Nintendo fellow and game producer Shigeru Miyamoto talked in detail about how Star Fox Zero is a wholly different remake of Star Fox from the others that came before it.
Star Fox Zero marks the fourth version of Star Fox. The original 1993 SNES Star Fox boasted parallax scrolling powered by the Super FX chip. Nintendo then outdid themselves with Star Fox 64, released for Nintendo 64 in 1997. Most recently, Star Fox 64 itself was remade in full 3D as Star Fox 64 3D on 3DS in 2011.
There was little story in the first Star Fox, but now, Nintendo has an opportunity to expand on it. Players will learn more about Fox’s relationship with his father Ace, and General Pepper’s relationship with Andross. The enmity between Pepper and Andross in particular will be explored in some depth, thanks to the teleporters. You will get to use the teleporters after defeating Venom, and they will help you find new gameplay paths, as well as reveal new aspects of the story.
Using those teleporters means replaying earlier levels, and the new skills that you learn along the way will be vital in traveling in those new alternate paths. In this way, players are challenged to improve their skills and become better players as they play through it again.
Action games are generally designed with higher difficulty, so that most people will prefer watching them to playing them. However, Miyamoto is confident that children playing this as their first Star Fox game will enjoy it. He also says it is a good game for the living room, as the family can watch one or two people play and enjoy the show.
The most distinctive changes Star Fox Zero brings to the table are in the controls. While Star Fox 64‘s key innovation is in the use of the analog stick, Star Fox Zero lets you view the cockpit view in the Gamepad’s screen, and the widescreen camera view on the TV. This aspect of the game went through a lot of refinement.
So, for example, the game’s different vehicles, namely, the Arwing, Gyrowing, Landmaster, and Gravmaster, requires different control schemes because they also have different gameplay mechanics. Each vehicle was tweaked so that they can match up to players’ expectations of how they control. To add to this, they also had to deal with the challenge of co-op mode, when two players operated the vehicles. Each vehicle had to be responsive, in a way that also matched expectations.
Star Fox Zero will be released for the Wii U on April 22. You can read more about how Nintendo and PlatinumGames worked on the game’s difficulty, and learn about the purchase options with spinoff strategy game Star Fox Guard.