E3 2014: Nintendo Wii U Star Fox Hands-On and Miyamoto Q&A

Do a barrel roll!

The surprise Star Fox announcement may have been accidentally leaked ahead of the Nintendo Direct today, but we also had hands-on time with the game at an event just before E3. Nintendo's Shigeru Miyamoto gave attendees a chance to try out the upcoming Star Fox and ask questions about the game.

The focus of the demo was primarily on gameplay and how the GamePad can be used to improve on the previous games' flight mechanics. Graphically, it was very early and didn't show anywhere near the level of polish or depth of something like The Legend of Zelda Wii U footage earlier today, but Miyamoto explained, "The game started off as an experiment, and what we're showing you here is still fairly early on. But the game has already moved into full development, and we're planning on completing the game within a year. The way that I design games, I start by experimenting with a lot of different assets and play styles. And then, once we have all that laid out and understood, then we go into full development and begin building the graphics around them."

To complete the game within a year, though, is a significant undertaking, even for a company like Nintendo. To make sure it can get the job done, Nintendo may bring in an additional studio for support. Miyamoto said, "This is a game that we've developed internally up until now, but because we do want to bring this to market very soon, we are looking at some potential partner companies that we can team up with." However, Miyamoto also assured fans that he "will be directly in charge of the project," regardless of what other studio Nintendo partners with.

"Originally we weren't targeting E3 as the announcement time for Star Fox, but in developing it, we really came to like it," he added. "And I also wanted to motivate ourselves to complete the game as quickly as possible. So we decided to bring the game to E3 and announce it to give us that motivation."

How Does It Play?

The game uses both the GamePad and your television in slightly different ways, and even after just a short time with the game, both feel absolutely essential. The GamePad gives you a cockpit view, allowing you to aim and look around independent from your ship's movement. The TV screen gives you a view more like a traditional Star Fox game. You can take out enemies, just not with the same level of precision as using the GamePad. Meanwhile, you need the TV screen to get a larger look at the full battlefield and keep track of your fighter when taking evasive maneuvers.

Since the game is early, finding and tracking enemies can be a little difficult, but piloting feels great. You have a level of aiming precision that feels comparable to the VR flight sim EVE Valkyrie. In a dogfight against Wolf, at least when I was able to track him down, the flight controls offered quick turns and the ability to easily maneuver around the game's battlefield. And the conversations from your ever-present flight companions, Slippy, Falco, and Peppy, from your GamePad speaker pull you even further into the game.

While the demo section focused on an enclosed battle arena, Miyamoto said the final game would include many different game modes. "The game will have styles of missions that we call 'valley mode,' where you're flying forward through a straight, narrow valley area. Before, in the N64 levels, when we had these valley modes, it was difficult to play because the aiming was synched to the movement of the ship. So as you tried to aim, the ship was flying around within the valley. Now what we're able to do with the Wii U GamePad is, because the ship can move independent of your aiming, it makes it much more interesting and much more fun to play these valley modes."

Beyond the Arwing

The Landmaster tank made a return in the demo, offering a ground-based combat option with similar GamePad-based aiming. But Miyamoto also introduced a new helicopter vehicle as well. The slower-moving transport seems made more for missions that involve careful piloting and collecting items on different platforms. You can drop down a tethered robot to gather up collectibles and also open up fire on enemies.

Miyamoto is also thinking about how missions in the game will play out. "As far as the story goes, we're in an era where people have a limited amount of time and limited ability to play these long, story-based games, so there will be a story for the game, but you'll be able to choose the missions that you want to play."

Miyamoto is going to reveal more details about the game as they get closer to release. But demos of two minigame-like GamePad experiences on the E3 show floor, Giant Robot and Project Guard, may offer more clues as to what to expect.

We'll have more details on those games, and even more Nintendo E3 news, later today.

See more coverage of E3 2014 →

Justin Haywald on Google+
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justinhaywald

Justin Haywald

Senior Editor, Earthbound fan, and snazzy dresser.

E3 2014

E3 2014
162 comments
colbster
colbster

How are people going to play multiplayer if you need the gamepad? I look forward to some HD dogfights!

coolguyj30
coolguyj30

To all the WII U bashers and haters ..Do you have to come here and talk all this smack ?? Can't you let WII U fans enjoy something?? Or are you just that disappointed in your own Xbox or ps4, console..grow up and let others enjoy the WII U

coolguyj30
coolguyj30

It's gonna be a great year for the WII U with star Fox U and Zelda U !! And don't forget Xenoblade Chronicles X !!!!!! The WII U is going to kick some ass and show all the haters who's boss

digiangel234
digiangel234

Is there gonna be on-foot sections like in Assault? I enjoyed that game very much.

juboner
juboner

Anywhere I can see some video of this demonstration?

