Nintendo games – EB Expo 2015 Hands on
Star Fox Zero
Star Fox is a game that needs little introduction and its latest version, Star Fox Zero, was meant to be due out on the Wii U before the Christmas rush. Sadly, shortly before EBX 2015 it was announced that it will be delayed until 2016. Luckily for us there was a lengthy demo available for us to play at the event!
As you’d expect, the games aesthetics look significantly better and Nintendo are clearly making good use of the hardware grunt that’s behind it. We can happily report that Star Fox remains as vibrantly colourful as it’s ever been and yes saving Slippy and doing barrel rolls remains a staple of the series. During the demo we, yet again, saved Corneria from an invading enemy and got to experience all the new modes and feel for the game.
Returning yet again, apart from the normal flight mode, is all-range mode which we saw in Lylat Wars. There is a different addition to this though, during battles we could pan the camera out to what essentially is a camera man view and use the Wii U gamepad and gyro controls to aim more accurately at our desired targets. This removed that pesky problem where you would need to do multiple fly-by’s to get that last remaining enemy in an obscure location.
Now for the bad part, the gyro controls were also turned on during the entire game and boy are they horrible. Aiming became a real struggle during most of the game because of this new change, and felt quite unnatural. It’s not known at this stage if this can be turned off but it really put a damper on our Star Fox experience. We’re left thinking that this is quite possible part of the reason that this game has been held back for a few months whilst they polish these controls, but it left us slightly concerned for the final release. Naturally we’ll find out upon release and let all our readers know of course, watch this space.
To quote the spokesperson, this is Pokémon, but with good and evil spirits instead. In the short demo I had to track down three evil Yo-kai’s that were ‘inspiriting’ people negatively and causing all sorts of trouble … this kind of thing is quite a common cultural analogy in Japan I’ve heard. As you walk and explore the town you can keep a close eye on your spirit detector which indicates when you’re close to another Yo-Kai. Once you stop at a location you can use an item in your inventory that locates this spirit which you can then battle and add to your little army.
The battle system itself is very unique and nothing like Pokémon at all. Once you start, everyone attacks periodically on their own, during which, you can interact with your team, swap spirits in and out (which you’ll need to do if one party member needs to be purified / cleansed) and also initiate a special attack which appeared to be unique amongst every Yo-Kai that I had. The battle system seemed a bit confusing at first but after a short demo I had quite a good feel for what was going on and like I was in control of each battle.
This game is apparently huge in Japan and I guess the developers are hoping for it to be huge elsewhere despite the subject material being a bit of a mystery to us in the West. From what I played, it definitely has potential as the fun was found in a very short demo. We’re keen to check this one upon full release.