Category Archives: The Nintendo Series [3DS/DSi]

Kid Icarus: Uprising – Review

Kid Icarus: Uprising is the latest Nintendo 3DS game released by Nintendo and designed by Masahiro Sakurai, creator of the hit Smash Brothers series.

Introduction

You play as the angel Pit, following the orders of Palutena, the goddess of light and protector of

Kid Icarus: Uprising

Kid Icarus: Uprising (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

humanity, as you fight against the resurrected Medusa. Your journey takes you from towns to spaceships, futuristic landscapes to ‘natural’ wonders – each equally captivating, with an added vibrancy due to the extra dimension of 3-D. The story, however, does not end after your primary objective, taking an unexpected turn and extending gameplay exponentially as a result. Chapters may also be replayed at different intensity levels, from practically effortless to an infernal onslaught which may pose a challenge for even the most experienced of players.

Gameplay

Ease of gameplay has been disputed among players, however, it is certainly do-able. Albeit more suited to right-handed players, lefty’s should by no means be deterred, as only simple swipes of the stylus are required of their right hand. As a left-dominant player myself, I found the game to be difficult at first, albeit much easier after the first few missions had accustomed me to the configuration – no adjustment of the controls was necessary, albeit Nintendo has provided that as an option in addition to the circle-pad pro.

Sound

The soundtrack of Kid Icarus: Uprising is incredibly beautiful and uniquely assorted. From soothing orchestral, violin accompanied tracks, to simple ditties which serve but a momentary purpose – all serve to heighten the enjoyability of the game and immerse the player within the world of Greek myth. Not to mention, each piece is made available as an unlockable, by the completion Treasure Hunt achievements (which also reward hearts, weapons, idols, etc).

Dialogue is a key characteristic of the game, seemingly present without ceasing. Albeit, it rather serves as a compliment to gameplay, once a player is acquainted with the controls and may appreciate the witty repartees and mindless jabber with comprehension. Otherwise, they are aggravations at best. Once, however, this condition has been met, the dialogue maintains interest in a seemingly empty world (aside from the attacks of underworld minions), where there is little character interaction, aside from these exchanges.

Content

HNI_0079 (PNG Image from 3DS System)

Defeated! Visual depicts an AR Card idol battle captured with in-game camera applications.

The content of Kid Icarus: Uprising is truly abundant. With 25 chapters, unlockable back-to-back boss battles, dozens of weapons (to be bought with hearts, the KI:U currency) and power customizations (and a land + battle practice range to try them out on), three treasure hunts with one-hundred twenty achievements each, collectible in-game and paper-card “idols” (digital figures with descriptions and AR Card capabilities), streetpass-spotpass enabled, online / local multiplayer, and much more. Albeit some features are more engaging and useful than others.

Multiplayer is a competitive challenge, although there are no overall leaderboards, which is a letdown. Players accumulate points during the process of each match and are ranked according to their totals at the conclusion. Wins are saved and exchanged via streetpass.

Playable characters include:

  • Pit (primary): chief angel of Palutena, the goddess of light and protector of humanity. He is persistent, passionate, and often quite silly.
  • Pittoo: Pit’s Doppelganger, created by Pandora’s mirror, often an antagonizing force, albeit (highlight spoiler > ) linked with Pit in life force and becomes an ally due to necessity and a slight change of heart.
  • Magnus: powerful human mercenary, dedicated to fighting against underworld forces.
  • Little Girl: details unknown, resident of a ruined city.
  • Dog: details unknown, resident of a ruined city. Can sniff out and locate food in garbage, runs without tiring.

Family Analysis (E10+ [ESRB])

The characters within KI:U aren’t exceptionally frightening, albeit some are notably grotesque, such as the lord of the Underworld – with pointy fangs, red eyes, and whatnot. There is no blood, and most combat is against the forces of the underworld, in the form of giant eyeballs, frog-like beings, and other odd but otherwise inhuman creatures. There are, however, a few human / god encounters where a character will make known they have been defeated and may even make a corresponding exclamation of defeat. However, deaths are seldom, often with enemies returning to fight again unscathed. Albeit, this does not dismiss the violence in itself. The game is likely more suitable for tweens, teens, and older, than ten year-olds, unless families take care to monitor their child’s gameplay and discuss plotline implications. There are a few  sexual references – in one instance, Palutena jokingly tells Pit she can read minds and that he “better not be thinking anything naughty,” to which he exclaims in surprise, as if he had been contemplating unsavory matters. Some characters, such as a Nature-Force leader is flirtatious, while Amazon Pandora takes it a step further, emphasizing her appearance and is overtly coquettish.

Christian Implications

The fact that there are collectible “idols” should be telling in itself of the game’s religious affiliations. Rape, murder, and other mature concepts of Greek mythology are not mentioned, however, spiritual references are made. Pit “prays” for Palutena’s safety, at which point another goddess remarks he is a very confused angel, since he has no god/dess to pray to at the moment. A reincarnation of Helios, Hades, Medusa, and Poseidon (as well as others) make appearances, with a few original gods and goddesses exclusive the Kid Icarus realm. Pit is the protector (by extension of Palutena) of the helpless humans who are referred to as selfish and greedy, the gods are also revealed in their folly (often warring against one another and causing trouble).

