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Star Fox: Assault (スターフォックス アサルト Sutā Fokkusu Asaruto) is a third-person shooter video game for the Nintendo GameCube developed by Namco and published by Nintendo. It is the fourth released title in the Star Fox series. It was released on February 14, 2005 in North America, on February 24, 2005 in Japan, on April 29, 2005 in Europe, and on June 16, 2005 in Australia. The game was available at Blockbuster and Hollywood Video stores starting February 1, 2005 as a promotion. Assault returns the Star Fox series to its space-combat roots after the previous game in the series, Star Fox Adventures, took a more action-RPG approach. Assault takes place one year after the events of Adventures and introduces a new enemy named the Aparoids, a race bent on the assimilation of the Lylat system into their collective mind. Assault contains remixes of music from Star Fox 64.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.

Gameplay

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, although some levels in multiplayer 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 64Arwing 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 the 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.

Story

The story is fairly linear over the course of the 10 missions about the Aparoid invasion.

Mission 1

The first mission starts with Fox, Falco, Slippy, and Krystal all flying their Arwings to helping the Cornerian Army, hunt down Andrew Oikonny, Andross's nephew, and the remainder of Andross's forces. The fight starts in the space above Fortuna, but then, Oikonny flees to the planet's surface where Star Fox chases him. When they finally corner him, Oikonny's ship transforms into an Andross shape. Upon almost defeating him, he is destroyed, but a strange giant alien butterfly that Star Fox must defeat it. After destroying it, Fox takes the core for research as several more of those alien butterflies are swarming the surface from space.

Mission 2

After retrieving the core, they learn from Beltino Toad that the core was from a species called the Aparoids which are capable of destroying entire Cornerian fleets with little effort. The team 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 the Landmaster, he takes care of them when a giant 4-legged disc shaped aparoid that also held a core memory, but this one was stolen Pigma.

Mission 3

Team Star Fox attempts to hunts down Pigma and assumes he is working with Star Wolf so, Star Fox tracks him down to Sargasso Space Zone, a popular hideout for bandits owned by Star Wolf. They search the hideout, but fail to find any signs of Pigma and then, attract the attention of Star Wolf. After defeating them, Star Fox learns that Pigma has left Star Wolf for some time now. They now learn that Pigma has fled to Filchia.

Mission 4

Upon arriving at Fichina, they find that Pigma has deactivated the planet's climate control turning the planet into a snow-filled wasteland. After, reactivating the climate control, they discover that one of the towers has been turned into an aparoid, threatening to destroy the Climate Control Reactor. After defeating it, the planet is safe for now.

Mission 5

The Star Fox Team tracks Pigma down to an asteroid belt and come to take back the core. However, after meeting Pigma they realize that he has merged with the aparoids and must destroy him. Afterwards, they retrieve the core which leads to the Aparoid homeworld.

Mission 6

Soon Krystal recieves a distress call from Tricky on Sauria, formerly Dinosaur Planet. The Star Fox team goes there to stop the Aparoid hatchers and eliminating the Dinosaurs. Afterwards, (now a teenager) Tricky, Fox and Krystal now reminisce of their last adventure here.

Mission 7

Now Corneria is under attack and under the control of Aparoids. To stop the radio interference, Fox has to go on foot and destroy the Aparoid jammers. He gets rescued by Wolf who now has a common enemy with him. Fox rides on his Wolfen's wing and fires on the Aparoids below. Then, General Pepper under the control of the Aparoids attacks Fox and Wolf. Fox shoots down Pepper, but he is saved by Peppy's Arwing.

Mission 8

After the previous battle, Beltino discovered that the Aparoids may be destroyed through Apotheosis, so the Cornerian fleet head to the Orbital Gate, used for interplanetary travel, to defend it from oncoming Aparoid attack, again with the help of Star Wolf. They stop the missiles from destroying the Gate as Beltino finishes the program and they warp the Aparoid homeworld.

Mission 9

Arriving at the Aparoid homeworld, they discover the planet is protected by a shield.Star Fox is able to slip past the first layer, but a stronger exists beyond it. They weaken it, but it isn't enough. Then, Peppy piloting the Great Fox rams it into the Aparoid base disabling the shield and allows Fox and crew to enter the planet.

Mission 10

The team enters the core of the planet, with Star Wolf coming to help them gain. 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. Star Fox ignores it, and fight her until Fox is able to shoot the program inside of her. However, the queen represses it, and attempts to escape. The team follows the queen deeper into the planet and Fox is able to ultimately defeat her. The program launches, and the Aparoids go into self activated meltdown and are killed. The team escapes from the core, and soon discover that ROB and Peppy are still alive in an escape pod.

Multiplayer

Stages

  • Katina Outpost
  • Inner Sargasso Hideout
  • Outer Sargasso Hideout
  • Fichina
  • Planet Sauria
  • Corneria
  • Orbital Gate
  • Aparoid City
  • Titania Desert
  • Great Fox
  • Simple Map 1
  • Simple Map 2
  • Simple Map 3
  • Simple Map 4
  • Simple Map 5
  • Zoness Sea Base

Weapon List

  • Blaster
  • Machine Gun
  • Grenade
  • Sniper Rife
  • Homing Launcher
  • Gatling Gun
  • Plasma Cannon
  • Missile Launcher
  • Barrier Shield
  • Frist Aid Kit
  • Smart Bomb
  • Stealth Suit

Gameplay

The game was 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 E3 2003 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 the working title: Star Fox Armada, but eventually came to be known as Star Fox: Assault. In 2003, the game was intended to be multiplayer-oriented, and the ground missions of the game had a control scheme similar to the on-foot multiplayer mode in Star Fox 64.

At E3 2004, 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.

The game 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.


Reception

Star Fox: Assault was met with mixed to positive reception, and currently has an average score of 71% on GameRankings and 67/100 on Metacritic. However some complaints were aimed at the control scheme during on-foot portions; IGN worded the complaint as "ground missions suffering from sloppy control". GameSpot noted that the multiplayer portion of the game has little lasting value, an annoyance that IGN felt as well. IGN went on to say the design was too simplistic. However, IGN noted that being able to switch between the Arwing and Landmaster at will was a "welcome addition". In Electronic Gaming Monthly, two of the reviewers gave it an 8 out of 10. Play Magazine gave the game 8 out of 10. Thunderbolt gave it 9 out of 10. Kevin Gifford said that "the game is aimed less at the Mario club and more toward the hardcore crowd". EGM also noted that Assault had an epic feel, helped by a great soundtrack.

The game became enough of a commercial success for it to be included in Nintendo's Player's Choice line, which also includes Star Fox 64 and Star Fox Adventures.

Trivia

  • It is known (from early gameplay footage) that you were originally supposed to be able to switch between first and third person as shown on Star Fox Assault's E3 2004 trailer.
  • It is also known that the game's multiplayer was supposed to have LAN, but they couldn't implement it properly before release so they had to cut it
  • There was originally supposed to be an arcade companion title to this game similar to F-Zero GX and F-Zero AX, as a part of the Triforce program set up between Nintendo, SEGA, and Namco. Unfortunately, this was canceled.
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