JoInfo
JoInfo

Nintendo makes great games. But people have got to start buying their products!!!

bejamshi
bejamshi

Ninetendo has no innovation, always rehashing old games

179107199999
179107199999

@bejamshi Every "rehash" as you say doesn't play like previous versions.There's always something new. Just like Final Fantasy used to be like ages ago. If you can't see that then maybe you're just blinded by games like Madden and Call of Duty which gives you the same thing every year but with very little changes. Oh and speaking of Rehashing Nintendo is the only company that really did try to change how people play games. Want proof? Dig out a Ps1 Dual shock analog and compare it to the 4th generation. Not much difference except the screen Even MS has a traditional controller however both tried to do what Nintendo did with motion controls and both failed.I don't get why so called gamers keep hating Nintendo when in fact they're the only company that actually tries to expand how we play.

179107199999
179107199999

@bejamshi have to add when the PS4 launched it didn't have many great games in the beginning. Neither did the X1. One of their highest selling games was CoD ghosts which plays remarkably similar to past CoD's except you got Riley and a female shooter.Not much else changed.

digiangel234
digiangel234

@bejamshi No innovation? I've seen countless articles and a myriad of complaints and reports from people and reviewers all over the world about how Nintendo's constant innovation is what's causing them to lose money.

Poncho_Hachacha
Poncho_Hachacha

Between this and the Zelda announcement, Nintendo is eally making me consider a Wii U.

jon3s115
jon3s115

This game sounds... odd. By the looks of it, it appears to be after 64. Making me think its a Star Fox 2 remake (since you can turn into the Landmaster whenever and the ability to choose missions, similar to Command and Star Fox 2). However there is an added Helicopter, making me think it's after Command's various disappointing endings(this vehicle wasn't in Adventures or Assault). I'm VERY big on stories and love to see when the next game takes place, though this one is rather confusing. Regardless, I'm happy that we are getting a Star Fox game after such a long wait. 

bunchanumbers
bunchanumbers

Star Fox and Zelda next year? Sounds like a good year for Wii U in 2015. 

ArabrockermanX
ArabrockermanX

Is there any video, I want to see how it plays(even if it is in very early stages)...

rarson
rarson

Sounds great.


I will be picking up a Wii U sometime this year, and probably a PS4 as well.

Foppe
Foppe

It's about time.

Helios_Sun
Helios_Sun

To the people that expect Metroid so soon, think about things for a second..IF Nintendo released all its Top selling Ip's at once, how is the console expected to live a long successful life span?, in other words it will happen just expect it at next years E3, if it isnt Metroid it will be F zero or a new Mario or Pokemon stadium. 

sonic_rareware8
sonic_rareware8

Yay, Star Fox is making a comeback on the Wii U, hope it's just as great as Star Fox 64 and Star Fox Adventures and hope Krystal appears in it! :D

svaubel
svaubel

Excellent. All the Smash news and a new Starfox was exactly what I wanted to see at E3

AyatollaofRnR
AyatollaofRnR

It's pretty early, but it's Miyamoto making a Star Fox game so it's in good hands.

danusty
danusty

the whole looking at the tablet and TV thing is going to F... me up! I hope this setting is optional and allows for a regular starfox game control

NiteX
NiteX

It's been far too long for a new Star Fox.  Nintendo dominated E3!

Zee1027
Zee1027

@NiteX Is it wrong I read your comment in Albert Wesker's voice from Resident Evil 5? "Humans have been destroying the world for FAARR too long"

Lykanthropie
Lykanthropie

only nintendo game i alwas hated, fits for WiiU, will sell the console soon, no interesert in any games then X for WiiU, NIntendo is dead - they seem unabe to make good games anymore.

ninboxstation
ninboxstation

@Lykanthropie 

there is truth in this...

Mario 3D World wasgreat, but not quite epical as hopped.. (it didn't hype as much as it should have and did not reach the magical 94% metascore or above..)

same with Mario Kart.., it's great but not epcial... (and it's metascore does not hype either..)

besides other games, that disapointed (Wii U Sports, Yoshi 3DS.. ect..)

those games prehapes needed one (or two??) more years of developement.., they were polished, but the "experiemting/planning" needed more and more content..

and now this statement with Star Fox being ready in 1 year, just after they have finshed the development phase??.. (feels as if, it will disapoint for sure.., even MS and Sony are learing to delay games, so they can flourish into epical games..., a fear for FC4, is that it will either be smaller than expected, or it''s using a very similar engine as FC3,  or it's from anther team...and that's why it's comming out so soon.)

ninboxstation
ninboxstation

they were polished, but the "experiemting/planning" needed more time to become deeper and needed more content..

danusty
danusty

@abHS4L88 @Lykanthropie your comment contradicts itself when you say nintendo is ONE of the best developers and so the rest of the industry must be sh*t if nintendo is unable to make good games. when you say ONE, as a single unit nintendo could be sh*t while the rest of the "best" developers might actually be excellent and not sh*t like nintendo.

