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Starfox Command DS REVIEW

So I've been playing Star Fox command for the past couple days and was actually pleasantly surprised. My favorite thing about the game has to be the difficulty (not in the flying and shooting, but in the strategy) and the multiple path type of gameplay. Let me elaborate. Each starfox mission usually encompasses either taking out a mothership, destroying a particular type of enemy, or shooting down a cruise missile. The controls are excellent for flying around and shooting down badguys, and I have only died a couple times in the heat of battle or failed the mission by running out of time. On the other hand, I have allowed enemy ships, and cruise missiles to destroy my flagship on many occasions. There's actually a lot of strategy involved in placing your ships and intercepting threats. At the same time you have to stay aggressive and go after the motherships to earn more turns (and thus leaving your flagship undefended). I actually found one of the first missions the hardest because while I was destroying every enemy I faced, the training mode does not describe any of the elements of the strategic map, so I lost a lot. You also start with only Fox McCloud and then meet up with your buddies. Luckily, flying around and moving my plane around was so much fun I just kept replaying it and eventually learned how it works. Basicaly, there's fog of war clouds that you can rub away with your stylus (only so many though) and then you draw paths for your plans to fly. Once you get into it the strategy elements are really cool, work well, and keep the difficulty of the game up. The graphics and actual missions are spot on StarFox 64 and give you little 3d arenas to fly around and shoot it out. In-game controls are excellent and each spaceship is actually a little different with weapons, lock-on abilities, etc. (I hate Slippy's ship! No Lock ON!). After the first mission you can choose which teammember to go after and the game splits into 3 paths and after every subsequent misison you have at least 2 different areas/missions to choose from. This gives the game excellent replay value! There is also online support and local multiplayer modes which are exactly like the old N64 free for alls. I've never been a very big StarFox fan, though I did really like the 1st one, but the depth the strategy elements have given the game make it totally my cup of tea.

Gameplay: 8/10
Pros: Controls are excellent and fluid, drawing paths and planning out attack patterns is a unique new feature, the old N64 dogfights return, different ships handle differently, EXCELLENT boss battles. Great Multiplayer dogfights.

Cons: The actual missions can get repetitive: destroy this enemy, chase missile, destroy mothership. Training missions don't adequately prepare you for new strategic elements. No true SNES on-rails missions.

Graphics: 8/10
Pros: Arwing ships all look different (there's even a tadpole type ship to play as), solid 3D engine that looks better than the original SNES starfox and almost as good as the N64 version.

Cons: Levels are small, and draw-distance could be farther. Some of the old N64 fog is used and actual terrain and levels aren't that varied.

Sound: 8/10
Pros: Sticks to the starfox theme music previously established. They also use this fun garbled voice when people talk (like the old SNES cart).
Cons: No spoken voice, which people may frown on.

Lasting Appeal: 9/10
Pros: Multiple paths in one player, many ways to enjoy multiplayer, decent difficulty without being frustrating, and a decent and engaging story.

Cons: Gameplay may not keep you coming back for the 3rd, or 4th time through the campaign mode. Missions can be repetitive.

Average: 82.5%
Tilt (+/-): +0.5%

Verdict: 83%

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