We need your help, Starfox! Your new game, Starfox Zero for the Wii U, has launched to the most mixed reception I've ever seen. For everyone who loves the unprecedented precision, someone else hates it as an uncontrollable mess! Please, Starfox- settle this debate!
Falco: Falco here. I'm fine. This game isn't.
Look, I'm gonna level with ya. I'm a hot-shot flying ace, well known for it. And I love this sort of thing. But if you're not? Well, it ain't gonna be smooth flying, Fox.
Shut up, Slippy.
Multi-tasking? If you can't multi-task in Team Starfox (which is, incidentally, Fox, an incredibly self-centred name for you to give us), you're gonna be shot out the sky reeeeeal quick. So this game is perfect preparation for the harsh reality of air combat. I seen friends of mine die, falling screaming from the air in an electric fireball as their G-Diffusers malfunction around them, because they couldn't keep an eye on two screens and five enemies at once.
Me, I find it easy. But there's gonna be some people who can't cope with handling everything. And while the controls are about fine when you're barrelling along a linear path, they're a heck of a lot trickier to handle in all-range mode. (Again - unless you're me.)
Slippy: Slippy Toad here to tell ya all about Star Fox Zero on Wii U. Fox “Buskalilly” McCloud has sent me a list of things to talk about starting with
I’m going to start out by actually praising Nintendo for them trying new things when it comes to controls in games be it Wiimote and the motion controls in Wii Sports which is a great example on when it has gone very very right.
Star Fox Zero is the opposite end of the spectrum as the controls make the game in some parts unplayable.
In the first level proper near the end of the level, you have aim on specific spots on an enemy which means you have to use the Wii U’s gamepad to aim where you want to shoot. It’s just plain awkward and takes you out of the game.
And that’s not the worse part as you can try to free-aim whilst doing that but on the first boss you are locked in targeting mode meaning the only way to take him out is using the gamepad.
I really wish Nintendo had put in traditional aiming with the right analog stick but you can’t have everything, for every Wii Sports there will be a Star Fox Zero.
Fox: Fox McCloud here! I, for one, bloody love Starfox Zero. The controls are different, and take some getting used to. Flying traditional Starfox Arwing controls on the TV, looking down at the gamepad to line up a shot when an enemy is where you want him, is fiddly at first but ultimately satisfying. Learning new control schemes for each vehicle is kind of a fuss, but they're thankfully used only minimally after the opening couple of levels.
Once I had the two screens and the inputs down, controlling the Arwing felt amazing. When I somersaulted behind an enemy who was bringing up my rear, or picked off targets in a split second as I zoomed past, I really felt like a flying ace in a way I hadn't in the earlier games.
Peppy: Hiya Fox! Peppy Hare, reporting for duty. I'm turning in my mission logs - here we go!
Well, I've never flown a ship quite like this one before! The new Arwings take a little getting used to at first: they can be jumpy and twitchy, like a scared doe. Once you've got the hang of 'em, though, they fly like a dream. I feel more capable and confident in one of these than the hunks of junk we've used in the past, that's for sure!
The route to Venom this time out is peppered (with apologies to the General - no pun intended!) with difficult moments but Star Fox mostly just fly straight through, shooting what we can out of the skies. That said, we sometimes use all-range mode to keep ourselves from straying too far from our goal. It's a nice change of pace for an ace pilot. We also get to see lots of the Lylat system - although Fox saw more than me because of some missions which end with him recklessly flying into portals! If I've told him once, I've told him a thousand times: don't recklessly fly into portals!
Fox: The structure of the game follows the classic mould of Lylat Wars, hopping from planet to planet as the team make their way to Andross' lair on Venom. Planets feature on-rails journeys through enemy armies, open dogfights with other squads, and even one helicopter stealth mission. The less said about that one, the better.
Levels are action packed, well structured and properly exciting. The game isn't perfect; missions outside the Arwing are a step down, and the lives system has no place in a game released in 2016. Finally beating a frustrating boss only to use your last life on a chase sequence you didn't know was coming is supremely frustrating.
