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Star Fox

Star Fox Zero photo
Star Fox Zero

Star Fox Zero box art revealed, with no Platinum Games logo


Bayonetta 2 didn't have it either
Aug 24
// Chris Carter
Star Fox Zero's official box art has been revealed, and people are pissed. Can you guess why? Take a look at the box in the gallery below. Yep, Platinum Games, who is co-developing the title with Nintendo EAD Group No. 5...

Celebrate Independence Day with that Star Fox level that really ripped off the movie

Jul 04 // Zack Furniss
The final battle for the world (but mostly America) in Independence Day involves a gargantuan spacecraft with a charged beam that can destroy entire cities. After Jeff Goldblum hacks the shit out of some aliens in space, fighter pilots are able to launch missiles into the giant weakspots located on the bottom of the ships and end the onslaught. Oh, and Will Smith does some stuff, too. In April of 1997, Star Fox 64 came out and too many barrel roll jokes happened. The game was pretty solid, but one level in particular was a bit suspicious. When Fox and crew fly to the planet Katina (to which my mind wants to add an r every damn time), they also have to fight a mothership with a "Core weapon...able to discharge enough energy to vaporize any city in the galaxy." That bit of information is found on page 69 of the Official Nintendo Power Player's Guide that I found in my closet, so you know it's sexy and correct. [embed]295291:59338:0[/embed] So Fox and friends (including Bill Grey, a bulldog with a real bad surfer accent) set out to destroy this ship, which Wikipedia tells me is called the Saucerer, while it prepares to blow up a military base that looks like a shitty pyramid. After destroying various hatches on the mothership, you can target the core weapon, not at all unlike Independence Day. Between that and the swarms of small fighter ships, it all feels like Nintendo might be run by Emmerich fans. Whether you call it a rip-off or an homage, it was a great level. Plus, Bill being introduced on Katina and Bill Pullman playing a character in Independence Day can't be a coincidence.  Happy Fourth of July to those celebrating!
Star Fox photo
AKA the best Star Fox 64 stage
While you tell us about your favorite patriotic game in honor of the United States' Independence Day, I ask that you transport yourself twenty years into the past. In July of 1996, Independence Day came to theaters ...

Star Fox x amiibo photo
Star Fox x amiibo

Star Fox Zero won't lock content behind amiibo


Well, not gameplay content, anyways
Jun 29
// Steven Hansen
Unlike some of the addled fringe elements of Destructoid, I do not partake in amiibo. Recent Nintendo releases like Splatoon and Yoshi's Wooly World have locked certain gameplay bits behind Nintendo's line of collectable doll...

Star Fox Zero might have the best use for Wii U's GamePad yet

Jun 16 // Brett Makedonski
[embed]294193:59106:0[/embed] Without wishing to sound too hyperbolic, this integration is such a creative use of the GamePad because the disconnect between the third- and first-person make it actually seem like you're hopping into a fighter jet -- even if just for a few seconds. Like, you need to look down to take care of some stuff, and then it's right back to flying about. Simply put, it's really great. However, there's an obvious learning curve, and it's not one that I was able to master in my 15 minutes with Star Fox Zero. Knowing which screen to look at, dealing with two different sets of inverted controls (left stick and gyroscope), shooting, all while avoiding enemy fire is no small task. There were several times when I'd brilliantly handle one small section only to completely bungle the next. Even when I thought I had the hang of it, I didn't. The level I played was on Corneria and it consisted of three phases. The first two were meant to acclimate you to the controls. It was probably possible to fail, but it didn't seem likely. By the time the boss revealed itself at phase three, the kid gloves came off. I'm not ashamed to admit that I didn't last long. I got caught up in looking at the GamePad too long when I should've spent more time navigating the Arwing. Shucks. I may have been disappointed in my failure, but I can't say I was disappointed with my experience. It was fantastic seeing and hearing from Peppy, Falco, and Slippy again. I did barrel roll after barrel roll -- not for survival, but for fun. It probably would've helped if I did them evasively. Platinum and Nintendo could've taken a simpler, scaled-down approach to this Star Fox, and everyone would've welcomed it with open arms. Rather, they're doing interesting and innovative things with the Wii U hardware, and that might be enough to push Star Fox Zero into another stratosphere. 
Star Fox preview photo
But there's a learning curve
Only a few hours ago, the E3 show floor opened up. As soon as it happened, Nintendo's booth was flooded, and the half-dozen or so Star Fox Zero stations were thick with intimidatingly long lines. People were willing to w...


