So I am a big big fan of the myth of Pandora and that ties in nicely with our lovable new addition, Hope. In the story of Pandora's box, Pandora let all the evils out into the world but Hope was the last thing left. Part of the reason I love that story is because you can look at Hope two very different ways. One, that the gods took pity on playing Pandora for the fool and left Hope as a ray of light despite all the evils now in the world. The other, and my favored interpretation, is that Hope itself was one of the evils, so Hope isn't a joyous thing, it's an evil in disguise. And that's the route Sins goes. While we certainly don't have the whole story here, the Barons feared and lashed out at Hope, then imprisoned her. Did they do it because she did something wrong, that she was capable of doing great evil, or because they feared that Hope could be stronger than the Barons? All that's certain is that nobody likes a sad Greed!
Two videos game stuffs today to get your weekend going strong and to take that bitter E3 taste out of your mouth!
Demo day is back as A Guy With Standards takes a look at and is then thoroughly confused by Hatsune Miku. I'm going back to Resident Evil. It's less scary.
Quick Review: Kid Icarus Uprising- For starters, I loved Kid Icarus. It was a great blending of my two childhood loves in the NES days: mythology and video games. If you've never played it, I highly recommend you get the 3DS Classics version on the eShop now. That said, if you told me that Kid Icarus Uprising was designed by a team that had never played a video game before, I would have no problem believing it. Uprising has the makings of a cool game but is destroyed by terrible and incompetent design.
To put its best foot forward, the story and writing are genuinely funny. It has great dialogue in a fun story that's delivered by fantastic voice actors. And the game isn't afraid of getting weird. For what starts as a Greek myth about warring gods, the final chapters have the characters talking about pizza, video games, why it's okay to wipe humanity off the face of the planet, and blowing up a Death Star. For as good as the story is, the game goes out its way to prevent you from actually enjoying it. To pay attention to the bottom screen where it's taking place, you have to stop watching the actual game and let yourself get knocked around. The game screen is a mass of lasers, explosions, flashing lights, and messy and ugly 3D models, so even if that's all you're paying attention to, it's hard enough to tell what's going on. The boss fights are especially bad. I thought I was just seeing the hit effects from my weapon striking the boss, but they were covering up the boss glowing to charge a shot that took off half my life. To listen to the story, you have to all but mute the sound effects and put the music down halfway. The sounds of Pit firing, enemies firing, and things exploding drowns out all the dialogue on the default settings. It's a shame too, because the game has great music and really clever use of the original score and remixes. I loved how the game treated Hades, Medusa, Palutena, and Pit, but either disliked or just didn't care about the new characters (except for Pyrrhon, who is envisioned as a wannabe superhero). The Chariot Master, the Goddess of Nature's minions, and the crafter of the Sacred Treasures are so useless and uninteresting that they may as well not be in the game. They do do some... interesting things with Pandora but it's a shame her new design only lasts for one fight.
So, the rest of the game is junk. If it was just the sky stages, it would be a forgettable and bad use of the license. It's an on-rails shooter where Pit takes up too much of the screen so he occludes enemy shots and there isn't much to do other than to drag Pit around the screen and never let go of the shoot button as long as you have the right weapon. The ground stages are where the game gets shockingly bad to the point that you have to wonder how this game got approved. It turns Kid Icarus into a third person shooter without a second analogue stick so you control the camera by flicking the stylus. However, most enemies move faster than you can turn the camera, so just trying to keep certain enemies onscreen is their main strategy to use against you. You aim also dragging the stylus around the screen but it isn't a 1:1 connection. The left side of the touch pad is only sometimes the left side of the screen thanks to the game constantly losing track your stylus and horribly inconsistent detection where sometimes you need to drag halfway across the screen to move the crosshairs a smidge and other times where the tiniest movement will send the reticule blasting across the screen. Similarly, Pit's movement is wildly inconsistent. You walk by using the analogue stick and dash/dodge by quickly flicking it, but in practice that doesn't work. Sometimes Pit will fling himself off a ledge if you slightly move the stick forward to walk and other times he'll stand still and get his face beat in as you jam on the stick trying to get him to dodge. No part of the ground stages are fun at all.
KI:U also has an unnecessary loot system that's, not surprisingly, terribly constructed. As you play through the game, Pit picks up new weapon types but all but two types are even remotely useful given the game's controls and shooting stages. You can fuse weapons together but that doesn't actually make them stronger. You can fuse two strong weapons together and get a much, much weaker weapon in return. You also don't fuse similar types, so two swords fused together don't give you a better sword. A gauntlet and an “Option” style weapon fused together make a sword. Or maybe it was a gauntlet and a cannon. The whole system is bad. There's also a multiplayer mode that ruins this loot system. Multiplayer is only ground stages and there's no filtering, so my first and only match was against a team that could kill me in two hits with their weapons that fired enormous shots that homed in from halfway across the stage, while I had to get in close to shoot them with a bow that did no noticeable damage. But after quickly loosing the match, the game granted me a sword. A sword that was over twice as strong as my current weapon, stronger than anything I could buy in the shop, stronger than anything I could fuse, stronger than anything I could Street Pass for, and stronger than any weapon I encountered at any point in the story mode. I was killing bosses in two or three shots once I switched to my pity sword. And given how terrible this game is, I was happy to get it over quickly.