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About Digital Art / Hobbyist Core Member Jeremy Shaw27/Male/United Kingdom Recent Activity
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Well, I 100%’d Star Fox Zero the other day.  My full thoughts, with some story spoilers in the last few paragraphs (will warn before these start):

Overall I really enjoyed this game.  I feel those who threw a tantrum over motion controls and decided not to buy on that basis alone are missing out - ESPECIALLY if you can tolerate the motion controls in Splatoon or the Zelda remakes.  Yes they have a difficulty curve, but the payoff is what matters - you feel much more like you’re piloting a vehicle than in any of the previous games, and aiming in one direction while moving in another to make the most effecient use of your time feels really great when pulled off.  It’s not an easy game, but it is rewarding.

The soundtrack is phenomenal, and while I adored hearing Star Fox 64′s soundtrack performed by an orchestra in Assault, I’m really glad they didn’t nostalgia-pander here.  There are re-arrangements of past songs, but the majority is new, even in the stage locations that aren’t.  While the orchestrated music of Assault was fantastic, I always found the techno stuff a bit awkward and too upbeat or quirky for the franchise’s tone.  Granted all that stuff was tucked away in multiplayer so it mattered little, but nonetheless.  This time, the techno stuff is sublimely integrated with orchestral style throughout the entire game.  The whole thing feels fresh but VERY Star Fox.

Stage design is great.  Unlike Assault, which had mostly boring all-range stages, the all-range stages here have a great variety of objectives.  Assault only had 3 linear on-rails stages to 7 all-range stages, whereas, from my count, Zero has a very satisfying 6 linear stages to 3 all-range stages, with 3 additional stages that have a significant combination of linearity and all-range.  There’s also a couple of mini linear stages and a fair few mini non-linear ones.  All of them are well put together.

My biggest surprise was playing through Zoness with the Arwing in a secret stage.  An all-range mode stage with linear progression that requires you to switch back and forth between the Arwing and Walker on a regular basis to navigate the playspace.  This was actually incredibly fun and it’s a shame this was the ONLY stage in this style.  I’d have liked a bit more of this, and perhaps some of this action with the Landmaster/Gravmaster too.  There are also barely any moments during the linear on-rails stages where it is beneficial to switch to the Walker other than to slow down or complete lone, specific tasks to reach alternate routes.

So, flowing on from that critique of “this thing was so good there should have been more of it!” let’s move on to the general downsides - while I didn’t find the game itself disappointing overall, there are some definite dissapointments mixed in to my overall enjoyment.

Firstly, there is a complete lack of on-rails boss battles.  Several of the boss battles almost play like them with the simple fact that you have to swerve off every time you engage the boss and circle/u-turn around to do so again, and it feels like the boss would have been a tighter experience if just kept on-rails (series veteran the Attack Carrier is the most noteworthy example of this).

Secondly, the game’s layout feels a little imbalanced.  When playing in Arcade mode, it is very easy to take a route that skips every single gimmicky stage, which somewhat hurts replayability for me.  Unlike Star Fox 64, when I replay Zero, I’ll likely just play through every stage in order rather than use Arcade mode.

Thirdly, branching out from above, most of the alternate routes are very easy to obtain, and simply become available when returning to a level later on.  Locking on to a passing ship or taking a route that is simply a case of changing your vehicle mode (which you weren’t able to do on your first visit) rather than being challenged to complete a task that can be failed.  Most of the alternate routes whisk you out of a satisfying stage mid-level too to fight a lone boss instead, which is rarely as fun as what you left behind.  These work in the context of the main game as nice bonus stages to discover, but in Arcade Mode I have to conciously ignore the hidden routes on most stages.

Fourthly, 100%ing the game would have definitely been impossible for me without a guide.  Some of the medal requirements are stupidly vague and require experimentation that throws logic out the window, such as turning off searchlights and then turning them back on again.  One medal is hidden in a storage container, on a map with about eight identical storage containers, and the medal only appears IF you enter the container, which otherwise is empty and does nothing to communicate anything to gain from doing so.  There is nothing unique about the container with the medal.  The medals for beating the par score/time are often brutal, but you know what you’re up against there.  But the amount of hidden medals in the game that require you to interact with particular non-unique stage elements in unusual ways is really silly.  Some kind of hint system should have definitely been included here, perhaps one where it’s features become available as rewards for finding medals by yourself.

(Skip to the last paragraph if you don’t want any story spoilers)

Fifth, the story is definitely having an identity crisis.  Most of the time it’s as basic as Star Fox 64, which honestly does feel slightly off in this day and age.  Sometimes though it occasionally wants to branch out and do something new, but rarely amounts to much.  The long monologue Pepper has with Fox before the last stage seems to want to be impactful, as if everything he’s saying is some dark secret that no-one should have known, but Fox expresses no surprise at it - there’s no controversy about it before, no reason for Pepper to have kept it secret (from anyone except Peppy, for some reason, according to the animated short).  Fox has no issue with anything that went down and is just like “yep okay well let’s go” after Pepper’s big reveal.  And the finale, regarding Andross and James McCloud, almost seems as if it’s hinting at something bigger going on, but again, lacks of the nuances or emotion behind how James was handled in the N64 game.

