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GoNintendo 'End of Day' thought - StarFox Zero review

As I usually do with our reviews, I'm bumping this one up into the End of Day thought position. Thanks so much for those that read this review and hopped into the comments. Certainly a lively comment section in this one! Hope you enjoy the review and feel free to dive into the comments and offer up your two cents! See you in a few, short hours!

Nintendo has had both a good and bad time with unique control methods. They certainly worked well enough to make the Wii an absolutely massive success, as well as the DS. The thing is, as those control methods became more commonplace, it seemed like gamers and the gaming press started to turn on them. That brought us to the common happening where a game gets announced, and a wave of people complain about the title not using traditional controls. These complaints come in long before the game actually gets released. Sadly, it seems that complaint often sticks around long after the title has launched as well.

Now that we've moved onto the Wii U, you hear the same kind of things even more. Motion controls started off this generation at a deficit, since such a large group of gamers seem to want nothing to do with them. Not only are they uninterested in the idea of motion controls, they simply don't think they are worth any time or effort to understand. Just knock a game for its motion controls and leave it at that. The term 'motion controls' became a blurb to put into the positive/negative breakdown of a review. It had nothing to do with the controls being analysed, but instead, the controls were simply bad because they used motion.

Now of course, there are games that use motion controls very poorly. I've played them and struggled with them. I don't see those as bad motion controls, though. I just think the game has bad controls in general. Would it have played better without motion controls? That I honestly don't know, and most likely never will. I've also played games that had terrible traditional controls. Maybe those experiences would have worked better with motion controls implemented. Again, that's not something I'll ever be able to know. The point is, traditional controls aren't inherently good and motion controls aren't inherently bad.

That long-winded intro brings us to the case of StarFox Zero. As I've said on our podcast, the motion controls here are going to be the real sticking point in reviews. I'm sure there will be some other quibbles along the way, but you can bet that motion controls are going to be a large focus. I do believe the controls in StarFox Zero play an absolutely major part of the experience. I'm just hoping the other outlets reviewing the game have taken the time to actually learn and understand the controls, rather than just forming a distaste of them right from the start. That's because I feel StarFox Zero's control scheme works extremely well, and actually adds a great deal to the experience.

The StarFox series has always been tied to innovation. It just seems to be the cross the series bears, for better or worse. The original StarFox had extremely advanced graphics for the Super Nintendo. StarFox 64 introduced us to the rumble pak, which became an industry standard. StarFox Command gave us a control scheme that focused on stylus-based controls for a unique experience. Now Nintendo continues that idea by taking the controls in an even more varied direction in StarFox Zero.

There's just so much to talk about when it comes to StarFox Zero's controls. They are extremely detailed and advanced. This is not a game that you are going to pick up and play without taking on tutorials. I mean, you could approach it that way, but I doubt you're going to have a good time. Even if you've played every single StarFox title up to this point, you're still only going to have a rudimentary understanding of how this game works and what it's asking of you. You have to go into StarFox Zero completely open to the idea of learning a new way to play what looks like a familiar game.

StarFox Zero uses just about everything the Wii U GamePad offers up. The game is obviously built around what the GamePad can do. It's extremely clear that StarFox Zero had a ton of development time put into it, with a major focus being on providing a truly new and engaging control scheme. You'll use a collection of motion controls and traditional buttons the entire time you play. You'll be learning all sorts of control schemes for various Arwing transformations. You'll get access to special abilities that bring in different control schemes on their own. You'll be looking between TV and GamePad the entire time you play. There is a TON to take in here.

All this information coming at you means that StarFox Zero is going to be just too much for some people to handle. There are people that will try the experience and just not be able to wrap their head or hands around it. It's a challenging control scheme to understand, let alone master. When I say this, I'm thinking about people that play games regularly. Not what you would deem 'hardcore' gamers, but people that certainly play games often. Out of the friends I know that play games often, I can think of maybe 2 that would be able to handle this setup. The rest would try and just not be able to handle it, or others would give it a go and simply get too frustrated.

There's a whole discussion to consider here as well. Is this how game controls should be? Nintendo takes so much time making games that are family friendly in both content and controls. Simple controls to allow anyone to play. Now they're making a gamer's game, a title that requires a lot of attention and dedication. Is this a step back, a step forward or a lateral step? Should some game be built so that only hardcore gamers can enjoy them? I don't have a right or wrong answer here. I will say that I think it's sad some people will never get to experience this game due to the controls barrier, but I will also say that I believe the control scheme itself is not only perfectly functional, but really amazing once you get a handle on it.

