Star Fox Command
|Star Fox Command|
North American box art
Nintendo EAD Group No. 2
|Release date(s)||Nintendo DS
|Genre(s)||Shoot 'em up|
Star Fox Command (Japanese: スターフォックス コマンド Hepburn: Sutā Fokkusu Komando?) is the fifth game in Nintendo's Shoot 'em up Star Fox series, published by Nintendo for the Nintendo DS in 2006 and 2007. Released in Japan on August 3, 2006 and in North America on August 28, 2006, it was first announced at the E3 2005 conference, under the name Star Fox DS. Command is the first Star Fox game for a handheld, and supports the Nintendo Wi-Fi Connection, making it the first online Star Fox game. Star Fox Command returns the series to its roots as an air-combat game. Fox's redesign here would later go on to be used in future iterations of Nintendo's hit fighting series, Super Smash Bros.
The game's plot involves the protagonist Fox McCloud and his team setting out to defend their homes from aliens known as the Anglar. Q-Games originally worked on a puzzle game, which Nintendo decided to turn into a DS game. The game was generally well-received; it has achieved an average score of 76% from Game Rankings, a reviews aggregate.
Star Fox Command has two types of single-player gameplay: a strategic map mode, and a battle mode. The overworld-like map mode is where the player takes command of several ships. This mode is used to get ships into the battle mode and is essentially a simple turn-based strategy game. Up to four ships can be maneuvered at a time. The object of this mode is to prevent enemy ships from reaching the Great Fox. This mode also allows players to fire missiles from the Great Fox that they have picked up from exploring in this mode, or from meeting certain conditions in the battle mode (usually destroying all enemies). When a craft that is controlled by the player encounters an enemy group or missile in this mode, the gameplay switches to the battle mode.
Battle mode is similar to the "all-range mode" employed in Star Fox 64 for some bosses and levels. Like the cancelled Star Fox 2 the game is completely all-range, as opposed to the "on-rails" levels featured in most other Star Fox games (however, the game will sometimes force the player to engage in classic "chase" missions in order to complete an objective). The usual objectives are to destroy a base ship, destroy all enemies, or collect a number of cores to complete the battle mode. Once the battle mode is completed, the game returns to the map mode. As players progress through the game, they will be able to choose to go different routes upon completing certain levels. Each route has its own character dialogue to accompany it, and players will be able to visit differing planets depending on what routes they choose. The game features 9 different endings altogether, and gamers can access all of them by playing the game multiple times, selecting different routes each time. Instead of merely giving different perspectives on what happens to the Star Fox team, each ending is unique — the characters go in various directions depending on what ending is watched. Star Fox Command does not feature traditional voice acting. Instead it outputs gibberish akin to the "voices" in Star Fox for the SNES, or the "Lylat speech" present in Lylat Wars (but not Star Fox 64). Players can also record their own voices into the game’s "gibberish generator" using the built-in DS microphone where it is converted into the garbled speech of the various characters.
Star Fox Command supports six players in local wireless multiplayer matches via DS Download Play and up to three players on the Nintendo Wi-Fi Connection. In Nintendo Wi-Fi Connection matches, only the Arwing II is available. Players score not by killing opponents, but by collecting stars from them when they have been destroyed. It is also possible to collect a star from an opponent not killed by the player. This is a modified version of the mode from Star Fox 64/Lylat Wars. Nintendo WiFi uses a ranking system based on rankings of the alphabet with Z being the lowest and A being the highest. Players work their way up from Z by collecting wins (it could be based on points). For every win a player gains a certain amount of percent and once they reach 100% they move to the next letter. The highest rank a player can get is 100% of the A rank.
