Nintendo's Forgotten Cult Stepchild.
Kid Icarus has stood as a classic game, the "other" adventure title outside of Metroid. The gameplay offered a lot of diversity with having horizontal and vertical stages and multi-room dungeons to explore. The music and graphics were typical "Nintendo" of the day: bright, cheerful, catchy and memorable.
The game also had some fantastic enemies. Who could even forget the annoying Grim Reaper or the Eggplant Wizard? Some of the strangest enemies ever created, but they definitely stuck out. The bosses were pretty impressive as well, based off Greek mythology, and Medusa was a cool looking final boss.
Like Metroid, the game offered multiple endings, based off how well you did, and how many points you earned. With the upgrades earned and purchased from the shops, Pit became virtually unstoppable.
The Grim Reaper's theme music. Could they have chosen any more annoying music for that character when he spots you? You want to kill him just to make the music end.
The vertical stages get a bit annoying with their pits. Once you fall in, that's it. Start all over again. Even with the feather upgrade, there were times that Pit would get stuck under a platform and not be able to escape. And there's nothing worse than having your upgrades stolen by the thieves.
The Bottom Line
I don't know why Nintendo seemingly goes such great lengths to avoid association with this title. Every other franchise they've either upgraded or acknowledged... except for this one. They made a sequel for the original Game Boy, but Pit and his adventures have been largely forgotten. It's a shame, too. The game is a lot of fun, and is equally on par with the original Metroid.
If Nintendo ever decides to upgrade this game, I'd hope they would take the Legend of Zelda: The Wind Waker route for the graphical style. That would suit a game like this perfectly, as well as just look amazing.
While hoping for another installment may be largely futile, at least one can hope that Kid Icarus will get his due in the NES Classic Series for the Game Boy Advance. Otherwise, try to track down the cartridge or check it out via emulation.
A great platforming adventure. Recommended.