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Tech (Pre)Review – Kid Icarus: Uprising

Kid Icarus: Uprising

Kid Icarus: Uprising (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Kid Icarus: Uprising is the latest Nintendo 3DS game released by Nintendo and designed by Masahiro Sakurai, creator of the hit [Super] Smash Brothers series.

General Review:

  • Graphics
    • Kid Icarus: Uprising has spectacular, immersive graphics which are heightened to their utmost by the extra measure of depth provided by the 3DS.
  • Storyline
    • Simple and humorous, with a few twists and turns to keep things interesting.
  • Music
    • As numerous modern video games, the soundtrack of Kid Icarus is a masterful, orchestral blend which may be enjoyed by even the most discerning listeners.
  • Spiritual & Family
    • The world of Kid Icarus is loosely founded upon Greek mythology.
    • Mention of “empty souls”
    • Similar to Metroid & Zelda in that a battle is being waged against monsters, sometimes humans are involved, such as in one of the early battles. There is however, no gore or impact effects.
  • Gameplay
    • A widespread complaint from left-handed users has been prevalent in discussions of the game and its criticisms. However, being left-handed myself, I find no problem with gameplay, except for a slight takeaway. The left hand controls the circle pad and L-button, while the right hand makes simple movements on the touch screen. Up, down, side-to-side – as this game does not require handwriting, and so long as one may move their hand in the proper direction, there shouldn’t be too much of a problem, only discomfort.

Full-Length Review Coming Soon…

(Tech Update) Nintendo 3DS Ambassador Program: Claim your VC Games!

On Monday, September 1st, Nintendo made available the first ten NES games in the 3DS Ambassador Program – today on December 17th, they officially released the final set of Virtual Console games.

These titles include:

  • The Legend of Zelda: The Minish Cap
  • Metroid Fusion
  • Yoshi’s Island: Super Mario Advance 3
  • Wario Land 4
  • WarioWare, Inc.: Mega Microgame$
  • Mario vs. Donkey Kong
  • Mario Kart: Super Circuit
  • Kirby & The Amazing Mirror
  • F-Zero Maximum Velocity
  • Fire Emblem: The Sacred Stones

To claim these titles, simply follow the instruction below:

  • Before you begin, you’ll need to be within reach of a Nintendo Zone, Wi-Fi hotspot, or Wireless Internet signal (such as produced by NETGEAR appliances).
  1. Tap on Nintendo eShop and wait for it to load.
  2. Once loaded, navigate to the far left corner of your options, until you reach Settings / Other.
  3. Select Settings / Other.
  4. Scroll down until you spot “Your Downloads,” tap it.
  5. Scroll down until you see the titles listed above, tap “Redownload” on a title of your choice.
  6. Repeat this process until you have downloaded all the available titles. The titles will be transferred to your 3DS main menu where you may access them at any time. (NEW) You may select Download Later on all ten titles and they will be immediately transferred to your main 3DS menu. After putting your system in sleep mode for approximately 5 minutes, you will be able to play all your games.

Most of these titles were produced after the year 2000, and are quite different from the “classic games” released in the NES package. To receive continual updates regarding the Ambassador Program, be sure to download the Ambassador’s Certificate and activate SpotPass.

In other news, Nintendo has also provided the option of purchasing Nintendo eShop games for free by

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Snapshot from Club Nintendo Site: Use Club Nintendo coins to obtain merchandise or additional games for Wii and/or 3DS.

utilizing coins earned on Club Nintendo. 3D Classics Xevious and Mario vs. Donkey Kong: Minis March Again! are available until Jan. 10th and more should be made available in the months to come.

Tech Update: Nintendo Releases New 3DS Update

Today Nintendo released a new update for the Nintendo 3DS which includes 3D-video recording

We certainly do... if you own a 3DS, that is.

capability for the Nintendo 3DS camera application (in AVI video format, which should mean easy uploading), Nintendo Zone (think of it as a much larger and expanded Download Play), and Mii Plaza updates (a Find Mii sequel, achievements section, and more).

The new video capability for the 3DS is a most intriguing aspect for me, and the feature certainly works well enough, with a decent resolution and evident depth, such as in the 3DS videos displayed on the Nintendo Show 3D.

It certainly marks one of Nintendo’s best updates!

Weekly Photo Challenge: Faces

For this week’s Weekly Photo Challenge, we have two comedic images, made using the Face Raiders game on the Nintendo 3DS.

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Nintendo 3DS Ambassador Program: Claim your Games!

On Monday, September 1st, Nintendo made available the first ten NES games in the 3DS Ambassador Program.

