Star Fox Zero – Wii U

By | June 27, 2017

star fox zero review

The Star Fox team arrives on The Wii U For All New Adventure

Fox, Falco, Peppy and Slippy save the Lylat system in this new deep space dog fighting adventure. Using the Wii U Game Pad controller and the TV together creates a unique interface that allows players to experience the game with two different viewpoints within the Arwing, aim and shoot enemies in one direction while flying in another.

This frees up the TV for a more cinematic flight experience. Then, pilot the Arwing with its new Walker transformation, along with the new Gyrowing and the Landmaster Tank, to traverse interplanetary terrain.

star fox zero review

Game Features:

  • Fan favorite characters return with new and well known dialogue from Fox McCloud, Slippy, Peppy, Falco and more, which can sound like they are talking in your ear like a from a headset with clever sound technology.
  • Players can intuitively pilot an Air wing by simply using both the right and left control sticks as a control stick to perform familiar flight maneuvers, such as the somersault, U-turn and a Barrel Roll.
  • Replay the same exotic planets with other vehicles and extra missions can be selected on top of going through the story.
  • Two different viewpoints, the traditional style of TV game play and the new unique cockpit view on the Wii U Game Pad controller combines to create a unique interface to aim and shoot in one direction while flying in another. This frees up the TV for more cinematic moments in a brand-new all range mode.
  • Pilot the new and improved Air wing with its new Walker transformation and take control of a new Drone type plane, the Gyrowing. The Landmaster Tank returns, equipped with a new, limited flight form.
  • Developed in partnership with Platinum Games.

star fox zero review

A High-Octane Interplanetary Dog Fight!

An evil empire has risen and the Lylat system is in danger. As legendary space pilot Fox McCloud, blast through an onslaught of enemy forces to bring peace to the galaxy. In this white knuckle space shooter, it’ll take more than luck to master the Arwing jet, the Gyrowing flight drone, and the Landmaster tank! You have what it takes. Now prove it.

General Pepper needs your help! Use your TV’s cinematic view to fly and identify targets and see through the eyes of Fox with the Wii U Game Pad’s screen as you lock onto enemies and fire. You will also have to use advanced flight techniques like boosting and barrel rolls to survive the relentless assault.

star fox zero review

With the help of the rest of Team Star Fox , tackle missions in the air and on the ground in a variety of planets teeming with enemies. Then engage vast armadas of powerful ships in outer space dogfights. Master your craft, defy the odds, and earn your face-to-face meeting with Andross. Only you can restore peace to the galaxy!

The game’s core concept is that a futuristic fighter pilot does not just have hands and eyes but also a neck that turns their head. A real, futuristic fighter pilot might use their hands to move a flight stick, which tilts and turns their jet.

They might turn their neck to look around in their cockpit and notice the position of targets next to them or above them. The designers of Star Fox Zero have decided to let players do all of that, theoretically giving them more control than they have ever had in a Star Fox game.

star fox zero review

Star Fox Zero plays as a loose remake of 1997’s Star Fox 64. The Nintendo 64 game, like the original Star Fox on Super Nintendo, put you in on-rails missions that moved forward on their own. It also threw Fox and the rest of his squadron into arena-shaped free flight missions that focused on dog fighting.

The Wii U game does the same thing, mixing auto-scrolling and free flight levels. The N64 game mostly put you in an Arwing fighter jet but also let you drive a tank and a submarine. The Wii U entry is mostly Arwing, but also offers missions involving a tank or a hovercraft.

Zero borrows some level designs from the 1997 game, though sadly, the UFO and train battles do not return. Zero’s designers had their own ideas, but they mostly amount to unmemorable battles over generic battlescapes.

star fox zero review

New ideas in Star Fox Zero include the ability to transform the Arwing into a walker and a new hovercraft that drops a little, tethered robot that you control with the Game Pad and use to collect coins or hack open locked passageways. The walker is lightweight and awkward to control. The hovercraft robot combo can get real boring at times.

Overall, Star Fox Zero pulls it off, and part of that is thanks to the inherent charm from its zany cast of fly boys and their intentionally cheesy banter during the campaign. It taps into these one-note personality tropes with plenty of quips and one liners that would please a writers’ room of Saturday morning cartoon producers, complete with plenty of “I’ll get you next time!” threats from villains. Zero’s story is a predictable re-tread of the N64 original, but it does a good job of refreshing it for a new audience.

star fox zero review

By the time I was done my first play through, I was wanting to go back and retry old levels, because I wanted to put my new found skills to the test, but also because Zero’s campaign features branching paths that lead to new locations.

Identifying how to open these alternate paths requires keen awareness of your surroundings during certain levels, which becomes easier to manage after you come to grips with Zero’s controls. Zero is a good looking homage with some new locations to find and challenges to overcome. It does not supplant Star Fox 64, but it does its legacy justice.

Next Level Gamerz

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