Star Fox 64 was one of the first games that I can clearly remember playing. While the story may seem silly now, but back then, it was one of the few story-driven games that I deeply enjoyed. Having different paths and different ways to kill bosses was awesome and pretty unique for that kind of game. Despite negative reviews, I even liked Star Fox Adventures. It was different, but I got to live through Fox again. Star Fox Zero tells you “Nah, forget all that. We made it better. We promise.”
You can forget any story from the saga as Star Fox Zero starts off the same way Star Fox 64 did. Andross, an evil scientist, disappeared to make an evil army. Fox’s Father started Star Fox and went to investigate Andross with his friend Peppy. Fox Sr. sacrificed himself to allow Peppy to escape from Andross. Now Fox Jr. restarted Star Fox with Peppy and Slippy to protect the Lylat system.
I can’t really start to talk about the game without mentioning the controls first. Star Fox Zero forces you to constantly check your TV screen and the WII Pad controller. It even straight out tells you that you can shoot without looking at the Pad, but if you want to shoot accurately, you have to use the pad. Aiming isn’t as simple as moving a thumbstick either. You have to move the controller physically which is a constant annoyance. Your Arwing can now transform into a walking ostrich thing by pressing the A button, one of the most used buttons on any controller. I should mention that this even happens in space battles. I don’t really understand why they would make the controls 20x harder to figure out than playing the actual game.
In Star Fox 64, playing a level or two as a land rover was refreshing and if you didn’t like it, you could maneuver around it and use an Arwing the whole game. Star Fox Zero, to the contrary, shoves a bunch of different ships at you that changes the pace and kind of gameplay completely. It is jolting most of the time and really annoying the rest. Whichever ship you end up using, they all still have the problem of forcing you to look at both the TV and the Pad controller. The tasks in-game are simple but getting Fox to do them is just frustrating.
If this was a straight up HD Remaster instead of a “modern” reboot I probably would have like the game more, but as it stands, it is disappointing. I got the chance to play the demo at E3 and it feels like a different game now. Star Fox Zero feels like they had a good frame for what the game should be and then just threw way too much at it and lost what good they had. Overall, I wouldn’t advise playing Star Fox Zero.