Star Fox Zero photo
Star Fox Zero

Platinum-developed Star Fox Zero jets to Wii U this holiday season


Do a barrel roll!
Jun 16
// Kyle MacGregor
It's happening, it's finally happening! Kicking off its E3 showcase today, Nintendo finally unveiled the next entry in the Star Fox series. The new project is called Star Fox Zero and it's coming exclusively t...

Calm down: Nintendo still has a lot in store for Wii U

Mar 30 // Jed Whitaker
Splatoon - May 2015 The paint-splattering Splatoon comes out in under two months and is Nintendo's first attempt at a third-person action shooter. Information has quickly been trickling out as release nears with Nintendo posting a huge dump of screenshots revealing new characters, modes, weapons, and stages. Chris Carter recently previewed the game, saying "I see a lot of classic Mario platforming design in Spaltoon's campaign" and seemed to have fun with the multiplayer.  Xenoblade Chronicles X - TBA 2015 The original Xenoblade Chronicles was a great game, and Xenoblade Chronicles X is shaping up to be even better. Character customization, multiplayer, beautiful graphics, and JRPG goodness make this one to watch for this year. No precise release date has been announced thus far. Yoshi's Woolly World - First half of 2015 Yoshi's Woolly World hasn't had much press since E3 of last year where it won over Steven. Taking Yoshi's Island-style gameplay and making it have a nice yarn aesthetic seems like a winning formula to having the best Yoshi game since Yoshi's Story on the N64. With the lack of information and the peculiar absence from Nintendo's game release calendar, I won't be surprised if this one slips to later in the year to fill in the gap Zelda left. Star Fox - TBA 2015 Star Fox for Wii U was originally teased with a blurred screen behind Shigeru Miyamoto, and only the above screenshot has ever been shown to the public. We do know that you play with a dual-screen perspective, and you pilot Arwings, tanks, and a new helicopter vehicle, but other than that it hasn't really been mentioned since E3 of 2014. That means less has been shown than the now-delayed Zelda.  Project Giant Robot and Project Guard - TBA 2015 Miyamoto has his hands full, as he has been working on not only Star Fox but also Project Giant Robot and Project Guard, two games shown last year at E3. Giant Robot has players building skyscraper-sized robots on their Wii U GamePad and then battling them to the death, while Guard is a mix between tower defense and watching security cameras. Neither game has been shown or mentioned since E3 last year, nor has a release date been announced.  Mario Maker - TBA 2015 While the name is pretty self-explanatory, Mario Maker looks to have a lot of depth, offering the ability to make levels in the style of Super Mario Bros., Super Mario Bros. 3, Super Mario World, and New Super Mario Bros. U. Not just easy levels either, but levels described as masochistic. No firm release date has been announced. So there you have it, seven games that potentially could be coming to the Wii U this year, pending any "please understand" cancellations that Nintendo has become infamous for. A nice mix of genres that should have something for everyone. Nintendo won E3 2014 in my opinion, so hopefully it can bring surprises to woo me again this year. The Wii U isn't dead, long live the Wii U.
The Wii U isn't dead yet photo
Unless it delays everything, please understand!
After the recent announcement that Zelda for Wii U wouldn't be releasing in 2015, people all around the Internet have been losing their collective minds screaming that the Wii U is dead when really, it is anything but. So join me as I refresh your memory and get you back on the Nintendo hype train for 2015.

