Here's the Discord link for any to join!
I am currently in the process of repairing the downloads section. Over the next few days, you will see the content return as I re-upload it.
Today is the official release date for Starlink: Battle for Atlas, the space exploration toy to life game developed by Ubisoft, available on the Switch, Xbox One and Playstation 4.
Why is this important for Starfox? The Nintendo Switch version has a tie-in with Starfox, as a "toy" Arwing is included with the game, and you can play as Fox throughout the game, as well as special Starfox themed missions to stop Wolf.
I hope to have a copy here soon, so I can review it more in depth with you.
Like many of the devoted faithful, I and many others woke up bright and early the morning of the 29th to line up at Toys 'R Us to get a chance at buying a vaunted SNES Classic. My roommates and I piled into my roommate's beleagured old Volvo, and arrived at 8AM sharp, finding a line that was already stretching back to the entrance of the adjoining Baby's R Us. It was a chill fall morning, and I offered multiple times to leave my spot in line to run to the Wawa a block away for some coffee and donuts. Everyone else was good, apparently. In front of us, a fashionably dressed mother attempted to explain to her equally well-dressed children why she was "buying a toy for herself". It vaguely dawned on me as to whether or not those kids would even comprehend the games on the SNES Classic as even being video games as they knew them. If those games were relatively primitive and obtuse to me growing up in the early 2000s, I can only imagine how incomprehensibly primitive they must look to fresh modern audiences. Or perhaps not so primitive, given the massive revival in sidescrollers and 8-bit gaming. Who's to say? Behind us, a rather grizzled scalper in a ratty sports coat and faded Pokémon tee. We'll call him Al, totally not after the villain from Toy Story 2. Al moaned loudly about Target's "bullsh*t" policy of only allowing one console per customer, and droned on about his console collection-2 of every console from the NES onwards in the box, the entire TurboGrafix 16 library, and was currently on the hunt for a "third" Model 1 Sega CD. When I asked how much of those he used, he seemed rather puzzled. "I just emulate them", he said, cocking his head to the side. Quite a character.
As the hour went on, more and more people began to show. Rare sightings of the elusive inhabitantis cellarium were made. Young and old queued up in a line that reached almost to the Wawa a block away. It was hard to tell if the young kids were dragging their parents along, or their parents were dragging their kids along. Attire ranged from stained graphic tees to Louis Vuitton, and there was a trio cosplaying as the Mario Bros. and Princess Peach. Finally the manager of the store walked out, congratulated all who showed, and quietly began handing out tickets to purchasers before admitting them into the store. Just as it seemed there was enough to go around, a twenty-something in a black S550 and matching suit hurried into the back of the line, only to be greeted with a glum look on the manager's face. He walked off silently, tail between his legs, and everyone began to sort into the store. I probably wasn't the only one holding their breath, anticipating a storm.
As someone who hadn't set foot in a Toys 'R Us in a good decade and a half, there was a weird feeling of nostalgia mixed with a feeling of being out of place. Fidget spinners, drones, and My Little Pony merch sat alongside the Rubik's Cubes, RC cars, and Pokémon cards, bringing back some nostalgia and relief that nostalgia is still being made. My reminiscence was short lived, however, as the line moved forward at record speed. My roommate almost snatched the holy object out of the cashier's hands, and it was back to the dorms in a flash.
No time was wasted setting the diminutive console up. I really can't emphasize how tiny this thing is-it's exactly the size of an NES cartridge and weighs about as much. My roommate immediately booted up Super Metroid, and marveled at the quality of the graphics and sound. I got about 30 minutes of gameplay in myself, playing through Corneria in Star Fox in order to unlock Star Fox 2. Overall, it's mostly similar to the ROM that has been available over the internet since the late '90s. The dialogue and font are perhaps the biggest changes (similar to the footage shown at CES 1995, before the game was officially canned), and I'm sure someone will weep for the loss of "Expert Mode" on the main menu. Lock-on targetting seems to be missing, making space battles a bit more of a hassle. To this day, it remains my favorite title in the series, and continues to fascinate and entertain every time.
