Since angel boy Pit turned up to fight in Super Smash Bros Brawl, people have been clamouring for a new Kid Icarus game. The classic series hadn’t been touched since the early 90’s and no doubt many hadn’t experienced what Kid Icarus was all about. 3D Classics Kid Icarus is a way to bring everyone up to speed and it carefully irons out the creases so no one will know how stiff and nasty the original could be. Kid Icarus was a game Lucifer probably enjoyed playing.
3D Classics Kid Icarus takes the NES original and makes it more manageable. Controls have been tightened with smoother movement, slow falling and quick fire, but the original controls are available for nostalgics (masochists). New backgrounds have been painted over the old black backdrops, so it even has a modern feel, and it contrasts well with the blocky retro sprites in the foreground. The game has been touched up were it needed to be and left alone were it didn’t. Certainly one of the better 3D Classic upgrades, even if the borders make the world feel that little bit hemmed in.
As for the game, it is still hard as nails at the start. The objective is to guide Pit to the end of each stage, from bottom to top or left to right, shooting enemies and obtaining upgrades. The opening world is frustrating thanks to the extortionate prices in the stores for health items and it feels like a mighty slog as you climb up from the underworld with your puny arrows and energy bar. And make sure you don’t accidentally fall, backtracking is taking the quick road to death. It doesn’t help that by the point you’re obtaining decent power ups, the game throws you in a confusing dungeon which deactivates the power ups and has you wandering around in hopes of finding the big bad boss. Who usually tend to be about the same size as Pit. Plus there is the chance of being turned into a living eggplant thanks to the evil eggplant wizards. Such a cruel fate. The change of play is welcome, but they could break you in a little easier. I’d only got used to the concept of running off one side of the screen and popping out on the other.
But once you’ve made it out of World 1, the game changes for the better. Pit by World 2 will be sturdy enough to take down the monsters without having to take each step with caution, and the sense of slowly becoming an unstoppable angel makes the start-up struggles feel worthwhile; like you’ve escaped the pit and come out stronger from it. Each obstacle is a challenge rather than a chore and once you really get into the flow and experience a side scrolling shooting stage, the game burns out and falls back down to Earth. Such a brief flight, Icarus! The path would have been longer in the NES due to the difficulty, but the 3D Classic lets everyone have a chance to climb those lofty heights and touch the sky.