Setup & Timing
Navigating through Star Fox Command is a snap, as new and first-time players have been taken into consideration. "Download Play" is right on the main menu. Download time is longer than a lot of other games, but Star Fox Command is in full 3D (in other words, there's more content to download). On the downside, a long opening credit sequence can't be skipped.
Menus & Navigation
The menus consist of large option bars that, when combined, take up pretty much the entire lower screen (no buffer space is needed because the option bars are SO LARGE).
Ease Of Use / Play Control
As with most games that involve some sort of action (the good ones, anyhow), there's a learning curve. You start out with the basics and add in the more complex strategies and maneuvers. Players can play right off the bat, but play much better with experience. Control options are available to the host and the guests. While the controls are very responsive, a player's Arwing fighter may not react as fast as they'd expect it to, especially the first time they play the game. This cures beginner's luck (did it need curing?), but everything will be gotten used to by the second game. Keep in mind: it's not a major issue and, in fact, more acurately reflects real flying. It just needs to be remembered the first time the game is played. Also, while there are short cut buttons for the U-turn and the loop maneuvers, there are none for barrel rolls, speed boosts, or braking. The touch screen activators for these maneuvers work fine, but there's nothing on-screen for guests that are otherwise unfamiliar with the game to indicate how to do them.
The look of Star Fox Command is an impressive 3D design, both in the foreground and the backgrounds (one of which is randomly selected each play-through). The various backgrounds can even effect gameplay and strategy. Some dogfights by the ground require pilots to avoid hitting the ground/buildings, while battles in a vast starscape afford more maneuverability. The sound adds to the game by setting with mood of the air-based battle. There are two different options (sheilds and control type), but other options could have been added (time limit selection, frequency of upgrades, etc.) and were left out.
There are a number of games with impressive, engaging multiplayer deathmatch modes (head-to-head combat). Some of them pan out, and some don't. Star Fox Command is one of those games where the whole experience works out nicely. The Single-Card Download multiplayer experience connects directly to the game and it's theme. It encorporates aspects of the main single-player game (namely, the flight) and sets up a standard for prospective buyers to know what to expect. The game is fun and there are no programming glitches. The programmers really did nothing wrong whatsoever. Why not a perfect score, then? Well, there are things that could have been done differently or added in that could help the experience. Some special maneuvers have shortcut buttons while guests may not even know that others exist, since there's no indication. Certain options could have been offered like selecting the time limit or air speed. As the score does indicate, however, the good far outweighs the bad. Anyone with any interest in non-puzzle games will be able to at least appreciate Star Fox Command's Single-Card Download multiplayer, if not downright enjoy it. I know I'll be playing this one again (as well as bringing it to some of the upcoming live events). Finally, just because I can... "Do a Barrel Roll!!!"
Make the opening credit sequence skippable.
Offer varying air speeds (that are the same for all players).
Include short cut buttons for barrel rolls, speed boosts, and braking (as an option for guests).
Allow players to select a time limit of their choice.
Permit players to decide whether they want the upgrades available in the battle or not (individually for each upgrade?).
Program a mode with no time limit, but with a goal of a certain number of stars (selectable).
Category Score: 12.5 / 15
Overall Single-Card Download Rating: 88 / 100 (a.k.a. 44/50)
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