Whatever happened to Star Fox?
For certain developers, fans have certain expectations for the video games they make. Specific series that have been around for so long that they have become a trademark. In the case of Nintendo, Mario and Legend of Zelda have reached this status. New games almost every year, each one providing a new spin on a classic idea. However, while those franchises are still going strong, there was one more that seems to have fallen off the deep end. His only appearance in a new game being the latest installment of Smash Bros. That being the adventures of Fox McCloud and the intrepid Star Fox team.
Star Fox was a series that has been around since I was still a kid. One of those game that I recognize immediately and get hyped for on nostalgia alone. From the SNES, Nintendo 64, Gamecube and the 3DS, there has been a Star Fox game for almost every Nintendo console (or the characters have at least made an appearance). Which is why, myself and possibly other fans of the series, have started asking a single question. When is the next game coming out?
Though the most recent release (Star Fox 64 3D for the 3DS in September 2011) reignited some interest in the fan base, prospects for seeing a new game in the next few years are slim at best. Which is odd given the fact that quite a few people in Nintendo love the series have expressed interest of making more games for either the Wii, Wii U or 3DS. Even with the declining interest in Japan, Shigeru Miyamoto stated that he is still a big fan of Star Fox. While this could mean that there is still enough interest in the company to make another game, it may have to wait for a time when Nintendo is sure that they are sure the game will have a big enough audience.
But even if Nintendo decided to go through with a new game, what would it be about? How would it use the features of the latest systems that would set it apart from other games in the series? What would the story be? What new features would be added to challenge and entertain veteran Star Fox fans? The answers to these questions and more are still only speculation but there is plenty of potential for a good game here. For example, with two of the most recent games having been released for the 3DS, that would be Nintendo’s safest bet on a system that can handle all the classic Star Fox action. Though it would be interesting to see how the Wii U’s controls would work for both the game’s graphics style and game play.
While a rail shooter at heart, Star Fox has tried a number of different types of game genres. From adding first person shooter sections in Star Fox Assault to action adventure in Star Fox Adventure. Even Star Fox Command added RPG elements that altered how the story ended. Though fans can argue of how good/bad these made their respective games fun or terrible, I for one give Nintendo kudos for trying something new and putting effort into it. Sure, Star Fox Adventure gets the most hate since it wasn’t meant to be a Star Fox game to begin with, but at least it was playable and entertaining for fans who enjoy the adventure genre (Unlike some games from other series).
Now a potential story for a Star Fox game also has the potential to be either a rehash of Star Fox team vs Andross and his minions or something that could take the franchise to a new level. Some new ideas could be inspired from the classic Nintendo Power comics such as how Fox McCloud’s team was formed. A new stand alone adventure (a la Star Fox Adventure), or even a new galactic threat (much like the Aparoids in Star Fox Assault). Personally, I for one would like to see a Star Fox narrative focusing more on the rivalry between the Star Fox and Team Star Wolf. Something we have only seen shades of in the games and would be entertaining to see elaborated a bit further.
The best way to see a new game from the series, is to reinvigorate interest to show Nintendo that Star Fox still has fans who still want more. What would you like to see in a new Star Fox game? What system would it be for and how would you want it to play? Classic style or something new? Share your ideas in the comments section below.