Star Fox 2 – Review (SNES Classic)

Was it worth the wait? We'll let you know.

Nostalgia can be almost like a drug… we can’t get enough of it. Anytime a piece of our past is released we line up in droves and hope we can get our hands on it. Generally speaking, we do this in order to replay things from our childhood in a shiny new package, but every now and then something special comes along and changes everything. With the release of the SNES Classic we not only get to replay 20 of our favorite SNES games, we also get to experience Star Fox 2 for the very first time.

Was the game worth the wait? That’s a tough question to answer with a simple yes or no. It’s easy to see why Nintendo decided to hold off on releasing the game in 1996 as originally planned. With the shiny new N64 on their hands as well as their newly minted rival Sony releasing their first console, Star Fox 2 just wasn’t good enough at the time. In a crowded 2017 it can be a little more welcome as “the game that never was” instead of a second rate experience at the time.

The game is a huge departure from the original Star Fox. Instead of taking a squad to the surface of a planet and working together to take down all the enemies, the sequel takes us to space. While you have backup, the banter isn’t there like it was in the first game so you really have a sense of being alone in space. General Andross is at again. After his defeat in the first game he wages an all out attack against Corneria. With the original cast of characters and two new additions (Miyu and Fay) the Star Fox team sets out to once again save the galaxy.

With an overworld map at your disposal you can choose what you do at any given moment. With missiles being hurled at the planet you must destroy the planets shooting said missiles while keeping an eye out for their deployment so that you can attempt to intercept them before they land on Corneria. If Corneria receives 100% damage then it’s game over. You can never let those missiles out of your site. A new addition to Star Fox 2 comes in the way of ground battles. You infiltrate planets and carriers and can transform your ship into a walking mech that can destroy the carriers from the inside out. No matter how you choose to complete these missions they all lead to an eventual dual with Andross himself.

The controls are  one of the games weaknesses, they don’t feel great. You’ll find that most ships you shoot down will feel like a lucky shot rather than a precise calculated one which you knew would knock the foe from the sky. And it only gets worse. The mech like structures can really only go backwards and forwards and not side to side which leads you to switching between walking and flying more often than you would like. The entire game can be completed in about 30 minutes so they janky controls aren’t enough of a reason to pass on the game altogether.

Recommendation: If you already own or plan on buying a SNES classic then definitely play through Star Fox 2, it’s a great piece of gaming history and should not be missed. However, if your sole reason for buying the SNES Classic is to play Star Fox 2, there are better ways to spend $80. It was definitely an unexpected move by Nintendo to include this game on their mini system, but it was the right move. Not worth the price of a standalone game, they’ve given us a nice treat as a bonus in a package we were already going to buy. We just wish it was unlocked when you plug in the system instead of having to beat the first level of Star Fox in order to unlock the game.

Author: Phil Neyman

Philip is better at buying video games than he is at playing them. He was once told “it must suck to love something so much and be so terrible at it.” As a boy he would write terrible poems about himself and Ross Perot. He enjoys the best and worst of all forms of media, but nothing in the middle. Puyo Puyo Tetris has almost caused unreconcilable differences between him and his wife. He’s never had a hangover, but not from lack of trying.

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