|Review by WhiteX|
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Star Fox Command is the first iteration of this franchise on the DS,
I comes in full 3d with both flight combat and strategic portions.
OK, since Mario Hoops we don´t have to be all worked up because a game is 3d so Star Fox Command uses a full 3d engine to display the combat sessions but most of the backgrounds, although fitting and diverse, are bland and empty, the various ships are nice and do not deviate from Star Fox design lines.
The enemies also comes in sheer diversity but they lack complexity, they are mostly different geometrical contraptions that fire the day lights out of you, very "Star Foxy" but also uninspired.
There are no FMV´s, the game story is shown through written text and character portraits speaking some mumbo jumbo that can be customized to use your own voice.
The strategic part looks taken out from some NES game, i mean, i understand that on that part there is no need for flashy graphics but that is a bit too much, we could have better backgrounds and avatars for that part, some animation for Great Fox´s missiles, some polish for crying out loud!
Music/sound effects 8
The sound effects are that same old, same old, nothing to report as both bad or good, just fitting, nice though are the different tunes for each pilot to reflect their personalities, the best one is the latin lover song they use for Panther, priceless.
Well, the game breaks down on two parts, strategy and combat, strategy comes first as you plan the flight of Fox and his allies through the battlefield, you use the stylus to drive them away from their mothership, the Great Fox, and into enemy territorry, into said battlefield they will encounter enemies that in this part are represented by a number of small red squares with a set of little yellow lines to show their speed, also you may find missiles and ground bases that triggers two minigames.
When your drawn flight path encouters an enemy it is time for combat, at this point you take the a fighter and you´re out to hunt "Core enemies" to retrieve some stars, you control your ship using the stylus as an analog control, while all buttons fire lasers, with onscreen icons for u-turn and loop, you may scratch the screen to barrel roll and deflect enemy attacks and drag bombs to the battlefield as well.
It is kinda hard at first and you may want to invert the axys so it feels more like a plane, once you get the hang of it, it comes naturally except on that damn missile minigame.
You also must be aware that the Lylat system must be on some fuel shortage because both your flight path and your combat time are governed by fuel, if you run out of time (fuel) while in combat you die, luckily you will find that deflecting enemy shots by barrel rolling gives you some extra fuel (time:D), if you fail to kill all your enemies within the number of turns you get each mission, they reach the Great Fox and it triggers an immediate Game Over
I said earlier that there are also Missiles and Ground bases, well on missiles, you fly through a set of beacons untill you find the missile and destroy it while keeping yourself following the beacons, it is a very frustrating but a mandatory minigame, you will see many game over screens because you failed to destroy the freaking missile while claimed the entire battlefield to you. The Ground base minigame comes after you got all the "cores" for that mission you fly through a set of beacons (yes, again) to destroy the "smart bomb immune base" with a barrel roll.
DS factor 10
Full touchscreen control, full 3d, voice recording, Wi-Fi, what more can you ask, it fully utilizes the DS.
Learning curve 6
You will have to learn the controls some two hours before tackling this one down.
Lasting appeal/game modes 7
It lasts because of a very cheap trick, the first and mandatory ending is the worst out of the nine ones available, you will revisit the game for more story branches and you will also be introduced to new pilots and some old ones too.
The game supports Wi-Fi as well, so there´s some fun to be had on the long run.
Star Fox Command is not a bad game, it is just not a classic either, it goes in the right direction when leaves Fox inside his ship for this one, the controls are fine once you get the hang of them, the game lacks some presentation flare but it is very solid as a flight combat for the DS, if you liked SF 64 or the original, buy it, if not, you may rent to see if it suits your tastes.