Kid Icarus: Flaccid Uprising

This game is going to flop, and it’s your fault. Nintendo knows Kid Icarus: Uprising will be a tough sell, and they’ve already started a heavy advertising campaign for the game – spanning several trailers, 8 page magazine articles, hundreds of screenshots, and multiple Twitter accounts. It took the spotlight in the recent Nintendo Direct, with lengthy coverage explaining all the games features in great detail, and recently featured in Iwata Asks. There’s even going to be a special tournament event across America before the game launches, and it’s taking center stage at every event Nintendo shows up to. Why is it so important this game does well? The team developing Kid Icarus: Uprising have put the new Super Smash Bros. on hold to make this – that’s why.

Sora are pouring their heart and soul into every aspect of this game. Originally speculated as a launch game for 3DS, it’s now been over a year since the systems launch and Kid Icarus: Uprising is finally ready. It’s got an arse load of stages, a STUPID amount of custom weapons and items, and every mode under the sun including online multiplayer, StreetPass and AR Card functionality. It even comes with a stand, just in case you feel slightly uncomfortable while playing it over long sessions. They have every angle covered, so why is this a recipe for disaster? What’s wrong with the game, if it’s going to be so awesome?

It takes effort to play. Sin & Punishment could have twenty million levels, and still sell the same amount of copies because the target audience is so small. Nobody is interested – the genre is intimidating. Shooting, moving, action, that’s what people love right? 20 million people bought Modern Warfare! Well this game couldn’t be more different; Modern Warfare plays itself, and treats the player like an idiot with its guided tours disguised as levels, text popups all over the screen, and aids for everything under the sun. You don’t even have to aim. Kid Icarus asks YOU to move, shoot, dodge. You can’t watch it, if you just stand there you won’t see anything awesome happen.

The market for games like this is dwindling. Skyward Sword barely even made a dent in gamers wallets last year, people hated the fact they had to interact with it. When a Zelda game comes out, and barely wins any GOTY awards or cracks the top 10 in sales charts, something is wrong. Skyward Sword is no more intimidating than classic games like the first Legend of Zelda – the problem is how gamers these days are being trained. Why should we have to control “movement” and “accuracy”, when we can just press X at the right time and watch the game do everything for us? Games are smart now! Lengthy tutorials, cutscene-heavy sequences and guided experiences are becoming the norm. The western gaming media is fueling this and rewarding developers who tick all these boxes to get good reviews, and that’s why it’s become a trend. To be fair, shoot-em-ups never really had much success in any time period of gaming, but this game could be a golden opportunity to shine some light on the whole genre and get it into the public eye.

Kid Icarus: Uprising’s biggest strength is also it’s biggest weakness – it could be too much of a videogame for its own good. It pulls the “fear” strings of a new-age gamer, who demands instant satisfaction for doing nothing. I think the best hope this game has is the Mario Kart / Super Smash Bros. crowd, in the same way people took to Goldeneye 64. The new multiplayer aspect of Kid Icarus could be the key. If Nintendo can succeed in putting this game in peoples hands, I’d consider it not just a relief for Nintendo, but a boost for the gaming industry as a whole. It will open up new thought patterns and introduce a lot more games to people’s radars if this style of play becomes more “familiar”. More importantly, it will show developers how much good content and gameplay matters.

How much DOES it matter? Are you buying Kid Icarus: Uprising? Who’s CRAZY enough to risk cramping their hands?

21 thoughts on “Kid Icarus: Flaccid Uprising

  1. As someone who wants to be a game designer, I adored your comparison to the multiplayer aspect with Goldeneye 64/Melee/Mario Kart. Uprising will greatly benefit from this, but on the other hand I totally agree with the fact most ‘hardcore’ fans will be turned off by the single player. The fact that there is so many things to do is incredible.

