Typical isn’t it? You wait forever for more Kid Icarus and then two turn up in the same year.
They’ll be a fair few of you eagerly anticipating Pit’s return in Kid Icarus Uprising, and rightly so, but is the 3D Classics re-release of the 1986 Kid Icarus a worthwhile investment whilst you wait? In short, yes it is, but it doesn’t half make you think otherwise at times.
The game, by today’s standards, is quite poorly designed, especially for a Nintendo game. In 1986, not being able to scroll in four directions on the screen may not have been an issue, but in 2012 it feels very archaic. Add to that, enemies that can appear from underneath you, whereas ducking on some platforms can see you falling into the abyss and you have some cheap deaths, which causes moments of utter frustration.
However, there is still a lot to like about Pit’s debut. This new 3D version looks lovely, the 3D is subtle but adds a lot to how the game manages to hide its age. The music also remains to be catchy, and will easily get stuck in your head long after you close the lid on your Nintendo 3DS.
Now, on to the gameplay. Players control Pit who must rid Angel Land of the monsters and restore peace to the land. Pit is given a bow with unlimited arrows, with more weapons becoming available later in the game, and enemies will leave behind small hearts that can be exchanged in shops for upgrades to Pit’s health and weapons for instance. The early part of the game is pretty hard, so maybe a bit of time grinding on the enemies is in order to grant yourself a bigger health meter.
Incidentally, I still have to wonder why Nintendo decided to front-load the game with the more difficult levels, as from 2-1 onwards the game really starts to shine. Later levels even make the change from vertical platforming to the classic side-scrolling shooting.
I would have loved to see some of the improvements from the Game Boy sequel “Of Myths and Monsters” applied to this remake, such as being able to hover with your wings or to have the levels scroll in four directions, but I guess I’ll just have to download the Virtual Console release in the future for that.
This is easily the best of 3D Classics range, but at the same time not improving the game any further beyond a purely visual aesthetic seems odd, making this remake feel a little cheap.
Frustrations aside, 3D Classics Kid Icarus should be played by all at least once, and with Pit set to land in Nintendo 3DS cart slots in late March, it really is the perfect excuse to see what Angel Land has to offer.
Version Tested: Nintendo 3DS
Review copy provided by Nintendo