Star Fox photo
Star Fox

Star Fox in the Hanna-Barbera style just looks right


Move over Muttley
Mar 30
// Chris Carter
A friend brought to my attention a pretty awesome piece of art from a Twitter user that goes by the username "@jonasdoesstuff," and it magically crosses over the classic Hanna-Barbera style with Star Fox. As someone who ...
Star Fox Spoof Trailer photo
Star Fox Spoof Trailer

Nerdist's spoof Star Fox trailer reminds me of the old Nintendo Power comic


Never give up. Trust your instincts
Feb 18
// Jason Faulkner
Star Fox is possibly the most under-appreciated Nintendo series. It's had games cancelled, been snubbed entirely for a whole console generation, and hasn't received an original entry since 2006 (although an untitled Sta...
Star Fox X Regular Show photo
Star Fox X Regular Show

Star Fox X Regular Show Tribute


Ooooooooooooohhhhhh
Feb 16
// Jonathan Holmes
[StarfooooooOOOHHHH by ガしガし] The fact that a new Star Fox game is set for release this year still feels a little surreal. Fan expectations are bound to be high, as the wait for this...
Gaming culture photo
Gaming culture

NBA logos go gaming


Luigi's pants, tho
Jan 24
// Robert Summa
Have a favorite NBA team? Have a favorite gaming mascot? Did you want them combined? No? Well, too bad because someone just did that. Have a look at these cool designs by ak47_studios.
Smash Bros. photo
The future of eSports?
Super Smash Bros. for the Wii U will always be remembered as the game that brought eight-player simultaneous combat to the series. Playing a fully populated match in the new Smash is like watching the same movie on five...

Star Fox Smash photo
Star Fox Smash

Super Smash Bros. gets a Star Fox stage


I can't believe you knew that, Star Fox
Jul 22
// Steven Hansen
Nintendo's Masahiro Sakurai took to the Miiverse earlier today with another Super Smash Bros. update, a Star Fox stage. The Corneria fan in me is excited. Yes, I'm one of those.
Star Fox photo
Star Fox

Star Fox in full development with 'about a year' to go


Miyamoto: 'It's been maybe 6 to 10 months that we've been experimenting with it'
Jun 12
// Jordan Devore
So many awesome-looking Nintendo games at E3 that are ... not releasing this year. Drat. While the new Star Fox for Wii U didn't look especially "awesome" -- not yet -- add it to that list. Well, obviously! But, specifically,...
Wii U photo
Wii U

Miyamoto's three new Wii U games in action


Star Fox, robots, and home invasion
Jun 11
// Jordan Devore
Nintendo's Shigeru Miyamoto has new projects in development for the Wii U that use both the GamePad and television screen, and here he is introducing three of them at E3 2014. Project Giant Robot puts you in the cockpit of a...
Metal as hell photo
Metal as hell

Get stuck in the metal with this 17-minute tribute to video games


Make the gamers dance 'cause he's rock 'n' rollin'
May 31
// Brittany Vincent
What's more metal than a 17-minute instrumental medley featuring some of your favorite video game tracks? Anything Nathan Explosion touches, but that's beside the point. This impressive project was three years in the making,...
Team Fortress 2 photo
Team Fortress 2

This Team Fortress 2 mod is a Star Fox deathmatch mode


Well, slap my ass and call me Slippy
Oct 02
// Conrad Zimmerman
As if the range of things people do with Team Fortress 2 wasn't already expansive enough, now there's a mod in the works which transforms the game into a aerial combat exercise featuring ships and graphical elements tha...
History of Star Fox photo
Former Argonaut Software staff recount their time with Nintendo
As much as we see Nintendo as a very insular company these days, it was much more so way back during the NES and SNES eras. If you tried to challenge Nintendo's power, you were met with intense scorn at the very least or liti...

Nintendo photo
Nintendo

Nintendo increasing staff to forge more games and new IPs


Shigeru Miyamoto explains the future of Nintendo's game development
Jun 22
// Wesley Ruscher
Would you like to see a new Metroid, Wave Race, or Star Fox game? Perhaps some Chibi-Robo love? Hell, maybe even a new IP? Well, apparently nothing is out of the question with Nintendo as they look to build and strengthen the...

