In the interest of keeping spoiler-heavy discussion all in one place, I decided to go ahead and make a thread for that purpose. So if you couldn't tell from the title, there will be spoilers. Lots of spoilers. I will not be using spoiler tags. This is your final warning.
No, actually, this is.
SPOILERS BEGIN BELOW. TURN BACK NOW IF YOU DON'T WISH TO BE SPOILED.
We cool? All right.
I found the characters and story in Kid Icarus: Uprising top notch. There's just so much to love about it. The great dialogue, the humor, the meta references to video games and the original NES title, all of those elements work in service of a story that's really better than it has any need to be. I'm sure that some people would have been satisfied if the story were little more than a simple repeat of the original game, but it just goes so far beyond that, particularly after Chapter 9, when Medusa is killed and the actual villain Hades enters the picture. Those early, goofy charming chapters give way to a story that retains that goofy charm, even as things become more dramatic, and it all builds to a conclusion that's perfect; perfect for the story and its tone, for the characters as we've come to know them, and for the fans of the original game.
What really hit for me last night was when I beat back the Aurum invasion, only to get hit with a plot twist that threw me for a loop. Pit had been trapped in a ring, three years had passed, Palutena had become corrupted; basically, everything had been completely turned sideways. But Pit being Pit, he knew that he had to help Palutena. His character in some ways reminds me of Sora from Kingdom Hearts; he's pure-hearted and loyal, but also an adorable sort of doofus. He wears his heart on his tunic, and it's not hard to feel sorry for him when he sees what's happened to the one being in all of existence he'd do absolutely anything for.
And then he saves her, only to lose her again immediately. And just when he's saved her a second time, he nearly kills himself in saving Dark Pit. (Or should I just call him Pittoo? :P)
But it's that moment when Pit has finally been healed and he hears the Palutena he knows so well that's the absolute best. To go through the hell he did and be rewarded with exactly what he desired and to know that Palutena was all right, he sounded like he couldn't be happier. And I couldn't be happier for him.
And then there's the ending. Holy shit, what a finale. And what a fitting way to end it. It was so satisfying to see Medusa charge in and sucker punch Hades. And though she dies again, it's really worth seeing her get one more chance to shine as one of the three main players from the original game. And then Palutena charges up the cannon with her power, and Pit blows Hades away.
And then Pit gets his happy ending, with the humans roaring in celebration not of him, but Palutena. I can't think of a protagonist in a video game more selfless than him. He's pretty remarkable in that respect.
Shifting gears, I can't say enough about how spot-on the humor in this game is. I think the biggest highlights for me had to be Hades's explanation of what he'd wish for (the bottom screen illustrations add so much hilarity to it), Pit's observation of what Komaytos resemble, and those goofy stand-offs between Pit and Hades. You know:
This game just never loses its charm.
So what did you guys like, or didn't like, or maybe kind of liked but aren't really sure?