Star Fox Zero Review: Must-See Details & Screenshots

After years of missteps and false starts, the Star Fox franchise is finally back to full flight. Star Fox Zero shines as a rebirth for the stories space shooter franchise, which barrel-rolled its way into many gamers’ hearts when they were kids playing it on Nintendo 64. After shoddy showings on GameCube and the original DS, as well as skipping the Wii generation entirely, Star Fox should use this reboot to emerge as Nintendo pillar on par with Zelda, Mario and Metroid.
Game: Star Fox Zero
Consoles: Wii U (reviewed)
Publisher: Nintendo
Developer: Platinum Games
Release Date: April 22
The best revamps of established Nintendo franchises keep what players loved about the original while spicing things up with new gameplay concepts and production values that take advantage of the latest hardware. Star Fox Zero does just that, taking on the basic structure of the original but adding tremendous depth and visual heft to the mix. You’re still sitting in the cockpit as egotistical, brash Fox McCloud, ushering your anthropomorphic allies such as the hapless Slippy, overeager Peppy and brooding Falco. You’re also blasting pattern-flying formations of enemies before taking on a host of familiar bosses. But there are many new tricks in the mix, and each of them establishes the game as something new and different for even the hardest-core Star Fox fanatics.
One change-up grants Fox’s Arwing the power to transform to adapt to each level. You could find yourself shifting into tank, walker and gyro drones, and can shift your perspective from first to third person on the TV screen, using the GamePad touchscreen to keep tabs on a consistent cockpit view, as well as minimap, inventory and vital signs of your spacecraft. One of the most effective and useful takes on the Wii U’s second screen. This is the closest you can get, short of virtual reality, to feeling as though you’re surging through the skies of foreign planets and engaging in dog fights and chases.

This is a game meant to bridge generations of players, and the range of difficulties is a nod to the diversity in age and experience of players buckling in for the ride. If you’re a beginner who wants to cruise through the story with minimal effort, there’s a mode that makes your arwing nearly invulnerable, letting you see all the game has to offer without needing to sharpen your skills. Expert players still have plenty to take on and explore. Platinum Games layered every level with a hefty stream of hidden areas and unlockables, many of which will put up a tough fight for the most seasoned players who have beaten the game several times and are back for more.

It was tough to replicate the spirit and sense of discovery that the original Star Fox offered, but Star Fox Zero manages that feat. Although there is no online multiplayer to let players flex their skills against one another, this is as solid a single-player offering as you will find on any Nintnedo platform. With rumblings that Nintendo is prepping its next console, dubbed the NX, for release this year or next, it’s clear that the Wii U is wobbling and about to go away. Games such as Star Fox Zero ensure that the console will go out with a bang.

ORDER: Star Fox Zero here

Star Fox Zero Reviews Around The Web:

“This is not the same Star Fox Zero I played at E3 2015, and that’s great news.” –Game Informer
“It’s been awhile, but Nintendo finally has a new flight plan for Fox McCloud and company.” –IGN
“The unique control scheme that proved divisive at its unveiling uses the analog stick to control the ship, and the Gamepad’s gyroscope is used to fire.” –Entertainment Weekly

Star Fox Zero Screenshots

The publisher provided a review copy. 

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