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4.6 out of 5 stars
Kid Icarus: Uprising
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125 of 139 people found the following review helpful
on March 24, 2012
Format: Video GameVerified Purchase
I picked this up, expecting a clumsy Star Fox-y experience and a few hours of entertainment. I was very wrong.

This game is big. Freaking HUGE, considering its genre. Not really sure where to begin, in fact. I believe I'll leave out everything concerning the storyline, except for this little tidbit: if you are the kind of person who can't stand constant banter while playing, there's an option to turn it off. However, I LIKE the constant banter, it breaks the fourth wall constantly and doesn't take itself seriously, allowing cheesy lines to just work.

EDIT: all this talk about the complexity of the game and I didn't even mention how it looks. Silly me. Anywho, this is easily the most diverse and prettiest game on the 3DS yet. You'd think "aerial battle" would leave little room for variety, but each chapter has constantly shifting environments that go from pretty to trippy to occasionally creepy. Sometimes you will fly gracefully and be able to take in the sights, other times the camera will spin you 360-degrees while ten floating eyeballs fire at you nonstop. Animation is extremely fluid and framerate never drops in single player, with online rarely hiccuping at the 6-player chaos going on. That's all pretty impressive considering I cranked the 3D up at all times.

Well anyway, the game plays like 1/3 Star Fox and 2/3...I dunno how the hell you'd describe it. Super Smash Bros. in three dimensions comes close, as you run around, shoot/swat at anything that lies before your path and dodge projectiles that can (and will) block the entire screen. The air parts are the easiest, as it shares similar-yet-advanced controls with Star Fox 64 3D. Unlike that game, you can move and aim in different directions using the slider and touch screen, respectively, which gives an amazing level of aim. A charged shot loads while you have a moment of peace, movement is quicker when you're not shooting, certain enemy projectiles can be shot back or reflected...there's a lot going on.

This gets even more complex on the ground. Pit is an agile cat, able to pull off charged shots with the same ease you had in the air. But land combat also includes dashing (which itself has its own charged shots depending on which direction you go), grinding rails, bunny-hopping and camera control. The last one is the finicky bit. A lot of reviewers apparently can't wrap their heads around the touch screen being used to move the camera AND the aiming reticule with different motions, it's usually the dominant complaint in any review of the game so far. But while the control layout itself is abstract, it is by no means unusable. I kinda relate it to a similar "holy crap this is difficult" feeling you get playing rhythm games like Rock Band, where the input method itself works fine but it's the person playing who has to adapt. But this will differ for everyone, and just because I have yet to feel anything remotely painful enough to stop playing, doesn't mean you can show up and play the game flawlessly.

Those are the only two things you actually DO throughout the whole game, which consists of plenty of storyline chapters and an online mode. Sounds pretty simple, eh? It's not. As soon as you complete the first mission - set on the "baby" difficulty - you are awarded with hearts (in-game currency) and perhaps a new weapon. These are doled out from playing the missions themselves and finding hidden chests, or from completing a task on the HUGE achievement list. Weapons not only come in nine different classes, there are easily a hundred different weapons to choose from, and the stats vary on EVERY SINGLE ONE, and the bullets fired all vary in shape/speed/homing capacity/look/size/damage depending on HOW it's fired and what weapon it's fired from, and melee attacks have varying range/power/speed/combo length, and two weapons can be fused to create a new weapon with hybrid stats. You get all that? If you have no interest in the weapon at all, you can sell it for more hearts, which in turn can be used to buy more weapons. I know some of you may be imagining a nightmare scenario where you have to equip each weapon and halfheartedly play a mission to get a feel for it. Fear not: you can try out any weapon you want while in the weapons menu.

See, look at all that text, and I didn't even mention the bonus box. I dunno what the game calls it, but the bonus box is a Tetris-like system where certain skills (poison, grenades, health boost, dozens of others) can be equipped by sliding their blocky shape into said box. These show up in-game on the bottom screen, and can be activated with touch or the d-pad. These can change your playstyle just as drastically as a different weapon class, so experimentation is key.