The titles include:

  • Ambassador Certificate (an introductory video)
  • Ice Climber
  • Zelda II
  • Yoshi
  • Balloon Fight
  • Donkey Kong Jr.
  • NES Open Tournament Golf
  • Metroid
  • The Legend of Zelda
  • Wrecking Crew
  • Super Mario Bros.
To claim these titles, simply follow the instruction below:
  • Before you begin, you’ll need to be within reach of a Wi-Fi hotspot or Wireless Internet (such as produced by Netgear appliances) signal.
  1. Tap on Nintendo eShop and wait for it to load.
  2. Once loaded, navigate to the far left corner of your options, until you reach Settings / Other.
  3. Select Settings / Other.
  4. Scroll down until you spot “Your Downloads,” tap it.
  5. Scroll down until you see the titles listed above, tap “Redownload” on a title of your choice.
  6. Repeat this process until you have downloaded all the available titles. The titles will be transferred to your 3DS main menu where you may access them at any time.
Each of these titles were produced before the year 2000, and may easily be considered “classic games.” There is little instructions for new players, and you are expected to figure out things on your own – such is the way of the classics.
To receive continual updates regarding the Ambassador Program, be sure to download the Ambassador’s Certificate and activate SpotPass.

The 3DS’ Shocking Price Drop

In an e-mail to Nintendo DS News subscribers today, Nintendo announced that it would be lowering the new Nintendo 3DS system’s retail price from a hefty $249.99 to

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Nintendo 3DS Logo displayed on 3DS System

an unforeseen $169.99, closer to that of the DSi’s $149.99. Although this is great news for potential buyers of the 3DS, it presents a potential aggregation to current owners which have already paid the originally immemse sum. To this, however, Nintendo has an answer.

The Ambassadors Program, in effect September 1st, will be open to all current 3DS owners that visit the Nintendo eShop at least once on their 3DS systems before midnight (EST) on August 11th (day of the price drop is Aug. 12th). This program will provide ambassadors with twenty (20) free Nintendo eShop games, including Super Mario Bros.™, Donkey Kong Jr.™, Balloon Fight™, Ice Climber™ and The Legend of Zelda™, both before and after they are released to the public. The remaining ten games, Nintendo states,

…will be available exclusively to Ambassadors, and Nintendo currently has no plans to make these 10 games available to the general public [outside of the program] on the Nintendo 3DS in the future.

These titles include Yoshi’s Island™: Super Mario™ Advance 3, Mario Kart™: Super Circuit, Metroid™ Fusion, WarioWare™, Inc.: Mega Microgame$ and Mario vs. Donkey Kong™.

At the end of the announcement, Nintendo adds,

More details about this program will be announced in the future.

Which will provide for some great anticipation as to the other unnamed titles.

You can read the full article posted by Nintendo here.

As a member of the ambassador program, I’ll provide details and reviews on these releases as they happen in the month of September.

Nintendo Video™

Nintendo Video™ is the latest free software released by Nintendo via Nintendo eShop for the 3DS. It provides weekly streaming of animations, movie trailers, music videos, comedy sketches, and other handpicked selections all in 3D. After each week’s update, old content from the previous week is deleted and replaced with new videos, and Nintendo advises users to watch their videos as soon possible before they are removed.

Video Schedule –

Week One

What is Nintendo Video?

A quick, 22 second introduction of Nintendo Video™, given the description of “Watch this now!” First released 7/21/2011.

Captain America

A 3D trailer featuring the new Captain America film by MARVEL. Gives a great taste of what you’ll be seeing in the film without giving any spoilers away.

Sunday Jog

A seemingly cute… yet incredibly twisted animated short about a couple of blocks (literally, blocks made of pixels) going on a romantic Sunday stroll when they are suddenly attacked by a mutant red block. The couple runs away from the giant red block in a comedic fashion, until all three plummet into a vault of chemicals. The red block evidently perishes, with two new blocks (the couple) now rising to take its place and terrorize the city. And thus life continues in an endless cycle of tragic mutations.

Dinosaur Office

A comedic short, created by College Humor, about two dinosaurs working in an office with a T-Rex boss. It resembles Sunday Jog in that it also contains an abundance of wry, twisted humor.

As for Captain America, I saw the movie today and quite enjoyed it! It'll certainly be posting a positive review tomorrow (make that Monday) with only a few areas of criticism.

Week Two

The Smurfs Trailer

All Is Not Lost by OK Go

Pizza Quest

 

Nintendo 3DS: Post Update

Remember my longest review, the one on the Nintendo 3DS? Well now it has gotten even longer! And there’ll be even more to come in the future.

Recent Updates:

3DS Movie Trailers

A few hours ago, Nintendo released its first movie trailer on the 3DS shop. Users may download this new Green Lantern 3-D trailer for free, as with E3 video game previews.

A later update, not yet with an official release date, will bring with it an abundance of 3-D videos from popular video streaming service, Netflix, potentially with some additional previews and performance enhancements.

-Adventure Writer via 3DS