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.

Star-Fox-Walker-2

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

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Splatoon (Wii U) (2015) Review

Is Splatoon a brand new and innovative experience or is it just a game of paint ball?

Game CoverWhen Splatoon first got announce at E3 last year the reaction from most Nintendo fans was firstly excitement for a brand IP and secondly fear due to the game being a First Person Shooter, personally I was ready to pre-order the game when I first saw it but I did worry that it would end having a generic FPS feel and not so much a Nintendo feel.

After almost a year of waiting Splatoon has now finally been released and I am ready to share my opinion with you all.

The first thing that shocked me about Splatoon is that before we even got any explanation of a plot we had to create a character by choosing gender, skin tone and eye colour.

gender select

I chose to play as the female inkling as I prefer her character design over the design of the Male inkling.

Once you’ve chosen your character and his/her features you are then taken to a short tutorial level which teaches you the main mechanics of the game.

tutorialSplatoon mostly focuses on multi-player game play in a mode called Turf Wars, in Turf Wars you will first need to pick your weapon, at first you will only have access too a weapon called the splat shot junior which is simply a standard machine gun but as you battle you will earn more money allowing you too go to shops in the main hub where you can buy new weapons and clothing.

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Each weapon, shirt, hat and pair of shoes you buy each come with a perk which can help enhance your characters abilities during Turf Wars for example some items will give you a faster running speed, quicker re-spawn times, allow you to hold more ink and so on.

The different weapons are definitely the most interesting due to the various variety of weapons available and the different battling styles they offer, my favourite weapon at the moment is the 5.2 Gallon which is a more powerful version of the splat shot but it has a shorter range, another favourite weapon choice is the roller which is essentially just a giant paint roller that you can roll all over the map spreading Ink everywhere while also running over and taking out enemy players.

Each weapon also comes with a sub weapon, these sub weapons are only available after you spread enough Ink, some examples of these weapons are mines, sprinkler systems and giant Ink canons.

When you enter a match of Turf Wars you are put into a team of three other inklings and its your objective to cover more of the map with Ink than the other team before the timer stops.

Spyke

When your not in Turf Wars there is still plenty to do in the main hub, one of the more interesting things is that if you speak to another player you can order their clothes and weapons from this guy in the alleyway called Spyke this is super cool as it appears that every players has a random assortment of clothing available in stores upon booting the game, the only downside to ordering it is that you need to wait 24 hours before the gear is available.

Other cool things are small arcade games that you can play if your bored or stuck in a lobby waiting for a game.

arcade mahine

A local multi-player mode called Battle Dojo, in Battle Dojo you and a friend go against each other to see who can pop the most balloons before the end of the match, killing the other player will take away points from there score so this game can be a fun a little blood bath if you want it too be.

battle dojoThe Single Player Campaign has you working as an agent for a creepy old dude called Captain Cuttle Fish

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and its your mission to rescue to Zap Fish from the evil Octarians, The Zap Fish provide all of the electricity in Inkopolis (the world of Splatoon).

Single Player

The Single Player Campaign is great it has a lot of action when you are running around and blasting the Octarians but it also has a lot of puzzle and strategy elements as well.

Yes this is a shooter so you are going to have to use good aiming and strategy to take out enemies but certain parts of the levels will have the player needing to throw Ink Grenades to distract shielded enemies so that they become vulnerable to enough to hit and also the creativity of the stages also offers a wide variety of puzzles, some stages will have an invisible floor and invisible platforms which you will need to find by spraying your Ink in order to make the path clear, another example is that some stages have sponge platforms and if you shoot these platforms the sponge will absorb your ink and will expand this will help you reach higher platforms and some platforms that are further away.

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The most iconic part of both multi-player and single player is the ability to turn your self into a squid, you can do this whenever you want and the ability has many advantages as well as disadvantages, if you turn into a squid you can hide underneath your own ink making you invisible to enemies and you can also swim through your own ink allowing you to move through out the levels and maps faster, turning into a squid is a very good strategy to use in both multi-player and single player.

The disadvantage is that you cant swim through enemy ink, you cant fire your weapons or grenades while you are a squid and if you walk on enemy ink you will get stuck making you slow down.

The final thing relating to gameplay I want to talk about is Amiibo Support, Splatoon has three Amiibo available Inkling Girl, Inkling Boy and (Limited) Inkling Squid.

amiibo

If you find the amiibo section of the main hub and you scan your amiibo it will offer you additional challenges in the single player campaign, completing these challenges will offer you awards such as money and armour.

Graphically the game looks fantastic, I personally feel that it has a similar graphical style to the Jet Set Radio games , the game has had a lot of work put into it which was very much needed as the competition when it comes to FPS’s is the Call of Duty games which as much as I’m not a fan of that series I cant deny that it has an extremely large fan base which in reality is probably at this point bigger than the Nintendo fan base.

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My favourite aspect of the look of the game is the shininess of the Ink, you can clearly see where the brightness of the sun is hitting the Ink while the Inklings are fighting and that small detail really helps make the game look and feel more realistic, another thing I really like is that some miiverse art that people make is occasionally painted on the walls as graffiti which is a great nod to fans and the best part is that these miiverse images are enhanced to look like actual graffiti instead it just looking like the developers have simply thrown it on the wall.

The games music is pretty fun to listen too it reminds me of a lot of rock/punk bands I would listen too when I was a kid, the music isn’t too memorable but the main theme song I honestly cant get out of my head.

The Splatoon Main Theme

I am pleased to announce that Splatoon surpassed my expectations and is in fact a fantastic game, it has very tight and easy to learn controls, fun and energetic on-line game play, the local is also pretty fun, I like the character customization that was thrown into the mix as it makes playing on-line have a reward system allowing you to spend money that you win on new weapons and clothing, the single player campaign is a lot of fun but its way to short and its a bit of a disappointment especially if you don’t happen to have internet access as you will getting a lot less out of the game.

