Star Fox Zero (Wii U) 2016 Review

SI_WiiU_StarFoxZeroStar Fox Zero is the seventh game in the Star Fox franchise and since it is the first game in the series to be released after an agonising ten year gap I suppose you could say it’s very important but after such a long wait for a new Star Fox game was this one worth it?

starfoxIf you’ve ever played the Star Fox games before then you know that for the majority of the series the concept and general plot is very similar with only small details making up the biggest differences, for those who dont know Fox Mc Cloud is the leader of Star Fox a mercenary aerial attack team that travel the Lylat System keeping it safe from dangerous enemies and unknown threats, Star Fox Zero is another reboot of the original Star Fox for the Super Nintendo this has been done two times prior to Zero’s release in Star Fox 64 and Star Fox 64 3D,  the plot of each game is very basic but very sad and when you finally win your victory feels so much more rewarding due to this, James Mc Cloud was the original leader of Star Fox, James was on a mission with his team consisiting of himself, Peppy O Hare and Pigma Dengar they traveled to the Planet Venom where they were to defeat a mad scientist named Andross who was threatening to take over the universe, before he could complete his mission James learns that his partner Pigma had set a bomb in his Arwing before they began the mission but it was too late and James was killed, Star Fox Zero takes place 5 years later, Andross has declared war on Corneria and now Fox Mccloud and his team Peppy O Hare, Falco Lombardi and Slippy Toad must travel to the Planet Venom to defeat Andross once and for all.

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Star Fox Zero is an arcade style on rails space shooter, you take control of the Arwing by moving the game pad around in order to aim with motion controls, the idea of each stage is too destroy as many enemies on screen as you can before the level ends, some stages have secret objectives that can be completed in order to send Fox and his team onto a different path which ultimately ends with them moving onto some secret stages, at the end of most stages is a either a boss fight or an aerial battle against Star Wolf and the rest of Andross’s Henchmen.

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My Favourite part of Star Fox Zero was the ability to swap between the Arwing and the Walker with the ease of a button, the reason the walker is so useful is because it allows the player to have full control over the vehicle, this is particularly useful when you are fighting a difficult boss or if you need to hack an enemy vehicle or computer.

star-fox-zero-april-release-dateThe two biggest complaints I hear about this game is one that its too short , I personally disagree with this as I really enjoy short games however Nintendo should not have charged such a high price when this game originally came out, there is an unlockable arcade mode available after you beat the story mode but its nothing more than the main game without any power-ups or health upgrades, the second big issue people have with Star Fox Zero is the motion controls, I will admit that the controls do a take a while too get used too but I personally didn’t find them that difficult too use and people often fail to notice that the motion controls can be switched out for a regular analogue control on the games pause menu, one great choice Nintendo made with the controls was how easy it is to now pull off a U Turn or a Somersault, both of these allow much easier control over your vehicles and unlike some of the older games in the franchise here they can pulled off with the simple click of a button, sometimes aiming at enemies on the TV can be a little bit of a challenge but if you look at the game pad you will have a view from the cockpit which makes aiming much easier.

StarFoxZero_CoOp

A really cool feature here is the ability to play the campaign on co-op with a friend, one player will fly the vehicle while the other will take aim and fire at enemies, I personally don’t recommend this mode, I tried playing it with my brother and to be honest unless your shooting its a little bit boring, I don’t understand why we couldn’t have just played as two separate pilots as this would have been way more fun.

StarFoxZero_PAXscreens_03_bmp_jpgcopy   The graphics are very impressive for a game as simple as Star Fox, I will say that largely civilised planets such as Corneria are much easier to appreciate than the sections where you are fighting in space, in these sections you will mostly see enemy ships and debris coming towards your Arwing and that is essentially the only major things you will see during those parts of the game where as when your in a city you  will see flowing rivers, large buildings and waterfalls.

To be honest I have never been a huge fan of the music in the Star Fox Games and my opinion here is the same, I don’t recall the majority of the music and I don’t have much to say about it, however I will put a link below so you can check it out.

Star Fox Zero is far from the best game is the series but it’s still an excellent addition to your Wii U collection, I had an awesome time blasting my way throughout the Lylat System and yet again taking down the evil Doctor Andross, sure the controls took a while to get used too and this is one of the easier Star Fox Games to beat but its not so easy that it doesn’t provide a challenge, I still died a few times during the main game and Andross had me screaming before I finally beat him, I do wish that Co-op was a little better than it was but I’m sure someone could have fun with it, Star Fox Zero may not have been the perfect return for Fox Mc Cloud and his friends but he’s been on worse adventures than this.

6.6/10

I hope you enjoyed my review of Star Fox Zero for the Nintendo Wii U, I gotta admit it was nice to talk about a Nintendo Series we’ve never had chance to review before, maybe I should talk about some other Nintendo Series at some point, thanks again for taking your time to read this review.

