Portabliss: Kid Icarus Of Myths and Monsters

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Portabliss: Kid Icarus Of Myths and Monsters
Did you know that you can download handheld games now? That's amazingly convenient! The only inconvenient part of it is finding the right games to buy -- and that's where we come in, with our Portabliss column. In each installment, we'll tell you about a downloadable game on the iPhone, iPad, Android device, DSi, 3DS, PSP, etc. Today: Tumble Pop.
Portabliss Kid Icarus Of Myths and Monsters
Kid Icarus and Metroid are inextricably linked in their early history. The two NES games came out in parallel, as silver-boxed "Password Paks" in the US, and both were produced by the late Gunpei Yokoi. Also thanks to Yokoi, both saw sequels on the Game Boy that maintained the basic gameplay of the original in portable form. For Metroid 2, that meant isolation and exploration. For Kid Icarus: Of Myths and Monsters, which has joined it on the 3DS Virtual Console, it means "really weird and difficult."

In other words, this Game Boy game is really only recommended to people who have played the NES game and therefore know what they're getting into. Virtually every element that made the NES game such an anomaly are present here, including rooms full of flying monsters or tiles that attack you in large numbers; reapers who freak the hell out and send little flying versions of themselves after you; maze-like ending levels to each world; and eggplants.

Of Myths and Monsters introduces a new quirk – or, rather, it reinterprets a quirk from the original. The NES game's stages loop around on the sides, so that if you walk all the way to the right, you'll emerge on the left side of the screen. The levels are actually designed with this in mind, which seems to be kind of an open acknowledgement that they can't possibly be real spaces. That game keeps the camera centered on the stage while Pit moves from side to side.

However, Of Myths and Monsters centers the camera on Pit and just scrolls the screen endlessly through repeating scenery. The effect of this: I didn't realize it looped for a few minutes, thinking I was just exploring a really long, boring, repetitive level. Then I realized I was seeing the same closed door over and over again and I figured it out. Hopefully, telling you about my embarrassing mistake will help you avoid it.
Kid Icarus: Of Myths and Monsters is available for $3.99 on the 3DS eShop. We're always looking for new distractions. Want to submit your game for Portabliss consideration? You can reach us at portabliss aat joystiq dawt com.
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