Robert Monroe

Starfox Assault MEGA RANT. Rob lays down the law at long last.

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Robert Monroe

The rant has been moved to a new thread due to post length limitations in my OP here.

Read the rant >HERE. DO NOT POST IN THAT THREAD. IT IS FOR READING PURPOSES ONLY. ALL DISCUSSION OF ASSAULT AND MY RANT SHOULD BE HELD HERE.

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Xidphel

30tt9pt.gif

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OneUnder

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I haven't played Assault in years, but this just makes it all come flooding back.  You've really hit the nail on the head - every complaint that I had with the game in exemplified here and then some.  I remember taking particular issue with the floaty-ness of the on foot segments and the lack of a weighty feeling in the arwing segments.  I'll also never forget the cutscenes, and how the character animations dictated flailing their arms to express emotion as opposed to using facial expression changes, voiceover alterations, or other acceptable body language (e.g. ear movement where applicable). 

 

I look forward to seeing more of the review in the coming days/weeks/however long it takes.

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Ori

9ce.gif

----

Out of all reviewing I've recently seen this one is genuinely the most in-depth and dissecting one. And it's not even over.

 

I'm not quite sure if it's a good or a bad thing that I might like Rob's review more than the game itself in the long run. .3.

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Patch93

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Rob... that.. WAS FUCKING BRILLIANT! 8D

 

I really couldn't have said it all better myself! You should make this into a video review and put it on YouTube!

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Robert Monroe

This was intended to be a video review however the liklihood of me getting video recording equipment for the Wii/Gamecube is unlikely so I just had to settle with typed words instead.

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Patch93

Ah, oh well. Maybe some day then perhaps. : P

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StarFoxfan-FUR_ever

Even though I truly do believe that the gameplay element of mixing air/landmaster/on-foot should have provided the best experience of the series (But as we all agree, it was poorly implemented), I can wholeheartedly agree with everything you say about the story.

 

I look forward to part two of your analysis

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Robert Monroe

Main post updated with Sargasso!

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Patch93

You think Katina is the worst? Oh boy, just wait till you get to Sauria, Rob. I can imagine you going all James Rolfe on that shit.

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OneUnder

The worst part about Sargasso for me was that the entire station felt more like an empty warehouse filled with random shit as opposed to a base teeming with criminal/smuggling activities, seedy characters, the works.  I would have loved to have seen a focus upon creating an actual culture for the base, particularly because the "floating outlaw outpost" label has some serious potential to be awesome.  The 80s-cyberpunk clothing aesthetic present in the cutscenes would have been welcome as well.

 

The Star Wolf fight was a sad joke compared to SF64 in terms of difficulty, but the music kicked ass for sure.  I lol'd at how you literally shoot their ships until they explode before your eyes, leaving no trace of life, and yet they get on the radio to complain about it and are present in the cutscene following the fight moments later, unscathed. 

 

Assault had serious potential in terms of groundwork and possibilities.  Varied locations, potentially interesting characters, etc.  In execution, however, a lot of that potential was squandered.

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Xidphel

NEW UPDATE!
DO YOUR THING YOU DO EVERY SINGLE TIME YOU APPEAR DURING BRIEFING, ROB!
tumblr_m7zu3eOUUT1rqywr4o1_400.gif

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Patch93

There is one thing I think you should've mentioned while talking about the Arwing gameplay; barrel rolling is completely nerfed. In the SNES/N64 trilogy, rolling was simple. Pressing Z/L or R would tilt your ship sideways in the corresponding direction which you could use to get through tight spaces, and double tapping would send you into a roll that you could use to deflect enemy lasers. Assault? You have to push the control stick in the direction you want to roll, then press R. ...why? Did they really need to make it that complex? On top of that, in order to tilt the ship to the side, you have to gently push the button down because if you push it down quickly, it will just make the ship barrel roll which can lead to frustration if you need to get through a tight space and you have to tilt immediately before you take damage.

 

Besides not working that well against enemy projectiles, the rolling physics also seem really odd. When you do a barrel roll, the Arwing just suddenly stops after it finishes rolling over, while in the older games it would slowly come out of the roll.

 

I will say that giving the player the option to come to a complete stop while braking in all-range mode was cool though.

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Robert Monroe

You think Katina is the worst? Oh boy, just wait till you get to Sauria, Rob. I can imagine you going all James Rolfe on that shit.

Yes, actually. Sauria, Katina and Sargasso all suffer from the same design flaws, but Katina does it the WORST in my opinion. Sauria is not GOOD by any stretch and yes on Gold Mode it induces James Rolfe tier rage, but that isn't reflective of the level as a whole. Sauria is the worst of Katina and Sargasso combined, but Katina just... vapidly hopelessly borderline incompletely bad.

