Tagged "Star Fox Zero"

May 03
By Matt Gander In UK Charts No Comments

As far as this week’s chart is concerned, the purchasing habits of the British public make for interesting reading – ¾ of all top 40 titles have enjoyed a sales boost, thanks to a combination of retailer promotions and the long bank holiday weekend.

The bottom half of the top 40 sees the return of such games as 2007’s LEGO Star Wars: The Complete Saga on Xbox 360, Xbox One launch title Zoo Tycoon, the Xbox 360 Classics version of Terraria, and Kinect Sports Rivals.

Kinect Sports Rivals resurgence even sees it rise to #8 in the Xbox One chart, one position higher than Far Cry Primal. All signs point to retailers clearing out old Xbox One console bundles.

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The UK’s top ten has seen quite a significant shuffle too, with Star Wars Battlefront, Quantum Break and Star Fox Zero all making a swift exit. They’re currently at #12, #20 and #24 respectively.

Ratchet & Clanks remains at #1 for a second week running, making it the first Sony published title to hold onto the top spot for two consecutive weeks since 2014’s The Last of Us.

Chart-Track informs that it also gives Sony PS4-exclusive titles a total of 8 weeks at No.1 compared to Microsoft’s 5 weeks for Xbox One first-party exclusives.

Due to new DLC, Call of Duty: Black Ops III rises up from #8 to #2 – it’s highest position since mid-February. Dark Souls III falls to #3, Tom Clancy’s The Division holds onto #4 and then at #5 it’s another non-mover – EA Sports UFC 2.

With Captain America: Civil War now showing in cinemas LEGO Marvel’s Avengers rises from #11 to #6.

FIFA 16 meanwhile is up one position at #7, GTA V re-enters the top ten at #8, Far Cry Primal surges from #17 to #9, and then at #10 it’s DiRT Rally.

3DS Pokemon-alike Yo-Kai Watch was the only new arrival, entering at #14. The very good Stranger of Sword City did however manage to top the PS Vita chart.

Apr 27
By Matt Gander In Reviews No Comments

From as far back as the 16-bit era the Star Fox games have arguably featured control systems that take time to acquaint with. The original Star Fox introduced easily confused ‘90s kids to inverted controls – ourselves included – while early N64 release Star Fox 64 added somersaults and other aerobatic manoeuvres. These initially wayward controls soon became second nature though, usually as early on in as the second stage. We’d always begin our descent into Corneria by flying sideways while playfully dipping a wing into the water below, such was the accuracy of the N64’s analogue stick.

Star Fox Zero’s biggest problem, and by quite some margin, is that the controls never feel natural. From start to finish, you’re forced to put both confidence and faith into the gyro-controls – used here to look freely around Fox McCloud’s cockpit, while precision aiming shots by gently tilting the GamePad. It’s a system that isn’t ideal for all situations, making some boss battles in particular tougher than they ought to be.

Character speech also booms through the GamePad’s speakers. Presumably for the sake of nostalgia, lots of one-liners from Star Fox 64 are recycled. Voice acting is generally less ‘low budget sci-fi’ this time round – Slippy Toad calls out for help with a genuine sense of desperation, while Falco’s tone is now more confident than cocky.

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Zero begins not with a bombastic tour of Corneria that teaches the ropes but with a tutorial set in deep space. From thereon telling signs are present that Nintendo has tinkered, refined and quite possibly removed elements to make the controls as fluid as possible; signs that make it apparent Nintendo knew players would initially struggle. That opening tutorial takes between 5-10 minutes to finish, teaching the controls for the Arwing alone. Other tutorials – each of which includes a challenge to beat – are then optional. Crash and burn repeatedly and you’ll be reminded that they’re available, along with a prompt asking if you want to head back to the main menu for a refresher.

Somewhat bizarrely, Zero puts you in control of the bipedal Walker at the end of the very first stage. This only makes a rough first impression rougher, as chances are you won’t have even got to grips with the standard controls by this point. Suffice to say, Zero doesn’t make the most favourable of first impression, despite the visuals featuring the sheen that first-party Wii U titles have become renowned for. Zero then stumbles further down the line, before recovering slightly by featuring dozens of nods and winks to Star Fox 64 and the SNES original.

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Apr 25
By Matt Gander In UK Charts No Comments

Last week was surprisingly busy for new releases, and as such this week’s UK top 40 is a hub of activity.

Backed by a steady string of glowing reviews, and with the movie release just days away, Ratchet & Clank on PS4 takes the chart’s top spot. It’s the first in the series to bag the elusive number one slot, Chart Track informs. The PS2 original entered at #15 in 2002, while the biggest seller at launch – until today – was 2009’s A Crack in Time.

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Former chart topper Dark Souls III drops to #2 with sales down 80%. Star Wars Battlefront on the other hand rises from #12 to #3 with sales up 177%. We can attribute this to a certain DVD/Blu-ray release.

Tom Clancy’s The Division falls to #4 while EA Sports UFC 2 moves down two places to #5.

At #6 it’s another new entry – Nintendo’s Star Fox Zero. New Super Mario Bros. U + Super Luigi is still in the chart too, albeit currently at #29.

At #7 it’s Black Ops III, followed by FIFA 16, Quantum Break and DiRT Rally to form the UK’s top ten.

As the headline indicates, there are another two new arrivals in the top 40. Namely, Alternative’s Rugby Challenge 3 at #13, with the PS4 version proving the most popular, and Konami’s UEFA Euro 2016 Pro Evolution Soccer at #23.

The Xbox 360 and PS3 versions of Rugby Challenge 3 also graced the respective individual format charts at #8 and #7.

