How Should the Next Kid Icarus Play?

Rather than torture himself by reviewing craptastic Wii software, which there seems to be plenty of, Matt Casamassina over at IGN has been spending his time editorializing on a number of topics from Nintendo’s relationship with the hardcore to bringing back retired games, such as Luigi’s Mansion. This week, he published an article on Kid Icarus and how a Wii version of the game could be handled.

The thing is, that is Kid Icarus from the clouds — literally, I suppose. But when you sit down with the original title, you quickly discover that while it does star an angel who eventually takes flight, the bulk of the game revolves around platforming. Incredibly challenging platforming at times. And this is where some hard choices will undoubtedly need to be made from a development standpoint — ones bound to change the entire nature of the end experience. For a 3D Icarus to stay true to its roots in the same way that Prime did its classic predecessor, the Wii title will need to include, if not center on a high amount of tricky platforming obstacles. Pit jumping across chasms, using his underdeveloped wings to glide softly to the next pillar when necessary. In other words, a lot of on-ground work. And with all due respect to rumored developer Factor 5, well, this hasn’t traditionally been the company’s forte, as the character-based missions in Rogue Squadron 3 demonstrated. — Matt Casamassina, IGN

He has some good ideas, and I encourage you to read the whole article, so I won’t dissect it here. As far as Matt’s ideas go, though, I will respond that I hope Factor 5’s rumored Kid Icarus title sees Pit primarily on the ground and not in the air, as the original game is very much rooted in platforming, not flying. Dead Phoenix looked awesome, but that’s not what I want from a long-awaited Kid Icarus revival. Then again, I am not sure how much faith I have in Factor 5’s ability to do a straight-up platformer. It’s worth noting, I think, that Matt realizes these things and points them out in his write-up.

Personally, I believe that there are two great directions to take the franchise. The first would be a 3D reboot, which would play similarly to Prince of Persia and use the Wii-mote for aiming and firing Pit’s bow. The second approach, which is my preference and definitely won’t happen (at least Factor 5’s version won’t play like this), would be to stick with 2D. Visually, imagine a cross between the art styles of Castlevania and Braid. As far as gameplay design goes, such an installment wouldn’t differ much from the original game — essentially, focused on old-school, challenging platforming. And lots of it.

What do you think? Hit the comments, and tell us.