Released: July 1987
We’ll back up a moment. The development of Kid Icarus was troubled. Initially, they were aiming for a side-scrolling action game with role-playing elements. There were delays and problems during development, so they had to change directors just to get the game out of the door. The new director, Yoshio Sakamoto, had just come off of Metroid, a completely different type of game. In order to get the game completed and finally pushed out the door, large chunks of Kid Icarus had to be scrapped or rewritten.
This made Kid Icarus a little more disjointed than it could have been. You can see pieces of the platformer-RPG that it was intended to be. Your arrows get stronger, your health bar can grow, and there are rooms that you can enter into to buy items to help you on your quest, among other things. However, each of those pieces is a problem on its own.
We’re going to spend a lot of time ragging on this game in the early going of this review, so you might think that this is a totally negative review. However, bear in mind that we’re tearing it apart because Kid Icarus almost touches greatness in so many ways, but the individual pieces are so flawed that they can’t congeal into a cohesive and satisfying whole.