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Star Fox Command (Japanese Import) (Nintendo DS) Review

Review for Star Fox Command (Japanese Import) on Nintendo DS - on Nintendo Wii U, 3DS games review

Another franchise game coming to the western world in the near future, Starfox Command is the series' first handheld outing on the DS. But will it be better than last year's Starfox Assault on GameCube, and live up the Starfox name? Keep reading as Phil Beveridge (Phil :: CSF) brings you an import review from the land of the rising sun...

The game takes place some time after the events of Starfox Assault, and once again there is a threat to the Lylat System - this time coming from the Anglar race hailing from the planet Venom. The Star Fox team has broken up, Fox broke up with Krystal, Slippy's too busy with his new girlfriend, and Peppy is now General of the Cornerian Army. But to defeat this new enemy the whole team needs to come back together one last time. This game has learned from past mistakes, and is now completely all-range as opposed to the on-rail segments if the previous games, which we think improves the overall gameplay. With over 30 missions, 14 characters, and nine different endings, this looks set to be one of the biggest Starfox games so far.

The main game itself is structured by missions on several planets, and is pretty linear. There's a lot of on-screen conversations between characters between the missions, so we'd guess that there is some kind of story or plot line running throughout - however, we can't read a word of Japanese, and the voices are so annoying that we have to play with the sound off. Hopefully, some regional voices will be used for the US and European versions, making it a little easier on our ears. After much skipping and prodding at the screen, we reach the main part of the game!

Screenshot for Star Fox Command (Japanese Import) on Nintendo DS - on Nintendo Wii U, 3DS games review

...kind of. You see, the 'command' part of the game's title hints to a strategy game, and that's what you get. A slight admission, we really don't like strategy games but you have to give this game the credit it deserves, it's still pretty cool, and uses the hardware well. On each turn, you can cover a certain distance with your ships, moved by dragging the stylus across the map. Don't worry if you make a mistake - you can change your strategy as many times as you want until you end your turn, then the ships move (as well as your enemies, also displayed on the screen). If your path collides with the enemy, then you go to the action mode, which is where the fun begins.

This is what we expected from the famed Starfox series. The upper screen shows your ship, in full 3D, and nearly all aspects of flying are controlled by using the touch screen. The basics are obvious, as well as a spinning motion on the screen to do a barrel roll, and loop-the-loops and other special moves by tapping buttons on the touch screen. The only thing not controlled by the touch screen is firing your weapon, which can be done by pressing any other button on the console (including both shoulder buttons to accommodate both left-handed and right-handed people). Overall, the controls are very easy to pick up, and we got to grips with everything within about five minutes.

Screenshot for Star Fox Command (Japanese Import) on Nintendo DS - on Nintendo Wii U, 3DS games review

The main action bits involve killing certain enemies within a certain time, this countdown lasting throughout the entire mission on the map, so being fast in nailing your enemies is essential. The bottom screen acts as an extremely handy radar, and can be used to drop bombs by dragging one of the bomb icons onto the corresponding area of the map. Unfortunately, although we see these sections to be the best parts of the game, it can get repetitive with only a few different enemies per planet, and not like the wide variety that is seen in the later bosses.

However, we do find it a little annoying that once you defeat all the enemies on the map, a big 'WARNING' sign appears on the screen and you go to the final boss of the map. Sure, it's effective and surprising the first time, but after that it just gets a little tedious. The bosses are varied and challenging, whether it be a rival gang of fighter pilots, or a giant enemy crab. We kid you not. You really do have to attack the flashing weak points for massive damage. Coincidence?

Screenshot for Star Fox Command (Japanese Import) on Nintendo DS - on Nintendo Wii U, 3DS games review

One thing that we don't like about the game is that sometimes you'll come across a certain enemy or boss, you try and battle it, die, THEN it tells you that you should have barrel rolled into it instead of shooting it. This can lead to playing through entire mission maps again, and could even make you stop playing due to sheer boredom. Like early Starfox games, there is a freedom of choice in the route you take through the story mode, but only after you complete the game once, and even then you end up playing through the same kind of stuff over again.

