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Feature: Kid Icarus: Uprising - What the Review Couldn't Tell You

Posted by Thomas Whitehead

Minor spoilers within

When we published our Kid Icarus: Uprising review, we observed a strict set of guidelines from Nintendo. These embargo criteria were designed to ensure that some features of the title weren’t given away before it hit stores. It’s not an uncommon practice, but in the case of this particular title we feel that it’s important to now share some of these details with you. Not only did they play a contributing role to the award of a 9/10 score, but they may be useful for those still unsure about whether to take the plunge.

Be warned, there are some SPOILERS in this article, though we won’t be giving away detailed plot points. If you’re picking this game up and want these details to be a surprise, then we recommend that you stop reading now.

It’s a long flight

A common question that was raised in the review comments was, ‘how long is the single player campaign?’ Normally it’s a detail that we’d happily divulge, but on this occasion we were prohibited from doing so. When initially playing the game, you’ll reach what seems like the end after nine chapters, with each chapter typically taking around 20 minutes to complete. There’s then a drastic twist in the plot, which you can discover for yourself, and the adventure then continues until you eventually finish chapter 25. Some of these chapters are longer, and by the time you factor in the occasional restart and adjusting weapons and other features, it will probably take you between 10-12 hours to finish all chapters at least once. After the credits there’s also a particularly challenging ‘Boss Battle’ level, which involves taking on every boss from the campaign, and this will provide a stiff task for any gamer. For an action title like this, that’s a surprising amount of core content.

You’re likely to play on for a lot longer than a dozen hours, particularly with the option to replay levels on a higher intensity level to access locked areas and earn more hearts and loot. Another incentive to play and chase higher scores is the Treasure Hunt, which serves as an achievements system. This starts with one portrait of 120 tiles, with in-game accomplishments revealing these spaces and also providing rewards of hearts, weapons and powers. Two more portraits will appear with increasingly difficult challenges, and even skilled gamers will need a great deal of persistence and time to gradually unlock everything: it’s a setup very similar to the trophies in Super Smash Bros. Brawl on Wii.

We've mentioned powers, another feature not included in the review. As well as a broad variety of weapons, you also earn a number of special abilities through completing levels and unlocking achievements. Each ability has a tetris-style shape, and you have four load-outs of a square area to fill with powers that you can use in the levels. Powers include land-mines, mega lasers and health recovery, to name just a few, and are accessible on the touch-screen during Land Battles. Setting up your four power-sets to accommodate different challenges will be important when chasing the highest scores or playing on the toughest intensity levels – there’s the option for Palutena to auto-fill these load-outs, if you choose. Another small note, with regards to the StreetPass weapon gem feature, is that Nintendo will also distribute gems through SpotPass, with the first arriving on our console early on launch day.

These features, achievements, weapons and powers are spread across both single player and multiplayer. If you want to achieve everything in this game it’ll be necessary to master both modes.

Collectors Rejoice

As well as there being dozens of weapons and powers to collect, along with hundreds of achievements, there are some extras for completionists to pursue in the ‘Vault’ menu. To answer one question that was asked, there’s a comprehensive music gallery, featuring 42 tracks to listen to: considering the quality of the soundtrack, it’s worth exploring. A ‘Power Portrait’ is slowly completed as you acquire powers, while an ‘Offering’ screen allows you to donate hearts to the goddess Palutena in exchange for her moving closer towards the front of the screen. In 20 hours of game-time we haven’t been able to finish either option, giving an idea of the scale of unlockables in this title.

It’s also possible to access the user profile’s records in this screen – there are three user profiles available on the game cart – with details such as game time, number of enemies killed, number of powers obtained and more.

A lot of content on a small cartridge

When you combine these features and the surprising length of the single-player campaign, along with everything mentioned in the review, this really is a comprehensive and terrifically entertaining package. There’s plenty to do in a bare-bone playthrough of single and multiplayer, but the fact is that the structure, level design and achievements will keep most busy long after the credits have rolled for the first time. It’s a title that falls short of perfection, but nevertheless combines an exciting experience with an impressive volume and variety of content.

