Final Score: Star Fox Zero

Going into Fox McCloud's latest adventure, gaming critics expressed severe reservations about his new game's unique control scheme. Were those fears warranted? As Star Fox Zero hits shelves today, Shacknews takes a look at some of the most notable reviews across the internet.


Star Fox Zero had to stop for some refueling along the way, but Nintendo's on-rails shooting franchise has finally flown onto Wii U airspace today. It's Fox McCloud and company's first full-fledged adventure in over a console generation (having skipped out on the Wii) and, in fact, it's the first Star Fox game in a decade. How does it fare? It ultimately appears to depend on who's asked, because there are some divisive opinions in the gaming world for this one. Shacknews is taking a look at the melting pot of reviews for Star Fox Zero, starting with our own and branching out to five of the most esteemed reviewers on the internet. It's an interesting batch this time around, folks, and one that says perhaps time would be better spent on Star Fox 64.

Shacknews 6/10: "Star Fox Zero swings from one pole to the other, oscillating between satisfying homage and unwieldy slog. Done right, Star Fox is about repetition and perfection, learning the stage layouts and enemy patterns, becoming a crack shot and defending your teammates in thrilling dogfights. All of that is present in Star Fox Zero, which makes it puzzling how frequently Nintendo and Platinum felt the need to stray from that course. It's a game that doesn't have the courage to be itself, so it throws every half-baked design idea it has at you instead. Next time, Nintendo, listen to the rabbit: trust your instincts."

This is scratching the surface of Steve's grander issues with Star Fox Zero and the series as a whole, so be sure to check out the latest Chattycast for an expanded take.


Game Informer 6.75/10: "Star Fox Zero isn’t ever bad, but it’s generally uninspired. It’s a musty tribute that fails to add much to the series, aside from tweaked controls and incremental vehicle upgrades. I loved Star Fox when it came out, and I’ll even defend Star Fox Adventures (to a reasonable degree). For now, I'll stick to Super Smash Bros. when I feel like reuniting with Fox."

US Gamer 3.5/5: "Personally, I'm about finished with Star Fox Zero, which feels strange to say after waiting a decade or more for a new game in the series, but is nevertheless hard to deny. I enjoyed Star Fox Zero - particularly the second half - but now that I'm done, I don't feel like it has a lot of staying power. It doesn't even have a competitive multiplayer mode to its name, which may have to do with how the lock-on mechanics interact with actual human players, or perhaps the fact that nobody played that mode in Star Fox 64. It's too bad, because I think Star Fox's dogfights could be pretty neat with a few extra maps, some more ships, and a larger number of players. In any case, it turns out that Star Fox Zero's biggest problem wasn't its motion controls after all. It has its moments; but in patterning itself so closely after Star Fox 64, it mostly serves to highlight its own shortcomings."

Giant Bomb 2/5: "All of this would have been welcome in the early 2000s, but the years of disappointing follow-ups and the overall progression of industry standards leads to Star Fox Zero having the impact of an HD rerelease rather than a full sequel. Being able to beat the game in 2-3 hours doesn't help, no matter how many branching paths or lackluster challenge missions are included. Even the moment-to-moment action doesn't have anywhere near the impact that it had almost two decades ago, as this limited style of gameplay feels dated in 2016. Nintendo finally released the Star Fox game that I thought I wanted, but it leaves me wondering what place Fox McCloud has in today’s gaming landscape."

EGM 7/10: "Star Fox Zero manages to capture the essence of the original Star Fox 64, and rides that nostalgia train hard. At the same time, it leaves a lot to be desired. I can’t help but feel that choosing to re-imagine an older game instead of creating a truly brand new one painted the developers into an unfriendly creative corner. Star Fox Zero is a solid game, but due to its lack of ingenuity and difficult controls, it continues the trend of one of Nintendo’s most beloved IPs just kind of middling about."

Polygon N/A: "In many ways, Star Fox Zero actually feels like a launch title for the Wii U console, full of half-fleshed-out ideas that don't quite stick. But the Wii U has been out for almost four years now, and I can't help but wonder what happened. This isn't a review of Star Fox Zero. Save for very rare, extreme circumstances, Polygon reviews require that a game be completed, or at least a good-faith effort be made to complete it. I am not playing any more Star Fox Zero."

Senior Editor

Ozzie has been playing video games since picking up his first NES controller at age 5. He has been into games ever since, only briefly stepping away during his college years. But he was pulled back in after spending years in QA circles for both THQ and Activision, mostly spending time helping to push forward the Guitar Hero series at its peak. Ozzie has become a big fan of platformers, puzzle games, shooters, and RPGs, just to name a few genres, but he’s also a huge sucker for anything with a good, compelling narrative behind it. Because what are video games if you can't enjoy a good story with a fresh Cherry Coke?

From The Chatty
Hello, Meet Lola