5 Star Games, Game Reviews, Games, Reviews

Star Fox 2 Review


It’s time to look at a pretty obscure Star Fox game. Not a lot of people got to play this game back in the day although that has changed to a degree since the game was included on the SNES classic and now it’s also available through the Switch Online. I can definitely see why Nintendo wanted to bury this game back in the day though. While I applaud Nintendo’s effort to make a new kind of Star Fox game, it really doesn’t hold up nearly as well as the original. The gameplay just isn’t that good and that’s always tough to get past for a video game.

The basic plot is that Andross wants to conquer the star systems once again. Fox and friends don’t want to let this happen, but at the same time it’s going to be really hard to put a stop to this. The team splits up and prepares to defeat the opposing planets while protecting their own. This takes you to the hub world which shows you where everything is at. It’s a bit overwhelming but you’ll get the gist of it after a few minutes. Corneria is your home base and if it gets destroyed then that is an instant game over. Your goal is to stop the missilles heading towards it and taking down all of the enemy bases. Personally I feel like the easiest thing to do is taking out all of the bases right away. The villains won’t have time to blow up Corneria if you do that. That’s what I did and the game is over within 40-50 minutes.

The actual gameplay is a 3D shooter. You fly through the air and try to blast the ships out of the sky. This is the worst part of the gameplay because it’s hard to see anything. Your sensor is oddly not in the middle of your screen so you have to find it and then shoot from there. It’s just not very fun and the gameplay feels like it was slapped together. It’s always hard to tell where you’re at or even just moving in general. Fortunately not all of the levels use this gameplay style but it would have to be one of the worst shooter gameplays I’ve tried.

The other style is your ground missions which ties into the final level. You get to run around as a walker and blast various objects. It actually feels pretty similar to Star Fox Assault which is good since that is still the best Star Fox title. You can also switch back to your Arwing if necessary but I don’t see why you would do that. The walker is way easier to move around in and the blasters take down all of the enemies very quickly. The final boss even goes down quickly like this and the gameplay is a lot more fun. This would be a whole different game if you could just play in the walker the whole time. It’s just really solid.

If I had to describe why the gameplay didn’t work, it’s just a little too unfocused. It can be hard to know what is happening right away and it’s just too hard to turn around. The boss against the long snake is a good example of that as he keeps flying around you and it’s so hard to keep up with him. He barely ever tries to attack you so the boss isn’t hard, just a little on the tedious side. I think the first person view is what tripped the game up, it should have been more of a third person camera view like the original Star Fox. That’s always a safer approach if you ask me.

Team Wolf shows up in this game, but they don’t really serve much purpose except to give you a quick dogfight. The level is okay but surprisingly Leon was way more difficult than Wolf. Wolf went down almost instantly while Leon actually beat me the first time. The difficulty level here isn’t as crazy as some SNES games, but it’s still tough enough where you can’t just breeze through the whole thing. You will have to think through your moves and be very careful about how you approach each level. One loss means game over, but the rewind feature on the SNES should help you avoid that.

Meanwhile the graphics are pretty good. In this area at least I’d say it keeps up pretty well with the original game and maybe even surpasses it. I was glad we got little text cutscenes even if the game didn’t have the most elaborate story in it. At least having a bit of a story is better than none right? The soundtrack is also decent I suppose. Not the most imaginative, but it’s got those classic Star Fox vibes that always work well. As for replay value, I wouldn’t really say there is much. You can try beating the game in a different way but there’s not a whole lot of reason to do so. I suppose if you just like the game enough then that’s not a bad idea. Since the game is free it’s not like you need the game to be quite as long though.

Overall, Star Fox 2 is a fairly weak Star Fox game. I have to say that the franchise has had a pretty tough time over the years. The original Star Fox game was decently good, but then we had this one which wasn’t very good. Star Fox Assault was amazing and Adventures was pretty good but then we had Command and Zero which really could not hold their own on that level. I hope the next Star Fox game we get is more like Assault and brings the series into the elite level. The concept is still so much fun and Fox is always a great character to have around. I don’t really recommend this game, but if you have the Switch Online then you may as well check it out. Otherwise I’d say you should just pick up Assault instead.

Overall 5/10

7 Star Games, Game Reviews, Games, Reviews

Earth Defense Force Review


It’s time to look at another SNES game from back in the day. I know about the newer installments in the series, but didn’t realize that the SNES already had one. It’s cool that the series dates back all this way. The game does a good job of feeling like a nice sci-fi adventure. The story may be a little light even for SNES standards as there are no cutscenes, but it’s a solid/quick game to check out. The weapon customization also adds an extra layer of depth that most of these old shooters did not have.

The gameplay is that of a 2D side scroller. It’s an auto moving game so the screen is always going forward but you can still stay near the back of the screen or fly up close to test your luck with the various attacks going your way. You have a primary weapon which you can shoot and then you have mini drones of sorts that you can summon around you or use to focus your attacks. With them by your side your ship becomes even more of a threat although it can be hard to know which way to use it. Towards the end of the game I went with the focused attack and just trusted my primary weapon to get the job done.

As for your weapon, you’ve got around 8-10 options. There’s the classic machine gun which is still one of the best weapons you can have. It shoots very quickly and covers a wide range. Then you’ve got the bombs which look like lasers but when you hit an enemy they explode. It looks really cool even if I felt like it had less of an impact. There’s the laser which basically shoots out continuously and wracks up the damage. There were other weapons but since this game only has 6 levels I was careful not to switch it up much towards the end. I just went with the laser and figured that would be enough to help get me out of the jams.

This probably goes without saying but the game is extremely difficult. Without the added benefit of the SNES access points and rewind feature it is unlikely that I would have been able to complete the game. Right from level 1 you’ll be faced with a barrage of powerful attacks. They never let up even for a moment and 3 hits is enough to finish you off. Even when you think you dodged an attack sometimes you will find that it actually did connect. One level took me dozens and dozens of tries because of how many enemies were on the screen. The bosses are actually the easiest part since it is just one enemy attacking so you can focus more. The final boss is an exception to this as he spawns a bunch of little minions to help him out.

All of the bosses have fun designs and there is a good amount of variety here. Even not counting those guys the game spared no expense in the graphics department. The backgrounds really stand out and the game is just very vibrant. It’s ahead of its time here and it does help you appreciate the gameplay even more. The soundtrack isn’t memorable though so I suppose the game couldn’t quite win it all. The fun gameplay and solid graphics still ensure that this is a winner though.

The game is fairly short, but that is really to be expected here. There are 6 levels so you can probably take this game down in under an hour. It would be even shorter if you could beat every level in one shot but that is extremely unlikely. This game is no cakewalk and will require a lot of concentration to get through. Once you complete the game you will definitely get a sense of pride and accomplishment. That’s when you know that the game was indeed a winner.

Overall, Earth Defense Force is a very old school spaceship fighter. It’s like Galaga, but in 2D. One of the areas that really makes this game stand apart from the rest is how you can switch weapons. It’s a really nice touch and I definitely liked being able to choose what weapon I wanted for a given mission. Most likely you will find a favorite and just stick to it by the end, but I’m sure there will be some who will have fun switching the weapon based on the level they will be challenging. If you haven’t played this game yet then I definitely recommend doing so. The SNES Online has been great for checking out a bunch of games like this one.

Overall 7/10