|Genre||Action, 3rd person shooter, Rail shooter|
|Composer(s)||Yoshie Arakawa |
|Release Date||NA February 14, 2005|
JP February 24, 2005
EU April 29, 2005
AUS June 16, 2005
Star Fox: Assault is a Nintendo GameCube title developed by Namco and published by Nintendo. The game is the fourth installment in the Star Fox series. The game was available early at Blockbuster and Hollywood Video stores on February 1, 2005 as a promotion.
When Assault was initially announced by Nintendo and Namco, it was also rumored that an arcade game was under development. However, the arcade game was never heard about again in the public.
Star Fox: Assault takes place one year after the events of Star Fox Adventures. Andrew Oikonny, Andross's nephew, assumes leadership over his dead uncle's army and starts a rebellion against the Cornerian Army. The Star Fox team, consisting of Fox McCloud, Falco Lombardi, Krystal, Slippy Toad, and Peppy Hare (who has retired from piloting, and instead stays in the Great Fox with ROB to Guide the Star Fox team through missions), quickly fly in to assist them. Once they fight their way through his forces, they follow Andrew to Fortuna, where he attacks them by transforming his ship into an imitation of Andross's final form, but much weaker. Before his battle with the team is through, however, his ship is destroyed by a strange, insect-like creature, which then attacks the team. Fox destroys it, and takes a partial "core memory" from it for research just before a large number of insects identical to the one just destroyed arrive.
Once back at the Great Fox, Fox and the team learn from Beltino Toad that the attacking creature was an Aparoid, one of a powerful species capable of destroying entire Cornerian fleets with little effort. The team also learns that a distress signal is being sent from Katina and they suspect Aparoid involvement. Fox investigates the planet on foot, only to be trapped inside the base with the Aparoids. With the help of a Landmaster, he is able to fight them off. After defeating a large Aparoid boss, resembling a giant UFO with four legs, he recovers another Core Memory. This is quickly stolen by Pigma Dengar, who sent out the distress signal himself and believed he can become rich from the Core Memory's sale.
The Star Fox team tracks Pigma to the Sargasso Space Zone, a popular hideout for bandits, which is overseen by the Star Wolf leader, Wolf O'Donnell. After infiltrating the base, they discover Pigma is not there and the Star Wolf team shows up (with Panther Caroso as their newest member), soon after their discovery. Wolf, Leon, and Panther engage the Star Fox team in a dogfight, which they subsequently lose. Wolf then told Fox that Pigma was no longer part of Star Wolf.] Panther however, attempting to flirt with Krystal, tells her that Pigma is on the planet Fichina. When Fox and crew quickly rush over to the planet, they discover that Pigma had deactivated its climate control center, turning it into a snowy wasteland. After defeating an Aparoid that threatened to destroy the control center reactor, the team then follows Pigma through an asteroid belt. Once they catch up to him, they find that Pigma had been taken over by the Aparoids and had no control over his actions. He lets himself be assimilated (to avoid capture) into a large spacecraft with large tentacle-like metal arms as weapons. Fox fights and destroys Pigma, and retrieves the core memory, which has the information that will lead the team to the Aparoid Homeworld.
Just before the team is about to go after the Aparoid Queen at their homeworld, Krystal receives a sudden distress call from Sauria (formerly known as Dinosaur Planet), which is under attack by the Aparoids. Fox quickly lands on the planet and destroys the Aparoid hatchers before the dinosaurs there are wiped out. After the battle, Fox and Krystal reunite with Prince Tricky, now a teenaged EarthWalker. He questions them about returning to Sauria for a honeymoon upon which Fox nervously stutters and Krystal laughs. Back on the Great Fox, General Pepper informs that while the Star Fox team was on Sauria, Corneria City was hit with a full-scale attack by the Aparoids, leaving it devastated (Along with much of the Cornerian Defense Fleet). Fox, with the help of Star Wolf, who arrived to assist in defeating a common enemy, is able to take out most of the attacking Aparoids. They soon find out, though, that General Pepper's ship (with the General inside being taken over as well) had been taken over by the Aparoids, and has started to attack Fox. However, General Pepper insists that Fox destroys the ship and himself. Fox is able to take down the ship with his plasma cannon, but before the General crashes into the ground, he is saved by Peppy, who suddenly arrives in an Arwing and softens the General's ship's fall. After the battle, the Star Fox team heads for a large space station above Corneria, the Orbital Gate, which is used for warping to other planets. Before they are able to travel to the Aparoid homeworld, they are forced to defend it, with the help of Star Wolf again, from a series of various Aparoid missiles ranging from small to big. They manage to destroy all of the missiles, just in time for Beltino Toad to finish creating a program that will destroy the Aparoids.
