A couple weeks ago I wrote a piece arguing against a reboot of the Kid Icarus franchise. Obviously, fate and Nintendo were working against me because within a week of that article getting posted Kid Icarus Uprising was announced for 3DS. Given these circumstances, a follow up seems like a good idea.
Looking back at my arguments against a new Kid Icarus, I stand by them as all very valid and significant, however there was one variable that I, and probably just about everybody else, hadn’t taken into consideration – the 3DS. For whatever reason, my vision had primarily been limited to a Wii game in terms of a full-blown title, and a point made by a commenter on another site ultimately made me rather favorable of a more old-school WiiWare title. Nintendo positioning Pit as their point man for 3DS had never crossed my mind, though it now makes plenty of sense.
The cornerstone of my argument against rebooting the series was rooted in how long it had been since the original Kid Icarus and how that game has passed into relative obscurity outside a core group of Nintendo gamers. Reintroducing the franchise under these circumstances is like launching a brand new property. Kid Icarus Uprising still faces this battle, but the fact that it is now tied to the next generation launch of the world’s most popular system gives it a huge boost. Millions of younger gamers are into DS, so it stands to reason they will be excited by 3DS, which ultimately leads to them getting pumped up for Kid Icarus by the huge amount of hype and advertising that is bound to build up for the system. The 3DS wave is just the catalyst the series needed to make a successful relaunch.
And then there is the game itself, which went in a direction I didn’t expect. The gameplay does look rather reminiscent of Star Fox and Sin and Punishment, which actually does negate one of my arguments, but the art style is what really stands out. Nintendo took the Super Smash Bros. Brawl design of Pit and built a world around that style; the result is incredibly colorful, lively, and epic in scope while still possessing that Nintendo charm. Mix the art in with the fast, exciting gameplay, and 3DS’ sheer processing power and you are bound to have a concoction that will help sell the benefits of 3D visuals. 3DS and Kid Icarus Uprising should have a mutually beneficial relationship; the system will help sell the game and the game will help sell the system.
To be completely clear, I originally saw a normal Kid Icarus reboot going over like the latest Punch-Out!!, a game that would excite a core group of Nintendo faithful and sell fairly well without ever setting the world on fire. With the game on 3DS the situation has changed and the simple fact that I am writing this piece now should speak volumes for the game’s potential; after all, it got a naysayer like me excited for Pit’s return.