Extra Punctuation

Extra Punctuation
Kid Icarus: Uprising and Hurt Nintendo Fans

Ben "Yahtzee" Croshaw | 1 May 2012 16:00
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So after the Kid Icarus: Uprising review I probably set a new record for how many comments I could read before I had to stop. Hey, fanboys, let me put something in perspective for you. When you're trying to get me to give Kid Icarus a second chance, you are basically asking me to undergo genuine physical pain just so you can feel justified in your opinions. Just think on that for a second. You want me to suffer back pain and increase the risk of spinal injury in old age, a scenario ending with my tearful relatives being forced to put a bullet into the moaning pile of twisted bones on the hospital bed, because you want to hear nice things about the little angel twat. By then you'll all have forgotten about Kid Icarus: Uprising anyway. You'll be rolling around the nursing home arguing that the new Zelda is totally different to the others because Link gets to ride a motor scooter now.

It's all down to that wretched little stand, which means I have to sit at my desk hunched over that little screen. Yeah, maybe this is the sign that KI:U is aimed at younger, more flexibly-spined people than I, although it's worth noting that I'm considerably younger than I'd have to be to have been a fan of the original NES Kid Icarus that Uprising can't stop banging on about.

I remember saying when the 3DS came out, it's ridiculous that a hand-held, a device whose titular selling point is its ability to be held in one's hands and played with in all kinds of places and angles, should possess a gimmick that only works if you keep the thing held in one specific spot relative to your head. I said that they should bring out a Nintendo-branded peripheral that bolts the thing to your skull with a steel brace. I didn't expect them to actually do something like that, but that's what the stand basically is. Good luck using your stand to play Kid Icarus on the bus, or secretly with the device in your lap so the teacher can't see.

The stand is necessary because the movement, aiming and shooting controls combined preclude the ability to actually anchor the device in your grasp. Some correspondents have informed me that there is an autofire option - thanks for making that clear, Nintendo - but even just using the analog stick and the stylus makes anchoring the thing awkward. And besides, how are you supposed to use the charge attack, the one that requires you to stop firing for a second? because it's useful enough to gameplay that it's practically essential.

This is my point. This is unprecedented in my experience as a gamer and critic - a game that needs artificial aid. A mandatory peripheral provided not to enhance gameplay, like a Wii racing wheel or a Guitar Hero controller, but to compensate for the game's faulty design. It's like releasing a game with a roll of duct tape and a stapler because the basic controls will make your fingers fall off. It smacks of last-minute fixing, because I find it very difficult to believe that there was no other way, that the controls couldn't have been reworked early in development. More likely the corporate development machine was churning along for months before anyone with any sense could get someone important to acknowledge that the little angel boy rather obviously had a leg missing and needed a crutch or two.

But I would say that, wouldn't I, what with being so biased against Nintendo and everything. There was one response on my Twitter last week that gave me something of a pause for thought.

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