So as I mentioned in the previous blog (here) I was going to start this year by playing full series of games / the games I missed in my favorites series. If you guys couldn't figure out from the title which games I will be talking about here, well it would be safe to assume I will be talking about Star Fox here.
Star Fox as a series (or Starwing for EU / Australia at the time) was an on-rails shooter created by Mr. Miyamoto himself in 1993 using the Super FX chip in the Super Nintendo to create "3D" for the home console, the Super Nintendo. The game stared the titular team "Star Fox" with their leader Fox McCloud and his team of anthropomorphic animals/pilots. While I can go into the history of the creation of Star Fox, where Miyamoto got the idea etc., that's not why we are here.
We're here because I just played every game in this beautiful and criminally underrated and almost forgotten franchise! I'll be ranking them from worst to best and giving explanations why I personally enjoyed and disliked these games, it was a long journey but here we go!
#8 Star Fox Adventures (GCN)
This is a bad game, no matter how many times I've tried to play it. Nostalgia goggles, when I was a kid and slogged through everything, with a guide, even now, this game just stinks. Jontron had the idea first when he was infuriated with the game baiting us with an Arwing mission to start off to just drop us off into some dinosaur planet. Personally, I enjoy adventure games and RPG games, but this doesn't do any genre right and it shows. The beginning takes too long to get through, combat feels sluggish, where to go is never abundantly clear and don't get me started on Tricky. The combat on ground is terrible and semi pointless, I'm collecting a million items for some reason and not to mention, they all have the stupidest names (anyone need some DumbleDang pods?) So after hours of being lost before I submitted to a guide, my patience for this game was at all end and I wish I played on emulator for 2x speed to get through everything I didn't care about. I'm not sure what they were trying to do in this game, but whatever Miyamoto saw before they implemented Fox McCloud makes me wonder if he was brainwashed or this was the fall of Miyamoto (begins after Mario Galaxy 1 if anyone needs a reference point).
Rating: never playing again / 10
#7- Star Fox 64 3D (3DS)
I know this is kindy cheeky, but man this game was the most disappointing experience I had with my 3DS and I was an ambassador program person! The voice acting was so bad I had to play the game on mute and re-enacted the lines myself (actually serious here). The redubbed lines and rewritten lines took all the charm and magic out of this game and I felt bad for anyone whose first time playing Star Fox 64 was this mess. People rave about Star Fox 64 and then people are excited to finally try this "better" remake and are tricked with this?! If you ever wanted to play a game with its soul stripped out, you got the right game. The new graphics and soundtracks weren't bad though.
rating: play the original / 10
#6- Star Fox (SNES)
I don't know why but I've never really liked the original Star Fox. I own it on my SNES, played it on emulators, but this game is just strange to me. Maybe I always thought Donkey Kong Country looked better for home console 3D, or I wasn't as impressed with the game working backwards into the series but it's not to say the game isn't bad. Also, I still can't figure out is this the same story as Star Fox 64 and Zero? Or am I James before Miyamoto realized he can't call everyone Fox?
Rating: Try it once at least / 10
#5- Star Fox Command (DS)
I hate touch screen controls. Hate them being forced, I don't mind them in Rhythm heaven or select options, but being forced to stylus drive makes me put this game lower than it should be. Honestly, the ideas in this game are cool; branching paths, non-canon style game where the focus is missions, but I just can't get over the controls. I love the idea of new Star Fox team members, controlling new Arwings having custom pilot-style Arwings that brings each character's personality onto their ship and how they would fight in real life, but when my wrist is uncomfortable playing a DS game on my bed....well then what's the point of handheld gaming.
Rating: Good but could have been better / 10
#4- Star Fox 2 (SNES?)
This game came out for the SNES classic edition before recently coming out for the Switch for free, and cool to say I own both. I was worried this game was going to be more like Star Fox 1/SNES but it actually feels like its own game. I know ideas were implemented into Star Fox Zero like the terrible Walker, but I love the new crew members, I like the idea of this free-range mission select and thought the game and controls were fantastic.
Rating: Hidden Gem / 10
#3 Star Fox Assault (GCN)
This game actually stinks, but the Star Fox games force me to put this high. I'm serious I dislike this game immensely. Mission 1, awesome, fantastic, GREAT SO FAR. Then I'm on the ground and wow, the options I have for controls are ASS. I have the choice of a bad auto-lock on, one stick method, or twin-stick (which I used) where all focus goes into that and no defense aiming. Look, I'm playing Star Fox to be on my Arwing and kick-ass and show everyone who's the best damn pilot in the Lylat System, too bad more than half my missions are spent on the ground (the penultimate/mission 9 is the worst). The tank moves like a D-Pad NES game and to make matters worse your Arwing is slower / nerfed compared to Star Fox 64.
Oh, you thought I was done? Hey, you like the un-original level design? Well, here are BAD, SHORTER, versions of some Star Fox 64 levels. We have fake Sector X! Stop those missiles from hitting R.O.B. and Great Fox, oh okay cool cool, oh wait can't forget about the Asteroid level. Even Peppy telling me to use the brake on the SAME LARGE ASTEROID COMING AFTER ME.
Still, it's better than the other games above / below on the list.
Rating: Overrated / 10
#2- Star Fox Zero (Wii U)
This game is actually good, I still don't know where everyone got the idea this game is bad. Is it because of the forced Gyro controls or the walker missions? I blame Miyamoto because as usual him and his washed ideas (Giant Robo anyone?) were forced into this game for being a "legend". Every level looks great, the combat is great, levels were expanded in a way that I would expect as a true sequel to Star Fox 64.
I did have some irks with the game and yes, it did take me a long time to get comfortable with the controls (once I figured out what style I want to play) but after I spent some time figuring it out, the game was fantastic. I really wish everyone would give this game a second chance.
If you truly want to have fun with the game, buy or use a Falco amiibo (you get a Black Arwing double dmg received and given, makes the game fantastic).
Rating: Underrated / 10
#1- Star Fox 64 (N64)
If you didn't see this coming then I recommend playing this game immediately. I booted this game up for the first time in two years and STILL KNOW EVERY DAMN LINE. This game pumps adrenaline, this game brings action, its memorable, quotable, laughable, and honestly can be played however you want. I love Star Fox 64 and to be honest, I can play it whenever. In fact, I've even made a friend bonding over this game in my adult age!
From different pathways to Star Wolf introduction, to figuring out how to skip Aquas cause the submarine is boring, to having consequences for having your team shot down (or shooting Falco EINSTEIN [rip that line in Star Fox 64 3D]), the game is a great experience.
Also it has multiplayer that's really fun in a Mario Kart Battle kind of way. Buy this game, support this game, play this game, that's all I ask.
Rating: 10/10 Nintendo Magic
So, that's it for journey #1 of my Game Series 2020 vision dream, or whatever I'm going to call this series. I hope you guys enjoyed it, be it the video version or reading all this nonsense. Overall, I really like Star Fox, Fox and Falco are some of my favorite characters in not just here and Smash Bros, but in video games; it's unfortunate they do not get more light or respect since the number of games in their main series is short and let's be honest, not that great. Hopefully, in the future, they get more games or just sprung into different studios for better games, but for now, they'll stay top tier in Melee and live on in my 20XX heart.
Michael Troina is a Nintendo enthusiast and lover, who also has a soft spot for Sonic the Hedgehog and anime. When he's not out saving people from bad games as Spiderman in Queens, NY he can be found at his Youtube Channel: GAMEMEN / SNBGaming64 where he uploads everyday or you can also follow his twitter at Troyfullbuster.