"Star Fox Zero" is the seventh instalment in the Star Fox series and the first since the release of "Star Fox Command" in 2006. Shigeru Miyamoto has said that this title borrowed ideas and assets from the unreleased Wii game's development cycle, which was to be realized with the potential of the Wii U GamePad. "Star Fox Zero" can be purchased by itself from the Nintendo eShop for $49.99, while the packaged First Print Edition comes with the "Star Fox Guard" game at a suggested retail price of $59.99.
Team Star Fox arrives on Wii U for a new adventure
- “An evil empire has risen and the Lylat system is in danger. As legendary space pilot Fox McCloud, blasts through an onslaught of enemy forces to bring peace to the galaxy. In this white-knuckle space shooter, it’ll take more than luck to master the Arwing jet, the Gyrowing flight drone, and the Landmaster tank! You have what it takes. Now prove it.
General Pepper needs your help! Use your TV’s cinematic view to fly and identify targets and see through the eyes of Fox with the Wii U™ GamePad’s screen as you lock onto enemies and fire. You’ll also have to use advanced flight techniques like boosting and barrel rolls to survive the relentless assault.
With the help of the rest of Team Star Fox, tackle missions in the air and on the ground in a variety of planets teeming with enemies. Then engage vast armadas of powerful ships in outer space dogfights. Master your craft, defy the odds, and earn your face-to-face meeting with Andross. Only you can restore peace to the galaxy!”
- —Star Fox Zero.com
Using the TV's cinematic view to fly and identify targets, players are also able see through the eyes of Fox McCloud on the Wii U GamePad controller's screen as they lock onto enemies and fire. You can also swap the views by pressing the "-" button on the gamepad. Players also have to use advanced flight techniques like boosting and barrel rolls to experience the game fully.
As well as Corridor Mode, All-Range Mode in the Arwing is also prominent, this time however, the GamePad's gyro allows aim in one direction while flying in another, rather than aim always being locked to your path of flight. The game features a local co-op mode with one person as the gunner and the other person piloting the Arwing.
There will be a third-person view on the television screen and a cockpit view from the GamePad. The left analog stick pilots the ship, while the right stick functions as a primary input for barrel rolls and U-turns. The GamePad screen displays a cockpit view and supports motion controls as a means to line up strafing shots. As the Arwing sweeps past a target, fired shots independently are added to 180 degrees of the ships forward facing momentum using the GamePad. This opens up some opportunities against stationary enemies.
2 Player Co-op Play
Team up with a friend or family member to co-pilot your ship. One player uses the Wii U GamePad Controller to fire weapons while the other uses the Wii U Pro Controller or Wii Remote and Nunchuk to steer the ship, and in the case of the Gyrowing, one player pilots the Gyrowing while the other controls Direct-i.
Star Fox Guard
Star Fox Guard is a new spin-off game that was released alongside Zero together or separately. Grippy Toad has hired Slippy to guard the tower at the center of each Corneria Precious Metal Ltd. base from enemy robots by gunning down waves of fast-paced attacking robots via hi-tech wall-mounted cameras in the fun and frantic new Star Fox Guard game. Using the AegisCam security system, a state-of-the-art defense program designed by Slippy Toad, players will watch 12 live video feeds, then activate the camera-mounted laser guns by tapping on the Wii U GamePad controller and pressing any button to blast intruders. Each AegisCam security system comes fully equipped with its own Re:bot unit, a frog-like robot that cleans up debris from downed enemies and converts it into precious metals to upgrade defenses.
Once all of Corneria's main missions are cleared, players can create their own squads of robots and challenge other Star Fox Guard players online. Players use the Wii U GamePad controller to select bot types and give them instructions on where and when to enter the facility and to perfect timing to keep players on their toes.
Scanning a Fox amiibo swaps Fox and his teammates over to Retro Arwings, fun throwback models based on the original Arwing featured on the Super Nintendo Entertainment System. They function similar to the regular Arwings, but cannot lock on to enemies. The Smart Bombs, its explosion effect and even its icon on the HUD are changed to resemble their SNES depiction. The Charge Laser uses the explosion effect from Star Fox 64. In addition to using the sound effects from the original game, it also replaces the BGM for the first stage of Corneria with the original track from that game.
Scanning the Falco amiibo will change Fox's Arwing to the Black Arwing, which features a black and red color scheme. It fires red lasers (purple for Hyper), can lock on twice without the need for Hyper Lasers and does three times more damage than the regular Arwing, but takes just as much damage, providing a challenge similar to Expert Mode.
References to other games
- The visuals of the teleportation system and the reference to Andross and Venom being in an alternate dimension could be references to the Out Of This Dimension secret stage from the original game, or the secret black hole stage (or both).
- In addition, General Pepper, when explaining the history of the teleportation used by Andross, alluded to how James McCloud was one of the people responsible for sealing Andross away in a pocket dimension with the implication that he forfeited his life as a result, alluding to how the secret Black Hole stage had been created as a result of Andross rigging James' vehicle to be engulfed in a transwarp explosion in an attempt to kill him and have Vixy Reinard to himself in the comic stories for the SNES version.
- Although Andross primarily resembles his Star Fox 64 self, the actual fight against him has him resembling his SNES form more (albeit designed to specifically resemble his usual appearance). In addition, Andross utilizes the tile attacks in this game for the first time since the SNES version.
- Monarch Dodora makes a reappearance, and also has a similar appearance to its appearance in the SNES version.
