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LONG BLOG

COMMERCIALISM: Star Fox

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[Apologies in advance for the lateness of this C-Blog. I meant to do it a couple weeks ago, but school happened. I’m done with finals, so I should be able to do this more regularly.]

So, Star Fox Zero has been out for a couple weeks now. It’s been a bit divisive amongst fans of the series, mostly due to its control scheme. I liked the game overall as a Star Fox fan, but I cannot defend those controls. I was able to get used to them, but they’re not ideal for a Star Fox game at all. At least we got some fantastic commercials out of it.

Speaking of which, the Star Fox games have had some interesting commercials over its lifetime. I would be remiss if I didn’t go over them with way more detail than anyone in their right mind should. So, without further ado, let’s start with the commercial for the game that kicked off this whole franchise.

This one is pretty straightforward as far as retro commercials go. It mostly features a pilot training inside some kind of tube by playing Star Fox on the Super Nintendo, which utilized the new Super FX chip. As the game gets more intense, his eyes apparently changes color and his helmet opens up to reveal a fox head, signifying the subject’s apparent transformation into Fox McCloud. Either that, or he’s the world’s first Animorph.

The next commercial is kind of in the same vein as the first one, but with that extra bit of extreme 90s flavor. Some dude is strapped in a chair as he tests Star Fox 64, with the game gradually getting more intense. Some of the new additions that were tested include the new multiplayer mode and the rumble pack, the latter of which proving to be too much for him to handle as he goes into a seizure before blacking out. Yikes! I’m glad someone at Nintendo caught these things during testing before they were released to the public. Don't want a repeat of that fiasco Porygon was dragged into.

The next game in the series was Star Fox Adventures, the maligned Zelda clone. It was released fairly close to the Gamecube’s launch, so its commercial is from that bizarre series of early Gamecube commercials where everything’s in a cube. I may end up doing a COMMERCIALISM on that weird phase all by itself. But anyways, along with clips of gameplay, we see a planet, an Arwing, Krystal’s staff, and a roaring dino skull all in floating cubes. Because when I think of Star Fox, I think of dino skulls in floating cubes. Seriously, what?

Thankfully, Nintendo grew out of that weird phase by the time of the next game in the series, Star Fox: Assault. This one is probably my favorite of the older Star Fox commercials. It shows a fox hunting group riding on horseback with beagles running alongside them, ready to hunt down some foxes. Unfortunately for them, they decided to hunt the wrong fox, as the hunters are faced with a bomb run directed at them, likely from some off-screen Arwings. The hunters are shown fleeing from the explosions before we see clips of gameplay from the new game.

Fun fact, this kind of fox hunting was actually banned in Scotland in 2002, then in England and Wales in late 2004. It’s legal in the US, but most people prefer to chase the foxes instead of actually killing them. So for all we know, Fox McCloud was firing on some innocent chasers with no intention to actually kill foxes. I mean, chasing a fox may be a bit mean, but talk about overreacting! It’s always the same with Fox. Shoot first, ask questions later.

The next commercial is for Star Fox: Command, the first portable entry in the series. It starts with some stodgy professor giving a boring lecture about outer space with a projection of Saturn’s rings above him. It takes a lot to make outer space boring, so shame on him! But suddenly, an Arwing blasts through the asteroids and a dogfight ensues with some Wolfen ships. The Arwing eventually beats the enemy ships and the crowd goes wild, all while some kind with a DS was in control of the thing. How exactly a kid hijacked a presentation with his DS is beyond me, but whatever.

Finally, we have the commercial for Star Fox 64 3D, which is entirely focused on the local multiplayer with four people. Most of these people are pricks. Seriously, I’ve been to a bunch of parties where video games are involved, and I don’t think anyone I’ve played with has ever gone “Where am I? Where am I? You can’t see me!” when they’re invisible, like some 8-year old kid. I most certainly haven’t seen anyone winning and demanding everyone else bow before them. But then, I don’t really surround myself with the majority of the gaming community, so I wouldn’t really know.

Now, I know what you’re thinking. How could I possibly do a COMMERCIALISM about Star Fox without talking about…the video? Oh, don’t worry, I haven’t forgotten, but we’d be here all day if I went into detail about that ad. I’ll be saving that for next week, so it can have one all to itself. Until then, enjoy Peppy telling you to do a barrel roll backed by a remix of Dschinghis Khan's Moskau.

 

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About Zalnoone of us since 2:32 PM on 05.15.2011