Star Fox Zero has been seen as “a good opportunity to go back to the roots of Star Fox,” according to producer Shigeru Miyamoto. That is what inspired the decision to add ‘Zero’ to the name, with the Wii U exclusive introducing teleporters that will allow players to discover new routes through the map.
It is hoped that you will have chance to learn more about the Star Fox universe, but, more prominently, between Fox McCloud’s father, General Pepper and scheming villain Andross. But, while fans have hailed the return of the Star Fox team, it has also been a chance for Nintendo to welcome those that may not have sat behind an Arwing before.
“We recognise that there are probably going to be younger kids who are playing a Star Fox game for the first time with Star Fox Zero, and maybe this will be their first action game,”
Miyamoto shared with TIME. “So we feel we’ve designed the game in a way that it will be welcoming to those new users and help introduce them to this style of action genre.
“At the same time, we also feel the game is going to be a lot of fun for people to play in the living room with other people in the household. In particular with the cooperative mode, and also with the very simple shooting style of gameplay that’s in Star Fox Guard, we think it’ll be a great way to introduce people who maybe aren’t as good at this action style of gameplay to the fun of the Star Fox universe.”
But Miyamoto is adamant that Nintendo will not make a game easier purely to maintain the interest of newcomers, and that doing so won’t mean that the challenge that is posed to the player is enjoyable.
“One thing that I think is a misunderstanding, is that I’m not very supportive of simply making a game easy so that people who don’t play games can play the game themselves,” he explained. “Obviously part of the fun of taking on a challenge is that the challenge has to be a hurdle that you overcome. Simply lowering the hurdle doesn’t necessarily mean that the challenge will be fun. What’s fun is you mastering the skill and having that sense of accomplishment — of achieving something that’s difficult.
“So I think that action games like this have to have a certain level of difficulty to achieve that satisfaction. And particularly with Star Fox Zero, if you try to complete this game, I think you’re going to find it to be quite challenging. But it’s because of that, that we have things like Star Fox Guard and the cooperative mode in this game. What those do, is allow people who maybe can’t deal with that level of challenge or difficulty to easily be a part of the gameplay and enjoy this universe.”
He added, “And then beyond those modes, we have additional ones for people who like the game but find it too hard to get past certain levels. So for instance there’ll be a way for them to get an invincible Arwing, so that they can fly through and see the levels. But at the same time, we’re also preparing modes for Star Fox fans looking for an even harder challenge, such as a ship that does more damage, but which also takes more damage.”
Star Fox Zero will launch exclusively for Wii U in Japan on April 21st, and worldwide on April 22nd.