(Game Boy)

Game Review

Kid Icarus: Of Myths and Monsters Review

Europe PAL Version

Posted by Corbie Dillard

Heavenly

When the original Kid Icarus hit the NES, many gamers weren't sure exactly what to think of it. For starters the game's protagonist was a cute little winged angel (at least we thought so) who ran around shooting tiny arrows at mythological enemies. Of course it didn't help matters that the game was released around the same time Nintendo's mega-hit Metroid made its debut on the console. Needless to say, Kid Icarus was somewhat lost in the shuffle, but those who were lucky enough to pick up the game can tell you just how great it was, not to mention brutally difficult.

Nintendo obviously sensed the game needed a second chance and decided to develop a Game Boy sequel, Kid Icarus: Of Myths and Monsters. The end result is a much more enjoyable title that fixes many of the complaints gamers had with the original release.

There are essentially four areas in the game, although the fourth and final area is just a very long level with a lengthy boss fight at the end of it. The first three areas are broken down into four individual levels. These levels can be rather tricky in design and it can be tough to find your way through them at times, and of course the constant barrage of enemies doesn't help matters much. Thankfully, now the game's available on 3DS Virtual Console you can use Restore Points to help you bypass tough areas, which takes some of the edge off the frustration, though it's still by no means an easy game.

The two main complaints of the original NES release were the extremely high difficulty and the inability to fall down into the bottom of the screen without losing a life. Thankfully, the developer addressed both issues with this sequel and it makes for a much more well-rounded gameplay experience. It's certainly still very challenging, but the ability to drop down and scroll all around each level is a blessing and gives the game a much more open feel to it, with the controls' responsiveness taking a sharp increase too.

Kid Icarus for the NES was fairly solid for an 8-bit release, but the GB version kicks it up a notch, with plenty of detail and variety in the environments. Each new area has its own unique look and feel, and the bosses in the game are amazing in their design and detail, and are so impressive that you'll catch yourself really looking forward to your next boss encounter. The soundtrack is equally impressive, another example of what can be accomplished with the Game Boy's limited sound hardware when developers take the time to get it right.

Conclusion

If you're a fan of the original Kid Icarus you owe it to yourself to pick up the sequel. Not only does it capture the same magic found in the NES release, but it also builds on many of the great gameplay ideas featured in the original. The difficulty has been toned down to make it a bit more accessible, but there's still plenty of challenge to be found and a fairly lengthy adventure . Highlighted by some fantastic boss fights, Kid Icarus: Of Myths & Monsters is a great prelude to Kid Icarus: Uprising.

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User Comments (39)

ouroborous

#2

ouroborous said:

I sure hope we get this in NA sooner than later, it was one of my favourite GameBoy games back in the day. Pretty tough, but pretty cool. Never really played much of the NES Kid Icarus so this one is the one that I remember and enjoyed the best. Looking forward to Kid Icarus 3D Classics though so I can go back and check that game out too.

eviLaTtenDant

#3

eviLaTtenDant said:

Thanks for doing this review so soon after the game was released, guys. Will download today.
While the 3D Classics version was very frustrating at times i also found it addicting as hell. Very much looking forward to playing this one.

WolfRamHeart

#4

WolfRamHeart said:

Great review Corbs. I'm anxious to try this one out because I've never played it before. I hope that it makes it out in time for the release of Kid Icarus Uprising here in the US. Hopefully Uprising will live up to the hype. Don't let us down Pit! :D

Blizzaga

#5

Blizzaga said:

I just recently did a playthrough of the first Kid Icarus for Valentine's Day, and ever since I've been hoping that the sequel would hit the 3DS VC. Well, here it is! Hooray!

chewytapeworm

#6

chewytapeworm said:

Downloaded this yesterday, looking forward to playing it on the train tomorrow. Completed the 3D Classics version just the other day (finally!) and although exceedingly tricky it has tonnes of replay value and I'm looking forward to tackling it again! Also noticed in the video and screenshots for this the reaper and his gang of reapettes make a return. Please tell me the Mad Reaper song plays when he spots you!! Best 3 second 8-bit loop EVER!!

NintyMan

#8

NintyMan said:

I must say that the eShop release of this game was very low-key, as I didn't even hear much about it except for some murmuring here and there about it coming out. Hopefully it'll come over here in America soon, but I already got this game not too long ago at a retro store. I can only play it on the Game Boy Advance SP, and I can it play in color too! It looks even better when colored.

Technically, this game is better than the first. It's a relief that you can fall under the screen this time, and while the game is hard, it's not too hard. However, the Minotaur boss in the first fortress is a complete hassle.

If only Kid Icarus wasn't left in the dust again after this game. I think what hurt it was that this game was released everywhere except Japan, which wouldn't happen in this day and age. Now the Japanese are playing this game for the first time ever. Kid Icarus Uprising simply has to revive the series and keep it revived!

I can slowly but surely feel that Kid Icarus spirit kicking into gear.

Takosuke

#9

Takosuke said:

I have to criticise this article in one way:

"Each new area has its own unique look and feel"

But this isn't really demonstrated by the screenshots you've provided which are all clearly of the same area. Some more varied screenshots could probably do that statement justice. Just a recommendation.

Concerning the game, I've had difficulty enjoying Kid Icarus due to falling off the level so many damn times, but this title seems to fix a lot of my problems with the game, so I'll consider it.

Danglybits

#10

Danglybits said:

I still not got my code from Nintendo for the 3d classic. I so want to play this as well, come on Nintendo its been 3 months

steamhare

#11

steamhare said:

This game also lets you use your wings to slow your fall, right? I'm surprised that wasn't mentioned in the review, since it alters the platforming significantly from the first.