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User Comments (72)

pikku

#3

pikku said:

This game sounds a lot better than I initially thought. I'm going to pick it up soon for sure :3
I hope the online works better with my crappy connection than MK7 did, as I can never seem to play more than two races consecutively without disconnecting :(

PixelatedPixie

#4

PixelatedPixie said:

Uprising is without a doubt one of the largest and most fully featured portable games I've ever played, and it might have been one of the best had it not been for the complete disregard shown for how the game controls.

kyuubikid213

#5

kyuubikid213 said:

GUAH! It looks SOO AWESOME, but my paycheck that I need to pay for it doesn't come in until NEXT WEEK.

I'm pickin' up a copy for SURE!!

Kyloctopus

#7

Kyloctopus said:

Kid Icarus > Hunger Games
That's saying alot, because I've been a huge fan of the books for years as it is. The movie looks so epic, and it's cool to watch movies on launch dates.

Magi

#8

Magi said:

My son raided his piggy bank for the last $40 he had to preorder this game from Amazon.

Undead_terror

#10

Undead_terror said:

have to wait til my birthday for the game but i do hope that the 3d classics KI will come to the eshop to all, if not next week then soon because that would be cruel of nintendo and they wouldnt make extra money?

Alexneon

#13

Alexneon said:

like always the review dont said anything we didnt know about the game...oh well

ueI

#14

ueI said:

This didn't get a 10?

I don't like it when you have to withhold information that could convince people to buy the game.

FonistofCruxis

#16

FonistofCruxis said:

Wow, this game sounds massive. It sounded like a lengthy game but I didn't think it would be as content packed as this.

Xiao_Pai

#17

Xiao_Pai said:

I don't get Nintendo sometimes...>.>
Also..."‘Offering’ screen allows you to donate hearts to the goddess Palutena in exchange for her moving closer towards the front of the screen." WTF? lol

ThomasBW84Admin

#18

ThomasBW84 said:

@Eureka That's the best way I could think to describe it! She's stood in the background, and when you offer hearts she takes a few steps towards you. She moves rather slowly, and I haven't sunk enough hearts into it to see whether there's any payoff. WTF indeed :)

AddADashOfSalt

#19

AddADashOfSalt said:

I'm getting is, maybe before too long, looks great, looks sorta like MK7, you ccan defeat it rather fast but you keep replaying it.

Xiao_Pai

#20

Xiao_Pai said:

Maybe it allows you to take a REAL good "look" at her...you know, for pervs. xD
I dunno, lol

Whopper744

#22

Whopper744 said:

I wish I could call in sick for work like I did when Skyward Sword came out...this place hates to give us any sick time or PTO though. :P ....actually I think i scheduled off for Skyward Sword if I remember right! Way ahead of time! :p

traedarkness

#24

traedarkness said:

Gonna pick up my preordered copy from GameStop today. I preodered this on a whim because of a good rec. This game sounds really good; lots of content. Glad I decided to check it out and get to play classic as well thanks to preorder:D

Wanderhope

#25

Wanderhope said:

Picking up my preorder today, but tragically I sent my 3DS out for repairs this week (it has both hinge and perma-scratch issues). I shall drool over the box until I get it back.

Arthedain

#27

Arthedain said:

I hope this is in my mail the time I get home from work :D I don't really get why you had to hold onto this info though, since most of it was explained or hinted at the last Nintendo Direct.

ThomasBW84Admin

#28

ThomasBW84 said:

@Arthedain I've noticed that a lot of these details are being outlined in tweets by Nintendo today, so they clearly wanted to save some reveals for launch day, which is fair enough. You're right that there have been various hints, but hopefully now we've given you the full picture :)

Whopper744

#29

Whopper744 said:

Just got it. Played the first level. Seems really good!! Camera angle thing on the ground is going to take getting used to. The gameplay makes me thing of Sin and Punishment for the Wii (and the 64 one for that matter) a good bit, with the shooting and then close range melee attacks.

Objection

#31

Objection said:

FYI for American gamers: Best Buy is selling the game today for $29.99 ($10 off) in store and online. IDK how long this will last; I got mine today! :D

Dak_n_Jaxter

#32

Dak_n_Jaxter said:

@Objection Holy Sh*t man! Thank you!

I was really upset to hear about the wonky controls.... Nintendo has killed me a few times with their "innovative" controls... such a shame. But i'll pick this up for that price.

