylus combo. and the action, indeed, is beautiful.

One thing that really sticks out to me in this game is the length of the cutscenes. I’m talking 15-20 seconds, which is mostly Pit running into the boss battle. That is to say, the entire level is voiced. the action takes place on the top screen, the characters appear on the bottom (as does the text, by default, although you can switch this to the top screen if you like) with various expressions and such. The cutscenes are, of course, also voiced, and even come with matching CGI lipflaps. In my opinion, you need to play this game with headphones. Need. This isn’t a “you can’t read the text” type of need, this is a “it’s just better and very worth it” type of need. (Heck, I turned off the text completely, so that I had a better view of the characters on the bottom screen.)

(If hearing the back and forth of the characters is going to annoy you when redoing levels, you can just kill the voices in the options menu)

Also, during several of the opening battles of the levels, Pit and Palutena will talk a bit about the boss of the level, and show their original NES form on the touch screen. This has happened with a couple enemies as well, almost to point out “hey, this is what they used to look like, and LOOK AT THE LOVE WE GAVE THEM”

One boss in particular, they showed his old sprite, and then almost as soon as it was off the touch screen, said “speak of the devil”, and then the boss made his leisurely way across the screen in the distance.

Solo mode has several difficulties, set at 2/9 on default, or whatever you ran last (eg, if you ran level 1 on difficulty 9, then selecting level 6 will cause it to have the slider set to 9. You can adjust it, of course, but that’s just where it’s sitting when you get to that screen). Running on higher difficulties will result in better weapons, more weapons in chests, better powers, and the ability to access certain difficulty-dependant doors, which are tucked away in each level. On top of that, you get more hearts, which, sadly, do not increase or restore health, but act as money in the game (another thing retained from the NES) however, increasing the difficulty involves betting hearts, and if you die, some of them “spill out” and the difficulty drops a level. While I understand the losing hearts bit, I have mixed feelings about the difficulty change, as sometimes you’re just a hair away from beating the level, and don’t need the drop, and other times you really are in over your head and really do need the change—but it still forces the drop, regardless. btw, you can run the level below 2, but it costs hearts, and really, when the background picture for level 1 is this.....i mean......really.

Within solo mode are MORE sub-menus.

practice range--where you can try out whatever weapon you have equipped in aerial and land battles, although the land battle consists of a single derpy enemy in the middle of a set of distance rings—useful for testing out range, but not for how well you can handle it when dodging and attacking several enemies of different kinds. The practice aerial battle is groups of enemies moving horizontally across the screen at different distances, without any attacks to worry about.

Treasure hunt is a grid similar to kirby’s air ride or super smash brothers in that it has different achievements that occupy each square. A decent portion of them you’ll get by just playing the game, so it’s not some list of obscene tasks, although some of them are decent enough challenges or errands to give yourself something different to do.

Arms Altar—here you fuse and buy weapons, or convert the weapons you don’t need to hearts. When it comes to weapons in this game….you won’t be let down. There are seven types of weapons in the game, with a decent enough number of weapons in each category. On top of that, certain weapons are unlocked (quietly) after taking down certain levels .

The quietly unlocked weapons are themed after the bosses, as in, they share a name, but other than that, not too much similarity, as far as I’ve been able to tell. There are also some weapons hidden in certain levels, protected by difficulty doors.

I've got a few issues with the weapons--it doesn’t track weapons you’ve gotten whenever:theres no pokedex of weapons, even if only the base version with a picture—nor can you pay to bring back a fused weapon, devil survivor-style. The store to buy weapons at costs an arm and a leg as well, so that by the time you’ve run enough levels at higher difficulties, you’ve picked up better weapons than are actually in your price range. And that’s even with the store's weapon selection changing after every run through a level. Not every new level, but every run-through. there's also an option to sort weapons by "strength", but I can't find a strength stat per say. And given that each type of weapon has a boost or reduction in melee/range based on type, a quantifiable stat is something I'd rather like to have, instead of order just by stars.

