Star Fox Franchise ANALysis
Dan_Snake Feb 26th, 2020 152 Never
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- The Star Fox Franchise is one of Nintendo’s more obscure franchises. Unlike Mario or Zelda, Star Fox has remained mostly out of the public’s eyes and is relegated to a small group of dedicated fans. Shigeru Miyamoto once stated that he wanted Fox McCloud to become a household name. I’m here to find out why it’s not more popular and maybe give some suggestions on how it can be improved. From watching YouTube videos and reading comments, this is what I was able to figure out
- 1. The game, at its core, is a 3d rail shooter, similar to what you’d find in arcades. There are games like Star Fox Adventures that take a different approach to the gameplay but most of the games follow the rail guides. The thing about rail shooters is that they are not appealing to a modern gaming audience. If Shigeru Miyamoto wants this franchise to become a household name, he must allow the developers to add new elements that fit naturally and are very engaging, but this is easier said than done.
- 2. Nintendo treats it as a testing ground for gimmicks. Ever since the first game, it has been like this. Star Fox on the SNES made use of this chip created by the developers, Argonaut Games to play the game at a speed of greater than 3 FPS. It happened to show off what the Super FX for the SNES can do. Later, Star Fox 64 came with support for controller vibration and the N64 Rumble Pak was included with Star Fox 64 and was a major selling point for the game. With Star Fox Zero, Nintendo tried gimmicks again but this time, they decided to have two perspectives and have motion controls for it. Unlike Star Fox & Star Fox 64, Star Fox Zero did not do very well, selling only 0.43M copies and critics of the game were not fond of the fact that there were two screens, and the recticle on the TV screen is not accurate. This is not how to get a franchise into popularity. Something better would be to focus on making the gameplay as fun as possible, while not focusing too much on things like motion controls.
- 3. The fanbase isn’t united on what they want a new Star Fox game to have. Looking through some of the comments, it was revealed that one fan wanted the game to be on rails and only on rails; nothing else. Another fan wanted Nintendo to keep the on-rails sections but also add in some other gameplay, such as a partial open world, exploration, and other stuff like that. Unlike the other two problems, I have no solutions for this
- 4. Nintendo’s brutality when it comes to fan creations. It is true that Nintendo has every right to protect its IP under law, but we don’t live solely in a reality that is under the legal system. Shutting down of fan projects does have a negative effect on Nintendo. It discourages people from making content that could get people who are otherwise not interested in a certain thing interested in a certain thing. Case and point: A Fox in Space got several people into giving a shit about the Star Fox franchise (including me). Sega, when they weren’t able to get a critically acclaimed Sonic game, gave permission for Christian Whitehead to make a new Sonic game. Whitehead was a prominent member of the sonic fangame community and was influenced by ROM hacks as well as Sonic 3 & Sonic CD. The game was released to critical acclaim, with it being the best reviewed Sonic game in 15 years, and did very well on the Switch. If Nintendo wants this franchise to be more popular than it is, they will have to tone down their brutal policies when it comes to fan related stuff, as it can revive a dying franchise. They will risk losing the rights to that IP but what do they have to lose with Star Fox?
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