Is he really still a kid these days? Wouldn't Dad Icarus be a more appropriate name? Or something more relevant to what he might have been up to for the past few decades, such as Middle-Aged Divorcee Icarus?
Most of Icarus's original fans will have grown up by now too. Quite a lot of them were attendees at Nintendo's E3 conference last year, judging by the cheers which resounded when the first 3DS instalment in the series was announced.
And there were quite a few of them milling around the Kid Icarus: Uprising demo pods at Nintendo's 3DS showcase in Amsterdam yesterday. Only two short levels were available to play, but they'd clearly been selected with a view to showing off the variety of gameplay in KI:U as well as the 3DS's capabilities.
The control system takes a bit of getting used to. You move Icarus around with the analog nubbin, or Circle Pad as Nintendo's calling it. The stylus is used to change his viewpoint and target enemies, and you press one of the shoulder buttons to shoot.
At first it doesn't feel too intuitive - instinctively I found myself tapping the stylus on the touch-screen in an attempt to fire, as I'm used to doing with iPhone shooters. But it quickly becomes apparent that attacking is easier if you keep the stylus in contact with the screen at all times, sliding it around to target different enemies.
You can also use the stylus to make Icarus dash and dodge by drawing short slashes. However, this tends to interrupt the flow of the gameplay. When faced with a screenful of moving enemies it doesn't appear to be much use for anything other than causing confusion.
The enemies themselves are pretty standard fantasy fodder - giant walking eyeballs, flying batlike creatures, spiky-shelled turtle types and so on. The demo also showed off a few of the game's bosses, including a huge two-headed doggy and a towering purple Medusa who looks for all the world like she's just wandered out of Dante's Inferno. Except she hasn't got homicidal scythe-wielding babies crawling out of her nipples (this is a Nintendo game, after all).
These bosses inhabit the kind of circular battle arenas and dingy fortresses where you'd expect to find giant mythical beasts hanging out. Other environments on show in Amsterdam included a classical Greek city, complete with cobbled streets and imposing columns. One level saw Icarus taking to the skies and you attempting to guide him through a cavernous tunnel, avoiding spiky stalagmites, flying beasties and falling rocks along the way.
Whether in the air or on the ground, Icarus moves around fluidly and it's easy to control him with precision using the Circle Pad. He does appear to have a bit of a funny limp when running – a pimp roll, perhaps – which looks odd but doesn't otherwise affect his ability to move.
What with all the fantasy enemies, classical environments and big bad bosses, there's plenty here to please those who remember playing Kid Icarus when they were kids themselves. However, the brief demo we played suggests there's been a big shift in emphasis from platforming to shooting when it comes to gameplay, and this might not appeal to everyone.
The even bigger question is whether this fondly remembered olden-days platformer will benefit from getting the 3D treatment. After all, it hasn't always worked so well for Sonic over the years.
But with Uprising we're talking the 3DS treatment, of course. This means your brain has to cope with seeing and controlling Icarus in the foreground, while simultaneously observing, targeting and attacking enemies in the background. Meanwhile your hands have to cope with using three implements simultaneously - the Circle Pad, stylus and shoulder button.
On first picking up the game, it all feels a bit tricky and awkward. Things get easier with only a little practice, however, and shooting enemies soon becomes quite satisfying. When I was playing, it helped that the baddies seemed a bit thick in terms of dodging missiles. They were also rubbish at coming up with original attack patterns, many of which seemed to be based on the not very effective strategic technique of standing still.
The game felt easier to play with the 3D effect turned off, it has to be said. Without depth of field to consider my brain seemed to be better at judging distances and aiming attacks. The obvious disadvantage, of course, is that you feel like you're playing just another fantasy action game - there's nothing about Uprising which seems particularly innovative once you take away that fancy 3D effect.
In the end I found a sweet spot by pushing the 3D switch about three quarters of the way up. This made it possible to get a sense of foreground and background, without having to concentrate too hard on the moving elements of the image. Even so, I still found myself seeing double occasionally and having to refocus my vision mid-fight.
But perhaps that's just because I'm an ancient old buffer with wonky eyes. Unlike me, The Kids of Today have been looking at pixels since the day they were born, and have brains which can cope with watching 16 and Pregnant and listening to Justin Bieber while happy-slapping each other on Facebook and live-blogging their own Twitter account.
So perhaps they'll love Kid Icarus: Uprising. And perhaps, in 20-odd years' time, they'll be complaining about the fact he's still called Kid. Probably as they sit down to play the latest instalment in the series, which is so technologically advanced it's made of holograms and beamed directly into their eyes by a laser in space. We can only hope.