Sound like a lot of grinding? Well, it COULD be, if you take the easy way out and pick "wuss" mode. But the difficulty is extremely adjustable, allowing you to wager hearts and say "Yeah, I can beat this." I wouldn't recommend this early on, you will get stomped. But when you DO feel up to it, don't think the game will be completely out of surprises just yet: hidden areas will only open if you hit the difficulty threshold, and that's where you'll find even greater challenge and loot.

As that wasn't cool enough, 99% of what you unlock in the storyline will become available to use against people all over the world. There are only two game types - free-for-all deathmatch and a protect the leader-ish Light vs. Dark mode - but the infinite weapon variations more than make up for it. Once again there is no online voice chat, not even for friends, but to be honest there's so much going on I don't know what I'd say to my partners that would lessen the chaos. And there are items you can only collect/use from playing online, too, giving even more variety.

On top of all that, you have a card-battle system which uses the 3DS camera, a Smash Bros.-like figurine collection, hidden pictures slowly revealed via achievements and customizable menu screen. Yeah, really. It is insane how much content is packed in that little cartridge, and anyone who thinks they're up to testing the unusual control method could do worse than pick this game up.
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36 of 40 people found the following review helpful
on March 24, 2012
Format: Video Game
This is a great game for so many reasons. The gameplay is very fun and amazing. The visual and sounds are top notch, and the game is very customizable in regarding a person's preference. You can change the control scheme to your liking in almost every way, but also the game has a difficulty slider that can be used to provide either a causal playthrough or a difficult and rewarding experience. In regards to the controls, it'll take some time to get used to, but you should be okay after the first or second stage. The game divides the fight into flight sections and on foot sections. Flight sections are basically an on rail shooter and are pretty amazing in terms of visuals. The on foot sections are similar to third person shooters and is fun to move around Pit on land, but takes some time to get used to because you have to use the camera which takes time to get used to. Both sections are very fun and great in terms of gameplay, it only takes time to get used the controls that may put some people off. The replay value is crazy good because of the fact that there are many weapons in the game and for those that love to get 100%, it'll you awhile. There are 9 different types of weapons such as blades, staffs, cannons, bows, etc... Each of these of different gameplay attributes that can appease to anyone with a certain playstyle. Close quarter combat, mid range, or long range weapons are here and are all fun to mess around with. On top of buying weapons and finding weapons through playing, there is also an interesting thing called "fusing" where you can combine two weapons that make another weapon that will be a more powerful weapon. Another wrinkle into why this game great. This game has a multiplayer that I only have played little bit, but it was pretty fun. Overall this game for $40 is a great deal, however, since this game is now $30 it's a steal to get. For those of you who have a 3DS, you must have this game. For those without a 3DS, this game and Super Mario 3D Land are great excuses to finally jump on the 3DS train.
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35 of 43 people found the following review helpful
on March 23, 2012
Format: Video GameVerified Purchase
The controls while in the air are pretty good and solid. On the ground it gets messy and annoying. It's something that you can overcome, though and should not stop you from playing this amazing game. You also have a lot of customization options so eventually you'll get it to be more bearable once you get used to how the game works.

It has the highest replay value of any 3DS game I've played yet. There's a lot of modes to play, lots and LOTS of stuff to collect. There's attention to detail in this game.

In short, it's a VERY solid game. Sure, the controls are irritating, especially considering that you should be able to use the Circle Pad Pro for it PROPERLY, but once you get over that hangup, there's an awesome game to explore.

Top 5 3DS game of all time and that is despite the control issue.
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24 of 29 people found the following review helpful
on March 23, 2012
Format: Video GameVerified Purchase
I remember back at E3 2010, when the 3DS was being heavily promoted and Kid Icarus Uprising was introduced to the gaming community at large. I included myself amongst the many watching that immediately wanted a 3DS. Now, I own a 3DS and after what seemed forever since I had pre-ordered the game, Kid Icarus Uprising has finally been dropped upon us. Was it worth the wait? Oh heck yeah!

First, you gotta praise Project Sora and Nintendo for breathing a new kinda life into a long-beloved but under-appreciated franchise. Kid Icarus has obviously never looked better, and thanks to the 3DS hardware it's really hard to turn away from once you have the game in your hands. However, when reviews began going live and critics started squabbling about the stylus-heavy controls, I got nervous. Being a lefty, I hadn't had the chance to obtain a Circle Pad Pro so I hoped all week long that I'd be able to adjust to the controls without getting completely cramped up.