My ultimate gaming tradition of Old School Day

Mar 10 // Taylor Stein
Gaming celebration with a personal twist The trip down retro lane is a cherished monthly spectacle among my siblings and I. Every few weeks we put our adult lives on hold to relive the games from our youth. If there is any day that we truly unite as a family, it's while bonding over the classics. As painfully sappy as that sounds, videogames have always acted as a supernatural Band-Aid, mending all pissed off sentiments and sibling-based grudges.While we each were transformed into instant videogame buffs through the allure of the NES, many of our greatest memories reside with the N64. During our version of Old School Day, we welcome the titles that have contributed to the process of shaping us into the people we are today. Super Mario 64, Goldeneye, Star Fox, The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time, Super Smash Bros., Pokemon Stadium, Rampage, Banjo-Kazooie and Yoshi's Story just to name a few, form the framework of the evening. Those titles served as the backbone of my childhood so it's rather fitting. Each time we get together, we sprinkle in a few different games, maximizing the fun output while minimizing the risk of getting bored through repetition, if that's even possible.Over the course of two to six hours of pizza-induced noshing, old school gaming, and admittedly potent languor, we've typically covered the spectrum of emotions from anger-filled multiplayer sessions, to heartwarming regard in response to a favorite cut scene. In diplomatic fashion, we take turns choosing the next entrant to revitalize our nostalgia, but in reality, any choice is a good one when you're playing favorite games amongst family and friends. Old School Day rocks! Still not convinced? With the next generation of consoles on the horizon, you may be hesitant to turn back the hands of time, to accept the glory of Old School Day. There's no way that earlier generations can compete from a graphical standpoint and not all of the oldies were auditory masterpieces, yet despite these technological inferiorities, the games that defined past generations exude a certain charm that often propels them into superior status. Reliving them for yourself is almost certain to conjure up sentiments such as, "Why don't they make games like this anymore?" rather than, "Yikes, I'll stick with the Xbox." Purchasing the titles through XBLA or PSN is technically a viable option, but summoning the warm feelings of familiarity is that much better in its authentic form. Re-experiencing the definitive moments of a simpler time, a period when eating vegetables and finishing homework were the main opponents of happiness, is satisfying on multiple levels. For one, rekindling ancient memories is enormously rewarding. Exploring old saved files and realizing that wow, I can't believe I actually collected all of those stars, puzzle pieces, coins, or heart pieces is always a heart-warming, ego-boosting find. I recall loading up my saved game from Harvest Moon 64. . . I had ten in-game years worth of gameplay on one file. That's more virtual years than I had spent on Earth at that time; how much would that achievement/trophy be worth? Equally as shocking is the realization that some aspects of older gaming were much more difficult than memory would serve. Conker's Pocket Tales on Gameboy Color was one such instance of perplexity. While I nearly finished the game as a kid and don't recall any Ninja Gaiden-like frustrations, with all my might I can barely get past the first level to this day. I must have had the child-like reflexes of a ninja or at least that's what I keep telling myself. Conker-based inadequacies aside, dusting off your Atari 2600, Dreamcast, or other old console is guaranteed to fulfill your sense of humor as well. Things that were badass in the 1980s or 1990s are often hilarious now. Turok 64 death screams are absolutely priceless, Tony Hawk's Pro Skater has musical accoutrements that will transport you into the late '90s punk scene, and Gex 64 makes in-game references to the X-Files, Poltergeist, and Full House. Who needs a time machine when a gateway to your childhood is right within reach? The essence of forgotten trends and declining fads aids in sweetening any excursion into the past of gaming through hands-on reminiscence and a healthy dose of gut-busting laughter. Beyond the arenas of personal achievement, hilarity, and frustration, hopping on the symbolic DeLorean in the name of Old School Day allows us to respect the pioneers within the industry, those instances of brilliance that set in motion what we now take for granted as technological commodities. Videogames as a medium have come so very far. What started as a hodgepodge of pixels and simplicity has evolved into visual, narrative-driven masterpieces easily on par with cinema. Gaming may have been an obscure hobby decades ago, but whether you adhere to the pastime personally or not, it is impossible to ignore its significance on an economic, cultural, and political scale. The current discussions about videogames and gun control are a testament to that. The industry boasts a powerful presence within the global landscape but also within my own life. I adopted Old School Day as reminder of why I became a gamer in the first place: the fun times with friends and family, the lessons learned from macho protagonists, the ability to step into the shoes of countless characters, and the satisfaction felt from saving the world, galaxy, or universe. If you find yourself in a place of gaming stagnancy, my hope is that after reading this, you'll incorporate a bit of Old School Day into your life and join me in celebrating retro gaming on a regular basis.What are your favorite older games? Do you ever take a break from new releases to play titles from the past?[Note: If you own Pokémon Stadium 2, follow my instructions without restraint for guaranteed laughs. Visit the mini games section and select Streaming Stampede. Make sure to play with the company of an easy or normal com and watch the stupidity ensue. Enjoy!] Image Sources: [1][2][3][4][5]
Screw beer pong photo
Screw beer pong, hand me that controller
Gamers are a diverse breed. From PC aficionados and console fanatics, to retro devotees and casual admirers, there is no one-size-fits-all model of videogame hobbyist. Though we possess many differences, like game preferences...

