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What is it about Star Fox's method that turns away developers?


Giladen

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Star Fox Adventures was a SF game trying to be an Aonuma Zelda game. And it flopped.

 

Star Fox Assault flopped. Command flopped. 64's remake apparently sold enough to warrant another game. Let's face it, the first SF and 64 are the only games that aren't below standard.

 

Here's the question. What is it about Star Fox's method that turns away developers? Sales? None of the genres Star Fox went into besides Assault's have been all that for awhile. Just look at Adventues, Aonuma Zelda games flop when they don't have thhe Zelda brand name (see Okami). Apologists like Emily Rogers have tried to blame everything besides developer screwups.

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Two words: don't know. You have to have the brains to rule Lylat to make a good game. I've been fighting for that lately, but it isn't easy! I hope they accept my side of the story before making another "bleach" Starfox game...

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I've got a couple hunches:

 

1) The original railshooter style just, pardon the pun, won't fly today. People want more varied gameplay mechanics and more open environments. 64's remake may have sold well, but it was really more due to nostalgia and the overall timeless feel. A new railshooter Starfox wouldn't bring in anything terribly new or exciting, and a lot of Debbie Downers will just call it a ripoff of the original. 

 

2) Furry characters haven't been very popular since the late '90s, and are almost stigmatized by the internet as a whole due to their popularity with the furry fandom (and more specifically, the loathsome creeps who draw porno of the characters and get featured on SomethingAwful or Encyclopædia Dramatica or 4Chan). Also, Nintendo has a bad rep as a "kiddie" console, so the middle-school-aged a-holes that dominate the reviewing sites will automatically reject anything Nintendo-related.

 

3) Starfox and Starfox 64 seemed to have had loads of hype leading up to their release. Commercials, comics, special editions, a VHS that just hawked the Rumble Pak's use in Starfox 64, etc. Starfox Adventures and Assault had a few ads, none very memorable, and Command didn't receive any fanfare at all (I didn't even know it existed 'til a month ago). It doesn't help that Nintendo's darlings are and have always been Mario, Zelda, Smash Bros., and Mario Kart. Be glad you're not a Metroid or F-Zero fan, though! ;)

 

4) Starfox was the first game to actually have 3D rendered graphics, and Starfox 64 was a great little demo of the N64's capabilities. Adventures and Assault didn't really bring anything new to the table. For me, Adventures has the mild distinction of being the first game my brothers and I played on our new "big-screen" TV (a truly monstrous 65" Mitsubishi CRT) and 5.1 surround sound system, and it sure did look and sound pretty! Too bad the game stunk (so did the TV :P). Starfox 64 3D at least made me want to use the 3D feature.

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True, although even Sonic's still subject to backlash (the fact that a lot of the 3D Sonic games were forgettable at best doesn't help matters much).

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I would say it has to do with the same risk factor that comes with developing any established title that doesn't end up as a rehash. Of course, that risk factor gained new weight as the time gap between the last "new" release expanded and the connection with the player base diminished.

 

Though, I am not sure what you mean by flopped. They all sold 'well enough' to warrant more games. They all came with criticisms and praises.

 

 

 

2) Furry characters haven't been very popular since the late '90s,

 

Let's drop the furry bit and recognize that people have expressed themselves through animals since ever. From early deities to cartoons. There is no abrupt decline in anthropomorphism. Go ahead, start counting.

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There is no real profound secret to this outside of "Adventures, Assault, and Command weren't very good". People still like Star Fox but they got three games in a row that had a myriad of production issues that saw them rushed, massively restructured, or even incomplete in many ways. Imagine if Adventures actually was a Zelda game, it still wouldn't have left a great impression.

 

I don't think anything has "turned away developers" either, since many have expressed interest in being the developers. Keep in mind that aspects of Star Fox U have been in development since the Wii era; this does a lot to explain why Nintendo wasn't exactly looking into letting other companies try making one themselves at that time.

 

e: also literally no one outside of weird internet people give a fuck about furries and there are plenty of popular games with anthropomorphic characters still going strong or getting movie adaptations and whatever (Sonic, the Elder Scrolls, World of Warcraft, Ratchet and Clank, Sly Cooper...)

