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Rik's Thoughts - Why I Believe StarFox is Dead


Rik McCloud

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DISCLAIMER: This rant is loaded with personal opinions that are based on what I know and have experienced. Take this with a pinch of salt.

It’s been a long time coming but I really believe StarFox 64 3D is going to be the last time we see Fox and company on a Nintendo console. Over the years, it has become clearer and clearer to me that this series has been run into the ground and I don’t see any positive signs for its recovery. I thought I used to be a fan of this series but it pains me to call myself one anymore for some very simple reasons.

I haven’t exactly remained quiet on my views of a certain game in the StarFox franchise but I realise now just how much of a splitting point it was for the community.

I became a fan of StarFox because of StarFox Adventures. It is not something I am ashamed of or hide as Milky and Drasiana will testify. I am, as Milky put it, an Adventures fantard.

Whilst playing the game and personally enjoying what we were given from Nintendo and Rare, creating happy memories for me and helping me find friends on the old forums of Nintendo-Europe that are now defunct, I began to fall in love with the characters. It felt like it was a series I could really get behind.

Whilst I had played StarFox 64 before, it hadn’t appealed to me in the same way that Adventures did. But I thought that seeing as I’d tried one game, I might as well give the earlier games another try and I enjoyed both the original StarFox and StarFox 64.

I had known about the rumblings from older fans complaining that it wasn’t what they wanted but I didn’t care. I knew what I liked and I didn’t want to change my opinion, no matter who believed I was wrong but the rumblings got louder and louder.

When Assault came out, I still thoroughly enjoyed it and could see it had fantastic potential but I got the sinking feeling as I was playing it that Nintendo and Namco didn’t really seem to care about it, almost as if it was a side project to appease all the older fans. The unsettled undertones got louder and the fans started to really have at each other. What was StarFox now?

Command didn’t quell the rumbles either and whilst it was still a decent game, those dissatisfying endings started sewing the seeds of doubt in my mind. Have Nintendo got the message? Is this really going to be the end?

And then all of the fans were put into the cold for five long years whilst Nintendo catered to their new audience. Fans nostalgia grew ever stronger. If only Nintendo made games like the good old days. Of course, partly thanks to Adventures, StarFox 64 became an internet meme in itself. As people began to quote those forever undeletable pieces of dialogue, including THAT line from the hare, it went from funny to tiresome in weeks. But then that wasn’t enough for some.

The fights between the older and newer StarFox fans started to reach boiling point. Do a search for Adventures on YouTube or Google and you will find plenty of videos and articles bashing the hell out of it despite the sad fact it still holds up better than the vast majority of software released for the Wii. It was at this point that I began to question myself. Was I a fan of the series or just the game?

My belief was that Adventures was a good thing for the series in that whilst it was never initially designed to be a StarFox game, it branched off in a new direction to help keep things fresh and interesting. The concept of taking the mercenary out of the cockpit and making him fight on the ground appealed to me. I saw the series as vehicle for evolution for Nintendo.

Now, thanks to this re-release of SF64, they are looking to their past to win back fans when the damage was already done. And it’s not even like Nintendo are doing it properly. Re-releasing a game that was originally released in 1997 with only graphical upgrades and an ad-hoc multiplayer with that stupid camera gimmick, added with the fact there is no online multiplayer coupled with a $40 price tag and that seriously is their latest effort to win new fans? Sounds like barrel trolling if you ask me.

But here’s the thing. Nintendo tried to do different things and it was a hardcore of fans that replied back with, “Thanks but it’s not StarFox 64.” Admittedly if more effort was put into what came out on the GameCube (particularly with Assault), I am not sure if the series would be in the mess it is now.

Yes, it’s Nintendo’s fault but the fans have got to take the blame as well. Some of you wanted the old days back. Congratulations. I hope you are happy. Now Nintendo knows it will take so little to appease you that the idea of evolution will go out the window. Play it safe. Don’t do anything daring.

If we never see another StarFox title after this, I am past the point of caring. Nintendo would have to pull everything out to bring back the level of interest I had back when Adventures was released. Somehow I doubt that will ever happen. That and I am not sure I want to be a fan of this series when arguments between fans can get as childish as those in the Sonic fan base.