Here's where StarFox Zero really knows its place. The developers are well aware that the controls take some time to get used to. This is for every single player out there, even longtime fans of the series. That's why the game starts you off with a very easy to understand tutorial. You'll get to learn the most basic of controls to get an idea of how things work. You'll learn how to fly around the screen, do some turning tests, learn how to target and fire on enemies and more. You'll also get to see why the game uses two screens during gameplay, rather than just having you use the TV screen like the old games. Again, this is a tutorial that very clearly explains how to tackle basic situations, and it never makes you feel confused or rushed. You're at your own leisure here, so take as much time as you need.

Not only that, but the game also opens up various tutorials after the initial lesson. You'll be able to take on some of the transformations of the Arwing and learn how to handle them as well. I absolutely cannot stress this aspect of the game enough. Do yourself a favor and take on all the tutorials you can handle before you go into the real game. This is going to make sure you feel much more comfortable with the controls before you get into the heat of battle. StarFox Zero isn't afraid to really show you that you need to understand these controls, even in the first level. If you don't pay attention during tutorials or try to just jump into the game, you're going to have trouble. Even with the rest of the StarFox team yelling out tips at you, you'll still end up getting lost in it all. Do the tutorials...take the time to really understand them. It makes the main game much more enjoyable and will lessen any frustration that might creep in.

Here's the best part about StarFox Zero's controls. If you put in the time with them and learn what they ask of you, you could come out absolutely amazed. You can call bullshit or fanboy on me all you want, but all I can do is tell you that my reviews are always honest. I feel that StarFox Zero's controls make for one of the most engaging experiences I've ever gotten from a game. When everything clicks and you start to feel proficient, my lord does the game feel good. We often think of immersion when it comes to graphics or sound, but StarFox Zero may be the first game I've ever played where controls immersed me in the experience.

I honestly don't want to go back to old-school controls. For those that don't know, you'll be using the GamePad screen to get a cockpit view of your Arwing. This is combined with the more traditional StarFox view you see on TV. These two have to be used together to play the game. If you try to use just one, you're not going to be able to play. You're going to miss enemies, crash into everything and just have a terrible time. It's the marriage of the two that makes StarFox Zero so unique.

The GamePad screen will let you shoot at enemies that you can't see anymore on TV. Once you fly past or over an enemy, you can still use the GamePad screen's motion controls to look up, down and all around. Again, the TV screen has the view we're all used to. That view is locked to a certain perspective, so being able to have free-range aiming whenever you want is a real game changer. You can go a step further and use the left trigger to activate lock-on, which will give you a cinematic lock-on view via the TV, but a precision shooting mode on the GamePad. Lock onto an enemy, follow them on the GamePad screen and take them out. Again, something that lets you follow enemies in ways that you could never do before.

This GamePad gameplay becomes even more interesting when you're in free-range mode with your Arwing. When you can fly wherever you want in a space, having the ability to aim freely is extremely useful. You can fly in one direction and basically shoot in any other direction. This lets you take on unique approaches to just about any enemy or objective that you need to tackle. Doing all of this at once, between the TV and GamePad, between motion and traditional controls, it feels like a ridiculous amount of fun. Yes it's challenging and yes you'll have to learn new things, but if you are willing to take the time to do that, I feel you'll come away absolutely rewarded for your work.

You can make fun of me for this as much as you want, but I believe StarFox Zero's controls really make you feel like you're piloting an Arwing. It really puts you inside the game. I felt an intensity that I haven't felt from the series before, or really any other games out there. It made me feel like I was really out there in battle, flying around by the seat of my pants and doing my best not to die. When you pull off a big boss battle or a dogfight with enemies, man is it exhilarating. This is even more fun when you pay attention to the game voices, as they only come out of the GamePad screen. I do understand some people being upset about not allowing voices via the TV speakers, but I will say that the GamePad audio is outstanding. Remember all that talk about pseudo-3D audio to make the StarFox team feel like they're talking right into your left or right ear? Well it's not a load of PR speak. It's the real deal and honestly boggles my mind. I don't know how they made it feel like you were wearing an Arwing headset, but there's no denying that the spacial audio absolutely does what it sets out to do.

