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Star Fox: Assault

by Ty Shughart - May 22, 2004, 2:18 am EDT

Surprise surprise, Slippy has an enemy on his tail! And then he comes crying to me about it!

I vaguely recall something about Reggie telling us we're going to get "the hell off Dinosaur Planet." Oh my, thank goodness! The new emphasis on space combat and, er, the Landmaster tank, is more than welcome.

The controls are pretty intuitive for someone who remembers Star Fox 64. Slowing, boosting, rolling, locking and firing were pretty much exactly the same in the Arwing. In multiplayer, it was possible to get out and stand on top of the Arwing in flight. In fact, it was possible to fake out an opponent by letting an Arwing fly away while jumping down and circling behind him on foot. Cool! Or, alternatively, you could just fly down and park it.

The Landmaster tank also controlled very similarly, except with a more independent aiming system. With a little practice, it was easy to destroy a lot of enemies in a chain very quickly. It's worth mentioning that there's a combo and scoring system. Destroy a lot of enemies without a break to keep the combo up, and it's possible to boost that old-fashioned numerical score. The enemies were pretty simple in both design and attack pattern; ground-based enemies could also be defeated easily by rolling the tank around them in circles while firing. Maybe a tank level on rails would be more fun, like the awesome train level in Star Fox 64?

Entering and exiting vehicles is a new feature - generally, it's safer to stay in the tank or Arwing, but sometimes it's necessary to vacate in order to fit Fox or whichever furry varmint into a tight space. On foot, there are a few different kickass weapons, like a rocket launcher, so watch for them. If your Landmaster is destroyed in the single player mode, Peppy will beam a new one down right away, so you can live for quite a while if you're quick on your feet.

Speaking of Peppy, he is apparently a wingman no longer, only hanging out with ROB in the Great Fox. Krystal has joined the Star Fox team, and she speaks English now, it seems. Character animations, particularly their jabbering portraits, were pretty bad, but hey, it's still early, right?

To be honest, the whole Landmaster demo mission wasn't that great, until the boss. The boss was really tough (it took a few lives), and quite a fun fight. The boss was this crazy mushroom-kinda thing with a bunch of legs (that hurt). First, the player needed to shoot a weak point on the underside, and then hover the tank up on top of it and try to stay on like it was some kind of bizarre outer-space bull-riding hoedown, except in a tank. Hopefully, the final game will have lots of awesome bosses and a lot less time on the ground, so keep your eyes on this one and hope for the best.

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Genre Shooter
Developer Namco
Players1 - 4

Worldwide Releases

na: Star Fox: Assault
Release Feb 14, 2005
jpn: Star Fox: Assault
Release Feb 24, 2005

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