“The Battle Begins” comes from a pair of anime companies, Production I.G. and Wit Studio, which are responsible for creating the wildly-popular anime adaptation of Attack on Titan.
Again, emulating the old game isn’t a bad idea – Star Fox Adventures proves that vehicular combat is the way to go – but was Nintendo so devoid of ideas that they just remade Star Fox 64 without calling it Star Fox 64 Remastered? After a decade of waiting for a traditional Star Fox game, Nintendo and Platinum Games have teamed up to give us Star Fox Zero.
Such craftsmanship makes the earlier control difficulties all the more baffling.
Maybe I’ll be alone in my thinking, but Star Fox Guard is terrible. Get it now? You set the cameras up so that you can see as much of the base as possible, then when enemies start trooping in, you watch the array of monitors, select the camera on which you see the enemies appear, then use the guns mounted to each camera to blast them before they can make headway.
The motion controls feel best in the levels with large firefights, where you’re chasing down your rivals Star Wolf, who pilot ships as powerful and manoeuvrable as your own. One level you’re flying along the familiar hills of Corneria and the next you’re zipping through an asteroid field and battling oncoming warships as they launch lasers across the screen. This frees up the TV for a more cinematic flight experience. The trailer also takes some time to address Star Fox Guard, the title that comes as bonus with Star Fox Zero, showing off its tower defense gameplay and unique utilization of the Wii U GamePad.
To understand what happened to Star Fox 2 requires some context.
The control system does take a fair while to acclimatise to, with a different perspective displayed on the main screen to that shown on the gamepad.
Star Fox Zero is mostly linear. The aptly named Walker lets Fox patrol through tightly enclosed spaces like ship corridors and maneuver up high-reaching steps with a handy hover function, while the Landmaster brings impressive tank controls to the forefront in excellent ground-based encounters. After having spent several hours with the final game and worked my way through the entire campaign, I’m still not entirely comfortable with them.
The game is light on challenge and even lighter on length, though that’s not unexpected as many Star Fox games are meant to be replayed and this one is no different.
But other vehicles, like the completely new Gyrowing, are much more cumbersome to handle and end up slowing down the game’s lightning pace to a frustrating crawl.
Players will need to use the GamePad to control the Walker variant, which is literally a Transformers-style chicken…thing…that the Arwing can morph into at will. It feels more natural than previous incarnations of vehicles in the series as it can be changed into on a dime as a literal extension of the Arwing. The first ever video game he played was Mario Kart 64 and his love for Nintendo has grown ever since. That is, the player will have a first-person view of the cockpit maneuvered by Fox McCloud, the hero in “Star Fox Zero“. Understandably, most fans gave up hope long ago.
Star Fox Zero and Star Fox Guard hits stores on April 22 in a single retail package selling for $74.99.
It’s not that Star Fox Zero is hard, really.