Nintendo are powering ahead with more classic game releases, re-developed in pure 3D with stunning graphics, authentic sound and save features.
Fittingly, these are called the 3D Classics series, and we recently got hold of the latest in this series, Kid Icarus.
Originally released in 1986, Kid Icarus was one of those games that despite it’s popularity, somehow dropped off the radar for over 20 years. The third title in the series, Kid Icarus: Uprising is set to launch on Nintendo 3DS in 2012, and in light of this, Nintendo have released 3D Classics: Kid Icarus as a special promotional download via the Nintendo 3DS eShop.
So how does the title stack up to the original, and are the modern changes enough to make the game relevant in 2011?
3D Classics: Kid Icarus faithfully starts out like most NES titles; you’re thrust into a game world with very little explanation – unless you check out the digital manual included in the download. Here you learn the story behind the game; Long ago there man and Gods lived together in harmony in a kingdom called Angel Land. Two Goddesses ruled Angel Land, Palutena ruled the Light and Medusa ruled Darkness.
Medusa hated mankind and did all she could to bring pain upon them, killing their food crops and turning people into stone statues. Palutena, enranged, transformed Medusa into a monster and banished her into the Underworld. And thus a war broke out between the two forces, and Medusa was gaining the upper hand. Pit, the hero of the story, managed to escape Medusa’s forces and is Palutena’s only hope of bringing peace to the kingdom.
To do this, you will need to find three objects; the Light Arrows, the Mirror Shield and the Wings of Pegasus (all of which have appeared in Zelda games, incidentally). These are the only weapons that can defeat Medusa, and they are hidden throughout Kid Icarus’ well thought out levels.
Gameplay is a mix between Metroid and Mario – there’s platforming to be had; jumping, killing enemies, timing your leaps, but the action is more frantic and very well paced. At it’s heart, the game is an action/adventure title. The title is also a reminder that they simply don’t make games like they used to – expect a greater challenge then you’re used to in modern titles.
Levels are extremely varied – you’ll be faced with a vertical bouncer initially, but the game evolved into side scrolling missions and dungeon crawling stages. There’s so much meat to this game that you will spend a huge amount of time exploring each level. Your mission throughout the levels is to collect hearts, which can be used as currency at shops for items, but there’s also power-ups, and life toppers.
One of the stand out features of 3D Classics: Kid Icarus is the enemies. These guys are tough and they never get ‘old’. You’ll find that something that works with one enemy will only activate “bezerker mode” in another. This will keep you on your toes.
The new 3D graphics are fantastic, but even with the 3D switched off, the backgrounds, the levels and enemies all look fresh and modern, but the underlying gameplay is old school.
To sum up, 3D Classics: Kid Icarus is a classic game that has had a cosmetic overhaul, but keeps it’s legacy intact. There’s more to it than first meets the eye, and if you can overcome the difficulty, you will be thoroughly entertained for many hours. A must play game for gamers of all kinds.