Video Games Weekly: Star Fox Guard
Star Fox Guard is a little confusing, but I’m going to do my best to explain. Our library got a disc copy of Star Fox Guard when we ordered Star Fox Zero (which I reviewed last week) because we pre-ordered it. So, if you ordered a copy of Star Fox Zero before April 2016, you might have a disc copy of Star Fox Guard lying around. If you did not, the game is only available as a digital download on the Wii U eShop.
Platform: Wii U
Single or Multiplayer: Single
Background: Star Fox Guard is not a prequel, sequel, nor in any relation to Star Fox Zero other than the fact that it has Slippy (the toad character). In fact, the game is completely different from Star Fox Guard. Star Fox Guard is a combination of action and tower defense. “Tower defense” means exactly that; you have a tower somewhere on a map, and you have to defend it using weapons. These weapons usually take up a slot alongside the enemy’s path, and do something to kill enemies as they walk by. These weapons are usually on autopilot, meaning if an enemy appears in their range the weapon will automatically shoot at it. Typically, players have to defeat enemies to get more currency, which can then be used to buy more weapons, upgrade weapons, or use special items. One of my favorite tower defense games that you can play on any web browser is Bloons.
Storyline: Slippy has an uncle named Grippy Toad who owns a mining company. Grippy Toad hires you to protect mining towers from evil robots who try to shut it down and steal precious metals. Your job is to use security cameras that are spread out all over the map to shoot down enemies. Enemy robots will continue to get better and better an infiltrating your security camera system, and players will have to use special cameras/airstrikes to shoot down large waves of robots. Simple right? Not so much. Take a look at the map below, which is what players see on the Wii U GamePad
Controls: This is vastly different compared to pure tower defense games because the player can only control ONE camera at a time instead of having all of the weapons set to automatic. This is where the “action” combination comes in. On the TV screen, players have a view of all cameras.
See the monitor in the middle? That is the camera that the player in controlling. Players have to aim the camera and shoot down robots. If players want to change cameras, they have to click on the camera number on the Wii U GamePad map. Enemies will appear on the map as yellow dots once they enter the map, but NOT WHEN THEY SPAWN OUTSIDE OF THE MAP. *head explodes* This adds to the complexity of the game, but I found it incredibly annoying rather than fun.
In my opinion, the controls are a pain in the butt. Unlike Star Fox Zero, players have to move the camera/gun using the joystick. It would be one thing if the GamePad could be physically moved around in real life in order to look around/shoot like in Star Fox Zero, but they chose to make it oldschool. It’s really hard to enjoy Star Fox Guard’s controls after playing through Star Fox Zero, and I just wasn’t that impressed.
Audience: This game didn’t work well for me because I was playing by myself. There’s just too much going on between the screens, and I wasn’t having any fun playing it. I will admit though, I am biased. I love tower defense games, and I think it’s a poor choice to label this game as only a tower defense game. It’s more like 75% action, 25% tower defense.
Now, I can imagine this game would be fun if you have multiple people in the room. IGN wrote a positive review for this game, and they mentioned it is a fun game when there are many people in the room yelling out camera numbers. So, I would say this is more of a single-player party game for all ages.
Verdict: If you already have the game because you preordered Star Fox Zero, it’s not going to go to waste on your shelf. If you did not, don’t bother trying to hunt down a physical copy.
Questions? Comments? Tweet them at me!
By: Alanna Graves (with the help of her copilot, Andres)
$50 on Amazon
About Karen Jensen, MLS
Karen Jensen has been a Teen Services Librarian for almost 30 years. She created TLT in 2011 and is the co-editor of The Whole Library Handbook: Teen Services with Heather Booth (ALA Editions, 2014).
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