Falco: The other vehicles? Don't talk to me 'bout the other vehicles. I'm a bird, we fly, we fly fast. The Walker's all right, I suppose, reminds me of my aunt, both how it looks and how it controls. The Landmaster is stuck to the ground, and therefore is categorically one dimension worse than the Arwing. And the Gyrowing can kiss my tail feathers.
It could, only I'd be outta here before that piece of junk got into the air.
I've seen some people complaining about the game length. Looks like it's got as much as Lylat Wars, which is what it needed to have. It's not gonna take twenty hours, but that's okay. As an ace pilot, I ain't got twenty hours. I usually have time for a bathroom break before the non-existent Cornerian army lets the next bunch of morons fly idly into our airspace.
But where's the dogfight mode? There is no mode in this game where you actually get rewarded for blowing one of our members (who I won't name so I can say I Toad the line to Fox) out of the air. This is horrible.
Peppy: In addition to the Arwing and Landmaster we've been flying for years, we can also transform our Arwings into Walkers. I've got to admit that when Slippy showed me the prototype in the Great Fox's hangar, I nearly laughed out loud. It looks so funny, strutting about like a chicken. It sure is useful, though: it's very agile and can infiltrate enemy strongholds like there's no tomorrow. Which there might not be - for the enemies!
This particular tale of heroism is our most exciting yet... well, it sure got this old buck's blood pumping! I'm itching to get back into action in the Lylat system and see if we can't mop up Andross's forces in outposts that we missed last time (although the itching may be fleas - pesky things!). We're going to keep General Pepper's cash register ticking over for some time to come.
Slippy: Due to the controls I didn’t get far in the game, from what I have played of it I do like what Platinum have done with this reboot with a mixture of levels including some cool ones in space, planetside with the only bad one of the bunch being a stealth based level.
Slippy: I didn’t see all the vehicles the ones I did use where the classic Arwing, Walker AKA The Chicken and Gyrowing. All have their unique features, with the new one the Gyrowing being the worst of the bunch mainly due to the stealth level.
This is the Classic story we’ve seen before not once but twice just told with some new content added in such as levels, cutscenes etc.
Which isn’t a bad thing but I would like to have seen a new Adventure for Fox and his crew
Fox: Visually, I found the game absolutely gorgeous. I like the skyboxes, the worlds, and the chunky metal ships. Vehicles, robots and buildings can seem simplistic, but this lets them hurtle along at a nice lick and makes it easy to tell what to shoot and what to dodge. Whenever the camera slows and moves, though, you can see wonderful details on everything. Seeing the pilots in the cockpits, with lovingly realised fur, is amazing.
The game sounds great, too; wondeful renditions of classic series themes, and typically characterful voice acting crackling like a radio from the gamepad. Has Slippy always sounded that much like Ralph Wiggum?
Overall, I'd give this game a big, fluffy thumbs up!
Falco: Seen some visuals complaints too, with my birds-eye view. What do they know, eh Fox? You pay such a lot of attention to the number of screws on the side of a ship when you're screaming past it, blasting it with everything you've got. It looks bright and colourful and you can tell what you're meant to be filling full of plasma.
Personally, I prefer the air. Also: Lylat Wars.
Shut up, Slippy.
Peppy: From what I saw out of my cockpit, the Lylat system sure looks finer than the last time I ventured out there. It's almost like it's had a spring clean of some sort. That said, many of the designs of enemy craft haven't been updated since last we fought Andross - I was a bit disappointed that there wasn't somethin' new about them.
Slippy: SFZ sometimes looks good like in the opening level going across the water then other times you’re going through bland grey environment’s, in a gem with average graphics at best which are going with a throwback style of Star Wing and Lylat Wars which lets the game down and the Wii U knowing the console can do so much more.
As you can gather I’m not a fan of the game, if it had a more useable control scheme then a lot of it I could have looked past and enjoyed all the levels like the opening which made previous games so great but awful levels with this control scheme makes me want to Barrel Roll right out of this game.