Best of ND 2013: 20 Years of Star Fox: The History

A celebration of Star Fox’s 20th anniversary kicks off with a look at the history of the space-faring series.

By Kyle England. Posted 12/30/2013 09:00 Comment on this     ShareThis

Assaulting the Skies

Star Fox fans didn’t have to wait long for the next installment of the series, though, as Star Fox: Assault was released for the GameCube in early 2005. Nintendo handed off development of the game to Namco, a company famous for old shooters like Galaga and Xevious. Originally titled Star Fox: Armada in development, Assault was a return to form for the Star Fox series, which hadn’t had a proper flyin’ and shootin’ game in almost ten years.

Assault picks up just a year after Adventures, and it has the Star Fox team triumphant upon their victory on Sauria. Outfitted with enough cash to completely remodel their arsenal, the team comes back to the Lylat System to combat the Aparoids, a fierce insectoid race hell-bent on assimilating all life forms. It brought back the famous Arwing missions, and it also featured new third person on-foot segments. The game also marked the return of the Landmaster, the Star Fox team’s trusty land tank and included open levels which allowed Fox to jump from the Arwing to the Landmaster to back onto his feet on the fly. And of course, the team chatter and Star Wolf team, both missing from Adventures, came back in full force to hearken back to the N64 masterpiece.

But while Assault was a fun game, it wasn’t the Star Fox revival it could have been. It eschewed branching paths in favor of a rather short and linear story mode. The controls were also awkward while on foot and in the Landmaster, leading to some frustrating levels. But the game was beautiful in action, and the air segments were everything a Star Fox fan could ask for. Star Fox could only get bigger from here, or could it?

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