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I've got a couple hunches:

 

1) The original railshooter style just, pardon the pun, won't fly today. People want more varied gameplay mechanics and more open environments. 64's remake may have sold well, but it was really more due to nostalgia and the overall timeless feel. A new railshooter Starfox wouldn't bring in anything terribly new or exciting, and a lot of Debbie Downers will just call it a ripoff of the original.

 

Okay, I'm going to deal with this.

 

1. Having "more varied gameplay mechanics" didn't stop Sonic the Hedgehog from going downward. 3D Sonic has never reached 2D Sonic in its heyday.

 

2. There is a market for minigame collections (Wario Ware).

 

Anyway, Star Fox games that didn't meet the standard:

 

-Assault

-Adventures

-Command

 

Star Fox games that would thrive in the arcades:

 

-Star Fox

-64

 

Star Fox games that would flop in the arcades: 

 

-Star Fox Adventures

-Star Fox Command 

 

Star Fox can be traced back to the arcades (even if it's never been on an arcade machine). When it tries to move away from its arcade roots things don't go so well. Star Fox Wii U needs to do one of two things if the game will be all that:

 

A. Go back to its roots and expand upon them, adding things that would fly in an arcade video game. Put in co-operative play, regional leaderboards, more optional paths through levels with increased/decreased difficulties and rewards, improved AI for Fox's wingmates, more difficulty than SF64 and later SF games, etc. 

 

B. Break off completely into a different type of game that isn't an arcade game at its heart but isn't out of place with so many past SF games (think of a PC space sim). Of course, you could say that it wouldn't be a SF game, and so it shouldn't be called SF.

 

If choice B is picked, then they can't do it partly. They would need to drop its arcade core to make sure it meets the standard. Star Fox can't just "evolve" into a different type of game.

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I can't reiterate the points in Dras' post enough [+10000 for mentioning Sly Cooper and Ratchet and Clank :-P] as well as Gesalt's. The problem that the thread is trying to answer doesn't necessarily exist as stated, and the series hasn't received much fanfare recently because the past games in recent memory were mediocre.  The market it still there, the developers are still interested, and there is no significant stigma against anthropomorphized characters that would present an obstacle.

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Also, Nintendo has a bad rep as a "kiddie" console, so the middle-school-aged a-holes that dominate the reviewing sites will automatically reject anything Nintendo-related.

 

Yeah... this would explain why most review sites throw 8/10 and 9/10 scores to most 1st party Nintendo games.

 

Also, I was under the impression that, for a launch title, Star Fox Adventure sold very well. Wasn't it the best selling launch, or near launch title for the system? It ended up being in the 'best of' series in the US, Europe, and Japan.

 

This has got nothing to do with quality of the games. Standard is subjective, after all. Star Fox Assault was a solid enough title. It all comes down to marketing and timing. Assault was near the end of the console's lifespan. It was outsourced to Namco, so Nintendo clearly weren't concerned ought about it, and they had next to no marketing for it. SF Command actually got fairly good reviews, from what I remember, but the game was overshadowed by heavy-weight DS titles.

 

Thankfully, for the Nintendo Wii, games are so far and between that Nintendo's marketing are able to give pretty much all they have into advertising every new game that comes out for the system. Here's hoping this'll be the case by the time SF Wii U hits the scene.

 

Not only that, but Nintendo are happy to pimpo out Mario, Zelda, and pokemons out at every available opportunity, giving each respective franchise maximum exposure. This hasn't been the case with title like Metroid, Star Fox, or maybe even Kirby titles.

