The lights are on
Today Nintendo announced Fox McCloud is coming out
retirement for a new Wii U title. Along with that presentation Nintendo showed
off two other Wii U titles that appear to be related to Star Fox. One features
giant robots fighting via goofy game physics, while the other tests players
micromanagement skills as a security guard in a sci-fi base. Both heavily rely
on the unique touchscreen/analog control of the GamePad.
Project Giant Robot puts players in a series of small
challenges against other gigantic, skyscraper-sized robots. You can customize
the height, length, and general size of each body part. Want a huge head,
Popeye arms, and a chicken legs? Go for it, but you're probably going to fall
over and lose thanks to the game's physics-based gameplay. Imagine the
imbalanced hilarity of games like Sumo Tori combined with a bit more gameplay
nuance. Analog sticks control your arms, but moving the GamePad allows you to
move the robot's torso and throw your weight into a punch. The right movements
will knock down an enemy, while an overzealous blow might make you topple over.
Judged by itself, Project Giant Robot is fun, simple, and gets easy laughs
thanks to its silly robot-themed physical humor.
Project Guard is an original take on the tower defense
genre-style of game. Players arrange a series of security cameras in their
base, using the GamePad touchscreen to adjust placement and rotation. Once the
game begins, players must simultaneously watch all the cameras' video feeds,
keeping an eye out for attacking robots. Stopping incoming robots requires
selecting a nearby camera, aiming with the GamePad, and blasting a laser.
Stealth robots elude the radar and only show up on camera, while bird robots can
dismantle cameras altogether. These various robot types, along with increasing
attack frequency, make the game much harder. A friendly spotter or two is a fun
and useful addition.
These two titles tie into Star Fox in a roundabout way.
Firstly, Star Fox logos appear on the security cameras in Project Guard.
Secondly, Nintendo luminary Shigeru Miyamoto noted the similarities between the
robots in Project Guard and a helper bot in Star Fox. Miyamoto also stated Star
Fox would feature different mission types, and suggested that these projects
could be examples.
Evaluated by themselves, Project Guard and Project Giant
Robot are fun little diversions that remind me how unique a piece of hardware
the Wii U GamePad in. Judging these games as possible tie-ins with a full Star
Fox game is a different matter entirely. These quirky titles won't scratch the
itch trigger fingers of diehard Star Fox fans, but they may entertain those
interested in more unconventional, goofy games. Many questions still swarm
around these Project games and Star Fox.