From the moment you pick up the game, Masahiro Sakurai's influence is immediately evident. Like Smash Bros. Brawl before it, Kid Icarus manages to be simultaneously accessible and satisfying. The frenetic on-rails action, variety of perspectives, and onslaught of bizarre enemies make it reminiscent of the Sin & Punishment franchise -- and that's undoubtedly a good thing.
In the demo that I played, I was introduced to Pit, looking just as bright-eyed and optimistic as his Smash Bros. counterpart. He has three weapons to choose from: the "well-balanced" Blade, close-range Claws, and a long-range Orbitar weapon. which fires shots that actually grow in power the farther it goes. At first, the importance of these weapons was unclear to me, as I flew through an on-rails shooting sequence not unlike Star Fox.
This segment is undoubtedly one of the best technical showcases on the 3DS, as enemies fly in and out of the environment, into and out of the screen. It's all very impressive. In spite of all that's happening on screen, the 3DS manages to render it all without a hitch. It's not difficult to figure out how to play: the analog stick controls Pit's flight, while the touch screen lets you control the aiming reticule, a control scheme ripped from DS FPS games, like Metroid Prime Hunters. Unlike MPH, however, I found it easy to grasp. Perhaps the 3DS analog stick is to credit? Or maybe it's the security brick the system rested on, which angled the system to a comfortable viewing angle. (Chris, on the other hand, speculated that without a perch to rest the system comfortably on, holding the 3DS and controlling Pit would be "terrible" and he wished for a "finger-friendly" touchscreen that didn't require using a stylus.)