Kotaku.com said:I've had Star Fox Command now for about five days. For some reason I had totally forgotten about it until it showed up in my mailbox along with Star Fox branded mini-bags of peanuts and a barf bag.
I've been slowly playing through the single player mission and had a chance to have my ass handed to me by a mystery player who I suspect was a developer.
It's a pretty damn fun game, though I'm still undecided on whether the multiplayer dog fighting is going to be addictive like Mario Kart or more a flash in the pan.
The basic story line centers around a group of toxic-gas breathing aliens plotting to take over Fox McCloud's little corner of the universe. Team Star Fox, who have broken up, must band back together to help the Cornerian military save the Lylat system. Yeah, I don't really care about the plot either.
The one thing you do want to know is that the story line branches, allowing you to make decisions at key moments in the plot. Oddly, it looks like you have to play through the game to unlock the alternative options in the game. But, I suppose that makes the single-player mode worthy of at least one replay.
Single player game play is an interesting hybrid of real-time tactics, turn-based strategy and dog-fights.
The game is broken up into a series of planets. When you arrive on a planet you are presented with a map that shows your mothership, the Arwings of whatever pilots you happen to have and the enemy partially shrouded in a fog of war.
This particular fog of war is pretty neat. At the beginning of each level your give the power to swipe your stylus around in the fog to dissipate some of it. This is important because you have to track down enemy ships, protect your mothership and take down enemy bases in a set time limit.
After clearing some of the fog, you get to move trace routes for your available Arwings. Then the game takes over at automatically moves your units and enemy units.
If you run into any bad guys you go into dog fight mode.
During a dogfight you control your Arwing sort of like how you aim and look in Metroid Prime Hunters. You use your stylus on the bottom screen, which is also a giant radar, to control the Arwings speed and movement.
To fire you press any of the DS' buttons. Holding in the fire button can give you a lock which you use to fire a more powerful shot. You also can pick up fuel, bombs and better weapons during a fight.
Sliding the stylus around your screen, it feels like you have some pretty precise control. I still haven't quite mastered it yet though. Especially performing the handful of special moves.
By double tapping at the top of your screen you can boost for a limited time and by tapping at the bottom of the screen you can brake for a short period.
Drawing a circle causes your Arwing to go into fast barrel rolls, which also defect shots. There are also buttons on the sides of the screen that allow you to perform a u-turn, a 360 or drop a bomb anywhere on the screen, if you have them.
Overall I found the controls fairly intuitive, though I think there's a level of sophistication built in that requires some effort for mastery.
Once you defeat your enemies in a dog fight you jump back into the turn-based game until you run out of turns or destroy the enemy base.
The whole single player game appears to be built around this. I've only made it through two worlds, but I've already seen quite a bit of difference in enemy types and the bosses I've fought are interesting.
The multiplayer mode is fairly robust and likely will become the biggest draw for the game. Local wireless play supports up to six players. While WiFi play supports up to four players.
In WiFi battles you can choose to enter a Battle Royale where you're going up against three others and the results effect your ranking, or do a free fight where you choose the number of opponents and it doesn't effect your rank.
The play online seemed hitch free and the few times I managed to find someone there was no lag. Unfortunately, Nintendo continues to use their faulty Friend Code system, which I continue to loathe.
Star Fox Command is certain to be a hit, though I haven't played it nearly enough yet to figure out if I'm going to get sick of it or if it will become a mainstay in my DS Lite. Brian Crecente
This looks like a pretty good game. I'm thinking about getting it.