Fun stages and impressive boss fights gave us lots of reasons to jump back in, but mastering Star Fox Zero's complex controls takes some time.
Star Fox Zero resurrects a classic Nintendo 64 plane and tank action game and reimagines it in a faster and more furious incarnation for the Wii U. The best levels capture the feeling of a wild rollercoaster, often showcasing addictive combat scenarios that incentivized me to get on the ride again and again. But, in order to build up my piloting skills, I had to adapt to a demanding and unintuitive control scheme that pushed my ability to focus on the TV and the GamePad to the limit.

This radically redesigned Star Fox pays homage to its vintage late ‘90s source material, but the results of the modernization are mixed. On one hand, this is a faster-paced space combat game running at a high frame rate (a “target” of 60) and it tries out some fun new level ideas. However, it takes the retro look a little too far in places, with a lot of plain-looking enemy ships and tall tanks made of simple geometry and dull textures that looks out of place in an otherwise-modern 2016 game. Yet even without elaborate graphics, the frame rate dips noticeably under the weight of large explosion effects in a couple of bigger combat arenas.

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