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StarFox Command
From: Nintendo
For: Nintendo DS
Genre: Adventure, Combat, Flying
ESRB Rating: Everyone (10+)
StarFox Command
Nintendo's righteously popular StarFox franchise makes its debut on NintendoDS as StarFox Command.
Posted September 05, 2006
Nintendo's righteously popular StarFox franchise makes its debut on NintendoDS as StarFox Command.

You wouldn't think the flashy aerial combat gameplay that made Fox McCloud a staple of Nintendo consoles could work in handheld form, what with the limited button array on the DS and all, but you have to remember that Nintendo's been on a winning streak in the innovation department, and that streak continues.

A great looking game out of the gate, controlling Fox McCloud's spiffy little Arwing fighter craft is handled mainly by scrawling on the DS' lower touch-sensitive screen (instead of using a thumbstick emulating a yoke, as is the norm). The lower screen also provides a map of the action, which you only look at occasionally, on the fly. Otherwise it works much like a mouse might, doodling gently to control direction, a quick scribble to activate a barrel roll (which also sucks up free-floating power-ups and supplies), double tapping for a turbo boost, dragging and dropping smart bombs to select locations on the map, or touching easy access icons to pull off an insta-loop or u-turn. Every other button on the DS, meanwhile, is used to fire; holding any one of them down for a moment activates an auto lock on target. As such, it's playable for lefties and righties both.

In between each dogfight level, there's also a simple but effective real-time strategy (RTS) element where you plot an intercept course to the next batch of baddies, move a bit, then it's their turn to plot a move. It's only a few seconds of distraction; a nice little interlude between levels.

Otherwise, it's not much more than a straight up aerial combat game; the so-called story you play through is hopelessly hokey, complete with an unrequited love story or two and a vengeance-is-mine kicker.

Still, playing StarFox Command is surprisingly intuitive yet totally novel while the action, is, as always, lots of fun.

  • TIP: Though the characters speak gibberish (with English subtitles) in StarFox Command, you can also record your own voice though a vocal questionnaire (what’s your favorite color, etc.) with your answers converted to a custom gibberish. Try answering the questions with, uh, "colorful" words for pretty funny results.

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Bang for your buck:
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Great Pre-played 
Excellent Bargain-bin Buy 

Score:  4  (out of 5)