Although the main story is fun, we believe that the multiplayer will keep in your DS for some time. Using download play, you can have up to five additional players using your game cartridge for some deathmatch fun. And if you don't have access to five mates, there's always the online function, provided by Nintendo's WiFi service. There are several different battle modes available, as well as a ranking system, like we are seeing on most WiFi enabled games these days.

Overall, we would definitely recommend this game to any fans of the Starfox series, as it is more of the stuff that you know and love. And even if you've never played a Starfox game before, it's still a great fast-paced action shooter. The story mode can be a little short the first time around, but the other paths, if you choose to play them, can add many more hours to the lifespan.

Screenshot for Star Fox Command (Japanese Import) on Nintendo DS- on Nintendo Wii U, 3DS games review

Gameplay

The controls work well, and the timed (and often frantic) enemy battles are a nice combination with the touch-screen strategy elements.

Graphics

Great 3D shooting segments, but the 2D graphics on the characters during the conversation segments can be a little bland and unemotional at times.

Sound

Classic Starfox music, plus voice acting on all characters... which, unfortunately, can get annoying after about an hour or so.

Value

After a while, you'll unlock new story paths, but you'll still be playing more of the same kind of stuff, which can get repetitive. But ether's always the Multiplayer modes.

Cubed3 Rating

7/10
Rated 7 out of 10

Good - Bronze Award

About this score
Rated 7 out of 10

A great fast-paced action shooter, which will definitely appeal to fans of the Starfox series. Story mode can get a little repetitive, but the multiplayer helps to keep the lifespan of the game going for hours more.

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20.08.2006

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Developer

Q

Publisher

Nintendo

C3 Score

Rated $score out of 10  7/10

Reader Score

Rated $score out of 10  8/10 (9 Votes)

European release date Out now   North America release date Out now   Japan release date Out now   Australian release date Out now   

Reader comments - add yours today Comments on this Review

There are no replies to this review yet. Why not be the first?
Senior ModeratorStaff Member

Shame, but sounds like it could be better than Starfox Assault. Hmm, disappointed that Q-Games couldn't bring back some classic Starfox goodness, considering the head of the company worked on Starwing on the SNES as part of Argonaut :-(

Good work Phil! Smilie

Adam Riley < Operations Director :: Senior Editor :: Cubed3 Limited >
Word of Adam | Voice123 Profile | AdamC3 on Twitter
Senior ModeratorStaff Member

Awesome stuff Phil, shame about it not being as good the classic StarFox games, still, one to pick up!

Cubed3 Admin/Founder & Designer

(Jap Import)

teh racialist!:-o

It's going to be shit and you jolly well know it.

Oh this one looks shexy!

Sarah.

i just watched someone playing it on ign vid and i was very impressed. i am definitely buying this one and lets hope for a true return to classic status for the wii.

let's hope Starofx Wii is brought back in house give it to intelligent systems those guys are hero's


Mike Gee of iZINE said, "...The Verve, as he promised, had become the greatest band in the world. Most of the critics agreed with him. Most paid due homage. The Verve were no longer the question mark or the clichť. They were the statement and the definition."

It could be alright. I'll put it on my birthday/Christmas list, but I probably won't spend my precious money on it.

TAG: That American Guy

"If it is possible, as far as it depends on you, live at peace with everyone." Romans 12:18

Still waiting for Star fox Wii.

Silence is the loudest noise we could possibly hear.

Thanks!

Oh, and also thanks to JB for giving me a staff position as writer :Smilie

Phil, according to an IGN, hands on, preview and a GameBrink review, The Starfox game lets a gamer record their own voice which replaces the voices of the Starfox team.

"But a neat addition is the ability to use your own voice and have it as the game's "gibberish" generator. The game asks questions and you speak the answers into the microphone, and it'll piece together those samples and play them back all garbled up at different rates for each of the speaking characters. Silly but very cool(Craig Harris, IGN)."

Link:
http://ds.ign.com/articles/723/723646p1.html

A 7? Well that confirms it, I ain't buying it.

Staff Member

Yay! I'm actually glad there's voice acting in this one, as probably everyone knows by now I loved the quotes in lylat wars!

Hmmm, looks ok, certainly worth a look-in. Cheers for the review, good stuff!:D

Piiiiii...ka.....SUEEEEEEE!

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