The Star Fox series goes in a new direction…
Since 1993, the Star Fox series has primarily used the same formula…with the exception of Star Fox Adventures and Star Fox Command, but these did feature the classic Arwing on-rails sections in some form or another. Star Fox Guard is completely different though, it’s a tower defense strategy title that is available as a bundle with Star Fox Zero or as a separate digital download on Nintendo eShop.
The game is based on Corneria where you work for Slippy Toad’s uncle, Grippy who owns a bunch of scrapyard bases that gathers precious materials. Problem is that the bases are under constant attack from robots and needs defending. Sounds simple, right? Wrong. First of all, you can only control cameras that are strategically placed by you around the base, along with the turrets attached. The TV screen displays camera feeds, while the Gamepad lets you select which camera to focus on so you can destroy the incoming robots.
Robots come in different forms, but across two different classes. Attack Class robots will head for the main reactor and cause you to fail, while Chaos Class robots cause distractions and disable cameras, forcing you to try and switch to another to find potential targets. It’s a tricky game, but it is undoubtedly fun…even if it’s not the typical Star Fox experience, it’s nice to see them try something completely new.
The dialogue is a little on the dull side, while the visuals aren’t the sharpest out there…it all looks a little bland. But it does seem to run smoothly, despite clearly being made on a much smaller budget than Star Fox Zero. My only real criticism is that you need to use the stylus to switch between the cameras successfully, as trying to use your finger doesn’t always get the job done and can cause a delay that may mean the difference between victory and defeat.
On it’s own, Star Fox Guard is a decent tower defense game and makes good use of the Gamepad. It’s a bit bland visually and the dialogue isn’t that memorable. It was a risk to attach the Star Fox name to this one, but overall it does have it’s charm and makes a good companion to Star Fox Zero.