Kid Icarus: Uprising multiplayer proven more complex (and fun) than expected via new hands-on and video

It took Pit decades to make his comeback from the forgotten realms of Nintendo history, but his 3DS revival is finally mere weeks away. As proof of Kid Icarus: Uprising’s imminent arrival, we recently got to play the seemingly final version of the game and can attest to its progress. Unlike our last single player preview (opens in new tab), this time we took the online multiplayer for a spin and were really impressed with the dense action. But first, take a look at the new trailer:

As we stepped into it, we were surprised by just how customizable your character is with all the choices in the pre-game lobby. Before hopping into a match you not only choose your loadout from literally dozens of unique weapons you unlock during the game, but you also set up your special abilities in an ingenious way. Each power is represented as a differently shaped puzzle piece, and you have to try to fit as many as you can onto a board like it’s a puzzle game. It’s a creative and very Nintendo approach to this multiplayer necessity.

Once that was all figured out we jumped into a quick six player free-for-all, which seems to be the maximum number of players per match. Though you might think the touch screen camera control would be inexact (and that’s how we felt the last time we played it), once we got into the groove with the play style we were sold on the set up. We were ably blasting people with a steady stream of projectiles and getting in close for combos all came so easy after a couple rounds that we could see ourselves getting hooked. We also noted the well realized balance of all the weapons and not surprisingly, Nintendo sent out a new trailer detailing said melee items:

Each highly specialized weapon receives a different point ratings dependent on the power and number of perks that item has. More complexity comes in when you notice that the higher the rating of the weapon, the more points you lose for dying, making weapon choice involved than choosing the biggest gun. You pick up so many randomized weapons of so many varieties throughout the game (and via StreetPass) that it’s easy for your character to feel unique in a battle. That and features like the dodging system used during battle imply an impressive amount of depth that reminds us favorably of KIU’s sister series, Super Smash Bros.

As the multiplayer went on we played the team deathmatch variant called Light vs Dark. The three on three matches featured within were exciting and fairly close, as random elements were assisted by AI partners that worked well on our team. Once enough team members die on one team, the most recently deceased becomes Pit; who is a stronger fighter, but one that, once defeated, spells a loss for the whole team. It made for some very heated finales to matches.

The more we see of Kid Icarus: Uprising, the more we’re impressed. Despite our doubts last year when playing earlier builds, it looks like Nintendo might have worked its magic on another title. We’ll know it’s potential quality for sure pretty soon, as the game comes to 3DS March 23.

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