danusty
danusty

@chipwithdip @danusty @abHS4L88 "Unless the others that are around Nintendo's caliber are actually WAY ahead of them (which they aren't), then yes" you forgot to write: "In my opinion"

chipwithdip
chipwithdip

@danusty @abHS4L88 Unless the others that are around Nintendo's caliber are actually WAY ahead of them (which they aren't), then yes, saying Naughty Dog or Nintendo or others on their level are bad is saying EVERYONE'S just as bad or crap in comparison.

abHS4L88
abHS4L88

@danusty

My comment suggests that Nintendo stands as one of the best in the industry, so by comparison, if they cannot make good games anymore, then the most of the industry is just as incapable. 

abHS4L88
abHS4L88

@Lykanthropie

If they're unable to make good games then the rest of the industry must be sh*t then since Nintendo still stands as one of the best developers in the industry. 


Sure it's your opinion, but it doesn't mean Nintendo's dead, dead to you but not to the industry.

akiratasoeur
akiratasoeur

The original Star Wars was a masterpiece.  It's probably due to the fact that it was limited by the hardware.

Miyamoto's experiments should remain experiments until they are genuinely needed to be integrated in a game.

This random approach in playing around and making a game out of it is very unprofessional.  What about the environment, the immersion, the music, the atmosphere and the story?  All of this is coming second to a controller protoype?  I've been disappointed by Nintendo since the N64 and I'm beginning to understand why.


Miyamoto, you did good but it's time you retire and give a chance to more creative people.  Look at Mario Galaxy, you're not the only one who can make games.

ninboxstation
ninboxstation

@akiratasoeur 

can not argue there..."The original Star Wars was a masterpiece"... (lol...)

the N64 SF, when exploring for more routes and getting the "secrets" (and hard route),  was imo also epical back then...

(only if you rushed through it, you could get disapointed, because it felt short...)

akiratasoeur
akiratasoeur

@ninboxstation

I agree Starfox 64 was a lot of fun and I've completed it at 100%.  It just lacked the immersion that the original had, not to mention the orchestrated music.  There's something about old school games' graphics that let the gamer's imagination complete the imagery.  Starfox's simple graphics let the gamer imagine the world, It's a similar experience to reading a book.  I find it odd that REZ feels more like a Starfox sequel than all the new Starfox games released after the original. Today's games are "in your face" and that is keeping a distance from the player.


One of the games that I loved was Another World because of the minimalist approach.  This is one of the best forms of art.


ninboxstation
ninboxstation

@akiratasoeur 

back then, I really liked Star Fox's grafix.. (it actually felt epical back then...), really had a cool feeling to it..... (even the boss's...)

but some OSTs could have been better.. (still liked it's OST..)


but I agree, there's something about old school games' graphix that made you use youre imagination (also some of the NES games and backgrounds...  or older games)


but I dont mind epical grafix at all today...

BradBurns
BradBurns

@chev93489 @akiratasoeur Is he a tr0ll or does he just have strange tastes in games?

Anyway, I didn't know that Mario Galaxy wasn't directed by Miyamoto, I sort of assumed he did. And many people do consider that to be the best in the 3D Mario series.

With that said, Miyamoto has always had that approach to creating games. He's pretty open about it. That's how they made The Skyward Sword, and all others of his games. I've always noticed that Nintendo's approach to creating games is to play around with mechanics and then build a game out of it, Yuiji Naka (and the good ol' Sega's) was to think of a concept first and then try to realize as best you can. Both worked very well when done correctly.

redsiy
redsiy

I am totally ok with this. Just happy to see a new Star Fox game.

YouEnjoyMyFluff
YouEnjoyMyFluff

Sounds like this is a throw away game for Nintendo.  They know the name will make money alone

ninboxstation
ninboxstation

@YouEnjoyMyFluff 

yeah... wish they'd give the game more time, so it would find back to it's SNES/N64 glory.. (but make it a lot bigger.. and maybe more serious.....)

ninboxstation
ninboxstation

"But the game has already moved into full development and we're planning on completing the game within a year."

from "experiments", just moved to full development and it's supposed to be ready in 1 year??..... (its not build on the Wii and ported to the Wii U, right??...)

 

resp. does NOT sound like it will be very deep.. (gameplay wise nor lenght .... resp. not much "meet on the bones"....)

ArabrockermanX
ArabrockermanX

@ninboxstation  Do you people not watch how frequently Nintendo games get delayed? I'd be shocked if they released it on schedule just check Pikmin 3... 


Too many people running their damn mouth with out any facts to back them...

Pupchu
Pupchu

About time we heard more from Fox McCloud and company.

Dedatox
Dedatox

Isn't that star fox 64 on the screen?

jon3s115
jon3s115

@Dedatox yes, it is. Just remember the game just started development and that this is merely a demo to show of the new gameplay