Now that the game's here, I can say for the most part that my hopes and prayers were answered. Like Game Informer said, this game comes with a plastic stand for a reason: Unless you really plan on playing this game on the go right off the bat, you NEED it. This stand has been a huge relief for me, especially being a lefty. The stand has rubber grips on the bottom so it never slides all over the place unless you get really clumsy with it. There's also space so you can put on headphones and/or charge while playing. yes, it kills the portability, but it's honestly the best way I can think of playing Uprising right now, being a gamer that prefers couch gaming to on-the-go gaming.

Anyway, using the stand I didn't notice any severe cramping. Controls are simpler than they sound: The Circle Pad is how you dodge and move, 'L' is Fire, and you use the stylus to aim and look around. Admittedly, the ground sequences get very tricky if you're not on your toes. However, a focused and determined player can play it without an issue generally. The rail sequences, which also received criticisms for basically the game "playing for you," I've noticed are unfounded complaints. While it DOES INDEED move you around, doing this allows you to focus on shooting and dodging, which once you begin really sinking into the gameplay becomes extremely invaluable.

Reviews have also been pointing out the upgrading and weapon system in the game, which I absolutely agree with. There are an abundance of items to unlock in this game. I feel like I've barely scratched the surface, but that's okay because that means this game will give me my money's worth.

The one thing I largely ignored were the AR cards. I appreciate the collector value of these, and they are definitely neat to check out. However, I noticed that some of the included cards didn't seem to read properly. Perhaps I didn't do something right, but then again I paid $40 for a video game, not a card reader. And for the video game part's sake, I'm willing to forgive something like this. :) Anyway, if you're even remotely curious about playing this game, definitely do so. However, embrace the stand. Do not be afraid. Because when it all comes down to it, this is the 3DS game you know you've been waiting for!

Thanks for reading, and I hope my review helped you out!

-Jack

P.S. Since I'm a lefty, I'm very interested in giving the Circle Pad Pro support a shot when I get one. This review will be updated when/if I do.
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18 of 22 people found the following review helpful
on March 23, 2012
Format: Video Game
In my opinion, this game should have been made for the wii. The controls seem as they were designed for use with the wii-mote/nunchuck combo. I understand that today ANY game can be released on a handheld system, and ANY game really is. For me however, I prefer my handheld games to be quick pick up and play titles when I am on the go because otherwise I will play games on my consoles at home. The fact that most people including myself would want to use the stand, is fact enough that this game should have been made on the home console. I think this game does benefit from the 3D however especially for those who actually like 3D gaming. Personally, I find myself playing most of my 3DS games with the 3D off anyways because I don't particularly like it. But on the 3DS, this game looks great.

First of all this game is STUNNING, and it is a lot of fun to play. First off, let me say that the controls are not too bad as people have stated. They take a little bit to get used to, and I personally do not like the rapid sliding of the stylus to change directions because sometimes it does not happen smoothly. The controls are basically the analog stick, the left trigger, and the touch screen, so one can hold their 3DS like that to see how the controls work. I am glad that the stand is included because the stand is definitely needed in my opinion. Holding the game without the stand is awkward and gets tiring. A lot of time and effort went into this release. Personally I wish they had a circle pad pro option because two analog sticks would make this game more perfect. The game plays similar to that of Panzer Dragoon Orta, or starfox, but there is ground play involved. Personally, I like the flying parts the most, they are what makes the game so much fun.

This game is NOT a platformer, so it does not play like Mario or Zelda. You control pit, but in a more linear fashion meaning that you are directed along a path in which to go. You can shoot enemies, use melee attacks, special attacks, and more. The sound of the game is top notch which is another reason why I would have preferred this release on the wii. The voice acting is really a part of the game. Sure you can read the text, but this game was meant to be played LOUD! Honestly I play this game with the stand on a table with my volume all the way up and the experience is AWESOME! If you are not a fan of Panzer Dragoon or Starfox games, you may not like this game. It does not play anything like the old kid Icarus games except for the characters. If the original Kid Icarus were like galaga, then there would be a connection... but this is definitely different in a good way.

