Reviewed by Tinnanski | 10.02.06
Our last run with the Star Fox franchise was in the Namco/Nintendo Gamecube rendition Star Fox: Assault. Star Fox Assault was received by mixed reviews. Well, Fox McCloud and his mercenary Star Fox team needed to be called into action once again and this time it's a blend of action and strategy. The Arwing is fueled up; my stylus is ready to rock, here is the lowdown on Star Fox Command.
Star Fox has returned and surprisingly this 3D strategy action game is more innovative then I expected. Who knew Fox McCloud and his aerial tricks could still capture some of the excitement I felt when we played the original Star Fox game in 1993. Star Fox Command is fresh form with its new strategy element to its impressive touch sensitive controls. If you're thinking more of the Space Harrier styled fox, think again, Fox McCloud has a new set up tricks for the Nintendo DS.
Star Fox Lore
For the story it falls back deep into Star Fox lore. If you've been following the game series up till now all this will make sense, if not, well don't expect to understand all the creatures. It's really an action game and all you need to do is shoot and make it through your objectives. If you're in the percentage of people who care about the story here it deals with The Anglars who originated from Venom's ocean and they want to rule the galaxy. That's it, but the story will provide some twists as it goes along.
Before I go any further I have to touch (pun intended) on the innovative way you play Star Fox Command. Star Fox Command is played by using the touch screen for everything including map navigation and combat. It's an interesting twist and one you wouldn't expect. Controlling Fox is fairly instinctive once you get used to the stylus, but I still wish they had an option to have normal control over your fighter.
You'll have to be used to the DS to master the touchy controls in Star Fox Command. For the most part you'll be watching the touch pad for controlling while the above screen has all the action. Like I mentioned above, if your not used to the DS, here's where you might come into some problems. The aiming is precise along with the controls, but they are very loose and odd at first. I'd give yourself a good ten to fifteen minutes to get adjusted before you even think about tossing Star Fox Command aside. There is a lot of hidden depth and enjoyment out of the creative new system Q Games has brought about. The DS keeps on helping these old franchises stay unique, but Star Fox went the extra mile and switched up the core gameplay as well.
Yes, General Fox
Star Fox Command's missions have a large strategy portion to them giving the player full control over planning, resources and the battle. This makes for some real interesting games and even after several replays the mission will feel new. At times you will be whizzing through a mission under five minutes then other times you'll be wrapped up for an hour. Depending on your vigor and your approach, Star Fox Command will have a different effect on everyone who plays it. The replay value is exception for Star Fox Command not only because of the action/strategy approach, but the branching storylines that effect the progression of events.
Old Fox, New Tricks
Star Fox Command is extremely rewarding, but that's only if you want to spend the time exploring the games controls, replaying levels, or going online. I have to question the controls options because at first it might discourage gamers. The story also didn't make me too interested in following through the game; the audio 'robot' styled voices certainly didn't help that factor. That being said, one hour later and I wanted more. Star Fox Command isn't the old Fox you remember, but an interesting adaptation for the innovative DS platform.
Star Fox Command is an interesting twist on the Star Fox franchise adding strategy and touch screen controls. Like the previous Star Fox game, Assault, Nintendo took a chance by giving the ok to switch up the traditional gameplay. Star Fox Command might not be for all gamers, but the ones who take to Fox's new gig they will find a game full which is rewarding and unique. Overall, I have to recommend Star Fox Command as rent before you by mainly because it might not be what you expected.
Gameplay: 8, Graphics/Sound: 6.5, Innovation: 7.5, Mojo: 8. Final: 7.5 / 10
Inventive Controls, Strategy and Action, Branching Storyline, High Replay Value
No Options for Normal Controls, No Real Voice-Overs, Slight Learning Curve
- Lylat needs help. Players hop into their Arwing fighter and fight through a unique branching storyline of missions, all rendered in gorgeous 3-D.
- Star Fox Command brings a whole new strategic element to the series with a commander's view of the mission. Using the touch screen, players can draw the routes they and their teammates will take, then battle the enemies they encounter as they take over bases and strategically advance across the map.
- Players can blow their friends out of the sky as they dogfight with up to eight players over a local wireless connection or take on up to four players from around the world on Nintendo Wi-Fi Connection.