Star Fox Zero Review: A Blast from the Past
The moment I started the first mission in Star Fox Zero, I had a big smile on my face. It felt so much like the first level in Star Fox 64, along with nearly all the quotes. That's what I first loved about this game -- callbacks but still a modern feel.
Star Fox 64 was one of my favorite games at the time and greatly improved on the SNES Star Fox. They added voices, great graphics, game play, and the rumble feature that became a standard in the industry.
The games that came afterwards also tried to be innovative, but usually fell flat. I kept wanting an experience like Star Fox 64 and never got it, until now.
What Gave Me Joy
From the first mission it is clear that they wanted to mostly go back to what made Star Fox 64 great. It has the same memorable quotes, and feels like an updated version of that game's first level.
I was very impressed that they could capture the nostalgia that fans longed for, while still trying new things.
I went in expecting to hate the cockpit view and controls since many people complained, but it was actually pretty fun and a unique experience switching between two views.
I can say that this works very well with the Arwing portions, and I can usually just watch the main screen like the old Star Fox games, the added precision I get from cockpit mode does help at times and is a very welcomed addition.
The combination of gamepad and arwing made me feel like I had more control and could do more than I would normally. I felt more immersed because of it.
The co-op is a neat idea and I applaud them for trying new things, though I expect that mode to really test your relationship with the other person.
Being able to have multiple paths in a level was something I always enjoyed and what kept me playing the old game so much, so it is great that it is still in Star Fox Zero.
What Made Me Angry
Even though I actually enjoyed the mix of controls, it doesn't work well in some vehicles. I pretty much never used the cockpit view in the other vehicles, except on boss fights.
It is also a shame that the motion controls are required, because they can get very frustrating at times. Having an option to choose motion controls or not would have been nice, but overall did not bother me as much as it might bother others.
Trying to hit enemies at times, especially if you are in all-range mode of the arwing, can be very difficult. I can see people getting frustrated and stop playing, especially younger players.
I absolutely hate the Landmaster and the controls while using it. One of the levels involved me using it on an an ice planet. There was no need to have the landmaster since the walker and arwing could have gotten it done.
All that level did was frustrate and anger me beyond belief, more than I have been in a long time.
Overall, Star Fox Zero is a fun experience that fans of the series will love, and newcomers should try. The required motion controls definitely bring it down, and the levels are not as exciting as I'd expect them to be.
The game was challenging, mostly due to motion controls, but really good when you get the hang of it.
This is definitely a great step forward for the series. Now if they would just stop trying to force gimmicks, we will have the return of an amazing series.