Vallu

#33

Vallu said:

Just bought this game and I'm very happy it haves so much content in it. I wonder what happens when you donate enough hearts to palutena....

warioswoods

#36

warioswoods said:

Well, dang, I couldn't pass up Best Buy's deal. I wasn't planning on getting this one at launch, but... it sounds like plenty of fun for $30, so I jumped on it.

MeloMan

#37

MeloMan said:

I kinda skimmed past a lot of the spoilers but I got the general idea that this is a mega-loved, truly Sakurai, experience, and it couldn't have all happened to a better character. What an honor to Pit. Can wait to pick up the game.

Token_Girl

#38

Token_Girl said:

Waiting for it to come from amazon! At least I got my 3D Classics download code to hold me over.

theberrage

#39

theberrage said:

I'm having buyers remorse. I'm dumbfounded about how terrible the controls are . I can't believe this website scored it a 9.

bahooney

#40

bahooney said:

I don't understand why many are complaining about the ground controls; I find them intuitive and not hard to get accustomed to at all! I guess it's just a difference of experience.

sinalefa

#41

sinalefa said:

@Uel

If you think about it, they just withheld the details until launch. So you can read this today and still decide that you want the game. It should not even hurt the first week's sales.

As an example of that, I did not preorder it, but reading this I will definitely get it now. Sounds great and I usually play in short bursts, so hopefully the controls won't be that painful. I play at home on a table, so the stand will be perfect for my setup.

Odnetnin

#42

Odnetnin said:

@pikmaniac Same here, Mario Kart 7's online didn't work for me, which is partly why I sold it. Online hasn't worked for me yet, but I've only tried it a couple times.

Why did I spoil the number of chapters for myself noooo :'(

AVahne

#43

AVahne said:

@theberrage
Really? I've found them to be very easy to adjust to and work much better than dual analog, after making some adjustments in the settings in terms of sensitvity (I like cranking it all the way up). That 9/10 was very well deserved.

DraculaX

#44

DraculaX said:

@Eureka Yeah, I was thinking the same thing. Not that I'm complaining or anything , but that "Offering" mode does seem kinda pointless. Maybe you get some sort of "legendary" weapon if offer a certain amount of hearts.

theberrage

#46

theberrage said:

Koto- I'm having a hard time gripping the ds with just one hand. To me it is very uncomfortable and frustrating.

grumblegrumble

#47

grumblegrumble said:

I'm stuck on Level 3 "Heads of the Hewdraw" Where's the freaking key?! Hellllp! haha.. Oh yah. Loving this game! Been playing it off and on all day, and each time I play it I am truly mesmerized, and the 3DS Stand actually helps with the controls with this game! The controls are a little crazy but the stand makes it more reasonable ;) A+

grumblegrumble

#48

grumblegrumble said:

@theberrage Use the included 3DS stand, that's what it's for, for wonky controls like this. LOL. It actually does help, go ahead and try it hands free! I have a feeling this will help with the game Chrono Trigger, too ;)

grumblegrumble

#49

grumblegrumble said:

@Objection I wonder if that's because these cheaper copies don't come with the "free" 3-D Classics Kid Icarus download promo? Or do those come with it, too? In other words, we just paid $10 for 3D Classics: Kid Icarus? hehe Worth every cent, imho ;)

Ernest_The_Crab

#50

Ernest_The_Crab said:

Is anyone else having issues registering the game? I tried to register it on my Club Nintendo account and got to the survey page. I filled all of the information in but it would not allow me to finish. Double checked everything too and clicked multiple times. I left the page and tried to register with the code again and it tells me it has been entered already?

DStroke

#51

DStroke said:

@Eureka Hahaha yeah I wondered too. Hearts are hard to get and now I can spend them for Palutena to come closer? To kiss her or what??

