Hands-on Preview: Star Fox

Also, Project Giant Robot and Project Guard!

By Robert Marrujo. Posted 06/17/2014 09:00 Comment on this     ShareThis

Announced very subtly and as part of a trio of other games, the new Star Fox and its companion projects are something of an enigma, so far. That’s not to say we don’t now anything about the new games, so sit back and read about Star Fox, Project Giant Robot, and Project Guard!

Star Fox

Fans have been clamoring for a proper, new installment of Star Fox for years now, and Nintendo has finally decided to oblige them on Wii U. This new game is being developed internally at Nintendo, and was accompanied by two other experimental titles that designer Shigeru Miyamoto is working on, as well. I think there might be just a touch of confusion surrounding the reveal, as it wasn’t with a traditional trailer or anything like that. Instead, it was more of a hands-on demonstration during the show itself. The game is in the early stages of development, so Nintendo wasn’t ready to go full-bore with it quite yet.

What is known about Star Fox is that the game is going to utilize the second screen of the GamePad as a major part of gameplay. Players will control movement of their ship via the control sticks, but aiming and firing can be done by physically moving the GamePad around. Miyamoto apparently is very convinced that his new control setup is going to drive fans wild. Star Fox will feature a new ship akin to a helicopter, which will really emphasize the new control scheme and also allow for some co-op.

This is the second time in a row that Nintendo has attached a control gimmick to the series, with the last being 2006’s Star Fox Command on DS. I wasn’t the biggest fan of that game’s touch screen-only controls, and I can’t help but be cautious with this second-screen take on Star Fox. Fans have been waiting so long for a sequel that captures the spirit of Star Fox 64 that it seems like a bit of a gamble to depart from that style of play. If anyone can pull it off it’s Nintendo, and there’s definitely a lot of potential here, so stay tuned for further developments.

Project Giant Robot

This one is pretty interesting; players control a giant robot via the GamePad. The action on screen displays the player’s movements with the robot, while the GamePad swings the camera around to a first-person view from inside of the machine. The motion controls are surprisingly accurate, with the GamePad controlling the movement of the robot’s upper body. The analog sticks of the GamePad are used to punch and grab. It’s a delightful mixture of physical and motion controls, but at this point, the experience is more like a toy than a full-fledged game. It’s unclear what Project Giant Robot will lead to, but it’s so endearing that I hope Nintendo really does something great with it.

Project Guard

In this game, players are in charge of several gun turrets, all attached to a corresponding camera. Enemies approach from all directions, and it’s up to the player to keep track of them all and shoot them down. It’s a frenzied experience, one that’s as fun to watch as it is to play. The Internet has been abuzz with the presence of the Star Fox insignia on the tops of the cameras, so it’s possible this might end up being integrated into that game at some point. Regardless, like Project Giant Robot, Guard is doing something different and looks mighty fun. Nintendo is mum on where Guard will eventually end up, but it should have fans anxious to hear more!

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