Star Fox Zero Preview
[Updated with 4-Minute Star Fox Zero Launch Trailer (UK) on 4/19/16]:
[Updated with Star Fox Zero Japanese Commercials on 4/13/16]:
[Updated with Star Fox Zero Foxy Fox Commercial on 4/8/16]:
[Updated with new Star Fox Zero 30-Second Spot on 3/30/16]:
[Updated with new Star Fox Zero Trailer, Footage & Screens on 3/3/16]:
It’s been a long time since a Star Fox game has been released on a Nintendo home console. The last one was Star Fox Assault on GameCube, but arguably the last good one was Star Fox 64 way back in 1997 for the Nintendo 64. Fans of the franchise have had a smattering of games on handheld, including Star Fox Command for Nintendo DS and the remake of Star Fox 64 on the 3DS. To say this series hasn’t seen much love is an understatement. When Mr. Miyamoto hinted at the game back at E3 2014 many gamers became excited to see what shape it would take on the Wii U. Nintendo showcased Star Fox Zero at this year’s E3 and showed off several stages. We also learned that the game is being developed with the help of Platinum Games (Bayonetta series and The Wonderful 101).
Graphically the game looks pretty good. Although some of the landscapes look a bit sparse and the enemy fighters do seem to be light on polygons, the game moved smoothly and the environments had a vibrant look to them. Some of the close quarters areas looked a bit drab and lacked the usual polish seen from many Nintendo games, such as Splatoon and Mario Kart 8. Star Fox Zero has been recently delayed to first quarter of 2016, which means the graphics could be getting a bit of an overhaul so I’m excited to see the final result.
One of the hooks of the game is that when played with the GamePad the screen shows a different viewpoint from that seen on the television. This allows for players to shoot at enemies in a different direction than where the Arwing is flying. In some cases the television will display a more cinematic scene and the GamePad will show the view from within the cockpit. This new control style can be challenging, as it requires the player to constantly shift his or her eyes from the controller to the TV and back again. It remains to be seen if this unique control setup is beneficial to the overall game design or not.
Ripped straight out of the unreleased Star Fox 2 for the Super Nintendo, Zero allows your Arwing to transform into different vehicles. You can morph from the ship to the Walker (sort of looks like a chicken) and also into a drone called the Gyrowing. These new vehicle types allow for more varied level design and give players more options to tackle the missions. Returning from the N64 game is the Landmaster tank that can also use jets to fly around. No word yet if the submarine makes a return as well.
It’s too early to make a definitive judgment call on Star Fox Zero, but with Miyamoto at the helm I remain hopeful. It’s been a very long time since I’ve enjoyed a good Star Fox game, so here’s hoping the delay is worth it and the game becomes an instant classic. We’ll have more information as the game approaches release in 2016.
Craig has been covering the video game industry since 1995. His work has been published across a wide spectrum of media sites. He’s currently the Editor-In-Chief of Nintendo Times and contributes to Gaming Age.
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