Game Informer Video - Why Starlink On Switch Should Satisfy Star Fox Fans

In this excerpt from the Game Informer Show, Matt Miller joins Ben Hanson, Kyle Hilliard and Jeff Cork to show off some Starlink: Battle For Atlas toys, weigh in on the open-solar-system gameplay, and discuss Star Fox's role in story of the Nintendo Switch version.


Let's start with, it's better than Star Fox Zero. That's not hard though.

I don't like being told "hey at least you got something".

How about Nintendo makes (or has someone competent make) a GOOD Star Fox game for once, like SF64, like they should have done even once over the last 20 years. And honestly, keep Miyamoto and his "creative ideas" well away from it.

Don't get me wrong. I love Miyamoto, and respect the hell out of him for all the great things he created in the past. But from the Wii generation onwards, the dude has gone off of his rocker, and corrupted or flat our ruined certain games that COULD have been better, or good at all, with his "clever" gameplay gimmick concepts. He doesn't seem to realize that, no, you DON'T have to slap some stupid new gimmick on a franchise, to "justify" making a new one.

So essentially Star Fox Zero but without the forced motion controls right?

I’d be down for that. I wasn’t crazy about the rehash of 64’s style but I’d get over that if it was still fun. Those controls definitely weren’t fun.

I'll be honest, I would have likely bought Zero if it was that. In fact, I distinctly remember it originally being said that "normal controls" were GOING to be an option, and then "Nope!"

And while I'm sure that would have been fun, I would much rather have a totally new game, and not merely Star Fox 64 Remix, which was essentially what that was, even without the crap controls.

The game I dream of, that I'll likely never get, is a game in the vein of SF64, but a true full blown sequel, zero gimmicks, more/new levels, and if we're going for broke, the ability to also choose to play the Star Wolf team, to even further extend the replayability. Having some kind of epic storyline with branching paths where the Fox and Wolf teams are essentially against each other, but later on have to team up to fight a bigger threat, would be great. And being able to play Wolf would be bad ass!

A guy can dream, I guess......

It'll need to be longer somehow. But at the same time, that was the issue with Assault and Command. Like with Sonic it may be very hard to make a long rail game without compromising it in some way. Sin and Punishment didn't look good but was longer than the original.

If I could propose something it'll be expanding the multiplayer and have a modest single player campaign. Maybe making it a team squad game and add two other teams besides Star Fox and Star Wolf.

The other thing I can thought is making the Star Fox 2 gameplay loop better and adding enough diversity to it being replayable.

Anyway it's not like Nintendo has focused on it that much since 64. Zero was a gamepad game firstly and a Star Fox game second.

Sun Oct 21 18 04:40am
Rating: 1 (Updated 1 time)

Ah come on, Wii Music is one of the greatest games of all time. 😜

But seriously, I agree with you. The controls in Star Fox Zero were atrociously bad. The game had numerous other problems. I bet Miyamoto wants to fix some of them and port the game to Switch.

He's also preventing other franchises from having sequels greenlit, e.g. F-Zero.

Sun Oct 21 18 03:27pm
Rating: 1 (Updated 2 times)

Except the shoehorning of the gamepad in Zero was corporate decision and not Miyamoto's.

From Nintendo's January 2014 investor's meeting:

It is more challenging to convey the appeal of the GamePad to consumers who do not engage with video games that often since they do not actively gather information about video games. Therefore, we intend to take on this challenge, and I would like to have this solved before the year-end sales season.
In order to do this, it is obvious that our top priority task this year is to offer software titles that are made possible because of the GamePad.

We have managed to offer several of such software titles for occasions when many people gather in one place to play, but we have not been able to offer a decisive software title that enriches the user’s gameplay experience when playing alone with the GamePad. This will be one of the top priorities of Mr. Miyamoto’s software development department this year.

He was tasked to make Gamepad heavy games and that was a big point on E3 when he showed Star Fox as a gamepad tech demo alongside Giant Robot and Project Guard. This was also around the same timeframe when Aonuma promised BotW would make "full use" of the Gamepad.
That doesn't excuse the final game's quality, but the decision did not come from him. But I guess this and other facts are not important for the Miyamoto hatedom, and it's sad because people acted the same way towards Iwata before his passing.

