Kid Icarus: Uprising was, hands down, my favorite 3DS title at Nintendo’s media event yesterday.  The demo offered two playable stages, one on Easy and one on Hard.

The game controls by having the players move Pit around with the Circle Pad and aiming by using the stylus on the touch screen.  Attacks are done by pressing the L Button.  This setup is familiar to those that played Metroid Prime Hunters on the original Nintendo DS.  Many complained back then that they got hand cramps with this setup – but I never had an issue with it and playing Kid Icarus: Uprising didn’t hurt many hands at all.

Before getting into the game, players were presented with a choice of three different weapons to use in the mission.  Each one had different strengths and weaknesses.  I believe the first weapon was the all around average set, the second (Claws) was better at melee attacks, and the third (Two Orbs) was better at ranged attacks.

Both levels in the Kid Icarus: Uprising demo started off in the air.  Pit would fly through a level (on rails) and have to shoot at enemies as they came by.  Depending on the item players choose, the ranged attack could power up if players hadn’t fired in a while and then be released as a bigger, more powerful, initial shot.  Holding down the L button (attack button) would cause subsequently weaker, rapid fire attacks. (pewpewpew)  If enemies were close to Pit,  players could Tap the L Button to do a melee attack that would kill them off.

The flight missions remind me a lot of Sin & Punishment, and that’s not a bad thing. Just like in Sin & Punishment, players have to avoid enemies and enemy attacks with Pit, and attack back with either ranged or melee attacks.

After the flight portion of the level was completed, players then landed and took the fight to the ground.  This part of the gameplay changes the controls a bit.  In this mode, flicking the stylus will turn Pit left or right.  This took a while to get used to but I figured out a trick.  Players can quickly flick the stylus to turn, but then press back down on the touch screen to stop all horizontal movement.  It’s a tactic that required some practice but worked well.

Also, once on land players can walk Pit around freely, so no rails.  Pit also can dodge by double tapping the Circle Pad in the direction players want to dodge to.  This was the most awkward part of the control system and I felt that it was sometimes difficult to perform the dodges.  I’m still not sure whether or not this will become easier with practice or not.

The end of both demo stages featured boss fights and both demos features a scoring system.  It looks like players will be encouraged, in some way, to go back to levels previously completed while trying to obtain a higher score.  I’m sure certain weapons will be better for different levels adding to replayability and experimentation in the final build.

Kid Icarus: Uprising is now my most anticipated 3DS title and I can’t wait to get the final game! The Kid is back and he’s got a few new moves to show you!

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