Original ad, circa 1986. Itís threat remains unfortunately accurate to this day.
I never played Kid Icarus back in the day. None of my friends or myself owned it, and I donít recall ever seeing it at the video store, so it was never rented. As far as I can remember Iíd never even heard of it or itís sequel Ďtil a couple years ago, via the internet. I downloaded the VC version specifically for Cowzillaís Game of the Month club thing. My only prior experience in Angel Land was the ridiculously short demo in Smash Bros Brawl. I have no idea what the real purpose of that ďmasterpieceĒ demo is, the damn thing lasts like twenty seconds. Thatís nowhere near enough time to get a taste of how much this game hates you.
Yísee, Kid Icarus is a difficult game, and after a few hours of failing the same level it stops being the fun kind of difficult. Had I rented this when I was little it wouldíve been the kind of game my brothers and I would take turns dying on nonstop all weekend, then returned it. Completed or not, (most likely not), weíd probably never have rented it again.
Itís a platformer from Nintendo, so youíd think the controls would be near flawless, but they donĎt feel up to snuff to me. Some jumps simply donít feel right. The fact that instant death greets you when you inevitably fall off the screen to where you just came from isnít helped by the iffy controls. Maybe thatís why I dig the side-scrolling stages more than the vertical onesÖ
Here's a pictoral summary of my overall game experience, followed by the longer, text-based version:
I beat the first level without much hassle, started playing the next and after dying a few times I quit for the night. I figured Iíd come back rested and be all over it, boy was I wrong. It took me over an hour to finish level 2, and by that time I was too frustrated to go on to level 3. Thatís when I decided I was going to take it slow so as to not get burned out on Kid Icarus. Playing it was starting to feel like a chore, so I figured Iíd try rapping up a level a night from then on out. A few days and gameplay hours later, I still hadnít bested level 3. I came close, so very close, but never quite made it to that exit.
I finally gave up and did a Google search for passwords, and proceeded to play through fully stocked with all the power-ups. This made muscling through the game a relative breeze, until my health started being whittled away and the power-ups went bye-bye. Still, via my ill-gotten ďSacred WordsĒ I was able to eventually beat Medusa.
Kid Icarus really isnít even that long of a game, itís just time-consuming in itís punishing difficulty. This is from a time when it was acceptable for a game to not offer enjoyment, but instead earn itís worth through shear time consumption. Of course, some people found enjoyment in that, and still do. Iím not one of them. So maybe I just donít get it, but I donít see why Kid Icarus is supposedly such a beloved game. Yeah, it definitely has itís moments, and given when it was released it had some innovations as well, but it really falls way too short for me and I doubt IĎd have liked it back in the day.
So I didnít like the game. Oh well. I still found some stuff to like as far as the enemies/characters go.
Iím not fond of that Reaper guy, but I love the face he makes when he spots me. I donít know why, but I just dig seeing the Grim Reaper running around and squawking like a loon. His minions can rot in Hell thoughÖ
The Centurians are a very nice touch. You rescue these guys from their statue status with a smack from a mallet, and once you make it to the boss of any particular area the Centurians you rescued there will come into battle with you. They die relatively quick, but just having them there adds some desperately needed fun factor.
Snakes with wings, like mushrooms with feet, just make for great common enemies. Not as endearing as Goombas, but theyíre freaking snakes with wings people, which makes Ďem way cooler.
The Eggplant Wizards are also a pretty cool enemy. Theyíre wizards with eggplants for heads, who turn you into an eggplant with legs. You canít attack, all you can do is walk and jump. Sure itís annoying as Hell, seeing as how you have to run back to a hospital room to get changed back to normal, but all is forgiven after realizing just how nuts of an idea the Wizards are.
If I hadnít have paged through a PDF of the original manual Iíd have never known what the Hell these enemies were supposed to be, let alone that they were topless. Hereís a game fit to fight against Nintendoís kiddy/family image, what with itís unrelenting difficulty and bare breasted beasties. I bet Itagaki was a Kid Icarus fanÖ
Alright, I'm done...