Can't let you do that Star Fox. Andross has ordered us to take you dow... Or wait, wrong game
Do you want Nintendo to make a new Star Fox game? Unfortunately, Nintendo won’t be making one anytime soon so the developer at MNKY made us a game significantly slimmer called EX-Zodiac. It captures the feel of the first Star Fox game, and it plays very much like one.
Pros and Cons
- Charming and quirky characters
- Incredibly fun gameplay that is also challenging
- Bonus levels that you can unlock if you defeat a certain enemies
- Fantastic 3D pixel-based graphics
- You lose your laser upgrade at the end of levels
- Some attacks are a little hard to avoid or impossible
The Sanzaru Star System is being overrun by an intergalactic terrorist organization called Zodiac. Kyuu does not like this, so she decides to fight them and free the galaxy from them and stop them from destroying some planets.
The story for EX-Zodiac is simple, it has nothing too complicated to follow and that is fine, its gameplay is where it truly shines.
EX-Zodiac is a rail shooter that will have you going through levels shooting down enemies from point A to point B. At the end of every level, you will be fighting a boss except for the last two levels currently in the game. They will make you go in all range mode, with an objective that you have to complete to finish the round.
You can also lock onto enemies for a more powerful shot that deals more damage, you can lock onto multiple different enemies, at least three total. Or you can send three powerful shots onto one enemy if you so wish. You can also find pickups throughout the levels as well, like more missiles, bombs, or a more powerful shot attack.
There are a total of eight levels currently with six bonus levels, there will be 12 levels in total in the final release. Each level has a certain theme and they are highly creative, you have an ice and fire level, a water-based one, etc. You can also find these microchips that will unlock a bonus level after you beat the main level, and they have their own bosses as well.
The gameplay can also get challenging at times, which is something I do enjoy as it brings back the classic feel of a Star Fox game.
With all that said, there are a few issues that I do have with the game that hold it back in some respects. The first thing is that you lose your laser upgrade at the end of each level. This upgrade is rare to get and is not available in every level. The game is challenging, which is fine but the fact that I lose my laser upgrade at the end of each level ruins the discovery of it. I like being rewarded for finding something that is rare, so I like keeping it.
The next issue I have is that there are some projectiles that are hard to avoid, especially if you go past some enemies. Just when I avoid an attack, I get hit and take damage, a good few hits will take you out, depending on the attack that was dealt to you. When you move past enemies, it’s completely impossible to avoid the attack because you don’t know when and where the enemy will do it.
Graphics and Performance
The 2.5D art style is exceptionally beautiful, I love how everything is designed to the locations in the game, ships, and the bosses, it has a personality to it. I tested the game on an NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1060 3GB, AMD Ryzen 5 1500X Quad-Core Processor 3.50, and 16 GB of RAM. I experienced no issues while I was playing, and the game can run on low-end PCs.
If you are someone who wants to satisfy that Star Fox itch, then I highly recommend EX-Zodiac. It has everything you could ask for. It is on the short side; you can beat the game in about an hour top, but more levels will be added in the future. Who knows what will be added in the future but what we got is well worth your time.