So you know I think the controls are phenomenal, but what about the actual meat-and-potatoes of the game? Well, if you have enjoyed any other entry in the StarFox series, I don't see why you wouldn't enjoy this one. As a matter of fact, I feel like this game offers variety in missions that we haven't seen from the series so far. There isn't a bad mission in the group, but there are definitely some outings that feel like a step above the rest. A lot of those end up using various Arwing transformations in some interesting ways.

One of my favorite missions has you using the Gyrowing. This is a vehicle that moves kind of slow, but has really precise multidirectional control. You can hover up, down, left and right, then turn in whatever direction you need. It feels completely different from any other vehicle you control, and it really changes up the the flow of missions. The first real mission you get to take it on involves sneaking into a facility. You have to fly around giant floodlights that are out to detect you, and if they do spot you, a swarm of enemies comes in to take you out. You have to gingerly move about the level to remain undetected, and also switch off certain power sources to advance.

The real fun comes in when you use the Direct-i, which is a little robot that comes with the Gyrowing. At any time, you can drop this little tethered robot down below your ship and let it wander about. If it can touch the ground, you get to steer it around to do all sorts of things. The main reason to use the Direct-i are to find hidden medals and to activate buttons/switches that let you get further into a level. The best part about all of this is, the Direct-i gives you a first-person view on the GamePad. So basically, you park the Gyrowing in the air and lower the Direct-i, all of which are seen in third-person on the TV. Then when you land, you shift your focus to the GamePad screen and drive the sucker around in first-person. I had an absolute blast with it. It felt extremely fresh and also kept the overall flow of the game feeling energetic and engaging.

You already know about some of the other transformations, but there's still plenty of regular Arwing action to take on. As a matter of fact, most of the time you can transform into the regular Arwing and go through parts of missions old-school style. It's your choice, and while the other transformations will let you get access to certain areas the Arwing can't go, there's still plenty of traditional fun to have. You'll take the Arwing through asteroid fields, around giant space battles, through busy cityscapes and much more. The Arwing is just as much fun as ever, and it actually feels like a new experience thanks to the controls, which provide a more nuanced and nimble piloting experience.

For my money's worth, StarFox Zero stands toe-to-toe with StarFox and StarFox 64. Sure, polygons and rumble became industry standards and there's no way StarFox Zero's controls are going to see the same future. What they do do is continue the legacy of innovation that actually matters. We're not talking about gimmicky controls that were shoehorned in simply because they were there. This is a game built from the ground-up to showcase what the GamePad could do. This is about motion controls, traditional controls and two-screen gaming. StarFox Zero shows the promise of dual-screen gaming more than any other Wii U title out there. This is absolutely the game that showcases what Nintendo had in mind for the Wii U. Oddly enough, it's in stark contrast to what Nintendo did on the Wii. Wii was open and friendly to anyone. With StarFox Zero, we see controls that demand your attention and test your dedication. The results end up being something fantastic, so long as you are willing to learn something new.

I know, I've talked a ton about the controls here. Moreso than any other review I've written. I did that because I consider them to be the most important part of the game. They will be blasted as broken. They will be knocked for being too complex. They will be ignored for asking too much of the player. I feel like that's a damn shame. Again, I know some people won't be able to understand how the controls work and simply won't be able to use them. I cannot fault people that try and fail. If you put in honest effort and try, that's all I can ask. For those that pan the controls as broken or non-functional, I am telling you those people are giving you an unfair reaction. The controls are tough, the controls are challenging, the controls are not traditional, the controls ask you to do things you're not used to doing. All of that is very true. The controls are NOT broken. I give you my word on that.

If you can handle the controls, StarFox Zero is a fantastic game. It's a realization of Nintendo's goals on the Wii U. It's also one hell of an amazing StarFox game. You get a classic feel from the characters and voices, but a completely new vibe from the controls. Also, just to be very clear about this, StarFox Zero does not copy StarFox 64. Some locations may be the same, but the missions and level layouts are completely new. Outside of recognizable enemies, you are not going to get a sense of deja vu. I just wanted to clear up any worry that StarFox Zero was a remake of 64 with a new coat of paint and that's it.

StarFox Zero is the most immersive StarFox game to date. This game really makes you feel like you're piloting an Arwing. You're out there in the explosions and insanity of it all, and it's so much fun. Take the time to learn the controls and you'll be in for one hell of an adventure. Good luck!

