One of the main reasons I got behind on blogging recently was from getting completely sucked into Hyrule Warriors. The other main reason was getting completely sucked into diving back into Kid Icarus: Uprising. I had picked up the game when it first came out, back in 2012, but it had taken me a while to get through the story mode. I've been chipping away at it occasionally since then, picking it up every once in a while to clear out my StreetPasses and complete a mission or two, and my enjoyment of the game gradually increased until I got to a point where I was making good progress in finding all the hidden rooms in the story mode. I was also making good progress on completing the first set of missions, and as with Hyrule Warriors, this really made the game much more worthwhile and brought out the completionist in me, and I spent way too much time strategizing and planning out which missions I would tackle next. I've pretty much finished both of those goals, so I can finally set the game aside for now.
In my first playthrough of Uprising I'd admired the game more than loved it, although this time around I definitely enjoyed my time with the game much more than before. I had rushed through the game the first time on a relatively low difficulty in order to get to the end of the story, but searching out the hidden rooms and having to replay stages multiple times and on high difficulties in order to fulfill specific missions forced me to improve my skillz, learn the attack patterns of the enemies, and pay more attention to the range of powers you can bring into battle. The air sections of the game still felt fairly dull and same-y to me, even on the highest difficulties, but the land battles were much more fun this time around. By the time I got really back into the game I'd also fused some more powerful weapons, and so I had more weapons to choose from, which made things more enjoyable. This time around I enjoyed the twists the game throws at you in the story mode more, and the dialogue was still as entertaining as ever with jokes holding up even on repeated listens, certainly helped by great voice acting. (My favorite line by far: "But chicken is much more ECONOMICAL!!!!" Anyone who's played the game will probably remember that reference, haha.) It's also nice that there's an option to turn off the voices and focus on the music if you want.
The character and enemy design, music, and visuals are all high quality, and the multiplayer mode was still fun, although still not my favorite (although if I had friends who would play with me I definitely wouldn't mind spending more time on it). I'm also not completely convinced that the story mode had to be as long as it was, or that every weapon amongst the multitude of weapons the game includes is really unique and necessary. Two of the three vehicles also seem pretty useless (the Cherubot is the only really worthwhile one). Some of the missions, such as the speed runs, also seem more tedious and pointless than they could've been. The controls worked perfectly fine for me, and I really like the camera controls, although I have to admit that my marathon sessions led to a severely cramped left arm. But less-obsessive players should be fine.
After more than tripling my original playthrough time I found myself seriously considering adding the game to my list of "Favorite Games of All Time". In the end, though, I had to deny the game a spot on my list. Much as I admire the game and enjoyed it this time around, the "tingle" factor just wasn't quite high enough. As with my first playthrough, the game left me looking forward to a follow-up, although who knows when that will happen. Maybe on my third playthrough my esteem will continue to rise. We'll see!
Esteem-rising Kid Icarus: Uprising links:
- The official site is chock-full of information, and includes screenshots and wallpapers
- Page on Miiverse
- There were a bajillion videos released about the game. Here's the video with Sakurai's 14-minute in-depth overview of the game's features, and here's a "Tips and Tricks" video
- Interview with Sakurai at Wired
- Challenge mode FAQ at GameFAQs
- Metacritic entry