The tale of the Star Fox series maybe Nintendo’s most upsetting. Star Fox debuted on the SNES, seeing mixed results among Nintendo fans, to show the power of the Super FX Chip. A sequel was put into development, and nearly completed, but canceled at the time. Some claim Star Fox 2 was shelved to make way for Star Fox 64, it is rumored that they just thought the game was in too poor a state to release, I agree with the latter. Star Fox 64 was released in 1997, remade for the Nintendo 3DS in 2011, it is still considered the best Star Fox title to date. I picked it up on 3DS when the Nintendo Selects line launched it.
You are Fox McCloud, leader of bounty hunter group Star Fox! Corneria General Pepper has contracted you to take out universal scoundrel, and killer of your father, Andross. You, along with your teammates, must now travel across the Lylat system to take Andross out. Star Fox 64 3D doesn’t really have a complex story. But, it features a lot of personality and dialogue between fliers. Every so often your teammates will beep into your comms. Sometimes to alert you to approaching threats, a lot of playful banter, and most importantly to supply drops.
The Star Fox formula is a very simple one. The Arwing is mostly on a set track that you don’t interact with. You’ll be controlling an aiming reticle. You can shoot bombs, perform some dodging maneuvers, and charge your basic shot to be far more powerful. A charged shot will blow up groups of enemies and lock on to the closest thing to you. Sometimes that lock on got very annoying.
There is plenty of level variety in Star Fox 64 3D. Most missions just have you flying through a set path with the Arwing. Sometimes you’ll be in an arena attempting to accomplish a set goal. In these types of missions you’ll have more control over the Arwing, and have to put more effort into keeping your co-pilots alive, I found these the most fun. Landmaster missions see Fox driving a massive tank. These kind of got on my nerve.
Star Fox 64 3D is much more of a high-score game than a singleplayer campaign. You always go through seven missions starting in Corneria and ending, on Venom, fighting Andross. You can access different missions by getting a higher or lower score. These can change your gameplay experience drastically. Going through a completely different set of levels than your friends. I thought this idea was executed really well! Even if I only did two play-throughs.
I really love Star Fox 64 3D! It’s a very simplistic title, but I can’t fault it too much for that, it was worth the $20 I put into it as a Nintendo Select. You can pick it up digitally on the 3DS eShop for that price. If physical copies are your schtick, you could probably find a good deal either on clearance in stores. I’m unsure how expensive this game is second hand at used shops.
Moving onto Smash, Fox McCloud is a member of the original 12, not much has changed for the amount of representation in that time. Fox is a well-known figure in the Smash community. Having many memes built around him due to his prominence in the Melee competitive scene. Star Fox is well enough represented in Smash. Having a fair amount of spirits, and music. I do feel it could do with another stage or two.
Falco was a newcomer to Melee. Considered in the same tier as Fox, Falco also is the bane of many Melee players even to this day. He’s had his moveset changed, over the years, to distance himself from Fox. I quite like the differences in play for Ultimate. While he still keeps his “clone” origins, he feels like a very different character after three games to gain an identity. I enjoy Falco in the game, I have a feeling if he were ever to get cut, he’d sorely be missed as an outcry would spark.
The newest, and scariest, Star Fox fighter is the bounty hunter Wolf. In cannon, he leads the Star Wolf gang of pirates. He’s considered Fox’s biggest rival, a personal villain, someone Fox uses hate as the motivation to be more skilled. In Smash, Wolf acts a more feral Fox. He’s aggressive, and a rush-down archetype. I love this take on the character. He’s easily my favorite of the gang to play. I definitely missed him in Smash For. Here’s hoping the gang survives long after Everyone is Here.