Comments

Top Rated Comment
sundin13
Wed Apr 20 16 01:33pm
Rating: 17

I personally love when games do unique things with controls. From Kid Icarus Uprising to Skyward Sword, these games are like master classes on centralized game design, where every part is built around the core idea of the game. This sounds like no exception. While you did ramble on a bit in your review, I think that you explained quite well how the controls add to the experience of the game.

To the people in the comments, I must say, the argument "if you have to defend the controls, they are bad" is entirely unsubstantiated. Its fine to not like the controls, but to say things like that just sounds ridiculous, like you are blatantly saying "innovation is bad/different is bad".

studmuffin
Wed Apr 20 16 11:04am
Rating: 1

With the review embargo being only two days before launch, I was nervous that Nintendo is worried about how the game will be received. Glad to hear the controls worked well for you!

ridleysaria
Wed Apr 20 16 11:06am
Rating: 2

Wow, the first line of the review was about the controls. Whether reviews are defending the controls or decrying them it's pretty clear they're what a lot of people will be talking about. It would be nice if the game could just speak for itself and the controls simply weren't something we need to worry about.

gamesnotoveryet
Wed Apr 20 16 11:21am
Rating: 2 (Updated 1 time)

I completely agree. If the controls need to be defended or explained in a manner that is longer than most reviews will be, they are already broken.

I personally get motion sickness, and while I can keep it in check, reading about these controls pretty much tells me a game that I have waited ages for will be unplayable for me strictly because "N" wants to force me to their way of thinking.

I personally don't desire to look around, or waggle controls, or interact with games on that level. It's great for those that do, but being force fed such things without options is why I have really begun to dislike this company at the most basic of levels. Would it have killed them to just offer options that would allow for EVERYONE to enjoy this game?

"Look at how well this tablet works for gaming, and how great of a business decision it was for us to included it with the Wii U". This is their thinking, and why they NEVER offer options. Voice chat, online options, region free? These are all examples where they know best, and to hell with the consumer.

I'll get this at some point for my son, as he's more than happy to spin around and act a fool in front of the TV. So I'll give it a try when the time comes, but based on my time with Splatoon, I'm not expecting my opinion to change.

I'm not saying you have to change your tune or love this or any other game with motion controls, but I know plenty of people who can't do VR or even traditional first person games at all because of motion sickness. That doesn't make those technologies "broken", it makes them badly suited for some people based on their constitution. It sounds like you don't enjoy motion controls for a whole other reason than most of the "bad" reviews going out today, which is that motion based controls actively prevent you from enjoying a game. That sucks, and I'm sorry about that, but I think for better or for worse, Nintendo games seem to be made from an auteur perspective. They believe wholeheartedly in the experience they've put together, and compromising that for accessibility or the will of the masses appears to be unthinkable.

In many ways, I think that's made them the best game company out there. Splatoon may not have been good for you, but it's taken a tired genre and revitalized it with a very fresh take. I love the Wii U gamepad, I have no idea what I'll do once I need something else in my living room as a multimedia portal because it's completely changed how I do stuff there. In that case, I managed to engage with their vision and I loved it. In other cases, their lack of awareness is frustrating and disappointing. And you've mentioned some of their more frustrating sticking points.

In the end, I hope Nintendo stays the course as the stubborn wildcard. They refuse to compromise their vision, but a lot of times their vision turns out amazing. There are plenty of other companies that offer consistent, sometimes excellent, sometimes pandering experiences, and I do love some of those games too, but I can always count on Nintendo to surprise me fantastically (one way or the other).

Wed Apr 20 16 11:22am
Rating: 2 (Updated 1 time)

Agreed... In a time where controls were traditional, that wasn't a point we had to debate too much over. The controls are absolutely awful, I'm sure, and I am not willing to spend time learning something that have never worked to my liking. Besides, I play games to have fun, and I don't find them fun, no matter how well they improve the tech. Sad because this game could easily have had an option.

I'm going into Star Fox Zero knowing it was made in part by Platinum. Platinum games are usually known for having controls that are a little difficult to master. But once you do master them, you feel like a god. I had trouble at first with games like Bayonetta 2, Metal Gear Rising, and Wonderful 101 at first, but once I got a handle on the controls I felt unstoppable. I feel like Star Fox Zero will be the same way. And I'm prepared to endure. It's a good thing this game is built for multiple play-throughs.

