Games Meet Metal: NyxQuest: The Unofficial Kid Icarus 3

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Saturday, November 14, 2009

NyxQuest: The Unofficial Kid Icarus 3

Thank Satan for WiiWare/PSN/XBLA. These 3 built in downloadable services (for Wii, PS3, and 360 respectively) allow upstart developers to release unique, smaller budget games that probably wouldn't see the light of day otherwise. NyxQuest is a product of this new movement, and is also one of the very best Wii titles of the year.

Formerly known as Icarian: Kindred Spirits, NyxQuest is seemingly an homage to Nintendo's classic Kid Icarus series. The last KI game came out on Game Boy in the early 90's, and has been largely ignored ever since. You could almost (emphasis on almost, of course) consider this the 3rd Kid Icarus game Nintendo should have released since the last one came out over 15 years ago.

The game itself is a 2.5D platformer, where you run, jump, float, move obstacles, and shoot lightning as Nyx. She is an angelic creature who must explore the post-apocalyptic ruins of ancient Greece for Icarus, a common figure in Greek mythology and her apparent love interest. As you progress, the Gods will grant you new powers such as manipulating the direction of the winds, enemy projectiles, and other assorted pieces of the environment she would not be able to budge otherwise. The level design and difficulty balance are very well done. The game is challenging, but fair, and without being a frustrating throw-your-controller-across-the-room experience.

Relative to other WiiWare titles, the graphics in NyxQuest are very clean and crisp, if not slightly unpolished. The animation is fluid, and the backgrounds are amazing. The music is very Greek, for lack of a better word, and adds to the overall atmosphere significantly. Also, props to Over The Top for naming the majority of the levels after real Greek cities and locations (Thessaly, Argos, Mt. Parnassus, etc). However, there are some rough edges and there isn't a whole lot of variety in the areas you explore (usually a sandy/mountain area during the day/night). The game is also very short and can usually be completed in less than 3 hours, although I suppose that's to be expected.

Overall, not bad for 4 Spanish guys on a shoestring budget. This game gets a *Slaytanic!

* I guess I forgot to tell you all about the new review system I suggested to riff over e-mail. He wanted to implement a unique grading system for the various reviews we plan to do. We'll hammer out the details later. But for now, here's the grading key, for future reference:

A-, A, or A+ = Slaytanic
B-, B, or B+ = Rippin'
C-, C, or C+ = Average
D-, D, or D+ = 90's Metallica
F= Limp Bizkit

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