If you respect my opinion, I will respect yours

By Padawan

Want me to review a specific game/movie/product or do you have a general question you would like me to answer? if so please email me at ragglefragglereviews@gmail.com

You can find me on Miiverse by searching for draskafer

New Super Mario Bros U (Wii U) (2012) Review

The New Super Mario Bros Series first originated when New Super Mario Bros was released for the Nintendo DS in 2006, old school Raggle Fraggle readers will recognise that I mentioned this game in my top 5 Mario games of all time back in 2012.

I love the original New Super Mario Bros it felt just like Super Mario Bros 3 but with a more modern twist, it had newly improved graphics, more power ups and most importantly a save feature.

Super Mario Bros 3

Mario Bros 3

New Super Mario Bros (DS)

New Super Mario Bros DS

The Original New Super Mario Bros game was fantastic and I still love playing through it today, but I was never able to get into the other games of the series because they felt boring to me and I haven’t looked forward to the series for a good couple of years.

Ever since I got a Wii U I kept getting recommended that I pick up the latest New Super Mario Bros game, obviously I argued that I wouldn’t buy the game but I just kept getting told to play it and it wasn’t until I saw Jirard the Completionist Review the game telling me that its actually good that I gave in and got myself a copy.

48263-new-super-mario-bros-uThe first thing that really stood out to me was the plot, yes it was still the usual Super Mario Bros formula where Mario needs to rescue Princess Peach from the claws of Bowser, but this time there is a slight twist because instead of kidnapping the Princess, Bowser has taken her hostage within her own castle and at the same time he manages to toss both Mario, Luigi and two Toads to the other side of the Mushroom Kingdom, what makes the plot different this time around is that now our heroes need to adventure back towards Princess Peaches castle instead of the usual formula of them heading towards Bowser’s castle, apart from that the plot is still very standard but this does not bother me because I never expected anything more in a New Super Mario Bros game.

Just like the other games in the series this particular title is also a side scrolling platform adventure, in the single player story mode you take control of everyone’s favourite Italian plumber Super Mario on his quest to save the Princess from the infamous Bowser and in the traditional Super Mario style you will be dealing with common enemies such as Goombas, Koopa Troopa’s, Para Troopa’s and Cheep Cheep’s, but don’t be put off by the lack of new enemies to fight because the game really shines when it comes to Power-up’s sure you got the usual Fire Flowers, Power Stars and Mushrooms including some Power-ups introduced through the New Super Mario Bros series such as the Ice Flower and the Mini Mushroom but this time around we are also given a new type of power up the acorn, acorns turn Mario into an adorable flying squirrel allowing him to glide freely across levels with ease.

mario squrrel flying

Mario’s lovable side kick Yoshi returns to help him on his quest, Mario can ride Yoshi which allows him to gain more air as well as being able to take an extra hit, Yoshi can also eat apples that he finds on bushes and after eating enough of these apples the player will be presented with either a power up or an extra life.

nsmbu-yoshi

Its not just ordinary Yoshi that’s helping Mario on his adventure this time around because you can also get help from Baby Yoshi’s, the Baby Yoshi’s are these adorable little chubby Yoshi’s which come in three different colours Red, Blue and Yellow, each of these Baby Yoshi’s have a different ability which they can use to help Mario get through different situations.

The Red Baby Yoshi can inflate into a giant balloon lifting Mario up into the sky allowing him to float over difficult platforms and too avoid some of the more dangerous enemies in the game.

red yoshi floating

The Blue Baby Yoshi has the ability to shoot bubbles out of his mouth trapping enemies into bubbles and successfully turning them into coins.

blue yoshi bubbles

Finally the Yellow Baby Yoshi can be used to light up dark caverns as well as temporarily stunning enemies.

yellow yoshi glows

I really enjoy the introduction of the Baby Yoshi’s as they add more flavour to the game and are genuinely very useful, the best part is that they sing while you are carrying them and trust me its very adorable.

This is the first entry of the series that is on a system that uses a HDMI output so it is expected that the game will look fantastic in HD and for the most part it looks really good the graphics are very colourful and genuinely nice to look at, the textures are smooth and the game in general is very nicely presented, the visuals look good but with this being a launch title they should look amazing because this game is supposed to be showing off the capabilities of the Wii U and having visuals which literally just look like the graphics from New Super Mario Bros Wii but with more polish is not going to make the game a system seller.

 

New Super Mario Bros Wii

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New Super Mario Bros U

New Super Mario Bros U

 

All of the music in the game is super fun to listen too, it’s essentially the same music from the old games with a more modern twist as its more engaging and upbeat, this kind of music is perfect for this type of game because due to this being a standard Super Mario plat-former using standard Mario music is fine and honestly I am a happy with Nintendo keeping the epic orchestrated Mario music in their larger and more serious games such as Super Mario Galaxy.

