Star Fox Zero Review
Nice visuals, great voice acting, more vehicle types and familiar elements make Star Fox Zero a great game.
Takes a long time to get used to the controls, and I wish I could toggle the cockpit view to my TV screen so I didn't have to stare at the GamePad so much.
It’s been slightly over a decade since the last Star Fox game was released on a home console, so let me start by saying Star Fox Zero was way overdue!
To be blunt, the game is mediocre due to the controls. It’s shocking, and I hate to say this because I am a huge fan of the game, but it is the truth. For this game I want to get the bad stuff out of way first, because if you can get over the wacky controls you will love it.
If you played Star Fox 64 then Zero is going to bring back some (hopefully) good memories. Zero mimics Star Fox 64 in many ways and you will definitely notice, as a few levels are nearly identical. But hey, Star Fox 64 was the best game in the franchise, so at least they copied a lot of good content.
The single-player experience is very entertaining, with familiar features like branching pathways leading to different levels, banter between the four main characters, and massive boss encounters. There is also a scoring system so you can replay levels as many times as you desire to try and beat your best score.
Star Fox Zero has more vehicles types, which brings a variety to the game, making gameplay more interesting at times. Some situations require the use of a different type of vehicle, and it’s not always fun, but they each server a purpose.
The Arwing is the one we all know and love, so it’s no surprise that it’s still the best vehicle in the game. There is the Walker, which is a chicken-like vehicle to fight better on the ground. The Landmaster tank is also featured, and this time it can hover, which is helpful when trying to dodge an attack or get somewhere. The Gyrowing is fun and I love how it works with the GamePad’s screen, as it basically gives you a view from the robot’s perspective. There is one more vehicle that you can unlock, but I would rather not spoil the fun for you.
For me, the easiest and most fun vehicles are the Arwing and the Gyrowing. The Landmaster is very dynamic, just like the Arwing but I don’t prefer to use it. The toughest to use vehicle is the Walker, which is difficult to get around in when trying to strafe and turn quickly.
Visuals on Both the GamePad and TV Screen
Star Fox Zero has outstanding visuals, but I am disappointed with how much time is spent looking at the 480p GamePad screen. On the television screen you’re going to be looking at a cinematic view, which is great at times, but it gets old. I have a nice HD TV so I can be completely immersed in the game I’m trying to play, and sometimes I feel like I might as well be playing a game on my tablet.
It gets worse when you enter all-range mode, and looking at the television becomes 100% useless for the player. On the other hand, your spectators get to watch epic battles played out in a cinematic view. Still, this feature or way of playing doesn’t do the player any good.
The graphics aren’t going to impress any PS4 or PC fanboys, but I appreciate the overall game design and simplistic appearance. The in-cockpit view on the GamePad is actually a cool feature, although I do wish we could toggle this to the big screen. The graphics are obviously of much lesser quality on the GamePad, but it doesn’t ruin the experience for me.
When playing, certain sounds will come out of the GamePad, making the in-cockpit view seem more realistic. I do believe the developer used the GamePad right, but maybe it’s required for too much in this game.
It’s a tough game for a Star Fox fan to ignore, and although the controls will more-than-likely take some time for you to get used to-Star Fox Zero is a game worth purchasing. If you’re not a fan of the series you will probably hate the controls, give up, and return it to GameStop immediately. Once you adapt to the controls this game is actually fun, but I feel like the developer could have made it more user-friendly. A toggle from GamePad to TV screen would be nice! So all in all, I believe Star Fox Zero is a nice addition to the series, but definitely not the best game in the series.