- The opening cinema is almost exactly identical to the familiar Lylat backstory, image for image, albeit new character artwork and graphics. The All-Range Mode, the familiar Landmaster (now featuring a fully transformed flight mode called the Gravmaster), Andross, and familiar Androssian enemies and lieutenants return along with the Star Wolf team as dogfighting opponents in their Star Fox 64 3D-style Wolfen. Allies Katt Monroe and Bill Grey will also return, keeping similar appearances to their Star Fox 64 character designs. Katt's incidental musical cue is reused.
- The game is assumed to be a reimagining of Star Fox 64, since characters and elements are returning, with minor tweaks to the story. However, General Pepper does make an applause to Team Star Fox for saving his tower and telling them that the Cornerians are: "in your debt once more" which indicates the game takes place after a previous incident.
- Most of the original voice actors from Star Fox 64 will reprise their roles once again as their respective characters in Star Fox Zero, particularly the actors who reprised their roles for Star Fox 64 3D.
- An early picture of Shigeru Miyamoto performing gameplay revealed an unblurred screenshot of the Arwing at what appears to be possibly Corneria. Falco was also at the time on the Communications Channel, where he recites a quote from Star Fox 64 using his icon from the remake (Star Fox 64 3D). Peppy was also seen on another screen, using his icon from the same game. However, this has now changed to the game's unique semi-realistic art style, because the version briefly shown at E3 2014 was still in a rough stage of development.
- Some of the soundtrack from Star Fox 64 3D was reused for this game, such as Boss Fight B.
- Like in Star Fox 64, the mission to go to Titania was in order to save a fallen comrade due to his being knocked off-course by an enemy, and in certain situations, even have to fight a boss upon finding the comrade. Unlike in Star Fox 64, it was Peppy who got knocked off-course, due to Wolf O'Donnell shooting him down.
- When fighting Wolf on Fichina, there is a time limit present, alluding to Star Wolf's first encounter in Star Fox 64 on Easy Mode.
- Sauria is briefly mentioned by name in the promotional anime segment. This is odd, however, as by this point, no one in-universe even knew Sauria exists, let alone what its proper name is. This is probably reflective of "Zero" not following in the post-Adventures continuity.
- The main characters wear identical microphone / targeting aid headband helmets akin to the ones used by them in Command, which were portrayed in the anime as being Slippy's invention to assist in combat.
- A new feature allows the Arwing to transform into a Walker identical to that from the then-unreleased "Star Fox 2". On Corneria, certain phases are required to protect General Pepper's command tower, identical to the concept of Corneria's vital protection from "Star Fox 2".
- If the player manages to successfully take down Wolf at Sector Beta before he could shoot down Peppy, Wolf, after yelling "I... can't lose!", speeds out instead of actually being shot down like his compatriots, referring to how in "Star Fox 2", Wolf was the only Star Wolf member who didn't get shot down when defeated, instead fleeing.
Fox and Falco reappear in "Super Smash Bros. Ultimate" as playable characters, closely resembling their Zero designs. Wolf also returns after missing out on the Wii U & 3DS game, using a character design that follows his Zero design.
Exclusively to the Nintendo Switch version of "Starlink: Battle for Atlas" is the crossover of the Star Fox series. Fox, Falco, Peppy and Slippy will appear in-game, closely resembling their Zero selves, while the Arwing also resembles a mashup of its Zero and Assault design with aesthetics from the Starlink series added. Wolf, Leon, Pigma and Andrew also appear, using designs identical to their "Zero" selves.
- Arwing: The Super-high performance combat ship used by members of the Star Fox Team, the Arwing returns and plays as it has always done. The GamePad's screen also provides an alternate point of view from the ship's cockpit, which will allow you to see details in the environment that you won't see on the TV, and vice-versa, so you'll have to look at both screens in order to succeed and receives the messages on the Communications Channel through the speakers on the GamePad. This simple change made it easier to spot enemies tailing Fox McCloud's Arwing.
- Landmaster : Primarily a ground based assault weapon, the Landmaster can also hover for a short time, and can roll from side to side to help avoid enemy attacks. Using a design similar to the Star Fox 64 3D model, the Landmaster returns and plays as it has always done, and can now transform into the Gravmaster, a heavy jet that improves mobility and can rain down targeting missiles from above.
- Walker: The Arwing can touch down on the ground and transform into the Walker, using its wings as "feet" to explore smaller areas, reminiscent of Star Fox 2. This allows players to explore sections that would be too small for the Arwing or require slowed down exploration. The Walker is able to hover and dash also.
- Gyrowing: A new slow-flying hovercraft ship that can deploy a tethered robot called Direct-i, to hack into computer systems, gather item pickups such as medals during a mission and simultaneously collect various items, such as medals. The Direct-i can also fire at enemies to defend itself. There will also be a co-op mode where one player can control the vehicle on the TV using the Pro Controller, and the other player can be the gunner using the GamePad.
Star Fox Zero: The Battle Begins, an animated very short movie with an anime style, was released online on April 20, 2016. The short is based on the events of the game of the same name and was produced by Japanese animation studio Wit Studio, with assistance from Production I.G and Nintendo's lead producer and supervising director Shigeru Miyamoto.
- The Japanese numeral zero symbol (零) appears next to the game's title, with the hint of a curve making out the shape of a fox's tail. This mark is also painted on the Arwing's "nose" in the game.
- During the credits, a message appears that says "This game is dedicated to our wingman who fell in battle," a tribute to Nintendo of Japan's late president; Satoru Iwata.
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