First of all, Miyamoto made it clear in more than one interview that the control ideas for Zero were mostly his. The company may have "mandated" more motion controlled games, but that doesn't negate the fact that it was HIS "creative" ideas that led to the game playing poorly.

Secondly, you don't know me. So don't assume that I "hate" Miyamoto. In fact I expressly implied that I don't in my original comment.There was a time in his career when his ideas WERE brilliant, and gave us games like SMB 1-4, Zelda 1-3, etc. etc. etc. BUT, as previously stated, during the Wii/DS era, he DID start going off the rails, little by little. The thing people need to realize about Miyamoto, is that he is not a gamer. He grew up in a pre-gaming era, and went to school to be an artist. He literally just kinda fell into game design. And since the Wii onward, as stated, his creative ideas have, I'm sorry, gotten worse and worse.

And it HAS been noted, that Miyamoto himself, has "upended the tea table" and practically insisted upon certain game design or control changes in specific games. For his example, the "clever" inclusion in DKCR, or the utterly pointless "blow" mechanic. That was 100% him, and he told Retro to put that in the game.

Regardless, people need to realize that opinions, like life, are NOT black and white. It is 100% possible, to love and respect figures like Miyamoto and Iwata, yet also criticize them for things you think they've done wrong, or made poor decisions on. I love Reggie, I think he seems like a great guy. But I also lay major blame at his feet for the near-utter lack, to the point of being mind boggling, of decent marketing for the Wii U pretty much during it's entire lifespan in the US. That doesn't mean he isn't a great guy. But it DOES me he f***ed up, and if you're honest, like I strive to be, you call him on it. Same for the others. I realize that there are some people who LEGITIMATELY hate on Miyamoto and Iwata. But just because someone like myself has something critical to say about Nintendo or one of it's figures, doesn't make me/them part of the "hatedom". And it's an unfair, and even dangerous practice to just automatically assume that is so.

Nintendo has been a great company over the years. But they also make some really, painfully dumb decisions, on a wide range of things. Both of those things are true, and it's ok to talk about both, evenly.

The idea of blaming a single person for everything that goes wrong in the creative process is something I hate and will try to dispute in most instances, because that only creates bandwagons and ultimately demonizes individuals rather than justifiably criticizing the actions of a collaborative group. Blaming Reggie solely for the terrible marketing of the Wii U is an example, as the thing wasn't properly marketed anywhere in the world and it'd be foolish to assume he was responsible for that, nor to just scapegoat Iwata like was the common tactic back in the day. A lot of people at the company's corporate and marketing departments are to blame, but people never want to criticize and analyze the actions of a faceless or large group, it's always easier to designate a scapegoat and then blame them for everything that goes wrong thereafter, disregarding their track record or future successes.

I strongly reject those attitudes because they never address any of the real problems. All discussion on why something fails always turns to the designated scapegoat rather than the things that actually went wrong and why they went wrong. For years the debate on the Wii U's failure was mainly the perception that "It's Iwata's fault and he needs to step down" rather than analysis over its hardware, marketing, and design process for example.

Nintendo has made mistakes, and they will continue to make mistakes from time to time because nothing's perfect. And said mistakes must be criticized and properly analyzed whenever they happen. Pointing at individuals will never be the way of addressing the problems because they never result in any productive criticism, and any valid points that arise get lost in the process.

Furthermore I'd like to stress that the point of this comment is not to present Miyamoto as blameless either. He deserves his fair share of criticism over his mistakes too, but that attitude that he's been up to no good since the Wii era is something I cannot agree with and that I only see related to the point I'm trying to come across, same way as blaming Reggie and Reggie alone for the Wii U's poor marketing.

Its fun but it doesnt have flight controls for when you are in space or flying. Its 3rd person shooter controls at all times. So while you are in the air the left stick is still forward, back, yaw (strafe) left and yaw (strafe) right. The right stick makes you gain altitude, decrease altitude, turn left and turn right. Also boosting is on the A (circle, B dependent on system) button which makes it hard to turn/go up or down while boosting. While the 3rd person controls work great on land it is really awkward while in flight. It's still a fun game but having them patch in flight controls would make it that much better.

I'm enjoying Starlink but I have some problems with it..