3dbrains

#52

3dbrains said:

@thesolarknight
check your registered games section and if kid icarus is their, then you registered it ok. this happened when I got mariokart wii a few years ago and it registered but gave me no stars... I emailed nintendo and they gave me 500 stars.

rjejr

#54

rjejr said:

First, thanks for the reply to my post Wed. I would have thanked you there but this seemed more appropriate. And in case there was any confusion, I was opposed to Nintendo embargoing game length, not NL for upholding the embargo. But really, was N afraid people wouldn't buy the game for 25 chapters and 10 - 12 hours? That's the same as Uncharted games. Also similar to Pokepark 2 in that you only play about half the game before the credits and then it gets much better afterwards for the second half.
Also, thanks for the "3 save slot' comment. I really wish that was a standard, or at least 2 saves. Well of course not for Pokemon games and their 1 save slot per game condition.
Gamefly shipped this to me yesterday, if the controls aren't an issue may have to buy it. Maybe 2.

Kitsune_Rei

#55

Kitsune_Rei said:

As shiny as it is and as awesome that they've really put a lot into the game, I'd still need a demo to decide. Or maybe a game store will have it set up to play. It just isn't a game type I'm good at, so I figure I'll be one of those people who lacks the skill to unlock most stuff, especially with the partial multiplayer focus. Smash Brothers was never a game I was great at either.

sinalefa

#56

sinalefa said:

@rjejr

As a matter of fact, the IGN review mentions the length of the game, so I am not sure how many sites stuck to that embargo. Hopefully they were trying not to spoil that "twist plot" this article refers to.

Also the powers thing (which is even shown in the Iwata Asks of the game) and the achievements made it into other reviews.

Kudos to Nintendo Life for actually updating the embargoed review with this article to tell us the rest.

Robo-goose

#57

Robo-goose said:

As if looking at spoilers wasn't hard enough, Amazon decided to taunt me by shipping this game to me at the "estimated" time of "March 29". Estimated arrival time= April 4th. I preordered this game a month ago!

Dak_n_Jaxter

#58

Dak_n_Jaxter said:

Bummer man, i walked into Best Buy yesterday on a whim after hearing it was for sale and picked up a copy....

GamerZack7

#59

GamerZack7 said:

Just four days left to go! Excitementated! :D

Of course, despite the extra content it'll never be as good or deep as the NES Donkey Kong. That one's enough to keep any gamer mashing buttons for hours. ;)

grumblegrumble

#60

grumblegrumble said:

Amazon just issued me a $10 refund, and I had it shipped on release day, too. So now I think that most shops are pricing this game $29.99 instead of $39.99, which will increase sales (great idea, Nintendo.) Still loving every bit of this game. I don't see how Nintendo could have topped this. Such a great tribute to the original game, too. If you haven't, you MUST play them BOTH (KI: U and 3D Classics: Kid Icarus.)

kdognumba1

#62

kdognumba1 said:

Ya. This game is easily worth the $40. Tons of content, fun gameplay, entertaining story, awesome soundtrack, local and online multiplayer, and although the graphics won't blow people away, they're very nice and keep up well!

Pichuka97

#63

Pichuka97 said:

I am glued to this game. Cant stop playing it. I think I play it some more right now.

GameLord08

#66

GameLord08 said:

This has just convinced me even more; not that I needed to be in the first place. Can't wait. :D

grumblebuzzz

#67

grumblebuzzz said:

You also apparently weren't able to tell us in the review (or this amendment) just how cruddy the ground controls are and that if you want to play this game at all, you're going to have to sit hunched over a table with your console on a stand. :/

craig0rneil3

#68

craig0rneil3 said:

@grumblebuzzz You are super lame! If you had actually played the game with an Open mind, and practised with the controls you would realise they work perfectly well, and if anything are actually quite Intuitive. People can complain all they want I really believe its persistance. Also I understand if there are pyhsical limitations to the person playing then it is tragedy but other than that get a grip stop being kids, and just try a new control scheme!

PS The game is THEEEEEE complete package.

supermonkey117

#71

supermonkey117 said:

i have only just started playing the game this weekend started friday night it is now Sunday night had no sleep. cleared it yesterday playing online now finally, well my own opinion awesome hope to get good at it online soon im realy bad at it haha cant see me putting it down for a good few weeks must say one of the most beautiful, fun and challenging games i have played in a long time.

supermonkey117

#72

supermonkey117 said:

oh and as for the controls i can swing my view around and blast the enemy's away in like half a second don't see any faults in the controls at all different from what im used to yes but work good if you find a problem with them you can change them similar to metroid prime hunters controls again great game,

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