Star Fox Guard Review (Wii U)

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Star Fox Guard at 3:22

Developer: Nintendo EPD, Platinum Games
Publisher: Nintendo

Main Review

Review Context: One of the genres that have taken mobile gaming by storm is tower defense games. These types of games aren’t my cup of tea, but strategy games like Warcraft III: Regions of Chaos and StarCraft II I adore. So learning that Star Fox Guard is a tower defense game, I went into this game with low expectations.
Date of Playthrough: April 31, 2016

During E3 2014, Shigeru Miyamoto showed off his project game known as “Project Guard,” in which you controlled a giant robot. It was during a Nintendo Direct that he announced the game was retooled and is now Star Fox Guard. The game would come bundled in the first print of Star Fox Zero and would be available on the Nintendo eShop for digital users. Should you give this side game a try or not care at all?

Graphics

Since the game is using the Star Fox Zero engine, the visuals get by. However, all you see is the enemy robots and the maps, so it seems that they didn’t have to go all out since not much is shown. The game still runs at 60 frames, which helps to show the robot’s expression when they attack you or are defeated. Team Star Fox makes a cameo and Slippy stays behind for a bit. After that, it’s back to looking at the maps, as the dialogue is done through still dialogue boxes and not animated as in the main game.

StarFoxGuardScreen01

Controls

This game uses the Gamepad to good use to where you start to wonder why RTS games weren’t made for the system. You look at the Gamepad to see the layout of the map and tap on one of the six main cameras. Later in the game, you can touch any of the cameras and move them to give you better sights. The camera feeds will be displayed on the TV. You use either analog stick to aim and any button to fire. The controls are easy to pick up and are made with the Gamepad in mind to make the game is more engaging.

Design

The story consists of you helping Slippy Toad’s uncle Grippy. You must project his bases from the evil robots by using six armed cameras. Since the gameplay is easy to pick up on, you would assume this game would have a few levels. Nope, this game has over a hundred missions to keep you busy. As you advance in the levels, the more experience points you earn can be used for new gadgets. Enemies start harmless at first, but become more dangerous if you’re not careful. For example, I got bombarded by the Chaos robots that take out your camera feed. Meanwhile, one of the harmless robots got through because I was busy taking out the bigger robots. To add insult, after your defeat, the Gamepad displays the route the robot took while you were distracted.

There is online support for the game after you unlock this feature. Once unlocked, you can setup patterns for the enemies and see if the online community can handle your attacks. A lot of effort and content was put into this game to show that it’s more than a side game. The amount of content is low, but it will keep you busy. This game does a good job of helping me understand the tower defense genre, and it’s a game you can play at your own leisure and won’t get lost in if you come back to it.

StarFoxGuardScreen02

As stated before, the game starts off easy by having a few enemies thrown at you, but by the tenth level the challenge increases when more enemies show up and you are constantly changing cameras to take out the robots before they reach the goal. Some levels can last a few minutes to almost an hour. My playthrough had me beating a level in five minutes, while the more advanced levels had me playing the game up to forty minutes, only to lose because I was distracted while the harmless robot got through my blind spot.

Sound

New tunes have been added to this game to have a hectic but playful feel to it. Once Team Star Fox makes their cameo, the theme song is played and it’s back to new music from that point on. Once again, the dialogue comes through the Gamepad speakers, but since most of the talking is done at the beginning, you won’t miss out on anything important if you have the volume off. Sound effects are done nicely with the enemies, as the different sounds exhibit personality (especially when they are spotted on camera and run frantically).

Similar Games Liked:
Warcraft III: Regions of Chaos (PC)
StarCraft II (PC)

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