1. The Starlink characters are very one-note, uninteresting, and some just flat out annoying. It's hard to care about the story when you on't give two craps about the characters besides the Star Fox crew.

2. The Gameplay while fun is repetitive as hell. Their is only like 6 different mission types and they make you do them over and over and over again. It's really annoying when every planet has like 60 missions but all of them are the same. Destroy Control Tower, Receive item by plucking from ground and deliver it to an ally, scan multiple planet creatures and then take the data to an ally, hack a device on the ground and destroy a mook of enemies in the time limit, solve a door puzzle to unlock it's treasure, destroy enemies surrounding a base to free it.

3. Flying is fun and the surroundings are gorgeous. But the worlds are mostly empty so flying around multiple planets feel exactly the same just with a new paint of scenery.

I'm definitely having fun with it but I can't say I'm not just a little disappointed in it. If you're thinking about getting it wait for it to go on sale. It's definitely not worth $60 or more IMO.

Sun Oct 21 18 01:45pm
(Updated 1 time)

It's a shame that most people think it's the motion controls that were Star Fox Zero's biggest design hurdle and not the use of both screens simultaneously. Obviously motion can work, we see it in a lot of shooters. It's the brain splitting task of trying to look at both screens requiring you to constantly pitch your neck that's the culprit. This impression is the biggest fear i have from people who didnt experience the game; that motion controls are bad and should be avoided. Rather single player games that require simultaneous use of two screens should be reconsidered.

That was the downfall of a lot of Wii U games. Good idea in theory but pulled you back and forth to frequently. Motion controls we're not the problem, it was jerking back and forth that did it in.

While I see your point and agree with you, the truth is, the Wii and Wii U were both prime examples of motion controls being a very limiting medium, and most people, even Nintendo themselves, usually coulnd't implement them in ways that actually mattered, or actually enhanced gameplay. Outside of Wii Sports, and games that made use of the IR pointer, most motion-controlled games on Wii were peripheral at best. Mario Galaxy 100% didn't need you to shake the Wiimote to do the spin-attack. DKCR was actually made worse/harder to play, but forcing you to shake the Wiimote to roll, and it was especially hard for doing roll-jumping, because, the fact is, iffy shake controls are not precise, while simply pressing a button, ala the SNES originals, is. This was proven by the 3DS port, where they didn't force you use motion controls, because 3DS doesn't have them.

There were Wii games I played that were outright ruined by forced motion controls. There were many games I played that were playable, and even enjoyable, but would have been infinitely better without motion controls tacked on. For example? FFCC: The Crystal Bearers. That game had more issues than just controls, but the controls surely didn't help. They made it a chore to play sometimes, which is generally true for a LOT of motion controlled Wii games. Ghostbusters and The Force Unleashed on Wii were both generally great ports, except that the tacked on motion controls, as stated, made them a chore to play sometimes. And as always, the "waggle" controls were not always precise or reliable. Okami on Wii was also a great port, but again, it was actually hampered by its controls, even though the promise of "painting with the IR pointer" was on paper, great. In practice, is was often frustratingly imprecise. Being able to draw on the touch screen in a Wii U port that should have happened, would have worked FAR better.

Even a major flag-ship Nintendo-made game like Skyward Sword. It's a good game, though it does suffer from too much repetition/going to the same areas and fighting the same two bosses over and over and over. But without a shadow of a doubt, the OVER-use of motion controls, specially "Motion Plus" tilt controls, often made the game a frustrating chore to play. The nonsensical decision to NOT use the IR pointer, easily the Wiimote's best feature, for navigating menus, and to aim and shot slingshots/arrows, was painful. Having to tilt your arm around to TRY to aim correctly, let alone precisely, could be maddening. Yeah, it was doable, but it wasn't fun to do. Likewise, tilting for the mine carts was bad, as it was for swimming. And while not HORRIBLE, having to tilt (and "flap your wings") to fly, was also still silly and cumbersome. If they were going to use motion controls for JUST the sword and shield? That would have been great. IR aiming and button pressed/analog stick for everything else, and the game would have played mostly fine. But the idiotic OVER-use of tilting controls for literally EVERYTHING in the game besides swordplay, made it flat out un-fun to play at times. IMO, the game would have been 100% better, even with the repetition, with a normal, non-motion control scheme.