    Anyone remember Bayonetta? Look past the sex appeal shitfest and you will find the only HD game this generation I still play over and over again; Bayonetta is Hideki Kamiya fixing what was wrong with Devil May Cry and putting a Viewtiful Joe spin on it. Even if you completed the main game, you can’t stop playing. On the other hand, it only sold one million units between 360 and PS3 combined (the terrible PS3 port didn’t help matters at all). Fantastic game design is taking a back seat, and its pissing me off.

    Unreleated note: Binding of Issac not coming onto the eShop and Team Meat is pissy because the game was denied due to “questionable religious content”. Christ Team Meat, where the hell were you during the NES/SNES days?


    1. The NES/SNES days are meant to be over. Team meat should be pissy especially since the game is a perfect fit for the 3DS (it feel like I’m playing an emulator on PC)


  2. I’m not buying Kid Icarus, or any 3DS game for that matter until it’s downloadable from the mythical Nintendo Network! Get it together Nintendo!


    1. So you would rather wait to get it digital, have to wait god knows how long to download it, rather then buy it in a store, go home then plop it into your 3DS?

      Sorry, but I would rather have my SD card’s space wasted on worthwhile eShop and VC games.


      1. That is correct. Although I’d just schedule it to download in sleep mode. Seriously I’m totally over boxed media.


      2. I fail to see how boxed games still existing is Kid Icarus’s fault though, Rab – and it’ll have nothing to do with how well it does. It’s a good ideal but in reality it’s still going to take a decade or so to happen industry wide, let’s be patient. Australian internet still isn’t even good enough to support it, and don’t get me started on the ratings board.


  3. Nicely done, Grub. You addressed those key aspects of modern game design that’s kept me away from so many “popular” games and the “next-generation” systems in general. I’m a new-generation casual, thank you. At one point I was going to discuss these things in a hateful FPS rant, but I’ve abandoned that write-up. (don’t worry, today I came up with an idea to make it much more constructive – let’s see if I can publish it this year)

    After thinking it over the last couple days (not related to the recent Kid-Uppacus media blitz), I’ve decided YES, I WILL get Kid-Uppacus. Uprising is a DIRECT-INPUT kind of shooter (when you’re not using the close-range weapons) that’s closely related to Wii Pointer approach used in Sin & Punishment 2 (love you so bad). Dual-analog is a disservice to this kind of gameplay. I’m thankful Kid Upskirt is not a sluggish dual-analog cursor-dragfest that would insult my intelligence and give me gastro-intestinal cramps. Why the hell would I play “high end” analog shooters on stupidly small screens anyway? Don’t they belong on TVs?

    Uprising is a hyper-active stylus-driven QUICK-POINTING portable arcade shooter. I’m a lefty, and my left thumb is a master of left-pad gameplay; pointing with my opposite FIST is not a problem – it’s not like I’m being asked to WRITE. I’m interested in this game, and I want to see how the action turns out myself.


  4. “Why the hell would I play “high end” analog shooters on stupidly small screens anyway? Don’t they belong on TVs?”

    Because the line between a “console game” and “handheld game” have become so blurred over the last five years its ridiculous. Uprising is a portable experience with console qualities graphics and sound made for a portable, which is why I love Nintendo handhelds; console quality games that are still PORTABLE.

    Sony doesn’t get this fact and haven’t over the last five years. PEOPLE want this thing, despite the fact the games are a) going to end up on the PS3 to cover loses just like the PSP games b) they don’t fit portable gaming.



    1. I’m not going to respond to a ghost. If he wants to talk to me, he’ll post a comment here and not be a coward hiding behind selective quotes.

      BTW, I spent 10 hours playing Modern Warfare 2 before writing this. I was going to do a piece on it but it’s really not my kind of game.


      1. That’s what I figured. I played Modern Warfare 2 as well and felt the same way; close-minded zealots seem to swarm like flies to a Nintendo thread it seems.


  5. Whelp now I am apparently a bad guy for trolling the whiner. I give up, its a mistake to talk about Nintendo when whiny trolls have full run of site.


