Although the debut of gameplay from The Legend of Zelda for Wii U overshadowed it, the announcement that Starfox would be arriving for the console sometime next year this past week at the Game Awards definitely got some people excited. So far, we've only seen very early footage of the game, with Shigeru Miyamoto messing around in an Arwing. However, the potential is there.
That said, there are some things that Nintendo will want to consider in order to make this game the best in the series. Here are some things we'd like to see when Fox McCloud and his crew take to the skies again…
Conversations Are Good, But To a Point
The banter between Fox and his co-pilots – Falco, Peppy and the clumsy Slippy – is always a good part of the game, but for the sequel, Nintendo may want to work a little bit on the script writing. Not to say that hearing Slippy complain about screwing up ("Whoa! Help me!") Isn't fun, but some of these comments – like the team over-emphasizing on what Fox's father meant to him – can probably be left out for the sequel.
When it comes to the writing, Nintendo should keep the personality of its characters in check, but try to avoid unnecessary banter that can be annoying over time. For instance, doing a barrel roll. Thanks, but we got that nailed down, Peppy.
For that matter, exploring the storyline further into the history of Fox's father would be a great backbone for this new game, with events that may finally answer what happened to him when he went up against Andross. Here's hoping the development team takes it into consideration.
Skip the On-Foot, But Bring Back (and Improve) the Vehicles
One of the weaker elements in StarFox: Assault for the GameCube is the on-foot segments. For some strange reason, we felt these bogged down the game unnecessarily, and had us wishing we were back in the Arwing. Nintendo should skip over these this time around, and stick to vehicle play.
That said, the Arwing shouldn't have all the fun. It'd be great to see the Landmaster back in action, just as it was in StarFox 64. This is a fun little vehicle, although there are some tweaks that could be made so it can control more smoothly. It'd be awesome to see some missions where you're dealing damage to foes both on the ground and in the air.
For that matter, the submarine stage in StarFox 64 is easily one of the best around, just because of the vehicle's capabilities and the barrage of torpedoes it fires. A few new underwater stages certainly wouldn't hurt in the new game, if only because we're able to wreck more renegade starfish and seashells. Who knew that they'd turn so evil…?
The Return of Star Wolf and Company
One of the greatest encounters in the StarFox universe is when the team runs across Star Wolf and his squad, a group of renegades that play by their own rules and try to take down the heroic McCloud and company at every turn. They need to come back in the new StarFox, not only as an additional story element, but also as a possible multiplayer team, so that players can "pick a side," as it were, and see who really rules the universe.
Plus, it wouldn't hurt to expand upon the personalities of these guys as well. Does Star Wolf have a reason behind his deep grudge for Fox? There's probably some good back-story online, but seeing it in the game would really be something.
Oh, yeah, before we forget – Andross needs to come back again. He's been destroyed before, sure, but seeing him in an all-new robot form – head, arms and all – would be a great finishing touch. Not to mention, it would be quite nostalgic for old-school players.
Multiplayer, and Customization
Finally, along with a single player campaign that would undoubtedly hit the spot, StarFox should also include multiplayer of some sort. The four-player combat in StarFox 64 worked very well for its time, so having both off-line split-screen options (ala Mario Kart 8) and online battles between Star Fox and Star Wolf squadrons would make grand use of the Nintendo Network.
In addition, Nintendo may also want to consider giving players the chance to design their own custom Arwings in the game. Throw in a few cool designs from the Mario universe, or, for good measure, a few Legend of Zelda designs. Of course, it never hurts to have the design of the classic 16-bit Arwing as well, plucked straight from the original StarFox.
With all of these components, Nintendo could easily create one of the best StarFox games in memory. Considering the roll the company's been on with its other franchises (including Mario Kart and Super Smash Bros.), it would certainly hit the spot.
StarFox will release on the Wii U in 2015.