Review: Kid Icarus (NES 1986)

I haven’t talked about a NES game in a while. Honestly most games for the NES have gotten plenty of reviews by now making it perhaps redundant to even talk about now but I spent my Sunday playing a classic game from my childhood that I have never even been close to finishing. That game is Kid Icarus made by Nintendo in late 1986. There is a good reason for why I never came close to beating it, and that reason is that the game is very challenging. Kid Icarus is one of those “NES difficult” action-adventure games which also includes games such as Castlevania and Ghosts ‘n’ Goblins, although it should probably be placed with the more forgiving titles in that category. See how my Sunday turned out!kidtitrle

Kid Icarus was released at a time Nintendo was gushing out high quality titles such as The Legend of Zelda, Super Mario Bros. , Metroid and more. Castlevania, Adventure of Link and Mega Man were just around the corner and even though Kid Icarus had moderate success it kind of got lost among more critically acclaimed titles and perhaps understandably so.

Shoot em’ down!

Kid Icarus is a decent action-platformer. You start by ascending vertically from the underworld so you are actually going up like in Ice Climbers which is a fun change. The game has tight controls so that is never an issue and it is fun to grind some hearts(money) for power-ups. Pitt also gets stronger as you go on so making progress feels extra good because of that and of course because the game is super hard.

Spend your hard earned loot on something useful!

Still, Kid Icarus has its share of problems. It can be a bit unforgiving. Like in many games you often fall to your death and have to return to the beginning of the stage. Some enemies like the eggplant wizards in stage 1-4 can curse you so you cannot use your weapons until you can find a hospital, in which case it is just faster and less painful to just kill yourself and start from the beginning. The thieves that steal your hard earned power upgrades are infuriating. Also you start the game off pretty weak and in that state the game can get a bit monotonous.
So yeah, the game can get frustrating and a bit confusing so I definitely recommend skimming through the manual before you dive into the deep end. If you stick through it the game gets pretty fun in the end stages, also it has a password system so you can always take a break and come back.

Other than that the game looks good and has decent tunes. Only problem is that you have to clear the first three stages for the tune to change so the music can get pretty old if you are having trouble.
Is Kid Icarus worth playing? Sure, I liked it. I liked the challenge, it has nostalgic value for me and the franchise has gained more relevance in the gaming world with the release of “uprising” on the 3ds and the fact that Pitt is a playable character in Smash Bros Wii U/3ds.
If the game has no meaning for you, and/or if you do not want to go through these “NES difficult” games then maybe you should spend your time doing something else.

Gameplay 7
Visuals 8
Music 7,5
Lasting appeal 7,5
Has it aged well? 6

Overall 7 a good game

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