Star Fox Zero: Evolution vs Iteration

I only just realized Star Fox Zero comes out this week. I plan to play it at some point this year, just not now. At least not until I’m finished with Dark Souls III. A little over a year ago I talked about how I saw it as just a “good enough” return to Star Fox and that’s pretty much what I’m thinking now on the eve of its release. I haven’t read reviews or anything, that’s just my general feeling, especially after seeing the launch trailer.

I understand if other people are disappointed Zero probably won’t be this huge leap forward from Star Fox 64. As I said in the previous blog about this game, people like seeing their favorite franchises take huge steps forward, especially when they debut on new hardware. 64 did that in relation to the original Star Fox, but Zero looks like it’s going to be “Star Fox 64-2.” Star Fox Assault for the Gamecube tried to be this too, but Zero looks like a more successful attempt.

One thing you can’t ignore though is the fact that Zero is coming from Platinum Games — the one studio a lot of people wanted to do Star Fox. Platinum, if nothing else, has become a dependable source of refined Japanese-style arcade gaming, perhaps the last outside of Capcom really (and Platinum is made of Capcom expatriates). For a lot of people, myself included, that might be enough. After the Star Fox games we’ve gotten since 64 not really being great Star Fox games, something that simply provides a good Star Fox experience might be enough. Judging by the launch trailer, at its best moments Zero might end up feeling like 64 hopped up on crack.

All that said, a big disappointment is the total lack of competitive multiplayer for Zero. I actually don’t play competitive multiplayer games a whole lot, especially not online, but even I have to admit Star Fox 64’s multiplayer was dope back in the day. People tell me it was dope in Assault too. If Nintendo at least brought back that split-screen mode I’d be down for it. An online version though has always been a massive missed opportunity (Star Fox Command on the DS doesn’t count), especially now that Nintendo is beginning to figure out online gaming with Super Smash Bros. and Splatoon. That’s probably where a lot of people want to see star Fox go next as the franchise’s next big leap forward.


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