Pros:
Amazing graphics and sound quality
3D is great for those who use it. One of the better looking 3D titles for sure up there with Mario 3D Land.
Gameplay is fun and very immersive
Classic character Pit is BACK!!!
Gameplay similar to Panzer Dragoon Orta!
Overall a beautiful game
Very refreshing and unique experience from Nintendo
Cons:
Should have been on the Wii in my opinion
Controls are unique and therefore require a slight learning curve
For a portable game, you are going to want to be pretty stationary (which is why it should have been on wii in my opinion)

Overall, I recommend this game to anyone who wants something new from Nintendo or even fans of the classic Kid Icarus games because even though it is different, this is Kid Icarus 20 years later. I think it is great that Nintendo brought this series back, and I hope that they don't wait 20 more years for the next installment! It is about time that a series that isn't Mario, Zelda, Metroid, or Donkey Kong gets some attention!
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17 of 21 people found the following review helpful
on March 30, 2012
Format: Video Game
In 1986, Nintendo released a (notoriously difficult) 2D platformer on the NES featuring a charming angel named Pit. Modeled closely after the mythological Cupid, he battled an array of devilish foes while wielding a bow and arrow, ultimately facing his nemesis, Medusa, AKA the "Queen of Darkness." It was a nice concept and supposedly a nice game (I'd never played it myself), but one seemingly destined to be rather short-lived, as it saw no real sequel in a span of 26 years, unless of course you count the 1991 Game Boy follow-up, which didn't receive much attention.

Fast forward to 2008 and Pit suddenly reappears in Super Smash Bros. Brawl, among the most popular and widely known Nintendo franchises. This was surely hinting at a comeback of sorts, and sure enough we finally receive Kid Icarus: Uprising in 2012 (guess the Ice Climbers weren't as lucky).

If you've been paying attention to any gaming magazines, sites or multimedia recently, chances are high you've come across some form of advertisement or promotional material for this game. Arguably one of the most heavily hyped Nintendo games in recent history, and surely the most hyped 3DS game, does Kid Icarus: Uprising live up to its vast array of promises? The short answer is yes, given that the game is undeniably fantastic and in fact arguably one of Nintendo's greatest triumphs ever. This shouldn't necessarily come as a surprise given that its chief developer is the creative mastermind Masahiro Sakurai, creator of iconic pink puffball Kirby and the Super Smash Bros. series. His games are most often innovative and colossally ambitious, but he may have just outdone himself with this one.

Kid Icarus: Uprising offers an obscene amount of content (a trademark of Sakurai), ranging from an expansive 1-Player story mode to elaborate competitive online play, as well as a scattering of mini-games and other little goodies. The 1-Player mode is incredible, featuring stunning, colorful visuals and landscapes throughout a variety of storyline chapters (if you haven't been impressed yet by the 3D capabilities of the 3DS, I guarantee this game will bring you around). You begin each level soaring through the air via a predetermined route (the ascents and dives through gorgeous scenery make for intoxicating aesthetics-and fun), firing attacks at enemies while swerving around to avoid their own. Once again, Pit has teamed up with Lady Palutena, Goddess of Light and ruler of Angel Land (a Nintendo-ified Heaven, more or less. Appropriate, considering the quality of this game) to take on Medusa. The lovely green-haired deity will guide you through various stages and also engage in some entertaining banter with Pit; the dialogue is most often genuinely funny and serious when it needs to be without ever approaching levels of childishly obnoxious or cheesy depravity.

Since Pit (for some unexplained reason) can't fly on his own, Palutena temporarily allows him the power of flight at the beginning of each stage, but once it runs out, you'll come crashing to the ground below. From here, the gameplay switches up and you'll be traversing through corridors and crevices while solving puzzles to reach new areas and battling enemies in the fray with both long range and melee attacks. There is a boss at the end of each stage, and similar to those you might fight in Zelda games, each one has individual weaknesses that may require use of specific techniques or strategies to defeat. You're free to adjust this mode's difficulty to your liking; the so-called "Intensity" scale, ranging between 1 and 10, determines how challenging things will be overall. The game's default is just above 2, and if you want much higher or lower than that you may have to spend hearts (the in-game currency, which can be won in various ways) to make large adjustments. To give you a better idea, extremely low Intensities make for absolute cakewalks, but go too high and I can pretty much guarantee you'll be destroyed in seconds, especially if you have yet to garner much experience. This is a nifty feature, as it allows swift interchange between veteran and newbie players. As you might expect, you'll unlock better goodies and win more hearts if you're daring enough to survive through higher Intensities.