Apart from that Splatoon is like Jet Set Radio meets Super Mario Sunshine an odd mix but the final result is absolutely brilliant.

9.2/10

 

Top 5 DS Games I want on Wii U E-Shop

So a few weeks ago Nintendo released a press conference where they talked about new content in upcoming games as well as announcing some release dates for big Nintendo titles, one of my favourite announcements from the conference was that you can now purchase N64 and NDS games on the E-shop for the Wii U, I’m not too interested in the N64 virtual console as I do prefer to get most of my N64 as physical copies but the realisation that I can now play NDS games on my TV literally made me squeal like a little girl who got given a kitten covered in candy floss for Christmas and I just want to hug Nintendo into eternity right now, at the moment there is only two DS games available on the E-shop Mario Kart DS and Wario Ware touched and I was a little disappointed with this considering that the USA got Yoshi’s Island DS while Europe has to wait until May.

I may have been a little disappointed but I am still super hyped for what DS games Nintendo will bring to the E-shop and in celebration of the announcement here are my top 5 DS games I want to see on Wii U E-Shop.

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5. New Super Mario Bros

new super mario bros

As some of you may know New Super Mario Bros is one of my favourite Mario games of all time, it is essentially a remake of the original Super Mario Bros but with a few changes the most obvious change is the more modern graphics, the game also has a variety of music tracks, new power ups and a well detailed over world similar to Super Mario Bros 3, the reason this is so low on the list is because it honestly isn’t that exciting compared to my other choices but needless to say I think this game would look awesome on the Virtual Console.

4. The Professor Layton Series

professor layton games

The professor Layton games are these surprisingly in depth puzzles games made by Level 5 Studios, the games follow the adventures of Professor Layton and his side kick Luke Triton, each game has our two protagonists working together to solve the hidden mysteries of different towns and villages, you slowly solve these mysteries by finishing many puzzles and answering many riddles through out the games, the Professor Layton series are great games to play by yourself on a handheld but I think it would be interesting to play them on the TV because with a bigger screen you and your friends can try to solve to puzzles together which seems like it would be a lot of fun also the games have fully animated cut scenes which I’m sure would be a real treat to watch on a larger screen.

3. The Legend of Zelda Phantom Hourglass/Spirit Tracks

Phantom Hourglass

 

Spirit Tracks

A few weeks ago I finally finished playing through Wind Waker and I had a lot of fun with it but I didn’t enjoy it as much I have enjoyed other games in the series which is why its two sequels are only at the number three spot on this list, these two Zelda games are very unique as they are controlled completely with the touch screen which is a concept I find very interesting as I believe it will add more of a challenge compared to how easy Wind Waker was, this is also the main reason why I want to play the two DS games as I want to see how the challenge differs as well to see what happens next in Wind Waker’s story.

 

2. Mario and Luigi Partners in Time/Bowser’s Inside Story

partners  in time

bowsers inside story

I recently downloaded Mario and Luigi Super Star Saga for the GBA on the E-Shop and boy am I glad I did, the Mario and Luigi games are these surprisingly hilarious and well written RPG’s from Nintendo, the plots are always silly and the games are full of interesting characters and clever jokes, Super Star Saga is slowly becoming one of my favourite RPG’s of all time as it reminds me a lot of Super Mario RPG for the SNES, these games are charming, very challenging but fair and full of that Nintendo flavour so I really hope that Nintendo put these games on the E-Shop as I cant wait to play them all.

1.Any of the DS Pokemon Games

pokemon ds games

 

Seriously Nintendo this needs to happen because not only would it be awesome it would also be extremely useful, I know many people who like to play the Pokemon Game Boy games using their super game boy’s and the Game Boy Advance games using the Game cube GBA adapter, the Pokemon series is a lot of fun to play on the move but personally I always have more fun playing them on the TV and I’m sure a lot of other people do too.

three reasons why Pokemon on the E-Shop will be useful

1. TV’s don’t have a battery life so you can play Pokemon all day without having to charge the console every four hours, the pokemon games are really long and require many hours of grinding so his will help.

2. Your friends dont need to climb all over you to watch you play the game, Pokemon games can get pretty intense and if like me you have friends who get overly excited when you find a shiny you will most likely have 10 different people crowding around your DS at the same time and with a TV this is not such a huge a deal as all of your friends can watch no matter where they sit on the couch.

3. Save States, there is no denying that the Pokemon games are tough and require a lot of patience the only way to retry a battle or a puzzle if you mess up is to either lose or reset the game which is extremely annoying , playing a Pokemon game on the Virtual console will allow save states which are going to be very useful as it make the whole experience less stressful and the best part is that you don’t have to use them so any hardcore Pokemon players wont be disappointed

The only problem I can see people complaining about is the lack or online battles and trading as it seems that this feature will be unavailable due to the original Nintendo Wifi Connection being shut down, but I have a feeling that Nintendo might be able to use their magic to some how make the online capabilities work.

Thanks for reading my top 5 DS games I want on Wii U E-Shop I realise that most of these are Nintendo titles but I cant really help that I’m a bit of a Nintendo addict, although my number 6 spot would go to the Drawn to Life games which I also hope get ported to E-Shop soon, what DS games would you like to see on the E-Shop?

thanks for reading this blog

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

Also me and some friends have recently started playing games together so please check out our new YouTube Channel Hoenn Rangers, We haven’t played any DS games yet but I’m sure we will some time in the future.

https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCYmN8F6Q-eGOD0gp0anCdcQ