It should also be noted that the "Guard" game is getting just as good of reviews as ZERO is, if not better. What a sad day this is.

Why is it sad that we're getting 2 good games instead of 1 good game?

You mean 2 decent games instead of 1 masterpiece.

Wed Apr 20 16 11:35am
(Updated 2 times)

Do you have limited continues and then you have to start all over? Is there any kind of save system?

I think the decision was made for most of you regardless of the type of review that was posted. It's this "traditional control bias" that I just don't understand. A game should do so many things from immersing you, bringing you joy, providing a sense of accomplishment and just being fun.I don't know how much better of a review this could have been as from what was presented it does all of these thing and more. Simple button mashing doesn't do that. This is a peek into the future of not just Nintendo but all game makers and if you don't start to embrace it now, you will be left behind with nothing but nostalgia and disappointment . As hardcore gamers you want things for you to be challenged by, Nintendo gives it to you and you complain. Go figure.
I have been excited for this game since day 1 (it's my screen saver for peets sake). I am willing to invest the time and reach my own conclusion. People complained about Splatoon's controls as well and it took a little while but I absolutely love that game.
Thank you for your review, it would have been easy to be one of the big mainstream game outlets or snooty bloggers and cast it aside because it doesn't fit the traditional mode but I am glad you took the time and energy to create what I hope is an accurate representation.
One more quick point, when I got Starfox Command for the DS I cast it aside quickly because I couldn't enjoy the controls.I didn't want to invest the time. I picked it back up just to replay it. After using the Kid Icarus stand with it and investing an hour of time to refamiliarize myself with the controls, it clicked and I realized that it is really a cool and unique game to play.

I'm only going to say this. At least your first 14 paragraphs are about the controls. Your whole review shouldn't even be 14 paragraphs long.

I read the last paragraph. You enjoyed the game. That goobley guk of nonsense that is probably 15,000 words preceding that final paragraph was probably 90% unneeded.

Write efficiently, please.

ridleysaria
Wed Apr 20 16 12:07pm
Rating: 3

Personally, I cut RMC a little slack in this regard. GoNintendo is a fan site, not a "professional" site. That doesn't mean RMC doesn't have standards but unlike a big profit driven site he's free to have his own sense of style. As far as I know he doesn't have an editor and his writing is fairly free form. I'm ok with that, and keep in mind I prefer things to be a little more concise as well.

I've "read" 3 reviews so far. They are all over 2,000 words.

There are no professional video game sites, the people don't get paid enough to be called professionals, and most didn't go to school to do it.

I know it's your opinion, that's why I'm not knocking whatever his is. But man, people used to dread a 1 page paper in school, yet they seem to have no problem what amounts to like 8 pages for a review.

Just give me a quick lowdown and let me know if you had fun with it. I don't need to know every minute detail.

Well there's a reason I put "professional" in quotes. Ha ha.

If you want something you can just skim, then skim it (like you did). Believe it or not, reading something for more than 90 seconds isn't the worst thing in the world, and RMC's review addresses an interesting topic. Many people enjoyed reading it.

When you basically say, "controls can be a big issue for games," for about 5 paragraphs and just reword and give examples of it, its unneeded.

The internet people want to absorb information quickly and move on. And the more concise something is, the better the message can be conveyed. That's all.

It's not "Good luck" damnit! It's "Good bye"!!!

Seriously though, thanks for the review! It was a great read.

t27duck
Wed Apr 20 16 12:05pm
Rating: 2

When you have to spend so much time discussing controls, it's not a good game. RIP Star Fox. Time to join Metroid in the land of series Nintendo has destroyed.

It's the end of an era.

Konami, Capcom, Sega (as publisher).

I suppose the indie market and smaller studios will continue the spirit of the fallen franchises. Like newer generations continue on the older footsteps.

I disagree. Controls alone are not enough to make a game good or bad. There are plenty of games out there that have questionable control choices but are so good that it's worth putting up with them until they become second nature. My issue with this game is that it doesn't seem to offer much more than Starfox 64, so I think most people are not going to bother. It should have been designed to be easy to pick up and play because it's an arcade style game.

Sometimes I just don't know which one of the following has the biggest count: your "Modern Nintendo Sucks Big Times" posts or your randomized Miles Prower avatar pictures...

jg233
Wed Apr 20 16 12:11pm
Rating: 1

I think my biggest issue with the game is a lack of 1-on-1 online dogfight mode.