Finally, the final boss was a definite disappointment.  It plays great and is a satisfying and challenging send-off for the game.  But the majority of it being fought as the Walker just seems “off” somehow.  Combined with it’s common ground with Star Fox 64′s “fake” final boss, and the fact that Zero is so happy to repeat scenarios from Star Fox 64 for the rest of the game, makes it no surprise that nearly everyone thought there was a bigger finale to uncover later.  I enjoy the finale more now for knowing it was the finale, but the discovery that I had played the only final boss in the game without realising it was definitely unpleasant.  To top this all off, the ending sequence is lifted nearly shot for shot from Star Fox 64.  It’s as great an ending as it was in 1996, I’m sure the newcomers to the series will dig it, but how boring and uncreative.

So yeah, there is some definite missed potential here, but for the most part, it is an excellent and satisfying game for playing, even if the overall experience is a little lacking.  If anything, my biggest disappointment is somewhat of a presumptious one for the future - that is that despite some solid gameplay with a variety of stages and vehicles and objectives - I can’t imagine Nintendo making a direct sequel using the same game engine or additional add-on content for the game, considering how long it took to get Zero itself due to Nintendo’s insistence on innovation and new ideas etc.  I’m hoping they announce something later, because it’d be great to have some more of what they did present us here, with even more original scenarios that don’t just repeat Star Fox 64 with new stage design.

:iconjezmm: :iconlove: :iconsonicringplz: :iconlove: :iconmollysartcorner:


Good mood
Legend of Zelda: Majora's Mask 3D
English Breakfast
Star Fox Zero Soundtrack
Gilmore Girls
Brawl in the Family Complete Collection

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I can be found on Steam, Wii U, and 3DS, and I also play Phantasy Star Online 2 JP - Ship 02.
Just ask if you want my contact details for any of the above!

deviantID

JezMM
Jeremy Shaw
Artist | Hobbyist | Digital Art
United Kingdom
Comic artist and gamer. Shy but not antisocial. Knows of but doesn't apologise for his oddities. Slightly bitter about having to grow up. In love with and married to Mollfie.

To contact me outside of deviantART via e-mail, send a message to:
jezmmart@gmail.com - but with a dot between "jezmm" and "art"
Unsolicited e-mails containing attachments will be ignored

Please note that nowadays I have so many additional presences on internet sites that I no longer have the time or memory to keep every profile up to date, so the below may have no-longer relevant details due to not being updated in years, but eh, I'm nostalgic and never like deleting anything that's "always been" on my profile lol.

Current Residence: Broadstairs, Kent
deviantWEAR sizing preference: Medium-Large-ish?
Print preference: N/A
Favourite genre of music: Most things, often alternative rock, video-game and TV soundtracks, and other stuffs.
Favourite photographer: Most of the photographers I watch probably.
Favourite style of art: Pretty anime ladies, pretty photos, surreal stuff and funny stuff mostly.
Operating System: Mostly Windows Vista Home Edition, sometimes Windows 98.
MP3 player of choice: iTunes, iPod Shuffle 4th Generation
Shell of choice: If that's the proper name of skins for mp3 players, I just use the default one(s).
Wallpaper of choice: I change it very often, but most of the time I update my deviant desktop box with my latest choice. Usually though it'll be a wallpaper version of my current featured deviation or a recent piece of gift art I recieved because I'm vain.
Skin of choice: 7's default one - I'm boring.
Favourite cartoon character: Yoshi, Mario Bros, Daisy, Kirby, Sonic, Amy, Haruhi Suzumiya, King of all Cosmos, and several others.
Personal Quote: "I don't want doesn't not get."
Interests

Do you still enjoy listening to midi/bleepy-bloopy video game soundtracks? 

59%
16 deviants said Yes, fully, just as much as live/live-quality soundtracks.
30%
8 deviants said A little, but I prefer live/live-quality soundtracks now that I'm used to them as the standard.
4%
1 deviant said Yes, fully, moreso than live/live-quality soundtracks actually.
4%
1 deviant said A little, but mostly ONLY as a nostalgic exercise (they remind me of when I first played <older game>, but not much more, I can no longer purely enjoy the soundtrack on it's own merits like I might've used to).
4%
1 deviant said No, not even nostalgia makes them worthy listens, but I still enjoy them enough in original context.
0%
No deviants said No, I don't even enjoy soundtracks that I used to like in their original contexts now.
0%
No deviants said Other?
0%
No deviants said No Opinion/I don't play video games/I don't care about listening to video game soundtracks

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Happy Birthday!!!Have your cake and eat it too 
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Happy brithday sir~~
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Happy Birthday!
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Happy birthday!
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Happy Birthday
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Happy Birthday!!!
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Happy BirthdayHave your cake and eat it too Super Fantastic Golden Platter Cake 3D birthday cake Five Nights at Freddys 2- Chicas Cupcake -Icon GIF Birthday cake  icon Free Avatar - CupTardCake Fun cake Blower fella (Party) fella's Gobbler (Party) fella Gift (Party) 
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tellywebtoons Featured By Owner 20 hours ago  Hobbyist Digital Artist
Happy Birthday!!
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Happy birthday!
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Happy birthday to ya :highfive:
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