Hello WordPress! Welcome to this fantastic March day! Wait… It’s June?! Well, better late than never I guess.
Star Fox Zero was met with much controversy when it first came out. With so many different opinions on if the controls were crap or not, it was kind of hard to tell if the game was worth your money. On one hand, there were people, like GameXplain, who thought the controls were super fun but hard to get the hang of. On the other hand, there were others, like Polygon, who totally despised the horrible controls. With Polygon writer Arthur Gies going as far as to not even give the game “a good-faith effort” to complete because of the drastically different controls coming from Star Fox 64.
As for my thoughts on the controls, I got the hang of them within about five minutes. Now I wouldn’t say I was comfortable with them until about a half hour in, but they never really felt bad, just different. I would like to say that the controls are perfect, but that is far from the truth. I didn’t like the right stick being the default controls for your arwing’s different moves (somersault, barrel roll, boost, etc.). Instead, I used the X and B buttons for the boost and slow down respectively. Even with that, the barrel rolls never felt natural with the game requiring you to double tap the right stick left or right. For those who don’t know, Star Fox Zero also has two different views. The gamepad view shows the cockpit view, and the TV shows a more cinematic view. Switching between the TV and gamepad views also didn’t feel tolerable until about a half hour in, but even then, it didn’t feel natural. It was like you were playing the original Super Mario Bros. on the TV, and playing Super Mario 64 on the gamepad. I had to switch my play style when switching views which did take a while to get the hang of. Okay… a long while. Most of the time I would look exclusively at the TV and just move the gamepad to the general direction of where I wanted to shoot. I found this method to work fairly well. Overall, I thought the controls were super easy to use, but to get to where it all feels natural took me about forty-five minutes to an hour.
Another complaint I’ve heard is that it’s too similar to Star Fox 64. I think this is far from a fair argument because it’s supposed to be like Star Fox 64 with it officially being a “re-imagining” of the game. I know fans may have been a little disappointed that Star Fox Zero is basically just another remake, but I think it’s different enough to satisfy fans of the series.
Star Fox Zero looks great with it, admittedly, not breaking any boundaries. The enemies also look a little outdated with their designs looking similar to their N64 counterparts with a little texture upgrade. It’s not that big of a deal, but I can see how it might bother some people. Star Fox Zero does look like it’s made a great jump to HD.
The level design in this game is phenomenal. Whether it’s driving around Hoth in the Landmaster or flying super fast in Sector Omega, you always feel so awesome blowing stuff up. It always feels rewarding shooting and destroying enemies just like you’d expect from a Star Fox game. The bosses in this game are epic as well with my personal favorite being the walking crab boss on Fichina. Most of the boss fights consist of shooting weak spots or using some previously acquired skill to take them down. Each boss feels fun and different with them never getting repetitive. There are also three different vehicles each with their own, unique skills. There’s the Landmaster, a strong tank that is powerful but slow and can fly for a limited time, the Arwing, a more balanced vehicle that can change into a walker form, and the Gyrowing, made for more stealthy missions. Each vehicle feels unique with them all having the same basic controls, for better or for worse, making it easy to switch between them. I know many people didn’t like the slower paced design of the Gyrowing levels, but I found it to be a nice change of pace from the usual shooting everything in sight.
Now no modern Nintendo game is complete without Amiibo functionality, and Star Fox Zero is no exception. If you use the Fox Amiibo, you unlock a retro arwing that can be used in any level the regular arwing is used in, and if you use a Falco Amiibo, you unlock the black arwing which takes double damage but is also a lot stronger than the traditional Arwing. The retro Arwing is downright awesome, and the black Arwing provides a great challenge. Definitely one of the better uses of Amiibo functionality.
No matter how I feel about the game itself, I can’t deny the fact that it’s a little on the short side. The game clocks in around three hours if you know what you’re doing. After finding all the different pathways, which are still as fun as ever to discover, I found little reason to go back. The soundtrack is also great. Maybe it’s just me, but I always think the main theme sounds like something from Pokemon.
All in all, Star Fox Zero is a fantastic re-imagining of the great Star Fox 64. The only real thing holding it back being the controls. I personally liked the controls overall with only a few complaints, but I can’t deny that everyone will have different levels of frustration with them. The game looks great. The game is fun, and the game makes you feel so awesome shooting through waves of enemies by yourself. (I know there’s Peppy and Falco with you, but mostly you do all the shooting) The game is a little short, but the game makes up for it in quality. That’s why I give this game an 8/10.
How do you like Star Fox Zero’s new control method? Tell me in the comments. Also, if you enjoyed the post, don’t forget to like, share and follow the blog, and thanks for reading my review of Star Fox Zero.