 

There is one thing I think you should've mentioned while talking about the Arwing gameplay; barrel rolling is completely nerfed. In the SNES/N64 trilogy, rolling was simple. Pressing Z/L or R would tilt your ship in the corresponding direction which you could use to get through tight spaces, and double tapping would send you into a roll that you could use to deflect enemy lasers. Assault? You have to push the control stick in the direction you want to roll, then press R. ...why? Did they really need to make it that complex? On top of that, in order to tilt the ship to the side, you have to gently push the button down because if you push it down quickly, it will just make the ship barrel roll which can lead to frustration if you need to get through a tight space and you have to tilt immediately before you take damage.

 

Besides not working that well against enemy projectiles, the rolling physics also seem really odd. When you barrel roll, the Arwing just suddenly stops after it finishes rolling over, while in the older games it would slowly come out of the roll.

 

I will say that giving the player the option to come to a complete stop while braking in all-range mode was cool though.

Because I did not find the changes to rolling that terrible. The pressure sensitivity of the shoulder button was a smart choice, honestly, its just the Arwing itself controls so horrible. That said, the inability to suddenly bank on your side to fit into a tight space can be annoying, and the rolling physics are wacked as hell. Honestly, everything else is more horrible and overshadows the slightly dissapointing rolling.

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ArwingFan

Excellent review, keep it up. I'd like to mention the S flags. The devs played Milon's Secret Castle one too many times and placed them in random locations the player wouldn't intuitively check, the only way to find them is by shooting every square inch of the bloated map or use a guide. Also your prize for getting all of them is... a weapon that completely breaks the multiplayer.

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StarFoxfan-FUR_ever

I'd like to also add another note about the Landmaster in relation to control schemes. Even though we can all agree the strafe thing with the dual stick control setup was horrible, doesn't anyone else find it odd that the strafe was not possible to do with the default controls?

 

On another note, you also should have mentioned that the only way to change your control scheme was to first create your own profile. Also, your profile was linked to your Story Mode progression. Not necessarily a bad thing for those who had siblings or friends who visited often, but it was never made apparent to you at all unless you went digging through the menus yourself. If you start a Story Mode on the default Guest profile, you would have to start over from the beginning after creating a profile...Who thought that was perfectly fine?

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Robert Monroe

Updated with Fichina, a level that isn't completely terrible!

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Pharaoh Shadon

I hated Fichina as a kid DX That boss was stupid and kinda hard for me to shoot a nova bomb into, mainly due to the timing and stuff. I can do it easily now, but still.

 

Falco doesn't actually do anything besides fly aimlessly in circles until Peppy transports down an Arwing for Fox, which really makes me wonder what the point of flying around on Falco's wing even was.

I always assumed that they did that to take out the places defenses. If they just leave, then they leave quite the mess for the Cornerian army. And can you imagine trying to do that part in an arwing? Aim at the defense things that get a lock on you and there's THAT many? Sometimes a wingman is the better option. (And with glueing his feet to the wing, doesn't G-defusers remove the G-force around the place? So with the G-defusers active, fox can stand there just fine because there is no G-force to knock him off.

 

Peppy says if they don't stop the corrupted machinery, the center will melt down and they'll never stop the blizzards again, but... couldn't Corneria just build another one if they really had to? I mean they built the first one during the blizzards, obviously. Second of all, defeating the boss doesn't fix the machinery, it just topples it the fuck over like dead weight, so it still needs to be repaired anyway!

We may not know that yet, the place could have been a little before the permanent blizzard showed up. Although even if they did build it during a blizzard, what about the people/animals living on the planet for the now? And sometimes a missing piece is better than a corrupted piece, and they probably have more of that piece to keep the place running (I mean they had 3 shield generators, It's safe to assume that they have more than 1 of that one piece. In fact, I think I remember seeing more of those tower things the aparoid took over around the map.

 

 We then cut to Pigma who apparently sleeps at the wheel and becomes indoctrinated by the Aparoids, even though he says he won't turn a profit by submitting to them. So, if Pigma knew they would try and control him, what the fuck is he doing working for them? What IS this great profit he can get from working with the Aparoids? Ugggggggggh.

He probably planned to sell it to someone who knows what it was. But as time went on, the piece started to indoctrinate him and slowly brainwash him. Why doesn't that happen to Fox or the Cornerean guys? They probably put the piece in a lab of sorts away from the people themselves, and Fox didn't have it long enough for it to do any permanent ideal change.