The power of videogames can bring the family together

Feb 26 // Taylor Stein
Somewhere in the middle, my parents and videogames As a 1990's kid, the majority of parents that raised my generation either viewed videogames as a complete waste of time, or they just didn't understand the appeal. Where mom and pop celebrated my other childhood extracurricular activities like girl scouts, basketball, and soccer with great fervor, there was always an absence of enthusiasm when it came to my virtual exploits. No one ever threw me a congratulatory party after I rescued Princess Peach from Bowser's castle or applauded my hard work after collecting countless puzzle pieces in the world of Banjo Kazooie. Not that I was expecting them to, but still. In my past, videogames were always perceived under the guise of unimportance, as a fad that would be outgrown.  At age five, I was slaying octoroks in Hyrule on NES. By age seven I saved the Lylat System from the evil Andross through the mastery of barrel rolls. The trend continued into adulthood and here I am, as devoted to saving worlds and wasting bad guys as ever before.While my parents were uninterested in adopting gaming as their own vehicle of enjoyment, there was always an essence of conciliation that facilitated my growing habits. As a youth I embarked on numerous crusades to justify the glory of videogames to my genetic forerunners, a battle that I grew weary of fighting, and forfeited long ago. There have been glimmers of hope among the downhill conversion strategy however. Through obnoxious pleading, I successfully convinced my mother to watch me play Final Fantasy X. What started as maternal obligation, actually grew into general interest. Whether it was due to a stroke of luck or holy intervention, my mom became fascinated with the narrative most simply stated as kids, traveling the world, to defeat an enormous creature of destruction. To this day, she refers to the game as 'the one with Tidus and Sin', and while it boggles my mind as to how she cannot recall the name, I hold the memories of her genuine attention very close to my heart. Why some parents are in favor of gaming In the eyes of their children, mothers and fathers are synonymous with un-cool, passé, and outdated. No matter their actual age, something about entering the realms of parenthood instantly reduces one's trendiness credibility to near zero, at least in accordance to the mystical rules of kid law. Parents who approve of games for themselves or their children represent a rare statistic, an opposition to the stereotypical condition of predisposed antiquity.Beyond the allure of earning bonus points from the neighborhood tykes, there are a wide array of reasons why a parent would embrace videogames for their young ones. Sharing a hobby is one compelling rationale, an activity that would lend to bonding on epic levels. The tumultuous years riddled with teenage angst could very well be replaced with adolescent tranquility, double rainbows, and world peace. While I may be prone to obvious hyperbole, passing the torch of acquired gamer knowledge from father to son, or mother to daughter is truly a special experience. It might not share the same mass appeal as learning to ride a bike or throw a football, but hey, maybe it should.Traversing virtual landscapes along with saving naive princesses and shooting frothy-mouthed aliens can actually be quite beneficial as well. According to New Scientist, "Sophisticated video games have had demonstrable effects on their players. For example, people who frequently play action games often outperform non-gamers on measures of perception and cognition." When in doubt, quote a guy in a lab coat. In reality, keeping the youngsters occupied is worth its weight in gold. Think about all the trouble they could be getting into, and then be appreciative that the only prostitute he'll be beating with a bat is in Grand Theft Auto. Concerned parents and videogame controversy To starkly contrast the warm fuzzy feelings of the previous paragraph, there is a separate breed of pro-creators who demonize the interactive adventures that many of us hold so dear. Whether adhering to misguided perceptions like, "Videogames will rot your brain", or a sense of personal vendetta against all of game-kind, there are some parents who are unable to acknowledge the medium or its place as an act of leisure.Money is one thing, videogames are f**king expensive! Not to mention, the next generation of consoles is lingering on the horizon which will ultimately multiply the fund requirements for any parent. Others might be wary of the violent or mature content within many popular franchises, but that's what responsible parenting is about. Five-year-olds probably shouldn't play Dead Space 3 before bedtime, but that doesn't mean someone within an older age bracket shouldn't either. Can you imagine putting a toddler in the shoes of the revenge-driven maniac, Kratos from the God of War? Probably not the best idea.Perhaps the most persuasive argument within the parental anti-videogame consortium, is that youths should spend their time doing something more constructive than sitting in front of a TV all day. Fortifying an ass groove in the living room couch clearly asserts your dominance over the space, but gaming should not be 24/7 sport. Eat those vegetables, finish your homework, play outside and THEN get back to working on that sofa dent. The future of parents and gaming While my parents never championed the title of gamer, growing up in the '50s and '60s wasn't exactly an ideal or realistic era to be bitten by the gaming bug. With the vast advances in technology over the past few decades, videogames have ascended into the mainstream on a silver platter. Smartphones, tablets, consoles, PC, and handhelds allow for gaming to exist in just about every format.Accessibility has driven mass appeal, and mainstream allure now welcomes gaming aficionados of all ages, genders, and social positions. These days, the bipartisan nature of approval versus disapproval of videogames is a diminishing distinction. Just about everyone can unite under the flag of gamerdom in some way, and I would expect that kids, parents, young and old will become even more enamored with gaming in the years to come.How did your parents view playing videogames when you were a small fry? Which category do your parents fall into? Do you plan on raising your future kids as gamers? Image sources [1][2][3][4][5]
Parents and videogames photo
Love, hate, and everything inbetween
Not every hobby is created equally nor is every pastime equally respected. As a gaming enthusiast, videogames represent the epitome of entertainment in my eyes. They alone reign atop my personal pedestal of happiness, a speci...