It's concerning to me that the majority of the review is about defending the controls. It feels like all other aspects of the game are secondary especially with lines like "If you can handle the controls...." I also wish they knew what to do with a story instead of having to reboot the original game over and over.

It looks interesting, but the problem with motion controls is that in most cases, they were unnecessary. Some games excelled on the Wii, but the majority were tacked on experiences that either made you flail your arms, or could have been just as easily done with a button tap.

I'll probably get this. I just want it to be enjoyable and fun. As long as it delivers that, then other things are secondary.

ridleysaria
Wed Apr 20 16 12:56pm
Rating: 1

Yeah, it's definitely problematic that RMC's review was a big defense of the controls. A review shouldn't have to be a defense of the product. I think this game really seems to encapsulate the whole Wii U experience, it's a conceptual failure and a struggle to justify bad decisions. There's some good there but it's overshadowed by that huge elephant in the room. There's good there for people willing to give it a shot but it's a lot to ask that everybody be open minded and patient.

Agreed. Miyamoto has done some incredible things, but that doesn't mean that all of his decisions have been great.

I respect the man and he has done amazing things for gaming but nobody is perfect. Every genius has bad ideas.

frenchfryguy
Wed Apr 20 16 07:53pm
(Updated 1 time)

Except it's not a bad idea if it's being given positive praise from a lot of reviewers.

Lifted from actual reviews, the idea in question has also been described as:

distracting
disjointed
baffling
clumsy
difficult
awkward
source of frustration
constant annoyance
jarring
failure

I'd call that bad. At best divisive and divisive is never good. I doubt we'll see the competition copying this Miyamoto idea.

frenchfryguy
Wed Apr 20 16 10:39pm
(Updated 1 time)

There's just as many glowing adjectives you could lift from the positive reviews too like:

engaging
exciting
exhilarating
thrilling
and most importantly of all and the one I knew it would most lend itself to
immersive.

All things I'd call good regarding the idea. I've seen more issue taken with the lack of originality than with the controls being the main reason for an average or mixed review. But again, there are more positive reviews than negative or even mixed so, in my book, I call that a win for the idea.

Like I said it's divisive. Overall the review are ok but nothing to cheer about after such a long absence from the series.

frenchfryguy
Wed Apr 20 16 11:14pm
(Updated 1 time)

Speak for yourself. If it's a combination of SF, SF2 & SF64 with original voice cast in all their cheesy goodness and an immersive new control experience I'm gonna cheer and be excited to play it come Friday!

Well I'm glad some people are excited for it. I honestly wish I could be too. Clearly this must be a big deal for you, what with your Andross avatar and all. Smile

No different than Metroid for you right? I'm sure you'll be excited when Federation Force comes out right? Right? 😈

ridleysaria
Thu Apr 21 16 12:26am
Rating: 2

How would you feel if last E3 they revealed Star Fox Guard to be the new Star Fox game..... and nothing else?

Hey man I get it. It's not my first choice for what type of game the next Metroid game should be either.

Exactly. See Wii Music.

I played StarFox Zero a few weeks ago at WonderCon and I really enjoyed it.

The Nintendo reps did an awesome job of explaining how the game plays. They made sure that people playing the game had a good feel for the controls before embarking on the mission. After speeding through the tutorial, I jumped in thinking I had the controls down but soon realized that I didn't know how to tilt the Arwing left and right. I felt dumb asking the rep how to do it, but it was my fault for rushing through the tutorial. I was so accustomed to using the L and R buttons from playing the original game that I didn't notice that the right control stick handled that now.

There was a moment where I turned the Arwing into the walker and couldn't hit the enemy's weak point as it needed to be from above and I was face-to-face with it now. The Nintendo rep explained that I needed to boost upward and aim downward to defeat the enemy. It clicked with me instantly. The rep told me that he tells everyone that, but I was one of the few that actually listened and pulled it off right away.

My point is, there are people that will play this game thinking that they know everything there is to it (myself included) that will not do well without familiarizing themselves with the controls completely. You've got to humble yourself (do the tutorials properly) and put that "Yeah, yeah, I got it" mentality aside if you want to fully enjoy this new experience.