And as far as the Wii U goes? The "motion controls" of the Gamepad are far worse than that of the Wiimote/Nunchuck. It's basically an "Eightaxis", very comparable to PS3's awful "Sixaxis". Hands down the worst part about the Wii U port of BotW, was being randomly forced to use "Tilt the Giant Gamepad" controls for puzzles in certain shrines. It was not only frustrating, but at times it was barely workable. A horrifically bad decision on their part to even implement that. And as for Star Fox Zero? Yeah, I DID actually play the demo, and the controls just in the demo, turned me off immediately. They don't work well, period, and it makes the game, again, frustrating and un-fun to play. A game's controls should be the best thing about it, that is what directly contributes to fun factor, and enjoyment of actually playing. A game can be ugly, but play like a dream, and still be a great game. But a game that is gorgeous, or has a great story, but plays like crap? Not a great game, usually a chore to play JUST to see the story, and then you never want to touch it again.

Again, I don't disagree that the two screen concept was also a horrible idea. SFZ was mired by horrible ideas all around. I think Platinum could have made a decent game, if they had been left the hell alone to make a decent game. And it like would have sold pretty well if that had happened. But unfortunately, the "genius" within Nintendo, instead mandated "no dude we have these neato Gamepad features that NEED to be used", and thus they were thrust upon Platinum, and thus the game sucked and few cared about it. Which sucks doubly so, because as we all know, Miyamoto and Co. will now use that as "proof" that "no one wants another SF game", even though the truth is, many DO want one, just a not-crap one.

In general, motion controls in and of themselves are not a HORRIBLE idea. But the truth is, MOST gamers just want to hold a controller, press buttons, use a dpad or analog stick, and just sit back, relax, and play a game. No gimmicks, no "cute" ideas. They just want to play a game. The PS Move was, by and large, a disaster, most of its games didn't play well. The general consensus about MOST Xbox Kinect games are the same. The Wii was easily the most successful with the concept. But it still fell far short of actually, consistently proving that they were even warranted. IMO, many of the best Wii games made little or not use of motion controls, or at least gave you the option not to have to use them. The same basically bears true on Wii U. So while I will agree all day that the Wiimote/Nunchuck setup was great for shooter games, and Metroid Prime specifically, otherwise? Just give me a controller with regular controls, and just let me play.

Yeah, but there's also the thought that since the Playstation the controller has little to no changes in layout. I just wonder if there's no will to try to mix things up to distinguish generations beyond graphics.

In regards to motion controls I think they add to the experience when used in short bursts.
- The feeling of cutting someone in No More Heroes, or Mad World where the last stab was done with motion.
- Adjusting by a milimeter the aim using the gyrosensor.
-Tilting a platform with motion feels more natural, especially if it's in a 3D space.
- Games like Pikmin and Zack and Wiki could be played with a mouse and keyboard but might feel restrictive with a controller.
- And rail shooters like Sin and Punishment or light gun games work better with the motion controls. Might also improve Killer 7.

My stance with other controllers is that I do play them more if they're integrated to the console. Than it being a one-off thing like guitars, bongos or VR.

Star Fox Zero's controls were somewhat complex but once you give it a real chance it provides a special freedom not found anywhere else. In the open world dog fight stages it was absolutely brilliant as it allowed you to chase enemies outside your otherwise restricted 4 corners of your tv. Maybe a demo wasn't long enough.

As for Skyward Sword, even with it's imperfections, I wouldn't change a thing. It was a one of kind experience and worked well, enough to warrant the unique fun found no where else.

But like Gamexplain told, the issue with Zero is that when you reach the point on getting accustomed to the controls you've seen almost everything in the game. It'll have been interesting seeing if how that control scheme could have worked in multiplayer. Since there's a whole range of vision instead of just tailing the enemies. At the same time I wonder if it'll have been feasible since you need to rerender everything for each player.

In Skyward Sword, I just think the game design was too long and with many backtracking points for the type of controls they used. I do wonder how much it'll improve with a Switch port using the refined joycons and maybe letting the player skip several long stretches of dialog and maybe adding a fast travel feature, since I remember it taking too long flying to each corresponding region.

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