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Nintendo Download: Vic Viper Edition


It's Gradtastic
Oct 18
// Chris Carter
Today is a decent day to be a 3DS owner, as a heap of stuff is headed your way. First off we have Sparkle Snapshots 3D (3DS eShop, $5.99) and Gradius (3DS VC, $4.99) headed to the eShop, along with a Moshi Monsters Moshlings ...
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Poke Balls are a carjacker's best friend


Aug 10
// Tony Ponce
Mike from the YouTube team Warialasky is up to his ol' shenanigans, once again using videogame items to be a right d*ck in the real world. Above, he uses a supply of Poké Balls to jack any vehicle he has his heart set...
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Start your morning off with some Star Fox facts


Aug 05
// Hamza CTZ Aziz
The Did You Know Gaming series is a pretty wonderful look at the lesser known facts of your favorite videogames. The latest episode of the YouTube show takes a look at the Star Fox series, and reveals a pretty dark item from...
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Miyamoto wants a Wii U Metroid and Star Fox most of all


Jul 10
// Chris Carter
IGN had a moment with Miyamoto himself, and quizzed him on potential franchises he would like to see on the Wii U. Out of all of the great series and IPs that Nintendo has to offer, Miyamoto focused on just two: Metroid and S...
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Star Fox for SNES gets a spit-shine in this fan video


Apr 28
// Tony Ponce
[Update: The video has been re-uploaded with Fox's name corrected and some added voice samples.] How awesome would it be if the next Star Fox had character models that looked exactly like the puppets used in the original's p...
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Do a drum roll! Star Fox gets the VGdrum treatment


Jan 21
// Tony Ponce
He-who-bangs-the-drums, NukaCola, comes out strong with his latest VGdrum cover. His target this week? Star Fox on the Super Nintendo, a.k.a. the game with the geometry and shapes and animal fighter pilots, so adorable! They...
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Everyone: Google 'Do a barrel roll' immediately