Once the Star Fox team reaches the Aparoid Homeworld, they realize that the entry to the core of the planet is blocked by a base and a large shield. Though the Star Fox Team is able to infiltrate the base and destroy a large amount of Aparoids, and the first shield, a second shield is formed and won't break. According to Slippy, laser power is useless against it. He suddenly sees Peppy and ROB in the Great Fox, which is covered and damaged by the Aparoids. ROB diverts all power to the laser guns on Peppy's orders and destroys the base, proceeding to ram the Great Fox into the shield and open it long enough for the team to get through. The Great Fox then explodes, leading the team to believe that Peppy and ROB were killed in the explosion.
The team enters the core of the planet, with Star Wolf showing up again to help them. Right before they reach the Queen, they are attacked by an extremely durable swarm of Aparoids. Wolf, Leon, and Panther decide to distract them to allow Fox to proceed onwards to the Queen's lair. The team confronts the Aparoid Queen, who uses the voices of Peppy, General Pepper, Pigma, and Fox's father in an attempt to deceive them into joining her. The team ignores her (with the help of Wolf's advice), and blasts her armor away until Fox is able to shoot the program inside of her. However, the queen is able to repress it, and attempts to escape. Slippy informs Fox that if he does not destroy her and launch the program, the queen will create an antibody. Fox drives a missile into the queen's heart which then explodes, killing her. The program launches, and all of the Aparoids go into self activated meltdown and are killed. The team escapes from the core of the homeworld, and soon discover that ROB and Peppy are still alive, having cheated death by finding an escape pod just before the Great Fox exploded, although the Great Fox is destroyed. The ordeal over, the team returns to Corneria. It is unclear at this point whether the Star Wolf team made it out or not, but Fox believes they also survived; it is revealed in Star Fox: Command that they did indeed escape.
The gameplay of Star Fox: Assault is divided into three distinctive types. The player can either fly an Arwing (a spacecraft), or drive a Landmaster (a tank), or perform certain tasks on foot. All three play types are available for multiplayer mode although some levels on multi-player mode are specific. For example, Level 1, "Fortuna: A New Enemy" is specifically Arwing. The game follows a completely linear track, unlike its predecessors Star Fox and Star Fox 64.
Arwing missions in Assault are similar to those of the first two games in the series. The player flies in space or close to the ground and shoots down enemies. Some levels are on rails, while others allow full freedom of movement in a relatively small area. As in previous games, the wing mates of Fox, the main character, occasionally call for help when chased by enemies. Additionally, in some levels, the player has the ability to hop in and out of the Arwing at will.
While in the Landmaster, the player has complete freedom to move about the level. They are free to shoot or run over enemies as well as assist their wingmates when necessary. Playing on foot essentially turns the game into a third-person shooter—the player starts armed with the blaster, a type of gun, and can acquire a variety of other weapons, including but not limited to a machine gun and a homing launcher. In two shooting gallery levels, the player rides on the wing of an Arwing or a Wolfen fighter, shooting enemies on the ground and in the air with a plasma cannon.
As an added bonus, by collecting all silver medals throughout the game, the player can unlock a playable version of Xevious, a scrolling shooter arcade game.
Star Fox: Assault was first announced on May 8, 2002. It had a tentative release date of April 2003 for Japan, and would be developed by the same employees who worked on Ace Combat 2 at Namco. New information about the game didn't show up until a short video montage at 2003's E3 in Los Angeles, which showcased the game's first-person perspective. According to Electronic Gaming Monthly, the video was booed by viewers, and EGM itself said the video was "remarkably unimpressive".
During development, the game had three working titles: Star Fox Armada, Star Fox 2, and Star Fox. It eventually came to be known as Star Fox: Assault. In 2003, the game was intended to be multi player oriented, and the ground missions of the game had a control scheme similar to the on-foot multi player mode in Star Fox 64.
At 2004's E3, EGM, the same magazine that wrote poorly about it a year before, wrote a follow-up that said the game looked "much better than...a year ago". Assault was scheduled for a November 2004 release, but was delayed to the beginning of 2005.
Assault uses middleware provided by the Japanese company CRI Middleware as a game engine. Yoshie Arakawa and Yoshinori Kanemoto provided Assault with a musical score and sound effects with the music performed by the Tokyo New City Orchestra. Most of the score pieces use themes from Star Fox 64, composed by Koji Kondo and Hajime Wakai.