Japanese tower defence curio Aegis of Earth: Protonovous Assault meanwhile made #15 in the PS3 chart and #5 in the PS Vita top 20.

Apr 21
By Matt Gander In Blog No Comments

We always expected Star Fox Zero to arrive to a mixed reception, which it indeed has. The reasons for indifference don’t simply boil down to motion controls though – the game’s length and lack of replay value also came under scrutiny. Other critics felt that it’s a little too similar to the legendary Star Fox 64.

During this week’s new release round-up we gave both the Eurogamer and Polygon SFZ reviews a mention. Eurogamer chose not to hand out one of their merits of recommendation. Neither did they advise readers to avoid it entirely, though. “It’s enjoyable enough, and if you’ve any affection for Star Fox 64 it’s worth showing up, but there’ll definitely be moments where you wish you were elsewhere” they said, while comparing it to a Star Fox reunion.

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As for Polygon…well. They posted this piece explaining that they aren’t giving it the review treatment due to frustrating controls. “I’ve made it through a little more than half of the game, and thus far, Star Fox Zero isn’t just a collection of mechanical problems. Levels are extremely simple, lacking any real sense of spectacle or, well, adventure. Combat moves in fits and starts, and levels are very short, often ending just as they find any sense of rhythm or satisfaction”.

They then went on to describe it as a “launch title for the Wii U console, full of half-fleshed-out ideas that don’t quite stick”. “I can’t help but wonder what happened” they concluded.

With scores as high as 8/10 from other outlets, Polygon seems to be in the minority.

They aren’t alone however – GamesRadar and Giant Bomb weren’t wowed either.

We’ve rounded-up reviews for both Star Fox Zero and Star Fox Guard below:

83/100 – GamesBeat: “It’s a little sad that Star Fox Zero, a game that wonderfully shows the benefits of the Wii U Gamepad, came out so late in the system’s life. Still, it’s worth getting for anyone who owns the console, especially if you were a fan of the series in the ’90s”

8/10 – The Metro: “The sort of expertly orchestrated action you’d expect from a team-up between Nintendo and Platinum, but the lack of innovation is a little disappointing”

8/10 – Nintendo Life: “Once you’ve mastered the controls then you’re faced with an outing which is easily on-par with the excellent N64 entry from which it draws so much inspiration – and that should be music to the ears of seasoned Lylat veterans”

8/10 – Nintendo World Report: “I enjoyed saving the Lylat System once again, but give me a year and this experience might just blend in with Star Fox 64 since it shares so much DNA with that classic”

8/10 – Nintendo Enthusiast: “Star Fox Zero is a great step forward for the franchise and I hope we’ll see it continue down this path”

8/10 – God is a Geek: “This is a game based purely on nostalgia, but the motion controls help elevate Star Fox Zero to something beyond a simple retread, although not everyone will appreciate that”

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Apr 20
By Matt Gander In This Week's Games No Comments

Last week you could count the amount of new releases on one pair of hands. We don’t know why you’d want to do this, but it was entirely feasible. This week the PS4 alone sees 12 new releases. The majority of these are on other formats, mind. Two of them (Masquerade: The Baubles of Doom and Rugby Challenge 3) are even gracing the humble Xbox 360, which Microsoft announced they’re discontinuing manufacture of today. So long, old chum – you’ve had a good run.

Rugby Challenge 3 is out Friday on just about everything, and should be one of the better egg ball simulators of recent times given the developer’s track record, while clown bashing adventure Masquerade comes from Big Ant Studios of Don Bradman Cricket fame (for want of a better word) and is out on Xbox 360, PS3 and PS4. There’s a demo of the Xbox 360 version, if you’re curious.

Masquerade

We may as well rattle off the other multi-format games out this week. After being announced just a six days ago, Namco launches Arcade Game Series 3-in-1 Pack – containing Pac-Man, Galaga and Dig Dug – on PS4 and Xbox One. All three can be purchased individually for a few quid each if you wish, in addition to the standalone Ms. Pac-Man. Why this isn’t in the £6.49 bundle – thus making it a 4-in-1 pack – is a mystery. Presumably Namco didn’t want to raise the price close to a tenner and miss out on impulse buy sales. Achievement hunters will no doubt be delighted to hear that all four have 1000G to earn.

Another retro classic getting a dust off this week is Pang Adventures – the first instalment in the Pang (aka Buster Bros.) series since 2010’s Pang: Magical Michael on DS. It’s out now on Xbox One and PS4 for £7.99, courtesy of Pix the Cat developers Pasta Games. More arcade classic revamps from indie developers, please.

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Apr 18
By Matt Gander In New Nintendo Downloads 3 Comments

Bloody typical – you wait ten years for a new Star Fox game, only for two to turn up at once. Star Fox Zero and Star Fox Guard both launch on the eShop this Friday with a small discount in place.

Star Fox Zero’s regular price is £39.99 but can be had for £36.99 if Star Fox Guard purchased on the same Wii U. The price of Star Fox Guard – which started out as the E3 tech demo Project Guard – has been set at £12.99, or £9.99 to those who purchase Zero. So £46.99 for both. Only the first print edition – currently £49.99 at GAME – includes Guard, so that discount is decent enough. Or at least, is more than sufficient given digital pricing standards.

In celebration of the game(s) release, a Star Fox anime short – subtitled Battle Begins – launches 20th April. Here’s the teaser:

We’ll post a Star Fox Zero review round-up once scores go live. Expect it to arrive to a mixed reception – the motion controls can’t be entirely disabled, and we all know how much critics hate giving something a fair chance.

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