Nov 03
// Dale North
Just do it! Love you, Google.
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Introducing Lights Out, a Destructoid newsreel


Sep 23
// Conrad Zimmerman
In recent months, I've taken to giving myself a break in the day by playing a few rounds of Team Fortress 2. When some of my colleagues began to join me, I knew I had yet another opportunity to take something I was enjoying ...
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No online in Star Fox 64 3D because of time and money


Sep 22
// Jim Sterling
Those who bought a Nintendo 3DS may wonder why their system -- which perfectly allows for online gaming -- hasn't got any online games. Crucially, they may wonder why a multiplayer-focused release like Star Fox 64 3...

Review: Star Fox 64 3D

Sep 09 // Jonathan Holmes
Star Fox 64 3D (3DS)Developer: Nintendo and Q-GamesPublisher: NintendoReleased: September 9, 2011MSRP: $39.99 Like Ocarina of Time 3D before it, Star Fox 64 3D stays true to its source material, but boasts vastly improved graphics and tons of new features. I'd argue that Star Fox 64 3D is the better of the two revamps, but that's mostly because Star Fox 64 is source material more suited to the 3DS. The game is basically about violent animal Muppets that are constantly engaged in Star Wars-style air and space battles, carelessly killing each other with wanton abandon. There is a giant disembodied monkey head scientist named Andross who may pose some nebulous threat to the galaxy, but none of that is really talked about after the brief opening narrative exposition. This is basically Crud! Get this Bozo off my tail so I can blast some monkeys and/or monkey-shaped robots out of the sky!: The Game, and it's just as timeless a concept as it sounds.  Star Fox 64 3D is a 3D shmup. Throughout the game, you generally fly along a set path, though there are a few bits where you can chose your own course, or fly around a designated area as you please. The game focuses on tasking the player with alternating between offensive and defensive play maneuvers. Each level has a multiple environmental hazards, requiring a strategic, well-timed use of speed boosts, air-breaks, and flips. Fail at these tricks, and you'll end up smashing into something large and/or explosive. On the offensive side, you need to always be working to destroy enemy ships, objects in the environment -- ranging from Star Destroyers to giant space clams -- and just about everything on screen at all times in order to max out your score, and sometimes find hidden areas and power-ups. More advance players will work to charge up their attacks and fire at specific enemies to set off chain reactions among multiple enemies. The offensive side of Star Fox 64 3D is sort of like the recently released XBLA/PSN title Galaga Legions DX, but in 3D, and with stressed out, bloodthirsty chicken men and androgynous frog people leading the charge into battle.  Like I said in the opening paragraphs, the game looks great and plays well to the 3DS' strengths -- particularly the glasses-free 3D, which is a perfect fit with the game's focus on depth of field. Most objects are still built from a fairly low amount of polygons, but the textures, lighting, and transparency effects do a lot to make the game look impressive. The game also knows how to suddenly change gears and display fairly complex-looking, gigantic, highly detailed polygon models. The player will quickly get accustomed to blowing up simple abstract shapes, only to suddenly get accosted by a "realistic"-looking giant skeleton crab boss, or a wet and weird lava man. It should probably feel jarring to change styles like that so drastically, but it doesn't, largely due the consistently great art direction throughout. It would be totally irresponsible of me to not spend at least one paragraph of this review discussing the game's music. Like the John Williams scores it draws from, the soundtrack of Star Fox 64 3D works wonders at making ridiculously impossible events feel emotionally real. You'll feel genuine responsibility when your giant rabbit buddy tells you he's about to get his ass blown to bits (not his exact words) unless you get those bogeys off his tail. This clearly silly situation is made to feel important, largely because the music supplies the gravitas with no expense spared on drama. This works throughout the more emotional moments, which range from being mocked by a seemingly Deliverance-inspired pig man, witnessing flirtations between a cat lady and a blue bird guy, to even a (spoilers) lifesaving family reunion toward the end of the game. Though these moments feel like half-parody most of the time, they still have some genuine emotional weight, largely because of the musical score. Like most of the 8-Bit Mega Man titles -- and just about every Mario and Zelda game -- Star Fox 64 3D would not be half as fun if it's soundtrack had been replaced with lesser music. I've already spent much more time with the