However, the weapons have so much variation between subtypes that it makes up for everything else, mostly. Each weapon has up to six stars each in two stats—ranged and melee. They also have up to six bonus modifiers attached that can increase or decrease a weapon’s abilities, side effects, defense and the like. Add on that each class of weapon has a different attack style, range, and projectile behavior (straight, homing, affected by gravity…), and then each subclass has a slight variation within that (eg, differing appearance in projectile, charged shots doing weird things, etc) and there is a lot of elbow room for finding something to suit your taste.

Fusing weapons seems semi-random in what the new weapon will be—sometimes it’ll have more stars than its parents, sometimes less, sometimes roughly the same, and the modifiers it gets as well are subject to the games whims. That’s not to say they’re randomly generated, though. No matter how many times you re-select that fusion combo, you’re not gonna get that +2 modifier to replace the +1 modifier that the game decided your weapon is going to inherit.

I forgot to mention a key part involving the levels. It’s probably obvious by now, but each level can be run over and over and over again, on whatever difficulty you would like. And I do recommend running them again, you get different dialog sometimes, or find another location, or other achievements or loot. And practice. That’s always nice to have.

One boss, in particular, will give different dialog in rounds 2 and 3 depending on how you defeat him during round 1 in the level.

move out--level select. 'nuff said.

idol toss--remember the super smash brothers game where you spent coins in a lottery-style minigame to get trophies? same thing, but with a touch screen gag added. you can, however, break the eggs. dunno why, dunno what it does if you smash a lot, i just know i broke the first one. (i thought you were supposed to just chuck them and the idols would fall out, okay?)

Streetpass

here you can turn a weapon you got into something called a weapon gem, which is then passed to any other players with Uprising in their 3ds and streetpass-enabled. likewise, you get any weapon gems that they have up for grabs. theres a catch though. the weapons stay in gem form (read: totally unusable) unless you pay hearts to get them unstuck. you can also fuse two gems together, but that also costs hearts. I've also gotten a few off of spotpass, so even if you have no friends to streetpass with, it looks like they have a randomly generated spotpass entity you can pick stuff up from....though she doesnt have the greatest stuff up for grabs, either.

digression:

atm, theres three people with this game on campus, including me.....my average play difficulty is 6, the other two dudes have an average around 4. needless to say, the weapons I'm handing out have a couple more stars than the ones ive picked up. like, 2.5 more stars. just a heads-up for players that tend to run things higher than their friends, you're gonna feel a bit ripped off there.

Vault

you can toss eggs for idols here, too, but that doesnt matter much. theres also music, idol-viewing, and records.

the records are basically every embarrassing thing you've screwed up in the game, as well as the things to brag about. number of weapons collected, deaths, average difficulty, play time, standard things, and some not-so-standard things, which you can go find out for yourself.

another noteworthy thing here is the power portrait--its like the puzzle pieces in the 3ds streetpass in design--squares that you unlock to form a picture....except that each square is a different power in the game.

there are sixty squares.

the last bit in the vault is the ability to offer hearts to the lady Palutena. I have no idea what this does. the game itself says it will do nothing. I don't really buy that. (to be honest, I'm thinking of obtaining every weapon from now on in loot form, and pouring hearts en masse to Palutena, just to see what happens)

general comments about the little stuff:

the audio is just bloody great, its mostly orchestrated, but every now and then will throw in an NES-style jingle for nostalgia's sake. (not the whole BGM, but just tidbits here and there)

general plot comment (nothing specific, but it's still plot, here)

I haven't gotten very far in the game, but already some of the enemies have made comments about Pit/Palutena/Humanity that's just straight-up dark. Stuff that kainda blindsided me when compared to the happy happy look and act the game puts on. I mean, it's little stuff, things that wouldn't even register for any kids playing it, but for an older person, you're gonna stop and go "did they just.....? crap, they've really got a point there" I don't know if it'll become something big late-game, but it's something I've enjoyed, that Pit sees things in black and white, while the game makes it obvious that his actions are very, very grey.

Overall/tl;dr

revyes_1.jpg

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Posted

Got this game yesterday. Fell in love with it.

I just love the dialog between Pit and Palutena.

