The Awkward Control Design of Kid Icarus: Uprising

Okay, so, here's a weird "selling point."

Joey Davidsonby Joey Davidson

Kid Icarus: Uprising - Stand

We're covering Kid Icarus: Uprising with a review just as soon as we feel we've spent enough time with it; but, we wanted to take a moment to put together this post to show you one of the more unique/bizarre aspects of KI:U.

Kid Icarus: Uprising is a game that arrives with a unique control scheme. For players, you control Pit, the main character, with the circle pad on the Nintendo 3DS. Using the touchscreen and the system's stylus, you aim Pit's weaponry. You fire said weaponry with the left shoulder button.

Try and imagine that for a second. Controlling and firing Pit with your left hand while aiming with the stylus in your right hand. That puts the full weight of the 3DS in the hand that's responsible for controlling the game's character.

It's an uncomfortable set of mechanics that puts players in a position that induces hand cramps as opposed to comfort. So much so, in fact, that Nintendo actually decided to package the game with an accessory to alleviate some of this discomfort.

As pictured above and below, allow me to introduce you to the stand that's being sold inside each Kid Icarus: Uprising box. Rubber pads keep the 3DS in place, both in the cradle and on the table, as it rests in the stand.

Kid Icarus: Uprising - Stand

The whole point here, of course, is that the system's weight is centered on the stand instead of in your playing hand. The cramps and discomfort still come during play, but they happen to a slightly lesser degree when the stand is in use.

Here we have one of Nintendo's biggest portable releases for 2012. The game was designed with a control method that actually makes it tough to play, so Nintendo's solution is to include a stand that makes matters slightly less obnoxious. What's worse, the solution actually hinders portable play.

Don't get me wrong, I've been having fun with Kid Icarus: Uprising so far this week; but, really, I have to question the final decision to ship the product with its current set of mechanics.

If you own a Circle Pad Pro (the Nintendo 3DS accessory that adds a second circle pad to the right side of handheld), understand that the only relief it provides is for left-handed gamers. They can use the circle pad on the right instead of the left in order to free up their main hands for the stylus. So, yes, they're still using the same configuration, instead of, what we'd hoped for, dual circle pad control.

While we come up with a full opinion for Kid Icarus: Uprising, we'll be taking shifts between playing and icing our hands. We like the game so far, but, man…