Video Game Review: Kid Icarus (NES)

I never understood why Kid Icarus didn’t get sequels on the original Nintendo. It was a pretty solid and fun game that was damn challenging. It also took place in an interesting world and the hero of the game was featured in every episode of the super popular Saturday morning cartoon: Captain N: The Game Master.

But then I look at a game like Metroid, a mega hit, and it never got a sequel on the Nintendo either. Who the hell made these decisions at the company, back in the day?

Kid Icarus, like Metroid, Rygar or the Konami space shooter Lifeforce, is both a side scrolling and vertical scrolling game. Some levels are horizontal, some are vertical and then the dungeons are both, as you move from room to room similar to the labyrinths in the original Zelda game.

The mechanics for the game are good, even if there may be a period of adjustment for new players. Some of the platform hopping can be tedious at first but once you get the flow of the game’s controls and physics, it’s not too difficult.

I think that the level design could have been better though, as each level just seems to be sporadic without a lot of logic or sense in the design. While that’s not necessarily a bad thing and it doesn’t hinder your progression through the game itself, it wouldn’t have taken much effort to improve this quite a bit. However, other than the dungeons, each level follows a straight, direct path.

My biggest issue is the boss battles. They all just kind of suck and are too time consuming. Maybe I was supposed to use some special item I didn’t pick up or something but having to hit a boss 200 times with a simple arrow just drags down the whole game, kills the momentum and sucks the fun out of the experience.

Still, Kid Icarus is a fun game to play and for it’s era, it gives you a ton of gameplay time from start to finish.

A Nintendo sequel would have been nice though, as it could have refined things, corrected some of the mistakes and been a much better version of this already entertaining game.

Rating: 7/10
Pairs well with: other NES action fantasy or sci-fi games like the two original Zeldas, Rygar or Metroid.