Jonathan 'Kit' Shaw

Star Fox Zero – Taking The Offensive Once More

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star-fox-zero

Star Fox Zero may be delayed but that doesn’t mean we can’t still talk about it after all we haven’t had a new Star Fox since Command on Nintendo DS.

From the trailer we hear that Nintendo is again going with a full orchestra for the soundtrack, something that has become standard with many of their games.

The first thing we see is the team descending into (presumably) Corneria’s atmosphere, before flying through a valley and fighting what appears to be remnants of Andross’s Venomian Army in one of the planets cites. We then get a montage showcasing some of the new environments and the new vehicles/modes.

Just like in previous instalments you primarily fly in a straight line through the level known as Valley Mode and depending on the level, you may or may not go into All Range Mode which allows you to fly in any direction within a certain perimeter.

The first of the new vehicle modes are the Arwing’s bird mode, with this you can run around on the ground and explore areas the Arwing can’t fit in, it also seems to act similar to the Landmaster in terms of controls except you aren’t constantly moving straight forward, also if you are familiar with Star Fox you will notice that the bird mode was based off a similar idea that was used for the unreleased Star Fox 2, on the SNES where upon pressing select turned your ship into a walking tank.

Speaking of tanks we head over to what looks like the plains of Titania where we see the Landmaster making a glorious return and now has the ability to transform into a flying tank. The land version of the tank still works the same way as before before getting to a cliff and engaging flight mode and later fighting a giant mechanical worm thing reminiscent of Twinmold from Majora’s Mask.

Now the final vehicle in Star Fox’s arsenal is a helicopter vehicle, it may be slow moving but it has a little robot on a tether which you can use to explore tight spaces, while it will be used in other situations for now all we saw was it collect a few coins, you are also able of seeing from the robots POV from the screen on the tablet controller.

The tablet controller plays an important role as the screen now acts as the cockpit view complete with crosshair and the gyro gizmo in the controller for aiming, this means that you can now fly in one direction and shoot in another allowing for more precise aiming and the joy of not having to be in the enemies line of sight to shoot them. No doubt this may be tricky to get used to first time round but it will certainly make the gameplay interesting.

A few areas were shown, as mentioned above we have what looks like the lush landscape of Corneria, an underground base of sorts (possibly on Corneria) and (what looks like) the dangerously barren landscape of Titania as well as a battle in space around some sort of structure, maybe a space station or giant laser cannon thing?

The graphics have been updated and they it seems they have taken a more series and grown up look but still keeping the same loveable charm and style that the rest of the series had.

Now one question has been floating amongst the fans is games placement within the timeline. While it hasn’t been confirmed where or when this will take place, one could at least theorise from what we’ve seen, after all the character Krystal does not seem to be appearing, Star Wolf returning and both the Wolfen and the Great Fox having their original designs from Lylat Wars may give the indication that the game is possibly set after Lylat Wars but before Starfox Adventures, maybe even before the events of the story Farewell Beloved Falco which took place between then, possibly even making it non canon.

This is certainly shaping up to be a fantastic game, it may be delayed till 2016 for further improvements but from what we’ve seen, I think we can wait.

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