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Starfox is not dead. A title in the series is right here. If anything, it's a revival, because Starfox kind of died around Adventures.

And it's not that we don't want evolution. We do, just not "evolution" in the sense of "changing the entire genre." Adventures was not a Starfox game. It was a low end Zelda game where Fox and Zelda wore fursuits and Ganon was a big head, and by Zelda standards it was way underpar in everything but visuals. We want a StarFox game, and not the short, badly acted, over dramatized Assault, or the samey missile assassination simulator that was command. Adventures AND Assault -teased- us by having little fragments and pieces of it's own series, as if to taunt "Remember this? Remember when it was good? Sorry, you only get ten minutes of that in either game. Have fun with your half baked Zelda clone that falls completely apart with the last minute introduction of space travel, and your short, horribly designed and unvaried third person shooter!"

So at least Nintendo -realizes- where they went wrong and the release of SF643D might actually mean that they are going back to that style.

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I concur with Milky and I'd like to add another thing, that might have come unnoticed for you all english-speakers. :D

They dubbed the whole game in 4 new langages. I mean... Not only they re-did the japanese and english voice acting, but for the first time, we players have localized voices. That's -I think- a major hint that they wish SF64 3D gets a fresh start and get good numbers everywhere on Earth.

Imagine a remake of Super Mario 64 (huh... I mean... another one, in 3D! :P) and the game opens not only on the legendary "It's-a mee, Maaaario!" but also "C'est moi, Maaaario!", "Es ist miiiich, Maaaario!" and so on and so forth... That's not meaningless.

If SF64 3D does well, I'll allow myself fair hope to see Starfox games again in the future, and hopefully not remakes, not half-games with "cameos" of Starfox-ish things inside, true new full-fledged games! ;)

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OR the new game could be simply to test the waters. It could swing either way, but I hope this is a good indicator of things to come. Id love a new console Star Fox game.

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Nintendo isn't going to shut down anything that makes money. and mr.k has given countless series that have taken worse dips the star fox. We are in a low part as of now is all.

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Nintendo isn't going to shut down anything that makes money. and mr.k has given countless series that have taken worse dips the star fox. We are in a low part as of now is all.

I remember him saying that. Just like some franchises like Pikmin and Kid Icarus, Star Fox is not dead. It is basically in a coma being kept alive by the life support that is its fans.

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Once all Star Fox fans are dead, then Star Fox is dead. But as it stands Nintendo clearly has an interest in the franchise or they wouldn't have made a game for the 3DS even if it is a remake. It also seems to be one of the 3DS big titles as they have already started advertising it with the device. SO it isn't dead, it's just being revived. Who knows, maybe Rare will remake Dinosaur Planet into the game it was originally supposed to be. It may be too late for such a thing to be successful but it would be interesting to give Krystal her own actual franchise that goes into depth about her.

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Who knows, maybe Rare will remake Dinosaur Planet into the game it was originally supposed to be. It may be too late for such a thing to be successful but it would be interesting to give Krystal her own actual franchise that goes into depth about her.

I could see that as a Xbox live arcade game, but Nintendo has all the rights to Krystal. Though I'm not sure if its the both versions or the scrapped version they own.

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oh come on, don't blame us MEANIE FANS with standards for the failure of a series with five games in it

People didn't like the past three games, not because they're "afraid of evolution", but because Star Fox did the evolutionary equivalent of growing webbed feet in an arid desert.

Before Adventures, and Assault, people were excited. The disappointment came in the payoff.

The Promise: Star Fox Adventures! Here's the first time we've seen Fox and company in years, in a brand new adventure with sweet action, dinosaurs, PLUS a new hot chick!

The Payoff: Hot chick does nothing for the entire game, the rest of the team does nothing for the rest of the game, Arwings take a back seat and the bulk gameplay is an unimaginative Zelda clone fetch-quest bonanza held together by a nonsense plot.

The Promise: Star Fox Assault! Fox and co are back in their Arwings AND Landmasters to face a new threat in a new hybrid flight/3rd person shooter! Star Wolf is there too!

The Payoff: More unimaginative, repetative levels with a goofy physics engine and dry overused plot.

The Promise: Star Fox Command! Getting back to the roots of Star Fox with an added strategy element, this is what we've been waiting for!