"G-FORCE IN MY FAAAAAAAAAACE!"

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Posted

you should spotpass with me, i can get you some p good swag ;D

p sure you can spotpass with this, at least. ive gotten some stuff from an NPC via spotpass.

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Posted

But I don't think you can spotpass with other people. You can only use streetpass for that.

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>>function is named streetpass

>>thinks spotpass is an option

curse those obvious correlations between names and functions!

(really, how did i not see that ;n;)

guess were just gonna have to meet up irl..... :>

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Posted

I just beat the game, and I have to say, wow. Not many games can surprise me as many times as this game did.

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I've got a few issues with the weapons--it doesn’t track weapons you’ve gotten whenever:theres no pokedex of weapons, even if only the base version with a picture—nor can you pay to bring back a fused weapon, devil survivor-style. The store to buy weapons at costs an arm and a leg as well, so that by the time you’ve run enough levels at higher difficulties, you’ve picked up better weapons than are actually in your price range. And that’s even with the store's weapon selection changing after every run through a level. Not every new level, but every run-through. there's also an option to sort weapons by "strength", but I can't find a strength stat per say. And given that each type of weapon has a boost or reduction in melee/range based on type, a quantifiable stat is something I'd rather like to have, instead of order just by stars.

If I can say a few things to this.

  • While it isn't a proper pokedex of weapons, which I think the game could have used, the idols for each weapon function sort of similarly
  • I disagree with you about the store thing. About halfway through the game, I managed to pick up an on sale EZ Cannon with a value of 330. It had a Defense +6 modifier. It was awesome. Even after I've beaten the game, I still haven't come up with anything better.
  • As far as I can tell, the weapon's value functions as its strength stat.

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Posted

ive picked up weapons with +5 or +6 modifiers from levels a few times now, actually. ive been screwing with the fusion, too, mostly how the modifiers are inherited. from what i can tell, to get a good modifier to pass on, youre gonna need a reeeeeeeeeeeally good weapon--either something with a high-number modifier, or a lot of stars. and fusing two low-star weapons with good modifiers will gain stars, but drop the higher modifiers.

basically ive been doing a lot of nitpicky fusion and 7+ difficulty attempts :/ tis why im being so slow to get through story mode--competition on campus with a guy whos difficulty is sliiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiightly better than my own (7.something vs my 6.4)

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The best way that I've found to work with the fusion is to only fuse weapons that have similar values. The best way to do this is to sort all the weapons by strength and the best fusions will usually be close to the diagonal line through the grid.

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you also seem to have better odds on getting a certain modifier if both weapons going in have that modifier. it also likes to choose the lower modifier, but not always.

couple things i noticed recently:

1) drag the menu options around a bit. its fun.

2) i was playing the thanatos level for the i-dont-know-how-many-th time, and pit had some different dialog. he actually imitated thanatos just before the fight (the line about fisticuffing) and roughtly mid-level, there was a dialog with pit and palutena about the monsters (i dont remember the exact word, but it started with "the monsters sure are ____ today")

im wondering if dialog gets added after youve cleared a level so many times, for certain difficulties, or post-game, as i cleared that one at >7 difficulty, and after beating the whole game. still working on puzzle completion, though.

also, i fused a weapon with 6 stars in BOTH melee and ranged. sacrificed a +6 health modifier because it was just such a juicy option.

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got some more random dialog, and a bald joke i had been getting in the thanatos level i got in the dark pit level. i was also doing a speed run, so the difficulty was much lower than i like to play at. this thing is running on patterns i cant really figure out.

also, bit of a spoiler, but it reminded me of some other stuff.

1337968361179.png

010_G.jpg

"KAZUMAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAA"

"RYOUHOUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUU"

*edit*

whats everyones average difficulty according to the game? im sitting on a 6.4 for average, and 6.5 for average cleared. also, the highest modifier ive seen on a weapon is +8.

and im being a complete ass to the people im streetpassing with, as im handing out red weapon gems, and then checking what i got only to find their average play is around a 3 or 4. hell, ive got red gems from a guy on campus still sitting around.

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