The graphics scale nicely to modern HD sets, and a pseudo-CRT filter is provided for those that desire a more retro experience. Definitely better than plugging an original Super Nintendo via composite, but the scanline filter seemed a bit strong compared to the original equipment on an actual CRT. The sound is a perhaps a bit more crisp than the original hardware, but it still has the rich warmth and deep bass that we know and love. Super Mario World is airy and pleasant, Super Metroid envelopes you in dark, skin-crawling synths, and Star Fox carries a lot of punch and images fantastically. Frame-rates are at least as good as the original games, perhaps a bit smoother with the benefits of modern tech. Overall, it's definitely on par with a good emulator or the Virtual Console platform, and whether or not it's worth buying is entirely up to you. For what it is, you're getting an officially licensed Nintendo product with a good $800 worth of games and no aging equipment to worry about. That's 10x the Classic's MSRP, and roughly 4x what the ballsiest scalpers are demanding online. Sadly, Nintendo's limited it to just one product run of course, so the average consumer looking to relive their childhood or get into retrogaming will probably have to look elsewhere. All in all, nice piece of kit if you can get it.
Today Nintendo unveiled the long-suspected sequel to last fall's NES Classic. Like it's predecessor, it is a compact unit shaped like it's namesake, with a number of classic titles pre-loaded. And also like it's predecessor, it will undoubtedly be rarer than hen's teeth when it hits the shelves September 29, 2017, retailing at a nice $79.99. 21 titles have been announced, all classics: Super Mario World, Earthbound, Mega Man X, F-Zero, Super Mario RPG, Star Fox 2, etc.
Yes. You read that right.
Star Fox 2, the game Nintendo has basically ignored and swept under the rug since 1995, will finally see the light of day on the SNES Classic, alongside it's beloved predecessor. Now, of course, fans have had access to the game since the late '90s, and it's pretty easy to find a completely playable ROM on the internet. However, developer Dylan Cuthbert has alluded to a different, even-more-complete build in interviews, so it remains to be seen which version of Star Fox 2 will be included. Whether it's the one we've come to know and love, or something completely different, it's just amazing that it's getting an official release. Heck, even having the original Star Fox on there is great, in and of itself, since copyright issues (and technical issues as well, I believe) have precluded it from getting a Virtual Console release until now. I am not kidding when I'm saying that I'm super hyped for this, folks!
Details, and the full list of games, can be found on Nintendo's website
The biggest impact the Star Fox franchise's had on the gaming world, hands down, was introducing gamers to the realm of 3D-rendered polygons in the original Star Fox title back in 1993. This was arguably the start of the biggest transition to ever occur in the history of gaming, freeing us from the shackles of sidescroller hell to let us explore open worlds at our heart's content. At the core (literally) of the game was the chip that made it all possible-the Super FX chip, which managed to math it's way into overclocking the Super Nintendo's processors. Developed by a small third-party company, Argonaut Software, it allowed for the system to run at an estimated 40x faster than the original specifications would permit. This permitted the Super Nintendo to render basic 3D polygons, allow for parallax-scrolling sprites, and even apply basic texture maps to polygons. This little wonderchip found it's way into several other major titles-Super Mario World 2: Yoshi's Island, Doom, Star Fox 2 (oh what could've been!). However, by the time these games were making it to market, Sony had already ushered in an entirely new generation of gaming with the Playstation, which could provide graphics and sounds that were lightyears ahead of what even the best Super FX titles could produce. The sudden appearance of the Playstation is what led to the untimely cancellation of Star Fox 2, as Nintendo feared that it and other Super FX titles would be negatively compared against their Playstation equivalents, and that their efforts would be better spent on developing 3D games for the N64.
This is a really fascinating video, and goes into great detail about the chip, Star Fox, and the rise and fall of Argonaut. Props to LoneWolf for digging this up!
In honour of the 24th anniversary of the North American release of the original Star Fox on March 26th 2017, @Patch93 will be streaming himself playing the first three installments of the series developed by Nintendo EAD, including Star Fox, the unreleased Star Fox 2, and Star Fox 64.
Enjoy everyone! (´・ω・｀)
A little announcement on what is going on.
The Staff of Starfox Online has been restructured. DZ, Steve and Redeemer have all moved on to better and brighter adventures. I personally like to thank DZ and Steve for their years of service and hope their future is as great as the legacy they have left for us today!
The new Administrators are MKGirlism, Sawtooth/Lonewolf, and myself Dr. Orange.
There's a lot in store for the coming year. The goal is to revitalize and better support the Starfox Community
Stay in tune as a lot of great changes are coming!
The big myth? Star Fox having robotic legs. Cuthbert's response: "They're just making that shit up ... They're metal boots" before completely mocking the idea of "pegleg furries in spacesuits." Well, that's even more definitive of Miyamoto's dismissal of this ridiculous claim.
Also, Cuthbert is NOT Miyamoto's son-in-law. While yes, Miyamoto was at his wedding, Miyamoto doesn't have a daughter, so...
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