A lot or a little?
The parents' guide to what's in this game.
What parents need to know
Parents need to know that Kid Icarus: Uprising is an action/adventure game starring a wise-cracking angelic boy who fights off countless waves of fantastical creatures in scenes that involve relatively mild but constant cartoon violence. Note that this game supports wireless multiplayer gameplay and the 3DS StreetPass wireless communication feature, but that players cannot speak to each other and personal information is not exchanged. However, younger players not accustomed to online play may grow frustrated by tactics used by some opponents, such as when groups gang up on a single player. Parents need to remember that Nintendo is warning parents not to allow kids age six and under to view the graphics in 3D because that viewing "may cause vision damage." The Nintendo 3DS offers parents the ability to lock out the use of 3D graphics in the system's Parental Controls.
- Parents say
- Kids say
What's it about?
The original Kid Icarus for the Nintendo Entertainment System and its Game Boy Advance follow-up represent an odd case of a game property that has reached near-mythical status among players despite remaining dormant for more than 20 years. That changes with Kid Icarus: Uprising for Nintendo 3DS, a fast-paced action game that puts you back in control of Pit, a winged, angelic creature fighting against the evil, fantastical forces of Medusa. Players spend half their time in the air, fighting flying enemies in on-rails sequences that have kids dodging incoming attacks and firing their magic bow. The other half of the time, they’re on the ground, where they have an opportunity to use Pit’s sword to take down earthbound baddies while sprinting through castles and courtyards. Players also collect new weapons, powers, and collectibles along the way, and have a chance to battle each other online or in local area network play.
Is it any good?
There's much to love and hate about Kid Icarus' long-awaited return. It looks great. The aerial sequences feature gorgeous scenery, and the special effects surrounding energy bursts and explosions are a delight. Also, the aerial battles are wonderfully satisfying. Players are rarely given a break as they blast through countless waves of foes, listening to pleasant, bantering dialogue along the way. It's instantly engaging.
However, the controls are physically uncomfortable. Players use one hand -- their left -- to bear the full weight of the 3DS (your right hands is busy wielding the stylus to aim on the touch screen), as well as control movement via the thumbstick and fire weapons with the shoulder button. It’s exhausting. In a telling sign, the game actually comes with a stand -- which defeats the purpose of a mobile game -- so you can give your poor hand a break. Related, the ground missions don’t live up to their airborne counterparts, thanks largely to the controls. Dashes and dodges are difficult, and camera control is awkward. There are moments of brilliance, but, all things considered, it wasn't worth the 20-year wait.
Talk to your kids about ...
Families can talk about playing games online with strangers. What steps do you take to keep yourself safe? What would you do if you thought you encountered someone dangerous while playing a game online?
Parents can also ask their kids whether they enjoy games that focus solely on fighting, or if they prefer other elements -- puzzles, dialogue, and exploration -- to be mixed in with the action.
- Platforms: Nintendo 3DS
- Subjects: Language & Reading: following directions
- Skills: Collaboration: cooperation
Self-Direction: achieving goals
Thinking & Reasoning: decision-making, strategy
- Price: $39.99
- Available online? Not available online
- Developer: Nintendo
- Release date: March 23, 2012
- Genre: Action/Adventure
- Topics: Magic and Fantasy, Adventures
- ESRB rating: E10+ for Comic Mischief, Fantasy Violence, Mild Suggestive Themes
- Last updated: November 11, 2020
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Common Sense Media's unbiased ratings are created by expert reviewers and aren't influenced by the product's creators or by any of our funders, affiliates, or partners.