      1. I love that the single defense of their point is Dark Souls, as if the concept of ‘exception to the rule’ never existed. The article even states KI:U has hope pending specific criteria (MP) but surely the planets didn’t just align for Dark Souls. Something along the lines of a massive media blitz from psuedo hardcore gaming ‘journalists’ that masturbated to Demon Souls for 2 years not because they truly appreciated the game but because they felt it was some sort of badge of honor to have played the ‘OMGEE HARDEST GAME EVUR!’.

        Truth be told the games aren’t even that hard, I played and enjoyed Demon Souls but even getting the platinum trophy was at best a weeks affair.


      2. Yeah, it seems they don’t understand the point of accessibility, it has NOTHING to do with difficulty. Dark Souls may be hard, but it’s easy to PLAY. It’s EASY to suck at it, it’s not an intimidating shooter with 10 buttons, it’s the same concept as Diablo 2 or WoW, a very easy sell without much thought. I have nothing against Dark Souls.

        Just to clarify, I don’t think Kid Icarus is intimidating at all, but I think some people might. That’s why the article exists.


  6. I will be picking up this game. In fact, I already have it pre-ordered because the character and the single-player campaign have made this one of my most anticipated games of all time!

    However, I do worry about the success of the title because I actually have little to no interest in the multiplayer or the AR cards or the stand – and I think Nintendo is, for better or worse, spending a lot of time focusing on those aspects of the game.


  7. I’ll give the multiplayer a chance but I agree, we don’t really know too much about it and the single player campaign will be the reason the game is good. All these little things will help give the game some attention at least, I don’t see how they can hurt. The game might have come out a year ago otherwise, I think now it’s in a much better position.


  8. I think the Multiplayer side of things is played up way too much. If I have a solid single player experience that gives lots of replay value (see any of Hideki Kamiya’s games) then I am a happy camper. Throw in a online leaderboards (like Mario Kart 7) and I am a VERY happy camper. I have probably only played a couple of random Mario Kart 7 matches since getting the game for Christmas. Granted most of the Mario sports titles rely on multiplayer to carry their lives on, but the handheld Mario sports titles had those amazing RPG modes.

    Kid Icarus has always appealed to me, regardless of how it controls (I enjoyed Renegade Kid’s FPSs on the DS). The fact Sakurai is making sure there are a shit-ton of features to unlock and discover will make this game a great experience.

    (but what do I know? I’m a guy who linked an article full of holes apparently. Guess close-minded zealots who think they know what is best for Nintendo is one of the many reasons we have to wait so much for Xenoblade and the Last Story to be released here)


  9. So after playing through the entirety of Uprising since release, I felt this blog post here would be best to convey my feelings for the game.

    First, the controls, which most people absolutely whine about. First, they are customizable; When playing this game on a bus, I used Slide Pad for movement and the face buttons for reticle aiming. When you are not aiming via the stylus, the reticle moves WITH YOU, a’la Star Fox. In some cases, this doesn’t work for killing enemies, but when on ground levels, it actually works quite well and it can be adjusted on the fly. 80% of the time you don’t really have to aim properly since it auto-aims depending if you are dash or charge shooting. With the default controls, plus the free stand (which Kotaku considers worthless and is bullshit you shouldn’t believe), the game works wonders. Yes, there is some camera flaws in the ground missions, but they don’t take like to figure out. Its like Sonic and the Black Knight, it takes some time getting used to but its pretty fun looking past all the flaws.

    The actual meat and potatoes of the game is GRAND. Sakurai packed this game full of content from in-game achievements that REWARD you actual things (PSN Trophies and Live GP will never get my respect unless they do something like this), to the amazing weapon system and intensity setting before each level. This game encourages replayability, not just from multiplayer. This is the best single player game I’ve played single Mario 3D Land.

    But of course, it will be for nothing. When the gaming media gives an N64 port a higher score then the other 3DS games that do deserve it, well… fuck off and die. Jesus.



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