Kid Icarus: Uprising is like a child’s bag of candy the day after Halloween, or a stocking you open on Christmas morning. There’s sure to be some very nice stuff in there when you open it, but there’s also going to be some more dubious content. The ratio is completely unknown, and depending on your personal tastes, may be skewed one way more than the other.
Let me start with the biggest thing Uprising did right: flying is amazing. Nothing in this game is greater than entering a stage and being thrust into a soaring chaos of enemies. It’s so fun to fly around and just shoot at enemies, dodging from their attacks as you throw lethal arrows or energy shots back their way. It’s thrilling, intense, and instantly gratifying, easily being worth the price of admission.
The problem comes with the rest of the game, namely the ground combat. Ground controls try too hard not be too different from the flying controls, but that unfortunately lends them to being floaty, picky, and difficult. Sometimes, you’ll sprint when you want to walk; other times, you’ll do a quick dodge as you try to do a slight nudge. The controls are oversensitivity at its finest, and if you aren’t used to them (or even if you are), you’ll find Pit doing all sorts of things you don’t remember wanting him to do.
This is alleviated somewhat with the grand staged boss battles, which are always exciting and will keep you on your toes. Every boss is unique, and you can never go at one the same way you would take on another. Every boss also takes place in a giant arena, with no fear of falling from making a twitch reaction dodge.
The weapons are a mixed bag, as well. The ranged weapons, which don’t lose power over distance, seem to be objectively better than the melee-oriented weapons, especially for players unused to the game. Melee weapons like the swords can be fun, though mostly because they still have decent ranged attacks. Staves and clubs, unfortunately, don’t have that luxury, being a pain to use unless you’re right on top of the enemy, which can make them nigh-unusable in the flying segments, making what should be an exhilarating experience into a chore. The trade-off is that they are better to use on the ground combat segments, but you still have to suffer from all the control issues mentioned above.
One last thing about the controls, though; don’t play this game for more than two stages at a time. Just don’t. Even if you have the game stand, the gamer claw you have to play with will give you carpal tunnel or some other nerve-degenerating ailment. It’s so painful and taxing to play for long periods of time, and that’s with the game stand. Don’t even attempt to play it on the go. I know the game was designed for the 3DS, but it really should have been on the Wii U, because you need to sit down to play Uprising.
On everything but the gameplay, though, this game absolutely nails it. The music is outstanding on every stage, always portraying the right emotions for the circumstances. Special shout-out goes to the flying music for Chapter Six, which has me going back to play it over and over just to hear that tune.
The characters are wonderful to listen to, with enjoyably cheesy dialogue and interesting growth from stage to stage, keeping you engaged with the story and thus, the game. As difficult as the game can be, it’s hard not to want to keep playing on for fear of not hearing what else they have to say.
I wish I had more to say, but that’s all there really is to Uprising. Uprising’s stilted and sometimes broken gameplay is stitched together by a superbly written story and characters, and for that reason, I can only say that the entire experience is absolutely mediocre. It’s definitely worth picking up if it looks interesting to you, because what Uprising sells itself as is exactly what you’re going to get from it. Just be aware that you might need to see your doctor about nerve damage in a few months.