This review of StarWing is utterly exclusive, and it's the definitive review. Yeah, right. Exclusive it may not be, but definitive it most certainly is. Probably. Anyway, have you noticed that if magazines can't grab themselves an 'exclusive' review of something, then the next best thing for them to say is 'definitive' - but C.A.C.G. isn't like that - no, we don't care if we don't have 'first look' at something because, erm, because, something... Right? (Look, will you just stop wittering on, and get on with the review - Impatient Reader)
Oh look, I am sorry.
Okay then - StarWing - it's a classic. No, really - it is. You see, the idea of the game is to control 'Fox McCloud' (whose picture - knocked-up utterly hopelessly by me in 5 minutes - you can see directly below), 'Peppy Hare', 'Slippy Toad' and 'Falco Lombardi'. All are elite pilots of the Arwing ships, and know how to shoot down an enemy or two.
Falco is next in position to Fox, but his flying skills are actually superior, and he is jealous of Fox's position.
My greatest achievement on StarWing is completing Level 3 (Hard) with 4 lives left (i.e. I didn't lose any), without using a continue, with all my team-mates' energy intact, and getting 213 on EVERY level, giving me a total score of 70000. Sorry, I just had to get it off my chest.
And - hey! - who can blame him? His anger is sometimes let off in the heat of battles, with comments like "Mind your own business, Fox" (when you've just saved his life) and "Watch it Fox!" In fact, in the training session, he just "Can't believe Pepper has to test us"! 99 times out of a hundred, he ends his sentences with 'Fox', and no-one's quite sure whether he means this respectfully, or sarcastically. Hmm. If a sequel ever appears (which, if we're being honest, most likely will), it's almost a cert. that Falco will be promoted to leader of the pack.
Next up is Slippy. Slippy can be a real pain at times (you ought to see him keep shooting the direction arrows on the very last level of the game), and often can't look after himself. He shows off a lot at times, too, but you do eventually end up forgiving him. Just. Oh yes, he quite frequently helps you out, which is kinda kind of him.
Peppy has a temperament somewhere in-between Slippy's and Falco's. He's not always too keen on asking you to help him out, but he does give credit where it's due. Apparently, he missed out on being leader because of his 'rather messy eating habits'. Look, I didn't make the plot up, okay?
Fox is a brilliant pilot (but wait a minute, you're controlling him, so it's up to you to decide how good he is), and his flying skills are second to none - this is why he has the best ship of the lot. It says here.
When all's said and done, he makes a worthy captain.
As already mentioned, the crew pilot a top range of ships called Arwing Fighters. These ships must cost quite an amount, because General Pepper (I'll tell you more about him in a minute) keeps reminding Fox to be careful with them. (Mind you, come to think of it, I've never known a bunch of pixels to be expensive.)
The planet Corneria was once very peaceful, but a scientist known as Andross kept trying dangerous experiments, and the council was ever so slightly concerned; so after many warnings, they threw him out of the planet. He vanished, and people quickly forgot about him. Some time later, he was back for revenge, and declared war on Corneria. He's built up his machinery and defence on Venom - the first planet in the Lylat system; so General Pepper has called upon the StarFox team - you know - Peppy and the rest of 'em - to destroy Andross.
General Pepper takes precautions though, and has even built his own training course.
The training course enables you to fly through rings, and practise your flying skills. The rings section involves guiding your ship through all of the, er, rings. Manoeuvring is a bit tricky at first, but you soon get used to it, and after comments from Pepper like "Ahhh, you are quite skillful [sic] Fox" and "I'm sorry I doubted you" (which means you've been through every ring), you get a little bored of it; so the next target is to 'follow the leader' (Falco, of course). Simply follow the wire-frame ship and everything should be rosy. Fail, and you get a "Keep in formation, Fox" comment from Mr. P. Hare. Fail miserably and Falco sneers "What's wrong with you today, Fox?" sarcastically at you.
Succeed, and li'l Slippy the Toad shouts "Yer g-g-great Fox! Ribbit!" After some time, you'll be perfect, but you'll still come back to the training session time after time.
The training course also comprises of cones which you can shoot at. I've tried to 'keep 'em up' for as long as possible, but failed to get them all up in the air simultaneously. Does anyone know if there are any comments from the crew if you manage to do something with the cones? If so, write in and tell me.
Once you think you're good enough to take on the actual game, you're presented with a course map (well, after you've tinkered around with the different control methods available, that is). There are three routes altogether - Levels 1, 2 and 3, being Easy, Medium and Hard respectively. Each level comprises of around three-five areas (including Venom, and, of course, Corneria).
Let's take a brief look at some of the areas on offer...
Area 1: Corneria:
The start-off level is quite easy (of course),
but includes loads of enemy machinery for you to dust (oh yes, there's even a different skyline colour on Hard).
To kill the boss, just shoot away at its flashing red things. (I'll leave you to work it out for yourself what to do on the Level 3 (Hard) Boss.)
The Asteroid Belts:
Loads of asteroids (predictably), but you can only shoot the gold ones. More enemies, and loads of 'blobs' on the Hard Asteroid Belt.
The Space Armada:
This area can go a touch jerky at times, but it does feature large ships and enemies, so you can (almost) understand. You can even go through a tunnel carrier, which provides a shield or extra bomb.
The boss is easy when you know how - simply destroy the 3 conductors, and then the main thing. (Actually, there's a slightly harder version of this later on in the game.)
Sectors X and Z:
These sections are tricky to say the least - it's hard enough avoiding the obstacles, but the game gives you little chance to react - the screen can go painfully jerky at times, and I think the programmers were being a bit too ambitious. Apart from this flaw though, these areas are quite fun - it's more avoiding than shooting, and I was actually swaying my head and on the edge of my seat when going past some rotating things - so yes, it is quite realistic. (It'd be a lot more so if it was smoother, though.)
Titania, Fortuna and MacBeth:
All three are planets, and all three are actually quite good. Titania is icy (you have to get a weather control unit to turn things back to normal) and features a really great boss - "Bye! Bye!" - I love it!
Fortuna is all green and watery, and features one of the most stupid looking bosses ever seen; while MacBeth is fiery, quite hard and 'has' a rather average boss.