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3) Starfox and Starfox 64 seemed to have had loads of hype leading up to their release. Commercials, comics, special editions, a VHS that just hawked the Rumble Pak's use in Starfox 64, etc. Starfox Adventures and Assault had a few ads, none very memorable, and Command didn't receive any fanfare at all (I didn't even know it existed 'til a month ago). It doesn't help that Nintendo's darlings are and have always been Mario, Zelda, Smash Bros., and Mario Kart. Be glad you're not a Metroid or F-Zero fan, though! ;)

 

 

Earthound, anyone? o/

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Everyone brings up Sonic... You guys do know that the Sonic fanbase is irreparably fractured, right? It's so bad that Sega will never be able to make a "good" Sonic game because the definition of a "good" Sonic game depends on what sect within the fanbase one is in. As the old addage goes: "What's the best way to piss-off Sonic fans? Announce a new Sonic game!" I pity Sega for having to deal with Sonic fans.

One should take anything (good or bad) said about the quality of Sonic games with a massive grain of salt.

People say our fanbase is broken. I think E3 this year shows it really isn't. I didn't see one serious "Oh man, this game's gonna suck" from the fanbase. It was all "OMG! itshappening.gif!"

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We're not talking about the fanbase, though, we're making the point that they're still making Sonic games and Sonic games are still selling.

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Yeah, Sonic did not do so well through the last generation of consoles. First you had the legendary Genesis games, then some good adventures on the Saturn and Dreamcast, some decent PS2 games, and then Sonic '06 happened. From that point on, the series was beyond repair. Luckily, Star Fox did not have such a disastrous game, but we can all agree that both series have better games from their beginning than now. When it comes to sequels, the second time's the charm, but after a while (10 or so games), most series experience fatigue.

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The missing bit of context here: furries. Sonic got brought up because it's a series about anthropomorphic animals that sells well. Yes, the recent games have sucked, but no one has said they sucked because Sonic is a hedgehog, and many people who THINK they suck just want a good game again because Sonic and friends are such beloved characters. No matter how bad they are, they're still making Sonic games, Sonic games are still selling, and they're still entirely about anthropomorphic animals. The fact that Star Fox is about animals and dropped in popularity is correlation, not causation.

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Sonic games are still selling

 

Not as much as Sonic 1 or 2 for the most part. Most Sonic games after the Gensesis haven't made it to 3 million copies within a time period.

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Not as much as Sonic 1 or 2 for the most part. Most Sonic games after the Gensesis haven't made it to 3 million copies within a time period.

 

There are several factors to take into consideration here. The main one being that, during the Megadrive era, there were only 2 consoles (that mattered) on the market, and this was the time of mascots. Sonic and Mario were heavily pushed as the flagships of their respective consoles. Sega pushed marketing to heights never previously seen in the video game industry with Sonic the Hedgehog.

 

Sonic may not be selling as well now, but considering that mascots are no longer the force they used to be, and considering the bad publicity some games have made in the past, it's impressive that Sonic continues to have a diehard audience, and sell games regularly at the 1 million mark.

 

Another thing; many Sonic fans  got into the series much later. Some people began with titles like Sonic Unleashed, Shadow the Hedgehog and, yes, Sonic 06. With just about every console generation (although not that much during the Saturn ea), there has been a continuous string of Sonic games on most platforms.

 

To a certain degree,the quality of a game doesn't matter. As long as there's exposure to the audience in the shape of continuous, regular releases, and lots of advertisement, they'll be aware of a franchises presence and will continue to buy games. Why is Mario such a huge money pot to Nintendo? Because they release a new Mario in some shape or form evey 2-3 months. The next generation of gamers appear; there is an all new Mario game (or about 20) for Nintendo to shove down their throats.

 

Mario and Sonic continue to stay fresh in the consumer's minds because they never go away. But how can Nintendo make Star Fox a success if they don't release anything? Nintendo have to remind older fans and potential new blood that Star Fox exists.

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Not as much as Sonic 1 or 2 for the most part. Most Sonic games after the Gensesis haven't made it to 3 million copies within a time period.

 

That's nowhere even near the point. Let me simplify it for you.

 

Star Fox = anthropomorphic characters

 

Sonic = anthropomorphic characters

 

Star Fox = 6 games

 

Sonic = roughly 6 million games

 

Anthropomorphic Characters = not a good indicator of the reasons for franchise failure/success

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Guess so. I probably shouldn't have brought it up...

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