Star Fox, the original in Franchise, released in 1993. A rail shooter, where you take control of Fox McCLoud’s aircraft and defend your homeplant, Corneria from the Andross’ attacking forces. This game would feel at home down your local or seaside arcade, with it’s rail shooting action and score cards.
The reason I say that it belongs in arcade is because you are given 3 different routes on a map, much like the arcade game I grew up playing. What’s interesting here is that each different route is basically a difficulty setting, but each with a unique set of missions.
Star Fox was one the second 3-D games to be developed by Nintendo but was the first to use polygonal graphics, with the help of Super FX chip. This did take some getting use to for me. Enemy ships were blending in with my squads ship, whilst getting used to the controls was a bit of annoyance but that soon passed and I was having the time of my life. Star Fox offers more than the usual up, down, sideways movements, you can do rolls in the mist of battle, meaning you are able to dodge obstacles with ease. The simple things.
Your squad consists of three other pilots; Slippy Toad, Peppy Hare and Falco Lombardi. This reminded me a load of modern games where you take control of a squad, with certain requests and snarky remarks on your actions throughout your playthrough. Following the completion you are given a score sheet with your squads remaining shields, which impact the score you are given. This is a really cool feature as it gets you thinking about more than just what the enemy and you are doing, as you have to destroy ships that are chasing down your allies, or allowing them to get their own kills. It really gives you a sense of a real space battle, which we’ve all been dreaming of because of those early sci-fi films.
One of the great things about this game is the use of both 3rd and 1st person cameras. The game alternates between the two depending on the focus of the mission or the task during the mission. For example in stage 2, you start off using the 1st person camera, with the task involving a more action packed sequence. However, during that same mission you enter a Return of the Jedi esque Death Star sequence that focuses on your manoeuvrability, which switches to 2nd person.
This was just a purely enjoyable experience and a franchise I’ll be looking into getting into in the next couple of months, whilst I’m sadly without an Xbox and I’d recommend the same for any Nintendo Online subscribers. This original has just got a certain appeal, it’s very cheesy with the dialogue and the character names but the gameplay is simple, fun and addictive.