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This is classic Nintendo design at work here - the gameplay, challenge and control are pretty much perfect.
Kid Icarus on the Virtual Console is a tough target to hit. On one hand, it should earn a recommendation based on its history, its cult following, and the fact that its central character is finally coming back into the spotlight (through Super Smash Bros. Brawl) after an absence of so many years. On the other hand, this game design hasn’t aged in as timeless a manner as many other first-party Nintendo games from the NES era, and the removal of key, nostalgic passwords is nonsensical. Kid Icarus is still a good game, and there’s still fun to be had in Angel Land – but there’s just something missing.
It's all quite sweet and fun, a bit like Rainbow Islands but not as interesting or colourful. File it alongside all the other titles that have made me say "Not the sort of game to rush out and download, but worth the points all the same".
For some reason, Nintendo hasn't done much to keep Kid Icarus going as a franchise. The original NES game was released in 1987 and a sequel was produced for the Game Boy in 1991. That was it--until recently, when the NES game was again made available for the Wii's Virtual Console. Some people regard Kid Icarus as a challenging, Greek-themed alternative to Metroid. Others regard it as a bland 2D action game that's memorable only because some goofy design choices transform the already cruel level layouts into absolute acts of masochism. Both perspectives are accurate, which may be why the game never achieved the same popular following or spawned as many sequels as Nintendo's other character-driven properties.
Passend zum anstehenden Wii-Revival im neuen Super Smash Bros. Brawl, darf man nun auch Pit’s Ur-Abenteuer noch einmal erleben. Während alte Fans mit diesem Kleinod zahllose Kindheitsstunden wieder aufleben lassen, wird der kleine Engel wohl nicht allzu viele neue Freunde gewinnen: Vollkommen verbockte Pal-Umsetzung (das Spiel büßt mit dem Tempo viel an Spielbarkeit ein) und deutlich angestaubte Technik sowie Leveldesign sorgen dafür, dass Pit im 21. Jahrhundert – bei aller Liebe – einfach furchtbar deplatziert wirkt. Ein Klassiker – keine Frage – aber (zumindest in Pal-Regionen) die 5 Euro nicht wirklich wert.