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Kid Icarus

The NES box art for the original Kid Icarus!

Kid Icarus is a game released in 1987 for the NES, and more recently released for the Wii's Virtual Console. The game's plot is a deviation from the Nintendo norm in the way that it is a spinoff of Greek mythical legend. The game's story begins with Earth being ruled by Palutena, goddess of light, and Medusa, goddess of darkness. While Palutena treasured the humans, Medusa hated them, making them miserable and turning them to stone. Palutena was enraged, going so far as to change Medusa into a monster and banish her to the underworld. Medusa nursed a deep grudge and used an army of other unsavory minions to launch an attack on the sacred sky temple, stealing the three sacred treasures to render the armies of light powerless and defeating Palutena in battle. With her last bit of power before imprisonment, Palutena sent her ethereal bow to a young angel named Pit, who escaped from capture and set out on a quest to regain the three sacred treasures from the labyrinths and rescue Lady Palutena.

Nintendo just recently caught on and made a modern Kid Icarus title for the 3DS that everyone is buzzing about because of enjoyment of the first title, and I think Pit is a cool SSBB character, so I gave the old Kid Icarus a play. At the time I'm writing this, I just beat the first level of the game online, and I now fully understand why there's such a bandwagon for loving this game!

There are a few things that I completely love about the game. The first is that there is no time limit! The NES period was to a great degree filled with time-restricted games, especially given the fact that it was a generation of arcade gaming when you were supposed to play it only a little at a time so that the owners could actually generate profit from people playing. Not so for Kid Icarus; it was released on a home console, meaning that, unlike the Super Mario Bros. games, you could play through levels without time limits in which to do them. I love this feature, because you especially have to take time getting past the grim reapers, and the ability to do it without pressure is priceless.

The second thing is that you have an unlimited supply of arrows! It's awesome having a long-range weapon that can be aimed upwards or to the sides that you can fire forever without even having to be concerned about it. It allows you to more easily focus on traversing the environment around you and staying safe from the many enemies coming at you.

One thing I really don't like very much about the game is the small amounts of health. I'm sure you're thinking, "Come on, EK, don't be a wimp! Your health gets bigger over time, and a real player can go without tons of health! Plus, there are refills here and there!" For one thing, I'm not a wimp, if that's what your thinking. Anyway, there are indeed some convenient refills. The issue is that they're just too few and far between. It would have been great if you could have gained health over time by collecting anough heart points, as opposed to just desperately trying to keep your head on your shoulders until getting some health. I'm not just complaining about this because I get hit a lot, either. In fact, I get hit relatively little of the time considering the enemies always flying at me. I just think that the system should be a little bit more forgiving from a health standpoint.

The only other complaint I have about the game is the fact that If you fall, then more than often, you die immediately (and you only have one life). It would have been nice if it had the option that other contemporary NES titles had of moving around within the level, or at least getting extra lives (for God's sake, even arcade games had some extra lives). Still, this complaint may be unreasonable given how early on this game was made.

I really don't have any other complaints about this game. The music is fantastic, the gameplay is great, the controls are easy to use, and it's challenging too, because despite the fact that it only has 3 or 4 levels, it's no easy feat getting through on one life.

I do suggest that you try this game first, because it is challenging, and it may not be your type of game, either. So, I'd say play around with the SSBB demo or play online first. If you have a fun time with it, definitely get it for the VC, because for 500 Wii Points, it's a masterpiece that is quite worth the money.

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