In both the single and multiplayer modes, you'll have a vast array of options to choose from as to which weapon(s) you'd like to duel with. Taking notes from many popular MMOs, Kid Icarus: Uprising offers a massive variety of weapon classes, each of which have individual strengths and weaknesses, some of which handle extremely differently between one another and can completely change gameplay mechanics. There are melee weapons that excel at taking down nearby opponents like Claws, Clubs and Blades, while long-range classes like Bows, Staffs and Cannons can snipe opponents from afar. You'll have the option of experimenting with the weapon of your choice before taking it out on the field, but you'll have to play through the game and win online matches to unlock the most powerful and diverse ones. This isn't to say that anyone will necessarily be at a huge disadvantage starting out, however, as it is possible to master most any weapon available upon practice and recognition of its best accompanying techniques. In addition to differences in power and range, different types of weapons can even have different effects on your opponent or yourself, such as increases in speed or defense or the capability to inflict status conditions such as poison or paralysis, which can further hinder oncoming enemies. The variety of options here is so vast it's staggering, but it's expansive features like this that give online play that huge replay factor.

Speaking of the online play, it is expectedly one of the most appealing and highly addictive aspects of the game. The 3DS and in fact Nintendo in general has tended to downplay the relevance of online capabilities, which is truly unfortunate given that online play seems to be what offers most games their greatest replay value nowadays. Thankfully, the competitive online play in Kid Icarus: Uprising is raucous fun and an expertly executed feature. You can team up with (or duel against) friends or random opponents via either local wireless or online worldwide. The online multiplayer is split into two primary modes, Light VS. Dark and Free-for-All; as you might expect, the latter equates to a straightforward death match in which everyone is out for themselves, while Light VS. Dark is a unique team battle in which each team shares one collective health bar, which progressively depletes as teammates take damage. The player responsible for taking the blow that finishes off the team health transforms into that team's Angel; in this form, they take on the appearance of Pit and are equipped with a random (but usually more powerful) weapon. Once you become the Angel, your best bet is to flee or snipe from afar, because a team loses once their Angel is defeated.

All multiplayer matches make for truly addictive fun, and the fact that there are so many weapon classes to select from can make for an invigoratingly different experience each time. You can win various goodies, such as new weapons, hearts and more, by performing well in online matches. Shockingly, lag is virtually non-existent and the gameplay is unexpectedly fluid amidst such frantic battling. Nitpicks may notice minor framerate changes in particularly chaotic moments, but experiencing a fluid online mode (in 3D) on a handheld console is sheer gaming bliss.

In addition to choosing your diverse weaponry, you'll even have the option of equipping specific "Powers" to your character, or special abilities that can offer assistance to you or hinder enemies in both single and multiplayer modes; these Powers can be used at will but only for a limited number of times per match. You can do things like inflict paralysis or confusion, auto-target nearby foes, perform command jumps, veil your opponents' vision in darkness, create massive cyclones to send nearby foes skyward, and much more. Customizing these Powers to best enhance your strategy or weapon class can set up some devastating scenarios for your opponents. As if this isn't enough, there are also items you can snatch throughout matches and stages, whose effects vary from granting increased strength or abilities to initiating wild super-attacks.

The much debated control scheme is arguably the only thing the average person might complain about in this game, but in all honesty it doesn't exactly deserve the atrocious rap some have given it. To control Pit or your online avatar, you use the Circle Pad to move, dash or sidestep, and the L Button to fire attacks. Pressing and holding L fires continuous shots (better at long range, obviously) while it can be mashed to perform melee combos up close. The stylus is used on the touch screen to dictate the crosshair and aim fire; you can also make quick swishes and sweeps to change the direction you're facing. This might sound wonky at first and yes, admittedly, it's unlikely anyone will be playing this game for long without some kind of solid surface beneath the console. Luckily, Kid Icarus: Uprising comes prepackaged with a free Nintendo 3DS stand, which allows you to prop the 3DS up at a certain height and maintain it at eye level. This not only makes playing the game much easier, but it also greatly decreases the likelihood of losing the top screen's 3D sweet spot. The stand is also frankly very likely to come in handy for other games that make heavy use of the stylus and touch screen. Players will also have the option of customizing various settings, including the control scheme, to their preferences (left-handed players can use buttons as a D-pad, etc.); there is also Circle Pad Pro compatibility. Although the controls will take some getting used to for most players, once you're accustomed you'll be zipping around while maintaining solid control over your character.