1upjohn
Wed Apr 20 16 01:33pm
Rating: 1

I guess a Nintendo rep should have been included with the game.

environ
Wed Apr 20 16 02:18pm
Rating: 1

We never get any good pre-order bonuses like that here in NA.

shawvmedia
Wed Apr 20 16 01:23pm
Rating: 1

I'll let you guys know how it plays after picking up my TWO copies Friday.. lol.

rygar
Wed Apr 20 16 01:25pm
Rating: 1

Well the main topic everyone has focused on up to this point has been the controls, so it makes sense to talk about the controls extensively in his review. All reviews to date seem positive for the game, but I'll be skipping it. The 3ds StarFox 64 is all I need at the moment.

sundin13
Wed Apr 20 16 01:33pm
Rating: 17

I personally love when games do unique things with controls. From Kid Icarus Uprising to Skyward Sword, these games are like master classes on centralized game design, where every part is built around the core idea of the game. This sounds like no exception. While you did ramble on a bit in your review, I think that you explained quite well how the controls add to the experience of the game.

To the people in the comments, I must say, the argument "if you have to defend the controls, they are bad" is entirely unsubstantiated. Its fine to not like the controls, but to say things like that just sounds ridiculous, like you are blatantly saying "innovation is bad/different is bad".

vonter
Wed Apr 20 16 02:25pm
Rating: 1

You know what other game was told this about? The Wonderful 101. It's a game that really doesn't hold your hand and puts out relentless new scenarios to play with. To be fair that also had alternative methods of input, but people would not care since that game also didn't sold well, nor Bayonetta 2 despite being probably the best reviewed Wii U game.

So I don't know, seems like the boring way people would have like this to play could have been the better business decision.

Except when that didn't apply to Star Fox 64 3D. :P

The Wonderful 101 was not an established franchise that already had a control scheme that worked just fine and was changed for novelty over substance, though. I will agree with you that it would be a good decision if they kept a simpler control scheme, though. Games should be easy to play but hard to master. Starfox Zero takes a lot of getting used to, and that's not what you'd call "good game design".

Exactly!!!!!

Immersion is one of the most important parts of gaming. Be that controls, story, music or graphics etc...

If there is an immersive control scheme I would prefer that over a non-immersive one. That simple.

Zelda SS (I still find it funny to write SS on a Nintendo forum) is one of my favourites because of it's immersive controls. That and I also loved the story, the atmosphere etc. ZombiU, Metroid Trilogy, RE4 Wii etc, etc. All immersive thanks to the controls.

Immersion is, as said, damn important in gaming.

kenichi340
Wed Apr 20 16 01:48pm
Rating: 1

Some of the comments here make me raise an eyebrow. If you have to defend the controls then they are bad? Seriously? The review has been nothing but positive about said controls, even admitting that it won't be everyone's cup of tea (though I do admit it got a little exhausting how much it stressed to give the game and its new control scheme a chance).

Regardless I'm still planning on getting the game. The idea of putting extra time to get used to the new controls and the challenge doesn't bother me.

Explaining something that people aren't used to/something new without really having a chance to show it to them (or lett them test it out themselves) does crave time.

But not all people like something new it seems.

pittoo
Wed Apr 20 16 01:56pm
Rating: 3

I definitely don't agree with the mentality that "if you have to speak at length about the controls, it's bad" because that's such an incredibly close minded way of thinking about this sort of thing. With how broad the spectrum of video games is, sometimes you've gotta learn something new to play a game. If you're not willing or just don't have the time to learn, that's perfectly understandable, but I certainly don't think that means a game is inherently bad.

The way people are discussing Starfox's controls reminds me distinctly of how people spoke about Kid Icarus: Uprising's controls back when that came out. Either it clicks and you love it, or you quickly decide you hate it. I fell into the former category with Kid Icarus, so odds are I'll probably enjoy this game.

Pretty excited to try this out for myself. Also, Platinum's games with traditional controls are also usually hard to wrap your head around. When you do, though, you feel like a badass. I even get that same feeling in Splatoon. I've tried the dual stick set-up a few times (it's even how I started out playing the game,) but I quickly came to find that I'm just more precise with the motion controls turned on.

When RMC mentions that this game gave you that 'Click! Badass.' feel, it makes me pretty confident I'm going to enjoy what's on offer.

I can completely understand why other people won't like it and why others won't give it a shot, and that's fine. I'm hoping I enjoy it, though, because it sounds like it could be the kind of thing that's right up my alley.

vonter
Wed Apr 20 16 02:09pm
(Updated 1 time)

You know guys there's Star Wars Battlefront. I suppose that could be the one you could go for since it's the polar opposite of this game. So in a way I do understand the hate. I hated that other game, but still everything will have its defenders, so I suppose each can have it's own take on what they'll like to play.

