Nintendo's Software Development Group No. 5
Genre:Action Arcade Shooter
Release Date:TBA 2015
Star Fox is an upcoming 3D arcade shooter that is currently being developed by the fifth department of Nintendo Entertainment Analysis & Development division, commonly known as Software Development Group No. 5. The team is perhaps best known for their work on New Super Mario Bros. on Nitendo DS and Pikmin 3 on Wii U, along with the upcoming Mario Maker game.
Directing the game, is Takaya Imamura, the man who is often credited for designing the characters and story for the F-Zero franchise as well as the supporting cast of characters in Star Fox.
The game is being developed exclusively for the Nintendo Wii U where it will be released at retail and presumably a digital release by way of the eShop. This is yet to be confirmed, but is in line with Nintendo’s strategy regarding their big properties.
Currently without a concrete release date, Star Fox is currently slated for release at some point in 2015. It’s expected to be shown at E3 later this year.
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The official announcement for Star Fox wasn’t quite as smooth as Nintendo probably would have liked. Planned to be announced at E3 2014, the existence of the game was leaked ahead of time, nearly two days before the planned reveal when a press sheet for planned events was released early with the game’s name on it.
This was made worse 2 days later during the show when TIME leaked information about the game ahead of time. Nintendo had planned to announce the game officially on June 10th but TIME distributed information earlier that day. Later the same day, Nintendo officially announced the game during their Nintendo Direct presentation.
Speaking in an interview, game director Shigeru Miyamoto spoke about Star Fox and how it might be linked to two other games that he’s working on at Nintendo. In relation to Project Giant Robot and Project Guard, a player pointed out that enemies in Project Guard looked similar to those in Star Fox. Miyamoto said, “You noticed something very nice there. Today, I’m only answering questions about the Star Fox games. But, there will be multiple different kinds of missions in the Star Fox games, so maybe something like that could appear. And I think the robot that came down from the helicopter is the same robot that you were shooting in the security game.”
It wasn’t until December of 2014 that Miyamoto spoke out about Star Fox in any meaningful way. He stated that the game would indeed be releasing before the next iteration of the popular Legend of Zelda franchise, currently known as Zelda U. When Zelda U was delayed indefinitely, Star Fox has been adopted by Nintendo fans as their big planned showing at E3 2015 because it will be playable on the show floor according to Miyamoto.
Amiibo support has been confirmed for Star Fox, but at this time the specifics of this aren’t known.
Plot specifics of Star Fox for Wii U are unknown, but Miyamoto has stated that it will have a story that is structured episodically. The game will be released as a whole however. Outside of this, details are non-existent at this time.
When Star Fox was first shown to the media at E3, concerns were raised regarding how the game controls given Nintendo’s tendency to poorly implement motion controls into their games.
At first, it would appear as though gameplay was entirely a motion controlled affair, but this was later elaborated upon by Miyamoto when he said that the game can be controlled by both the Gamepad’s motion controls or the Gamepad’s dual analog sticks, much to the relief of gamers.
The Arwing, Fox McCloud and company’s signature fighter ships are expected to be able to land where they will transform into the powerful Landmaster Battletank. Players are also thought to be able to assume control of a helicopter-esque vehicle than collects items on platforms using a robotic character.
Select members of the press were invited to try out “All-Range” mode in the Arwing, which they used to engage Star Wolf in battle. They were then given the opportunity to try the “Valley Mode” which is more akin to traditional Star Fox gameplay, but with one major change. The pilot can move in one direction whilst aiming in another by way of the Gamepad’s gyroscope.
The game also supports a cockpit view thanks to the integration of the Gamepad’s built in screen.
At this time, we know little about the characters and their roles in the game, but Fox is expected to return as the protagonist. The returning cast that we know about so far includes:
- Fox Mc’Cloud
- Slippy Toad
- Peppy Hare
- Falco Lombardi
- Wolf O’Donnell