Fox Assault attempts to recapture the excitement that
Star Fox generated on the SNES over a decade ago.
The problem is that it tries too hard and ends up
as an updated version of an old classic with little
in the way of innovation.
easy for me to sit here and rip into this game just
because it fails to meet my expectations but when
I take a moment to really think about it, I don't
really know what I was expecting. Star Fox was a great
space shooter with interesting characters. It captured
one's imagination, as classic games tend to do. But
that was then and there have been a lot of improvements
and developments with shooters since that time. Star
Fox: Assault doesn't bridge the gap between old and
new. It feels like an old-school shooter with a few
new features tacked on that just don't seem to fit.
It stays too close to its roots Which direction it
should have went in I don't really know. I honestly
can't say where I would like to see the series go.
Maybe they should have just left if alone.
off, there are some complaints with the game as it
stands. It mixes mission with ground-based missions
as well as aerial combat. Ground missions can be completed
on foot or with the aid of the Land Master Tank. The
Arwing lets you take to the skies to shoot down enemies
and installations. While this may seem like a nice
variety of gameplay features, all of the missions
require that you shoot at things. There's no variety
in the missions themselves. It becomes very tedious
shooting at swarms of enemies. Aside from learning
some defensive moves with your arwing, there is a
decided lack of depth to the gameplay.
McCloud and his Star Fox Amada are called upon to
save Dinosaur Planet and the Lylat System from an
alien threat. All the old characters are back including
Slippy Toad, Krystal, Peppy Hare and Falco Lombardi.
There are three modes including Mission, Survival
and Versus. A four-player Deathmatch, multi-player
mode is also offered but the four-way split screen
just makes things too difficult to see.
with most shooters, you'll have a steady, almost endless
supply of ammunition, with no shortage of weapons
to fire it from. Blaster, rifles, rocket launchers,
lasers and cannons are all at your disposal. The aiming
takes a bit of practice to get down. Even the control
of the vehicles takes some getting used to. Things
don't seem to flow. You always seem to be struggling
with something throughout each level. It's easy to
crash into something with your Arwing as you attempt
to dodge asteroids and canyons. On land it's very
easy to fall off of a bridge or over a cliff.
are some free-roam areas in the game but for the most
part it's linear and on rails. There's no true sense
of freedom. You can even count on your mates to screw
things up constantly. You'll be called to the rescue
in virtually every situation. As if to reinforce your
hero status only you can get your mates out of trouble
and save the day. Frankly it's annoying. These guys
are no help to you at all. It's like taking a group
of mentally challenged kids on a tour of Iraq.
on the ground, a meter will indicate when it's time
to take to the skies and help out your friends. They
don't do much to help you but at least they get out
of the way. On the ground it's another story since
the enemy can come at you from all directions. It
would be so easy to abandon them but you'll lose your
Ally Medal if any of them get killed. It's funny how
they reappear at the beginning of the new mission
as though nothing had happened.
mode lets you play through the Mission mode with no
saves just to see how far you can get. It's a cheap
way to generate some replay value since a decent player
can get through the main Mission mode in a day or
two. The multi-player mode won't be much of a factor
in the replay value. After a few hours of Deathmatch
I think most gamers will beg to play something with
Mario in it.
seems that most of the production went into the epic-looking
opening. It really looks great but it sets the bar
too high for the rest of the game to follow. It's
a real letdown afterwards. Things just seem stiff
and empty. The voiceovers are loaded with all kinds
of exaggerated inflections and false enthusiasm. At
least the mechanics of the game are tight - even if
the controls aren't. There isn't any slowdown or clipping
issues. The animation is smooth but some of the graphics
aren't even up to SNES standards. For a game that
borrows heavily from the original I would at least
expect it to surpass it in every category especially
when you consider both Namco and Nintendo teamed up
on this effort. Curious fans are advised to consider
renting Star Fox: Assault.