The Payoff: Horrible space soap opera with negligible, contradicting and ultimately non-canon plotlines that follow over top of...unimaginative, repetative levels with really weird mechanics that didn't work (barrel rolling to kill motherships, swimming Arwings).

You know what Star Fox's problem is? Stagnation. The lack of evolution, and in this not just disappointing fans, but objective critics. The games did NOT bring anything new to the table, or anything worth mentioning. The expectation versus result in what we got was way off the marker...especially when we get promotional material like this and this and this, and it looked awesome, and nothing to that calibre was ever seen in the actual game.

Assault was originally meant to be part of a failed arcade project, allegedly, where it was supposed to have an arcade counterpart. This would have given the game more credit, and it probably would have been more polished if this hadn't fallen through.

Miyamoto and Iwata said if people like 643D they'll make a new Star Fox. I don't think we're talking "rediculous box office smash", but a good critical reception, something the last three games have not recieved. If all the Adventures fanbrats get butthurt and blacklist 643Ds because IT'S JUST THOSE ELITIST FANS AND THERE'S NO KRYSTAL BAAWWWWW then sure, that might kill the series.

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The Promise: Star Fox Command! Getting back to the roots of Star Fox with an added strategy element, this is what we've been waiting for!

The Payoff: Horrible space soap opera with negligible, contradicting and ultimately non-canon plotlines that follow over top of...unimaginative, repetative levels with really weird mechanics that didn't work (barrel rolling to kill motherships, swimming Arwings).

Not to mention that it was basically a clone of Independence Day for the PS1, and that game was crap! Talk about creative. :hehe:

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I don't think it's dead. I also love chocolate milk. But I can't have it often because I'm lactose intolerant. It's a shame really. :(

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Ah, the old "I think Star Fox is dead because I don't like the way the series is going" argument.

While SFAd did drive many of the older fans off, another reason reason so few are around is that the first Star Fox game came out 18 years ago. People who were in their early teens in the mid 1990s now are in their 30s. I got into Star Fox 64 in my early teens, and now I'm 25. Soon to be starting my career. I don't forsee myself leaving the fandom, but there are a lot more things I am going to have to worry about in little more than three months. I probably won't go anywhere, seeing as I have significant time and financial resources put into this site. But if I get married and have kids, that may very well push me out of the fandom. I don't know.

This game will court new fans into the series. People who are in their mid-teens now. People who have maybe played SFC, but not the original SF64.

My guess is that Star Fox is going to get a reboot. IGN gave SF643D a 9.0. It's trending average is around 8.5. Significantly better than anything since the original. Of course that's the critics, but critics are heard in the board room.

The NPD numbers will tell the true tale. I'm already hedging my bets that SF643D will be a million-seller. The original set the launch week sales record back in the day.

A reboot will allow them to continue on. What may be dead, though, is the linear canon the series had. While we all love story, Zelda does just fine without a linear canon.

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Once all Star Fox fans are dead, then Star Fox is dead.

hmmmmmm

all of them, you say?

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hmmmmmm

all of them, you say?

No I guess not, but Star Fox won't be dead until no one buys the games and they stop making them. Since a new game (remake) is being released, they could be rebooting the series. The remake will probably bought by some old fans, and other newer fans of the series, even some people who don't know about the series maybe.

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yes yes but back to this idea of all Star Fox fans dying...

I'm not sure what you are getting at.

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oh silly, if i were plotting all your deaths, i wouldn't tell you i was plotting all your deaths

also, to be honest, a thread where i plot to kill all Star Fox fans is still better than a thread where we all bitch about how Star Fox is dead because it didn't follow each of our specific 275-point plans on exactly how we wanted the games to go, three days out from the release of another Star Fox game

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oh silly, if i were plotting all your deaths, i wouldn't tell you i was plotting all your deaths

You could deny it though. We'd never know until someone mysteriously stopped posting and signing on....

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Yes how to incorporate new fans, and keep loyal old fans, is always a tough job. But Nintendo has been mostly true to their roots and people keep on buying their games.

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  • 2 weeks later...

As long as we keep up what we're doing...like right here on this website and everyone continues to buy what nintendo

does make (like sf643ds) then StarFox has not, is not, and never will die!!!

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