Screenshot of Star Fox 2 War in Space

What is Star Fox 2?

Star Fox 2 is the remastered edition of the game scheduled for international release in 1996 and cancelled for technical reasons. Developed and published by Nintendo, it continues the story of the Star Fox team fighting against Emperor Andross. The game brings new concepts to the standard gameplay and is played in a semi-real-time way. Many changes are also in regard to the visuals, with a 3-D game engine producing better animations and superior graphics.

Key facts about Star Fox 2

  • Star Fox 2 builds on the popularity of the game released more than two decades ago by Nintendo.
  • The game introduces land vehicle sequences which are the highlight of the revamped gameplay.
  • Star Fox 2 grants players more freedom in fighting opponents and the action is fast-paced.
  • 3-D space battles are more exciting and use the latest advancements of the three the game engine.
  • Star Fox 2 was criticized for being too short and occasionally plagued by poor performance.

Gameplay of Star Fox 2

Star Fox 2 gameplay bears many similarities to the game produced in 1996. That’s because prototype ROM images that were leaked back in the day were brought back in the spotlight. Lead programmer Dylan Cuthbert used some of them to produce the game released in September 2017. The game is a steep departure from the original in terms of linearity, granting players more freedom. They can navigate across the Lylat system, instead of following scripted paths towards the next mission.

Players are still supposed to clear various objectives, but they decide the order as well as the pace. Another thing that has changed in the new Star Fox 2 gameplay is the way the player’s ships make contact with opponents. In the new videogame players feel like they are in control because of the automatic switch to action perspective. The goal is still to defeat all the opponents and defend the planet Corneria from the relentless attacks of your enemies.

Enemies control a large and diverse fleet that includes small and large vessels as well as interplanetary ballistic missiles. Destroying battleships is more complicated and players need to carefully manage their own vessels. If they run out of ships or if the planet sustains high damage the game results in defeat. In addition to controlling ships and using them to defend the planet, they can also employ a satellite for defensive purposes. This can be hijacked by opponents and used against the players. Another thing that makes the Star Fox 2 gameplay special is that players frequently encounter bosses and mercenaries. During fights, time slows down, so players can take a hands-on approach and defend the planet.

Screenshot of Star Fox 2 The Squad

Plot of Star Fox 2

The plot of Star Fox 2 continues the story of the game released in the early 90s, with Andross as the arch enemy. His return to the Lylat system means that planet Corneria is once again in danger and the valiant Star Fox team must protect it. The new fleet of missiles and battleships threatening the planet can only be stopped by Gen. Pepper, Miyu and the new recruits. They fly aboard new and more powerful Arwings and tried to stop the invading fleet before it can cause irreversible damage.

Things turn from bad to worse when mercenary fighters appear, threatening the Star Fox team. They bring new weapons, more advanced ships and giant boss enemies that further complicate matters. Despite facing all these adversity, the Star Fox team rises to the occasion. The game will pit players against increasingly powerful enemies, so there’s a sense of progression. Throughout the single player, they can unlock new ships, more effective weapons and plenty of gadgets that make them deadly on the battlefield.

In the final stages of the campaign, they need to deal with Andross himself and his closest allies. This means that despite fighting similar opponents all the time the game never gets too repetitive or boring. Compared to its predecessor, Star Fox 2 features a total of six playable characters, a significant increase from previous games. Fox McCloud and Falco Lombardi are two of the leading characters and they are also aided by Peppy Hare and Slippy Toad. Fay and Miyu are also a part of the team.

Screenshot of Star Fox 2 Barrel Roll

Development of Star Fox 2

Star Fox 2 development took significantly longer than even the most pessimistic fans would expect. That’s because since 1996 very little progress was made and the game was largely abandoned for two decades. The team working on the new release decided to introduce new characters, while trying to capture the very essence of the original. The immediate release of Nintendo 64 was the main reason for why the game was abandoned in 1996 but many of the core concepts have endured.

In 2017 developers were able to use the latest technologies to produce a better looking 3-D game. In order to avoid the kind of comparisons with PlayStation that wouldn’t benefit their console, Nintendo came up with an original title. Very few of the people who have played the game in the early 90s bought and played the new release. For those who still remember the original, the new title is very similar.

Where can I download Star Fox 2?

Star Fox 2 can be downloaded from the Nintendo official website where all the games developed and published by the company can also be found. It can be very difficult to get your hands on the original game produced in the early 90s. However, players who want to see how the franchise evolved can consider themselves lucky. That’s because Star Fox Zero can still be found and played on their console, effectively helping players get a better sense of what the franchise is all about.

Nintendo has been on a releasing spree in recent years and came up with some truly exciting games. In 2017, The Legend of Zelda Breath of the Wild was their best selling game. While they regarded as one of the best video games of 2017 it was much appreciated by both critics and players. Other games that can be played here follow the adventures of Super Mario Run, Donkey Kong and there are also some Pokémon titles. Fans of the latter should also consider playing the major hit of 2016, Pokémon Go.

Screenshot of Star Fox 2 Payback

What are others saying about Star Fox 2?

Star Fox 2 had the advantage of being released many years after the previous game. This gave developers enough time to think about how the sequel will look and also use the latest technologies. The downside is that many fans are no longer playing video games more than two decades later. Even so, there were plenty of people looking forward to its release and they were largely satisfied with the result.

Star Fox 2 reviews are positive and people were generally happy with how the developers managed to capture the essence of the franchise. The visual improvements and the changes made to the gameplay were mostly for the better. Players were happy with how the new characters were integrated into the team and praised the experience as entertaining. Most of the complaints were in regard to the manner in which ships are controlled and how the game response.

My Rating of Star Fox 2

I was lucky to be old enough in the early 90s to play and still remember Star Fox. It was a fun experience especially for those times and I was looking forward to play the sequel. At the same time, when news broke out about the release of Star Fox 2 I wasn’t exactly enthusiastic simply because so much time has already passed. Having played Star Fox Zero, I can say that the new game is pretty much the same and definitely not good enough to develop a cult following.

Star Fox 2 is a video game that doesn’t take itself too seriously, but it can be seriously entertaining. Just don’t set your expectations too high and try to focus on the positives if you want to have a great experience. Personally, this it is a window into the past and an excellent way of remembering how games used to be. The new maps, characters and ships give it just enough depth to keep the game fresh without straying too far from the original concepts. With these things in mind I rate it 8/10.