It's quite rare that we come across a video game with passion; i.e. one you can tell the developers put a great deal of time, effort and diligent care into. Kid Icarus: Uprising is one such game. It is a beautiful game, plain and simple; with a startlingly impressive variety of modes, content, charming storyline, endearing characters, and that one little thing that tends to matter most-that desire to keep coming back to it again and again-it is an absolute must-have title, and could frankly easily go down as one of Nintendo's all-time classics (which is no small statement). If you own a 3DS and don't have this game, you really should stop reading this review and go experience one of the greatest games available right now.
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14 of 17 people found the following review helpful
on March 24, 2012
Format: Video GameVerified Purchase
Yes, the default controls take some time to adjust to, but the stand can help remedy that. However, I went with the other controls (buttons for movement, circle pad for aiming), which has worked out well for me, and it feels great, in my opinion.

Anyways, Kid Icarus: Uprising is insanely polished, with fantastic graphics in both 2D and 3D. This is one phenomenal looking game. The draw distance in the flying sections is something to behold. In addition, the art direction is absolutely stunning. Each level is nicely detailed and rendered beautifully. This is without a doubt the finest looking 3DS game on the market.

A big surprise for me is the story, which is so silly. This is a game that knows it's a game. :) I love the constant banter.

A great strength of this game is the amount of content and unlockables.

Single Player
Multiplayer (Online and off)
AR Card Battles
Unlockables (Lots of different weapons to collect and replay the game with!)
And more!

You can tell this was created by the minds behind Smash Bros., because it's packed with quality content.

This is one game you must own if you have a 3DS.
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17 of 22 people found the following review helpful
on March 23, 2012
Format: Video Game
Pros:
1. Music if great.
2. Voice acting is great
3. Dialogue is funny.
4. The game is just plain fun.
5. Multiplayer is also fun.

Cons:
1. Takes a little bit of time to get use to the controller, but it shouldn't be a problem.
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11 of 14 people found the following review helpful
on March 25, 2012
Format: Video GameVerified Purchase
The video game critic pool is like a kindergarten classroom. Not only do they love to complain, it's contageous- and is quickly spread through the class. I sometimes wonder if 1 critic writes a review and everyone else simply copies that person- even the verbage is nearly identical. It is also true that the video game media hates Nintendo. How many times have you heard "It's good... for a Wii game." or that the 3DS was a flop (even though it's selling better than the DS) Then the masses parrot.

That said, Kid Icarus is a great game with a lot of depth and length. Nothing to complain about there. So they panicked. Ah! Controls! Nevermind to look in the options to adjust the sensitivity or various different control schemes. In fact, KIU has one of the most detailed Options menus I've seen for a non-PC game. If you can't find a control scheme that fits you, you're not looking hard enough.

Even with all this considered, at the moment, it is still ranked 5th best DS game on meta. Which should tell you something. If you own a 3DS, get it.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
on January 8, 2013
Format: Video GameVerified Purchase
What can you say about this game other than GO BUY IT!

Here, let me give you a short list...

GRAPHICS - Outstanding
LEVELS - Well crafted
CHALLENGE - Beautifully well designed, customizable from easy for children to challenging for experts
CONTENT - Packed to the brim. Even the menus have gameplay

If you don't know, this game was made by Sakurai, the mastermind behind the Smash Brothers series. He put as much loving care into this game as he did with Melee and Brawl. That means there is a TON of content. You will be playing this game for a long time. And that's good, because it is FUN. From twinstick shoot em up sequences to dungeon exploration, and even two surprisingly great multiplayer modes.

I can't recommend this game highly enough.
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