Ryno

#14

Ryno said:

Is the NES Kid Icarus really that hard? When you are limited at the beginning maybe, but then it gets easier.

Overall I thought this was one of your weaker reviews Corbs. Like steamhare already said, no mention of slowing your descent with your wings? It just seemed to be missing the "details" I usually get from your other reviews.

WaveWarlock

#16

WaveWarlock said:

I totaly disagree, the sequal doesn't exactly capture that amazing magic found in the original....The orginial is just so iconic, distinct, again 'magical' and just so memorable. This sequal 'while good' doesn't retain the spirit and vibe while completely ditching the main platforming element(Plus falling to your death) and instead busts out never ending scroll-based stages in all directions that is far less appealing. And they completely changed the SFX which again were miles better in the first.

The difficulty has also been bumped down dramaticly. If there's been any slight improvement, it's with the dungeons....maybe...Of Myths and Monsters puts more emphasis on the mallet which is kind of cool. But honestly overall, the original is far superior. Of Myths and monsters however is good, but kind of dissapointing at the same time. The sountrack doesn't exactly compare either. All in all it's still defintily work checking out, but it just doesn't touch the original in my eyes. PLUS a fault of all standard 'gameboy' games there's no color which makes all the damn blippin' difference. :p

It's been a while Since I've played it, i do have it on cart. But I want to check out Kid Icarus: 3D Classics before i either play Of myths and monsters on my gameboy or download the 3DS VC release. Hmmm, maybe my feelings may change. Like i said i really enjoyed the Dungeons as well as the bosses, but the main underworld Scrolling-based stages are kind of a chore, along with the inferior soundtrack(which is still good) and SFX.

XXITheWorld

#19

XXITheWorld said:

I wish Nintendo would stop being a bitch with North America for the VC. Hell, I mean we didn't even get Mario Land 3 yet, and for most titles Europe gets I have just given up hope of ever see them cross the sea

Stu_Dee_Jay

#22

Stu_Dee_Jay said:

@XXITheWorld We seem to be doing well with 3DS VC in Europe, but the original eShop releases need to kick up a gear. We're still waiting for Mutant Mudds, Sakura Samurai and VVVVVV!

Will be downloading this tomorrow. I've got through a ridiculous number of old Game Boy games lately that I could never afford as a child.

WaveWarlock

#24

WaveWarlock said:

When is Kid Icarus: 3D Classics going to be released? I'd honestly rather play the original first 'then' the sequal. :p

Henmii

#25

Henmii said:

Nice review! I downloaded it and like it. The controls are much better, and the game seems easier then the original. Overall good stuff!

Ras

#26

Ras said:

@WaveBoy are you in the US? The 3D Classics is being offered as a preorder bonus for KI: Uprising. If you miss out on that, it'll probably be available at some point on the eShop, but who knows when?

grumblegrumble

#27

grumblegrumble said:

Yeah, I've been hearing how great this game is over the years but yet, I've never played it! So it really needs to come to the states, pronto! Because I am and have always been a huge Metroid/Kid Icarus fan... bring it to North America, please!

Whopper744

#28

Whopper744 said:

@XXITheWorld. That's what I'm sayin!! Where is this game in the US?!!
I have been wanting to play this for so long, and Wario Land, but I already gave up on that one.

MeloMan

#29

MeloMan said:

THIS is what I'M waiting for... I've already finished past business with Metroid II, and this is the other game I never got a chance to play. NA, chop chop.

Sam_Loser2

#30

Sam_Loser2 said:

I've already beaten both the original and Uprising. When is this going to be released over here in NA so I can complete the trilogy on my 3DS?

UnseatingKDawg

#31

UnseatingKDawg said:

I'm starting to see a trend here. Kid Icarus 2, Wario Land, a few others; everyone else is getting them first before the US. Is Nintendo TRYING to make us mad? For cryin' out loud, at least make it fair for everyone and give everyone the games at the same time.

SkywardLink98

#32

SkywardLink98 said:

I'm a huge fan of Uprising, so even though I didn't like the first to much I'll have to pick this one up.

Harley

#33

Harley said:

I hope this comes to the Eshop in NA pretty soon. I had the patience to beat the original Icarus (albeit I got the worst possible ending...Pit turns into a pimp er Bug Catcher) and wouldn't mind going for a second bout of it.

alvieao

#36

alvieao said:

After playing Of Myths and Monsters for some time, I must say it’s a good game. The controls are more responsive, Pit’s wings can be used to slow his fall, the levels are more scroll-based, and the frustration was reduced. On the other hand, I also agree that it's easier than the NES original because of that reason, although I enjoyed the dungeons and challenging boss fights. In addition, the soundtrack is nice but nothing really iconic. Nevertheless, Kid Icarus: Of Myths and Monsters is a good, if not memorable prelude to Kid Icarus: Uprising.

Harley

#37

Harley said:

I'm glad I downloaded this. Kid Icarus Of Myths and Monsters is definitely one of the few examples in which a sequel can best its predecessor, this one by a long shot. No more ridiculously long passwords, no more being killed over and over again early on into the game because of ridiculously low HP that encourages you to just make it through and not get killed (when you're supposed to be gaining a high score to level up your life bar) and no more leeching for hearts. My only gripe is that the bosses tend to take forever to kill (then again, you can't free centurions to help you out in taking the bosses down in this installment either). Other than that, it's a solid platformer and an excellent follow up to something I remember as an unfair game from the NES's glory days.

Koolguykai

#38

Koolguykai said:

I just spent 3 minutes weighing this over Game & watch Gallery 2 since I loved the first entries in both series. I ended up buying this game for the Club Nintendo points, lets hope it's as good as this guy says!

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