 

they could railroad him to his death

Not necessarily, he probably lived the same way general pepper lived. They destroyed the aparoid, but his body is still in that machine somewhere. (I went into a bit more detail on that in a different topic where I think that Pigma and Andrew could both still be alive. The laser coulda missed Andrew as he was talking even after he was struck down, and if General pepper was able to survive even after his ship was taken and he was fused with it, then what's preventing Pigma from doing the same?)

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Robert Monroe

Yeah see all that shit you mentioned is at best fanon and speculation. It doesn't correct the problem at hand, which is the game doesn't explain any of that shit at all and leaves us to wonder what the fuck is going on.

Also you could totally and easily take down all those aparoid defenses with the Arwing. Or hell, the tank. Wing riding is just illogically silly, but I don't hate it because it is fun to do.

And the point about the engineering piece is that regardless if Fox had left it alone or killed the boss, it still damages the engineering. I'm making fun at the fact that shooting fucking bombs inside a piece of machinery somehow fixes the problem of its disrupted functioning causing a meltdown. Violence solves all of Fox's problems I guess.

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Robert Monroe

Addendum: Andrew is confirmed not dead in Command. He fights for the Anglars. For some reason.

But Command is a whole nother can of beans altogether I shall do another time!

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Pharaoh Shadon

But Command is a whole nother can of beans altogether I shall do another time!

O.O You're crazy. But I can't wait for that one. I've (Mostly) agreed with everything you said here about Assault, I was gonna bring those few things up from previous levels, but I kinda forgot what I was gonna quote so I just let it go. But you got yourself quite the project with 9 endings, several different story branches. You must be dedicated if you are even considering doing that o.o

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Robert Monroe

Essentially I would review every storyline/ending as a part. So it will probably just around, if not a bit shorter than my Assault review (which will be around 11+ parts for the 10 levels and other features).

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Robert Monroe

Updated with a level I truly enjoyed: the Asteroid Belt!

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Pharaoh Shadon

aced around when the Arwing approaches but rather the time it approaches something. Using your brakes excessively results in desynched enemy formations flying at you out of the woodwork, often resulting in missed hits and bonuses because you weren't there "on time", which is irritating. This is especially true if you dare to see if there is anything nice to look at in all the open space of the army base (which there isn't) as enemies will appear too close or too far away and just fuck off away from you before you can get bearings on them. Despite being on rails the level does not seem focused on the Arwing itself, and it feels very awkward.

 

I just remembered a few things I was gonna ask about.

Wouldn't that bold be a plus in a way? Why would that base be designed for Fox's Arwings? Especially if it was meant for other purposes? To me, it's like complaining that you can't fly a plane in a mall. Of course you can't, it's not designed for planes. Yeah the counter argument is not to have the mall in the first place, but that's not quite my point (Although is an acceptable answer)

 

And with the time base rather than location base, gameplay wise that's annoying, but looking at it more realistically, isn't that how it mostly should be? If I'm flying through a base as an enemy, then I'm gonna fly by that section weather fox is there or not.

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Robert Monroe

Ok, ignoring the fact that you clearly and apparently don't understand what my problem is at all...

Realism is a shitty way to design a game. Or rather, to design a game that isn't meant to be realistic.

My problem isn't that the design of the level, eg the forest and Andrew army base, aren't made to "accommodate" the Arwing; my problem is that the pacing of the level is out of synch with the actions of the Arwing.

Imagine a straight line, like so:

X----------------------------------------------------X

One X is the start of the level, another is the end.

Now, say the Arwing approaches position Y on this line:

X------------------------Y---------------------------X

And when it does, a squadron of fighters come out from behind corners and attack it. That's good game design. Event Y is triggered by going to position Y. In Assault, at least it SEEMS anyway, the timing of the trigger is determined not by arriving at event Y but by the TIMING of arriving at event Y. Bashing on the brakes before reaching event Y -supposedly- creates a desynch in which the enemy squadron of fighters come barreling out at you while the game camera is still fixated on the braking Arwing. It creates a dijoint, and it becomes awkward. Add to the fact almost every enemy in Assault seems hellbent on flying INTO you, and you've got a stiff, floaty controlling Arwing with the camera up its ass trying to shoot at enemies that came up too suddenly because you had the audacity to hit the brakes and it is annoooying.

The problem isn't anything like tight spaces - fuck, the Asteroid belt level is much more full of tight spaces and I LOVE that level. The problem is, to use your mall metaphor, like if I was trying to fly through a mall, and the game focused more on the HOT SALES on the side than the vehicle I would be operating.

Now to be fair, this might not actually be caused by braking too much or whatever - it merely seemed that way to me. But regardless of the CAUSE, the point is the level moves awkwardly and stiffly and doesn't seemed to be focused on that which the player is most focused on: the positioning of their goddamn ship.

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