game's sound test mode than I expect Nintendo had intended. Star Fox 64 3D is much shorter and easier than I remembered, which shows that though the game feels timeless, it hasn't aged quite as well as I imagined it would have. Compared to other Nintendo-published 3D shmups like Sin and Punishment 2, Star Fox 64 3D lacks challenge, and is all too brief. There are two levels of difficulty, one based on the original N64 level design, and the other custom tuned for the 3DS. I found both difficult levels to be relatively easy, and was able to beat the game twice in less than three hours. Thankfully, Star Fox 64 3D is a game designed to be played multiple times. It's packed with branching paths that hold many surprises, including a couple of tank-based levels, and even an underwater stage complete with a submarine. I don't think it's possible to see every level in the game without playing it through at least three times. There are tons of unexpected, almost random conditions (saving your friends, defeating bosses in a set amount of time, destroying various environmental hazards, etc.) that determine what path you'll gown down. You won't figure most of them out on your own, requiring a lot of trial and error, or more realistically, some research online. On top of the branching paths themselves, the specifics of each level will change based on what order you play them in. Remember that flirtatious cat lady I told you about before? Well, she won't show up to make time with the blue bird man unless you beat the proceeding stages in the right order. Tiny details like that go a long way to making the supremely silly world of Star Fox 64 3D feel real, and supply the player with the small incentive necessary to boot it up again and again, long after you've seen both of the game's two endings.  One of the new features in the 3DS remake is the ability to control your ship using the 3DS' gyroscopic controls. Unlike in Ocarina of Time, the gyroscopic controls here offer no real advantage to the standard analog nub set up. There is nothing wrong with them, and those who have extremely poor fine motor control may dig the option, but I got nothing out of this unwieldy new mechanic. I did get a lot out of the option to play the game in various languages. Hearing Peppy Hare tell me to do a barrel roll in French is way more fun than it has any right to be. I also really enjoyed the game's multiplayer mode. I didn't expect much from it to start with, but after just one round, I quickly learned that it's more than a tacked-on extra. Even playing against the CPU was a lot of fun. In multiplayer, the game plays a lot like Mario Kart's battle mode, but in space, and with guns. All four players are thrown into an arena, with randomly generated "?" block power-ups spread throughout the field. There are tons of new weapons here, like a cloaking device, a teleporter, a giant vortex laser cotton ball thing, some highly lethal floating space-mines, and more. Playing this mode alone offered quite a challenge. It's much tougher than the game's main campaign. On the other hand, playing this mode with other people is an exercise in playful sadism. Using the 3DS' camera, you can get a good look at your opponents' faces as you blast them out of the sky, or better yet, betray a fragile alliance you might have formed with a buddy by farting a well placed space-mine directly onto their face. It goes without saying that it's a bummer this multiplayer mode isn't online compatible. It's a strange move, especially considering how well online play works with Super Street Fighter IV 3D and Resident Evil: The Mercenaries 3D, not to mention DS games like Pokemon Black/White and Mario Kart DS. I know Nintendo could have put this game online --but ultimately didn't -- for reasons only they understand. Still, that doesn't diminish how much fun local multiplayer is on its own. Thankfully, you only need one cartridge to boot the game among multiple players; so as long as you have one or two 3DS-owning friends nearby, you'll be all set.  Star Fox 64 3D is a great little package, more than worthy of a purchase for fans of the genre. It lacks the scale and scope of Nintendo's other big N64 remake, but it's arguably a more compelling experience for shmup junkies like myself. The game is constant action with no filler; just constant dog fighting and high-flying arial maneuvers, with a bit of jaw-flapping, Muppet-y fun layered on top. With multiple rewards for achievements and high scores, loads of secrets to unlock, and multiplayer that screams "One more game!", it won't be hard to convince yourself to replay this one again and again.
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The N64 is my least favorite console of all time, but I still feel the need to own one, mostly for Star Fox 64. It's easily one of my favorite games on the console, way ahead of Super Mario 64 and Ocarina of Time. That's part...


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