Today on Masahiro Sakurai’s Youtube channel where he discusses game creation, the man brought out one of his more recent titles (and his most recent non-Smash Bros. work) – Kid Icarus Uprising, specifically to discuss the game’s difficulty system known as the Fiend Cauldron. The adjustable difficulty is an example of what Sakurai refers to as “Risk and Reward” game design, offering more goodies if you play at a higher level, which also costs more materials and is harder. Conversely, paying up just a bit to lower the difficulty makes the game extremely easy for newcomers.
While generally citing it as a positive example (for example, by automatically lowering the difficulty a notch after losses, it avoids the bluntness of “Do you want to play on easy mode?”), Sakurai readily admits some of the system’s flaws, like it being intimidating to newcomers, and the land stages being too big and populated to properly accommodate player death. However, arguably the most interesting moment in the whole video comes in the end stinger:
It would be nice to play Kid Icarus: Uprising on a home console. I wonder if someone out there will ever port it?
This is either an innocuous thought, a coy tease, or a wanton act of cruelty. Uprising fans have been clamoring for a port or followup for over a decade at this point, and while this could hint at it coming, it could also just be salt on the wound. Sakurai, please tell us you were being wink wink nudge nudge with that one. My heart couldn’t take it otherwise.
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