There are 8 worlds in the game and each world has a various amount of levels for you to complete, the worlds them selves are nothing new just the basic over world map for a 2D Mario plat-former you’ve got the grass area, the desert area, the water area, the ice area and so on, this does not bother me in the slightest because the levels themselves are really fun to play and honestly I had blast running through all of them, however one world really stood out to me and that is the Jungle Area the levels here are really fun but the back grounds are really awesome and very well detailed, about half way through this world you get to a haunted section of the Jungle and the stages have painted backgrounds which genuinely look really beautiful and this really helps show how creative Nintendo can be.

World 5 Ghsot area

I was pleasantly surprised  with how difficult the game was because in my opinion we haven’t had a very challenging Super Mario game since Mario 64 and I honestly thought that we would never get a very difficult Mario game again, but that’s all changed now that I played New Super Mario Bros U because this game is really tough, I believe this due to the game having genuinely difficult game play but also due to the fact that the player has limited chances to save their progress, this is because just like in the older games the only way to save your progress is too beat a mini boss tower and if you game over before you do this then its back to the beginning of the world.

I am very happy that this game was hard and it felt almost as challenging as the Mario games from back in the day, personally for me it genuinely made the game very nostalgic to play through, the controls are perfect I had no trouble playing this game with the Wii U game pad as it was very comfortable to use and I found the controls to be very responsive to my actions which is great because that means that even though the game is very difficult the controls are not too blame for me losing lives meaning that my only cause of death was own mistakes.

If you do find the game tough then do not worry as Nintendo has added a small mini challenge to the game, a new character has been introduced called Nabbit the Bandit Rabbit, Nabbit has stolen a new type of power up called the Super Acorn from Toad and its your job to run through previously beaten stages as fast as you too catch Nabbit, doing this will reward you with the Super Acorn which allows you to fly as much as you want during one stage but after you have used it you are left with the abilities given to you from the normal Acorn power-up, this new item is very similar to the Super Leaf from Super Mario Bros 3.

nabbit the bandit rabbit

 

As well as Nabbit you can also find the usual Toad Houses which can be used to help you gain more power up’s and lives.

In every stage  there are three star coins for you find and collect, if you mange to collect all of the star coins in the game you will get access to Superstar Road which is essentially a bunch of new very challenging levels for you too complete, in order for you to collect all of the Star Coins you will also need to find secret exits in some of the levels of the game, finding these exits will present you with a new path and  a new level on the world map.

star Road

Multi-player is loads of fun in New Super Mario Bros U, it is essentially the same as the single player mode but you can have up to five players, four of the players will use Wii remotes to control Mario, Luigi and the two Toads while the fifth player will use the game pad to create platforms for the other players and they can also help defeat enemies by tapping them.

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From the Main Menu you have various options for extra modes in the game these modes are called Challenges, Boost Rush and Coin Battle.

Challenges- Just what it sounds like you have a bunch of different challenges you can play and unlock, some of these challenges include racing against the clock in time trials, jumping on enemies to gain lives, finishing stages with a certain amount of coins, avoiding fireballs for a set amount time and some challenges require you to create platforms on the game pad while controlling your character with the Wii remote or the Wii U Pro Controller.

time attack

Boost Rush Mode- This mode gives you various packs to choose from and each pack contains a certain amount of levels from the game, these stages are now different because they have now been turned into scrolling stages and your tasked with getting through the levels quickly so that you don’t get crushed by the other side of the screen that is coming towards you, as you progress further in each level the faster the screen scrolls making this mode very challenging but also very fun.

wiiunsmbuscrn13wp

Coin Battle- This mode is super fun you and your friends must run through multiple courses and the idea is you want to collect as many coins as you can in the level, you can attack your friends to make them lose coins which you can then try to collect and the overall winner is whoever reaches the flagpole with the most coins in their pocket as you can tell this mode can get a little crazy.

Coin Battle

 

I was very sceptical of whether this game was as good as everyone made it out to be, sure I had few personal complaints about the game but it was still loads of fun to play and it brought a lot of new things to the table such as the Baby Yoshi’s and the challenge modes, New Super Mario Bros U is loads of fun to play and even though it is very challenging this game is a great time for the whole family, but I wouldn’t go out of your way to buy a Wii U just to play this particular title.

Check out the Completionists Review here

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CmCQ5ZSdShk

I give New Super Mario Bros U a 7.4/10

Thank you for reading my review of New Super Mario Bros U for the Nintendo Wii U

By Padawan

Want me to review a specific game/movie/product or do you have a general question you would like me to answer? if so please email me at ragglefragglereviews@gmail.com

You can find me on Miiverse by searching for draskafer