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Star Fox: Assault
Platform: GameCube
Release: 02.14.2005

After having to deal with the disappointment that was Star Fox Adventures, Star Fox: Assault (which by the way is now produced by Namco rather than Rare) is a great title featuring one of Nintendo's classic stars. Because Namco produced the game, I felt like they took a different path with the story line. The main-name Nintendo characters usually have story lines that are slightly childish, mostly so that younger audiences will appreciate the game, but Assualt didn't come off that way. Many old familiar names return, and some are killed off. One big difference: the old wingman Peppy Hare is replaced by Krystal, the female fox you saved in Star Fox Adventures. Peppy now takes over command from the Great Fox. The Wolfen team also has a new recruit, Panther, who has quite an obsession for Krystal.

But to the game play. The Story mode is great. The game reflects the Star Wars: Rogue Squadron series in the way that you choose to do a mission on three difficulties (Bronze, Silver, Gold) but need to get a certain "Hit" score to actually receive the medal. There is also a medal you receive for keeping your three wingmates alive, and 5 hidden gold flags. The actual game takes place in the Arwing, on foot, or in a Landmaster tank. The Arwing is like the N64 version of the game, meaning there are times when you are on a linear path, and just need to blast everything in front of you while avoiding blows; also there are the stages where you are in an open enviornment that have a more dogfight feel, being able to fly anywhere you want and use techniques to avoid enemy fire. When you are on foot, it functions much like when you were in the Arwing. You have a large crosshair, and just run around blasting everything. There are a few different types of weapons to use when you are on foot as well, such as your Blaster, Machine Gun, Homing Launcher, Grenades, Sensor Bombs, and Sniper Rifle. You can also enter a Landmaster tank when on foot. The tank functions under the same controls as when you are on foot, but has a large cannon and can hover, which comes in very handy. The single player consists of 10 missions, but their replay value is incredible.

The multiplayer mode in this game is also incredibly fun. You can have up to 4 people duke it out on foot, in the air, with sniper or rockets only, whatever. You can see that a lot of this game was based on the multiplayer. All the weapons from the main game and one or two more are useable in the multiplayer game, and most of the levels from the single player mode (after you complete them) are available in the multiplayer. There are also a ton of multiplayer features to unlock, and the only way to do that is to play, play, play. Most are triggered by playing a certain number of matches, but a few are from the single player game.

This is the type of game that only comes once in a while with such good quality, but can be played for a long time after its release. You may think that 10 levels is a short single player campaign, but there is enough to do in these levels to keep you busy for a while. The multiplayer is fun and easy to pick up, so you can take someone who's never played the game, put them in a round with 3 other people, and they will still be able to get some kills (the multiplayer is more about bringing people's life down, rather than having one-on-one battles to the death). If you liked Star Fox 64, you will like Star Fox: Assault. 'Nuff said.







©2005 Koma Forest, a division of Road Kill Productions