Belt Up and Prepare for Lift off with Nintendo’s latest venture which focuses on the super-cool Fox and Crew as they defend the galaxy from Andross (intergalactic bad guy) and his forces! Star Fox Zero is the hugely anticipated combo sequel from Star Fox 64 or otherwise known as “Lylat Wars” which is available on the Nintendo Wii U. It also has the possibility of coming with “Fox Guard” at an extended cost of roughly £10.
Andross is back and he is meaner than ever as he has brought with him an armada of various different tough guys and bad-ass bosses for you to overcome. You pilot with your three wing-men; Falco, Peppy and Slippy. Not just plot points to drive the story forward but your valuable team-mates will help you every step of the way as you engage in over the top dog fights, ground assaults and even the odd space battle.
Throughout the game the plot will be driven forward through snippy 'one-liners' and conversations between yourself and various other characters of the game. Soaring through the galaxy you will encounter old rivals and fun new characters which will help you on the adventure and that’s great however un-energetic voice acting through the campaign can leave you a little un-invested in certain characters.
At first the game is very clearly quite linear as you traverse from stage to stage unlocking the next area and you do not have much freedom to shape that until you complete certain objectives and extended tasks. However the paths which are open to you provide you with a host of diverse missions which have huge replay ability. Although saying that there is only a handful of missions available throughout the entire game – with Content driven games being super popular these days it would have been nice to have seen a more extended universe as some missions can be quite short and un-fulfilling.
Nearly 20 years on from incredible ‘Star Fox 64’ and Star Fox Zero has made huge leaps in terms of graphical design. All missions present great stylistic visuals and all of the effects are crisp and diverse. Each of the missions bolster their own unique style as each mission will transport you to an entirely different world with gorgeous Level design.
It was important for them to keep the theme of the older games and generate that cute and comfortable design style that made Star Fox 64 popular. It could have been better to see them push the capabilities of the Wii U even further as although the graphics I personally feel they have held back on certain visual aspects.
Despite Star Fox’s merits in its rich story, charming visuals and super exciting boss battles the one thing that hampers the whole experience is the control layout. Having an easy control style is a key focus point or you will end up alienating an audience of casual gamers. Controls of Star Fox Zero will have you dumb founded as you will have to micro-manage certain aspects of the Wii U pad while tracking back and forth from the TV to the game pad.
It seems that certain decisions were made to include the gimmicks of what the WII U has to offer instead of focusing on a simple and effective control style. Various missions will have you flying various different vehicles such as a gyro-copter or from a push of a button you can transform into a land-walking mech. These features all sound great in concept however have been delivered poorly as the controls switch as you do.
Admittedly the controls are quite fun when you get used to them however having a game which has a learning curve of roughly four hours on its ‘Control’s is a huge disadvantage and can leave a sour taste when it comes to some gamers. The Game does not support the WII U Pro Controller however I’m hoping for a future update which will allow it.
I had huge expectations for Star Fox Zero and only half of them were realised. I honestly couldn’t wait to sit back in the cock-pit as I weave in and out of danger and excitement on my couch. However the entire experience was hampered due to cringe-worthy voice-acting and needlessly complicated controls system. That being said though I have no intentions of ditching my copy as I have noticed the longer I spend with this game the more pleasant the experience gets. If you got time to master the control style then you will enjoy this entry. However if you’re looking for something more casual then Star Fox Zero may not be for you.
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