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Star Fox U (Wii U) Review
The following is a work of fiction and does not reflect any insider knowledge on behalf of NWR, any similarities to the final product to be released later this year, are completely coincidental.
After a long absence, a lot was riding on this revival of the Star Fox franchise. Unfortunately this Wii U game is not what fans deserve. The levels generally feel like variations of ones we have seen in Star Fox 64, city, asteroid field, and valleys. Sure they look good (not great) in HD, but the lack of unique art direction really gives it a bland, uninteresting look. The level structure is also mainly the same, three main routes throughout the Lylat system, some harder than others. The levels are accessed in the same way they have always been and as a result it feels kind of run of the mill at this point.
The new vehicle, the gyrocopter, is probably the biggest addition and adds some unique control features on the GamePad. When the gyrocopter is stopped in hover mode, a robot is controlled via the touch screen. It’s kind of awkward and as the camera doesn’t change angle, and it often gets lost behind level geometry. There are some fun moments to be had with it, but ultimately it feels like a tacked on Wii U feature. The main campaign can be completed in about 40 minutes, however you will be playing through it at least 3 times to see everything putting the final hour count around 3 to 4 hours if you are thorough. The lack of online leaderboards or online play really hurts replayability and I would have liked to have at least seen some Miiverse integration such as adding messages to the map screen.
There is a local multiplayer mode, unlocked after completing the game at least once, but it basically plays like an upscaled version of the Star Fox 64 3D mode. If you don’t have people round willing to play, you may never use it once as there isn’t even a single player practice mode. The best part of local play is that players can tap an Amiibo after selecting their craft and get a cool skin. At the moment this is limited to the Super Mario series of Amiibo which released back in March. I would have liked to have seen Amiibo used elsewhere, such as single player, but again this feels like a rushed addition which is a shame.
Overall, the short development process becomes painfully apparent and you may find this title on your shelf much sooner than you’d hoped. There is nothing fundamentally wrong here in terms of the classic Star Fox gameplay, but the limited features and short single player make this a good game to rent, not buy.
+Classic Star Fox gameplay in HD
-Lack of online