Planet Descent

Community => Mess Hall => Topic started by: D2Disciple on June 28, 2017, 07:43:39 AM

Title: Previously unreleased Star Fox 2 on upcoming SNES Classic
Post by: D2Disciple on June 28, 2017, 07:43:39 AM
Here's one for you space combat fans  ;) But first, a brief history:

Some of us probably fondly remember Star Fox 64 for the Nintendo 64, which was, mostly, a rail shooter (the gold standard of rail shooters, even). Of course, it was preceded by Star Fox for the SNES, which was pretty primitive, but impressive, considering the 16-bit hardware utilizing an on-cartridge 3D acceleration chip to produced full polygonal objects.

But did you know there was a never-released sequel that took a much more advanced approach to 3D combat? Star Fox 2 was 100% completed and ready for retail in 1995 but was relegated to vaporware when Nintendo decided it would look backwards and primitive releasing another 3D SNES game when the Saturn and PlayStation were showing off much smoother, textured, and more complex polygons. The 64 was, of course, was also in development, and so Nintendo borrowed some ideas from Star Fox 2 for the 64 release.

But Star Fox 2 took a much different direction than the original or it's N64 sequel. It was based on the new Super FX 2 chip (used for the dramatic and colorful 2D effects in Yoshi's Island), lending to much more complex graphics and gameplay. Instead of being a rail shooter, Star Fox 2 is somewhat of a real-time action-strategy-air-and-land combat game, where you plot an attack on Venom by capturing key bases along the way while stopping attacks at home on Corneria. Dogfights in space are in full 3D, much like a space sim, and missions on land usually take place in a combination of open-air arenas and in underground bases. The Arwing can transform between flight and walker modes, and frequently you have to destroy targets and solve puzzles on land before making like Lando in Return of the Jedi and flying through tight corridors to the center before going into walker mode and taking down the core and blowing the place sky high.

It's impressive what the SNES was doing when you consider this is around the same time Descent landed on PCs, which were several orders of magnitude more powerful than the SNES at the time. Unfortunately, Nintendo being Nintendo has kept the game under lock and key, although a couple of betas (one very early, and another nearer to release) have been discovered and leaked online - it's entirely possible members of the dev team were behind the leaks just to show the world what they were working on. However, the lead developer has stated that a final game does exist (and plays significantly better than the leaked versions online) and that he was allowed to play it in it's ready-for-retail form as inspiration for helping co-develop Star Fox Command for the 3DS. He expressed doubt that it would ever see the light of day due to an uphill legal battle with Argonaut games, who helped develop both Star Fox games for the SNES.

Amazingly, the finished version, after 22 years, is being released on the miniature console for the first time - making Duke Nukem Forever look like a short wait in comparison. I, for one, have signed up *everywhere* to be notified when pre-orders go up so I can get my name stamped on a shipment the moment they hit wearhouse shelves. For those that are interested, it's 80 bucks, carries 20 top-shelf games besides the unreleased Star Fox 2, and comes with two SNES controllers.