Review: Strike Force Foxx

The extra “X” is for extreme!

By Marc Deschamps. Posted 08/12/2014 09:00 Comment on this     ShareThis
The Final Grade
grade/score info
1-Up Mushroom for...
Interesting control scheme; Decent level of difficulty; Tongue-in-cheek storyline
Poison Mushroom for...
Heavy amount of dialogue; Lack of variety

Every indie title is a passion project for the creators involved. Sometimes it’s about a group of individuals trying to make the hardest platformer, or sometimes it’s a team looking to make a spiritual sequel to an old favorite. Other times, it’s a group that seems to be really passionate about helicopters and Reagan-era action films. Strike Force Foxx falls into that latter category. There’s a lot about the title that might seem odd, but the game is a well-intentioned love letter from its developers, and it certainly deserves some credit for that.

Strike Force Foxx is a helicopter-action title from developer Big John Games. The title puts you in the role of Captain Foxx, a member of the Advanced Helicopter Strike Force (AHSF), as you attempt to stop Grid, a terrorist organization in opposition to “electrical freedom.” Stopping Grid’s scheme translates to saving hostages and taking out villains while piloting a chopper. Enemies appear on the ground, in tanks, planes, and, naturally, helicopters. Levels are broken down into a handful of stages with each one varying the number of enemies and hostages you’ll be required to take care of before you progress.

The game offers a moderate level of difficulty. While the members of Grid won’t actively attack the game’s hostages, they will shoot through them to get to you. They’ll also place themselves close enough to hostages that it can be difficult to get to them without a casualty or two. Each level will rank your work, resulting in money that can then be spent on upgrading your helicopter’s weapons and defenses. As you progress, you can even spend that money to recruit mercenaries to unleash against your enemies. Placing those mercenaries strategically can help you rescue hostages, but they can also lead to more deaths if you aren’t careful. The helicopter isn’t the only thing that you can customize. Strike Force Foxx allows you to give hostages faces from your 3DS camera. The hostages are way too small in the actual game for them to be noticed, but they are shown after each stage. There isn’t any real benefit to doing so, but it’s kind of a neat little addition, I suppose.

Controlling Strike Force Foxx is easy, yet there are a couple of subtle nuances that impress. The various helicopters you’ll pilot all handle the same way, but the mechanics have a bit of realism to them. The first time I landed to pick up hostages, I accidentally killed one because I landed too close. You have to land near them and wait for them to board. The realism doesn’t stop there, either. If the helicopter takes enough damage without setting down for repairs, you’ll start to lose control of the vehicle. You can even run out of gas if you don’t stop back at base to fuel up. These are all small details, but they certainly make the experience feel a little deeper and more realistic.

The storyline in Strike Force Foxx is often far more entertaining than it has any right to be. While the large text conversations between levels can be irritating, these segments (which can be skipped) can also provide a nice source of humor. If House of the Dead: Overkill is an homage to the ’70s grindhouse film, then Strike Force Foxx is an ’80s action movie parody, complete with the genre’s familiar tropes. The developers clearly had a bit of fun with it. While some people are going to be turned off by the cheesiness, fans of bad action films will get a laugh or two. It’s not exactly deep, but there’s a bit more effort than you see in most games like this.

Sound in the game is decent at best. The music is serviceable, but the small amount of voice acting in the game is every bit as cheesy as the game’s plot. Hostages will wave to get your attention and scream if they die, but for people being held captive by terrorists, they seem curiously upbeat. There’s something unintentionally hilarious when one hostage gets killed in the crossfire and another cheerfully yells “down here!” There’s very little to say about the game’s visuals. The vehicles and locations look better than other eShop offerings, but they aren’t especially memorable.

Strike Force Foxx has a few highlights, but it’s hindered by a total lack of variety. You shoot enemies. You rescue hostages. Some stages will have you do both; some will have you do one or the other. As the game moves forward, the number of hostages that require saving increases, while the number of acceptable casualties shrinks. At the end of the day, that’s pretty much the entire game. The developers find a couple ways to extend the concept, but it can’t hide the fact that you’re never tasked with doing anything else. There are a decent number of enemy types that appear as you progress, but this game is in desperate need of boss battles. It amazes me that the developers didn’t have a couple bigger battles between stages. This sense of sameness from level to level prevents Strike Force Foxx from really achieving its potential.

Strike Force Foxx does a few things well. The controls are tight, the story is delightfully tongue-in-cheek, and the levels require some effort to complete. Unfortunately, the lack of variety really prevents it from going any farther. If you’re a fan of helicopters and cheesy action films, you could find a lot worse ways to spend five dollars on the Nintendo eShop. Just don’t expect much more than that.

Nintendojo was provided a copy of this game for review by a third party, though that does not affect our recommendation. For every review, Nintendojo uses a standard criteria.

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