Plot and setting
Setting and characters
This installment of the Star Fox series is once again in the Lylat system, using a similar map as Star Fox 64 to switch between each area. However, not all the planets seen in Star Fox 64 are visited, such as Zoness and Macbeth, and do not appear on the map. Papetoon, only seen in the Nintendo Power Star Fox comic, is mentioned in one of the endings.Command has the largest number of playable characters in any Star Fox game, with a total of fourteen, which include Fox McCloud, Falco Lombardi, Krystal, Slippy Toad, Peppy Hare, Wolf O'Donnell, Panther Caroso, Leon Powalski, Amanda (Slippy's fianceé), Lucy Hare (Peppy's daughter), Bill Grey, Katt Monroe, Dash Bowman (Andross' grandson), and James McCloud.Andrew Oikonny is one of the game's bosses. Beltino Toad makes an appearance during a mission briefing. ROB 64 is not playable, but pilots the Great Fox when on the map screen. Pigma Dengar appears as a boss in two of Falco's stories. The ghost of Andross, possessing a different bioweapon (Monarch Dodra, Grunner, Killer Bee, or Dune Worm) depending on the mission, appears as a boss on Titania. Octoman, an F-Zero racer, appears as a boss in certain Aquas and Venom missions.
The planet Venom's forces were all but destroyed, and there is thought to be peace. This is not to be, however, as a race of beings known as the Anglar rise from the acidic oceans of Venom, thought to be unable to support life. The leader of the Anglar plans on destroying the Lylat system, which Fox McCloud and crew set out to save once again. The Star Fox team has broken up, but re-assembles to fight this new threat. Peppy is made the General of the Cornerian Army, replacing Pepper. Fox flew around the Lylat system with ROB on patrol, and Krystal broke off her relationship with Fox after she left the team, because he was afraid she would receive injury and it would affect him. Slippy finds love with a frog named Amanda, and thus spends less time with the team. Falco left the team and went around on solo missions (as he has done before in Star Fox Adventures). There are nine endings depending on paths chosen by the player, though the player is required to finish the game before having the options. Designers have hinted that a possible Star Fox game in the future may begin in the middle of Star Fox Command, revealing a true ending. Many fans suspect the first ending (Fox getting back together with Krystal and the Starfox team continuing with Amanda as its newest member) is the real ending. At the same time, in the same interview, Takaya Imamura stated that "the story ends here", which has thrown some fans for a loop.
Developer Q-Games was working on a puzzle game called Digidrive for Nintendo when they were approached to do a mock up of the game demo. After three months, using the original Star Fox, it was shown to Takaya Imamura at Nintendo who said that the company would redesign it for better compatibility with the Nintendo DS and add some ideas from Star Fox 2. Nintendo EAD was responsible for the music and production of the game, while Q-Games handled the main development.
Star Fox Command debuted on the Japanese best seller list as number 14, selling over 20,000 copies on the first day. In the United States, it was the 5th best seller in the first week.Star Fox Command has received mostly positive reviews, with a Metacritic score of 76/100 and a GameRankings score of 76%. IGN gave it an 8 out of 10, or "Impressive", calling it a "surprisingly rich and faithful action game" that had similar game play to Star Fox and Star Fox 64. Star Fox Command received IGN DS's August 2006 Game of the Month Award for capturing "the fun and essence of what made the series so significant." Famitsu gave a 32/40, and was cited as an influence for the games large initial sales. It received a 4 out of 5 star rating on G4's X-Play, which stated that "Fox is finally back in the Arwing -- where he belongs, Stylus control is mostly excellent, Strategy elements work well." The Associated Press noted the game for having developed the game to work well with the DS controls, but had mixed feelings about the turn-based sections of gameplay. Electronic Gaming Monthly claimed that while the game has its own charm, it lacks the original gameplay from Star Fox and Star Fox 64 and becomes repetitive. UK website Mansized gave Command a three out of five stars, stating that "Star Fox Command can’t hold a candle to previous games in the series." Command was nominated in three categories in Nintendo Power's annual vote-in awards, although it did not win in any of them. Star Fox Command has also received an 8 from Game Informer magazine. Although it was criticized for its brevity, the game was lauded for its solid gameplay mechanics, and one reviewer stated that "His place is in the cockpit. That's where he's at his best."
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- Fox: ...Say, Falco? There's a... a nice little shop on the planet of Papetoon. (Star Fox Command)
- Andross: I am the ghost of Andross...I protect this place with my bioweapon! (Star Fox Command)
- Their headquarters were located in the toxic Venom Sea, a vast ocean so inhospitable that it was believed no living thing could survive there. (Star Fox Command)
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