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Star Fox Command Review - DS

7.5
Gameplay: 8 stars 8
Graphics: 8 stars 8
Audio: 7 stars 7
Multiplayer: 7 stars 7
Innovation: 7 stars 7
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Introduction



Star Fox Command is not more of the same - not by a long shot. The game takes a new approach series, allowing for more strategy and eschewing the scripted, shoot 'em up levels in favour of open area dog fighting.

Is it a good thing? Depends on your tastes. I like the well scripted, crafted feel of the 'on rails' sections over the loose and open air dogfighting. There's none of the former to be found in here though, which may put some of the series's fans off.

Persevere and play the game for what it is and you'll find a delightful title that, despite it's flaws, does a great job of taking the franchise in a new direction.

Gameplay



All the controls, save firing your lasers, is handled on the touch screen. Aiming is done via with the stylus, barrel rolling to avoid damage is done by rapidly scribbling left and right, which can throw off aiming. Boosting and braking is done by double tapping the screen top and bottom respectively.

Loops and U-turns are done via buttons on the touch screen but my favourite addition is the new bomb system. Grabbing the bomb you drag it to the area on the map, displayed on the touch screen, where you want it to detonate.

It takes a little getting used to. To begin with the controls feel sloppy and loose but you soon learn the nuances of control. Sadly, there is no option to modify the controls, as there was in Metroid Prime Hunters.

Every button on the DS can be used to fire your lasers. Mapping boosting and rolling to the D-pad or face buttons would have been a nice option, leaving the shoulder buttons for shooting. A painful oversight if there ever was one.

It's not all doom and gloom. The strategy elements included in SFC are easy to get the hang of and don't dominate a game that, to be honest, is all about shooting stuff out of the sky. Using the stylus you draw a path for your Star Fox team members. If that path intercepts enemies, missiles or lands on an enemy base, you engage them in a separate arena.

There are several different scenarios in SFC. In each enemy encounter there are certain enemies to be killed. Offing them will release special tokens, or enemy cores, which must be collected to proceed. There are also missile chases and mothership encounters. It can get repetitive, especially as you play through the game multiple times trying to unlock every ending.

The Star Fox members all return with their own unique craft, not only in aesthetics but in ability. Some have stronger shields, some have more powerful lasers, some have multiple lock ons, some carry more bombs, some have a larger boost meter which allows you to boost, brake and barrel roll for longer periods.

With nine different endings in the single ... (continued next page)