Since Star Fox (or Starwing, as it was known in Europe and Oz) blew the minds of SNES-owners everywhere back in 1993, the series has gone on to become one of Nintendo’s most popular.
Featuring the courageous Fox McCloud, Slippy Toad, Peppy Hare, Krystal, and Falco Lombardi, the Star Fox universe sees a variety of animals soaring through space in numerous kick-ass vehicles – it’s vintage Nintendo, from the cartoonish visuals to the outstanding gameplay.
From those early days on the Super Nintendo to follow-ups on various consoles, the franchise has delivered challenging, frantic cosmic shooting fans love – but will the latest game continue its success?
Star Fox Zero is being touted as neither a sequel nor a prequel, which leaves some fans confused as to where it stands in the series. Still, despite that, the gameplay looks set to build on the established style while making use of Nintendo’s latest technology.
The game has been built to utilise the Wii U’s motion controls and physical inputs to great effect, with gestures directing the ship itself and the sticks handling speed and manoeuvres. Two modes of gameplay are included: Corridor Mode puts Fox on-rails, much like previous games; All-Range Mode allows Fox’s Arwing to fly in various directions for more free-form combat.
Players will control the game using the third-person view on their TV screen as well as the control pad’s cockpit perspective, creating a more dynamic experience than most modern action games.
Battle Your Own Way
Fox has a wide range of vehicles to commandeer. Of course, the Arwing returns, no doubt set to be as sleek and easy to control as ever.
Other vehicles include: the Landmaster, which fans of Star Fox 64 will recognise, though it’s been given a new flight-enabled form (known as the Gravmaster); the Walker, which is another mode for the Arwing triggered by touching down on the ground; and, last but not least, the Gyrowing, a slower ship with a robot (Direct-i) tethered to it, used to find collectibles during missions.
These will help Star Fox Zero to feel fresh, mixing the action up and giving long-time players a blend of familiarity and innovation.
An Easier Way To Play
One of the most interesting features Star Fox Zero promises is a beginner’s mode, which lets new players dive into the game at the helm of an invincible Arwing. This might sound off-putting to long-time fans and hardcore players, but this will be welcomed by many who want to experience the story and more straightforward action with no frustrations.
This works as a nice introduction for newcomers, who will no doubt graduate to the more challenging modes later, and co-op is also available in this mode, allowing two players to blast through the game without worrying about dying and starting again.
For extra value, Star Fox Zero will also come bundled with a free tower-defence game.
Will Star Fox Zero turn out to be one of the best entries in the series? We’ll have to wait until the end of April to find out, but so far, it looks like it could be.
What’s your favourite Star Fox game so far? Let us know!