Kid Icarus: Uprising will be the third Kid Icarus game ever and it also marks the return of a franchise that hasn’t had a release in 20 years.  It’s clear that Nintendo wants the return of the series to be a big since Kid Icarus: Uprising had more demo units than any other 3DS game in Nintendo’s booth.  Nintendo also had split the demo units into three areas, Single Player, Multiplayer, and AR cards.

I had played a single player demo of the game before, back at Nintendo’s 3DS Media Briefing last January, but the game has seen a major overhaul since then.  Kid Icarus: Uprising now features way more voice acting than I remembered, which is an unusual but welcome change since Nintendo usually doesn’t have much voice acting in their titles.

The new single player demo also featured several more weapon choices than the previous demo that I had played.  Upon starting the game I was given the option of Blade, Bow, Cannon, Arm, Claws, Palm, Orbitars, or a Staff.  Each weapon has strengths and weaknesses and I can only assume that certain weapons will be preferred in each type of mission.

The single player game is broken up into different chapters, or stages, that must be played.  The first half of the stage I played at E3, and any stage that I have played in the demos previously, involves an on rails flight stage.  In this half of the game, which plays between a mix of Star Fox and Sin & Punishment, players move Pit around with the Circle Pad and shoot with the L button.  Tapping the L Button quickly will make Pit unleash a Melee attack that can hit enemies that are close to him.  Players aim by using the stylus on the touch screen.

The second half of the stage, which also always appears to be this way, takes place on foot.  The controls while on foot are similar to the on rails flight portion but function a bit differently.  While on foot the player must use the stylus to aim as well as turn the character, similar to how this works in Metroid: Prime Hunters but Kid Icarus: Uprising is third person all the time.  Quickly smashing the Circle Pad in any direction will cause Pit to dive as well.  The on foot controls DO take some time to get used to, but once they are mastered it works out great.

In the demo stage I played had a timer and I ran out of time before making it to the boss.  I don’t know if the final game will feature a timer or not, but was told that only a few people even made it to the boss I got to before time ran out.

The multiplayer in Kid Icarus: Uprising was a new feature being shown off at E3 2011.  I was told that this mode would be playable over local Wireless and WiFi, which had me extremely excited!

The multiplayer mode split six players into two teams of three, a Light team and a Dark team.  At the start of the match each player got to pick from any of the weapons in the game, the same as the ones featured in the single player game.  This mode would take place exclusively on foot and controlled exactly as in that part of the single player game.

The objective of the game would then be to kill the other team in a death match.  Each time someone on each team died part of the teams overall health meter would decrease.  The health meter of each team was always available to be seen at anytime.  Once this meter decreased completely the player that died to send it over the edge would then play as either Pit (for the Light team) or Dark Pit (for the Dark team).  Once Light or Dark Pit appeared the objective would then be to destroy the opposing team’s hero.  Once Pit was destroyed that team would lose and the game would be over.

Multiplayer also featured some grenades that could be picked up.  If a player were to pick one up the next time they fired their weapon they would throw a grenade that would do some considerable AoE damage.

I found the multiplayer in Kid Icarus: Uprising to be a lot of fun but I hope that the final version has some sort of voice chat for the WiFi multiplayer battles.  It would be great to go online with some friends and work as a team to take down some other players and communication could be a huge help in doing so.

The final demo for Kid Icarus: Uprising was for the AR cards.  This mode allowed a player to put down some specially designed Kid Icarus: Uprising cards in front of the 3DS camera.  Once in front of the camera players would notice, on their 3DS screen, that the character on the card would spring to life.  If two cards were placed near each other they would battle.  I didn’t notice any hit points or anything though.

I asked Nintendo representative if the AR mode would somehow get competitive, or if the game would come with the AR cards, but they didn’t have anything else to add at this time.  For the time being this new feature, while cool, seems a bit worthless in the grand scheme of things but I’m still confident that this mode will have some sort of significance in the final version of the game.  Nintendo did hand out some AR cards for just trying this feature though.

Overall Kid Icarus: Uprising is shaping up to be a great game.  It seems to be taking advantage of many features of the 3DS.  I found both the single player and multiplayer modes to be fun and I feel that this game can’t hit store shelves soon enough!

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