Also a bit on the nose but, I've heard the original 2004 version was better. So maybe some things really can't be made now.

Wed Apr 20 16 02:29pm
Rating: 1 (Updated 1 time)

I find RMC really knows what makes games good and hits and hammers on those points. I appreciate the emphasis when other reviews try to avoid emphasis except when they don't like something about the game

Wed Apr 20 16 02:45pm
Rating: 1 (Updated 2 times)

It's a shame how touchy and pessimistic gamers have become in general. Personally, I'm really interested in trying this new control scheme; It reminds me of an arcade game, and we don't get many games that focus solely on innovative and fun gameplay anymore. I love and respect everything that this game and review stand for.

Sounds awesome and I'm glad to see Star Fox return to full form. Also, as other people said, if I just about destroyed my wrists playing Kid Icarus Uprising and the Wonderful 101, I think I can handle this.

thedreaminghawk
Wed Apr 20 16 05:39pm
(Updated 2 times)

I really don't get why you have something against review scores. Yes slapping a number is something that causes people to jump right to the end to read said score, but at the very least couldn't you do a Gamexplain like system where you compare the title's quality on a scale of sorts? Is SF0 good for me if I loved KIU or Sin and Punishment, or is it on the same level as Star Fox Command? I'm being 100% honest when I say that I still feel like some details are left out, unless it's because its understandably not allowed to be discussed yet due to an embargo

frenchfryguy
Wed Apr 20 16 07:55pm
Rating: 1 (Updated 1 time)

To the naysayers of SFZ's controls. So let me get this straight. SFZ's controls are a bad idea because it doesn't work for you despite obviously working for many others as there have been many other reviews posted today besides RMC's with positive views on the controls? Sure, got it. Here's another more accurate way of looking at things especially as it pertains to this game. You don't like or even want to bother with the game because of the controls and while that's your prerogative, it's also your problem. Your hang up. Not anyone else's, least of all Miyamoto's. If the controls were being universally panned and decried across the board then your positions would hold more merit but that's not the case. Instead it's you guys who refuse to step outside your little bubble. I hate it therefore it's clearly broken and doesn't work and Miyamoto has lost his touch etc etc etc. It's totally not you in any way shape or form. There's no introspection whatsoever.

Now, because RMC has posted a positive review that further detracts from some of the baseless arguments against the game's chosen controls, which you haven't even played for yourselves mind you further detracting from any merit but I digress, you usual suspects are now attacking/dismissing him for choosing to spend most of his time on what we all already knew would be the main point of contention as it relates to SFZ trying to qualm anybody who might be on the fence because of his or her fears so they don't maybe miss out on something they will end up enjoying because the controls do in fact work. How dare he try and offer a detailed and thorough review of the games most divisive feature amirite? It's a bit pathetic from you guys but not really surprising considering that one of you flat-out told RMC he should "write efficiently". I mean seriously. The nerve of some of you guys. Enjoy your circle jerk guys. Some of you really need to look in the mirror.

There are a lot of games that have long learning curves that are well-recieved, but almost all of them are games that are meant to be played for many (often hundreds of) hours. The idea is that you are rewarded for your time-investment. They include many online multi-player games, turn-based strategies (like Civilization), certain rogue-lites, grand strategies...

Even many 80-hour RPGs get panned for having unintuitive controls that take too long to master, and rightfully so.It's not legit to simply declare:

For those that pan the controls as broken or non-functional, I am telling you those people are giving you an unfair reaction

If someone took the time to play through the tutorial and every single level once with an open mind, that is plenty enough effort to give a "fair" opinion. What if the controls took about 30% longer to master and the game was, say 30% shorter? Then would the criticisms be fair? What if the controls took 300% longer to learn and the game only had 1/5th the game time? Is criticizing a game for the investment it asks of it's audience never fair?

I don't know, it's hard to say when you really need 100% of control over the game's rules. The Wonderful 101 gets better after the first Playthrough. One can have fun with a fighting game even if they haven't gotten the controls down (except it isn't fun when your only option is online like in SF V). I suppose also challenge is a factor since the Souls games don't teach you a lot of the practicality of the items (I've had little use from most).

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