Announced last year and postponed a few times before it finally came out this past Friday. Well I spent a lot of time with the game this weekend and let me say that as a Star Fox fan I loved it. This version of the game is familiar yet different.
The big new thing to Star Fox Zero is the controls. No longer can you just point your AR Wing at the target and shot. No, you use your two thumb sticks to control the AR Wing, the left to steer and the right to brake, boost, and bank, and you use the Wii U gamepad to aim and shoot. It’s a little difficult at first but once you get the hang of it, it makes the game more fun and it feels more like you’re piloting a jet instead of just being on the rails and shooting.
If you’ve played Star Fox before than you know the story (because it’s the same as the OG Star Fox and Star Fox 64), Cornaria is under attack from Andros, you and your team fly to save the planet. After you save Cornaria you’re off on your adventure which is very similar to Star Fox 64, but at the same time new things are added (which I’ll let you discover for yourself). As far as the story goes, I will say I’m a little perturbed by the fact that it’s just a re-retelling of the same story. Yes I know Mario and Zelda do the same thing, Princess captured you have to rescue her, but the story is always slightly changed (especially with Zelda), but this is the exact same story as the two previous main Star Fox games. It would have been cool to get a continuation on the story. We don’t necessarily need a new villain, Andros is fine, but a different story would have been cool. Like maybe we didn’t kill him and he’s threatening another system and we have to finish what we started.
Either way Star Fox isn’t entirely about the story, it’s about the action and the ability to pilot a star fighter, and in no other version do you really feel like you’re in control more than this one. Take note though, even though you feel like you’re more in control of your AR Wing than before the learning curve in this Star Fox game is steep and is difficult at first. However, once you get the hang of it it makes the game fantastic and more realistic. The control scheme has been a sticking point for some reviewers who flat out don’t like it and others like myself and The Completionist do like the new control scheme, though there are a couple of times where the game requires you to look at the gamepad and those times make it a bit difficult to pilot, I really wish this was more polished, but other than that the control scheme is fantastic. I think one thing Nintendo could have done was give you the option to play like classic Star Fox or the new control scheme. They did do something similar because you can play co-op with a friend, one of you pilots the AR Wing the other aims and fires. I haven’t had a chance to try this feature out, but I can see where this would lead to some fights “Would you shoot!” “Don’t worry about my shooting, stop crashing the damn AR Wing!”
This by far is the best looking Star Fox game every, from the wing tips hitting the water at the start of the game when you’re flying towards Cornaria to the battles in space. It’s always fantastic when we get an old favorite Nintendo property on a new system to see the graphical upgrade from the previous iteration, and now on the Wii U seeing Star Fox in HD is just fabulous.
Overall the game is a lot of fun, I’m a little disappointing that we’re basically playing through the same Star Fox story that we have through the previous two Star Fox games (I guess that’s why since the SNES it’s been called Star Fox 64 and Star Fox Zero since they’re not true sequels). As I said there is a steep learning curve to the new controls that might scare off some players, but if you stick with it you’re bound to have a lot of fun with this game once you get the hang of it. In the end I give Star Fox Zero a 7 out of 10.