News Article

Star Fox on Wii U to Support Local Co-Op With GamePad Player as Gunner

Posted by Thomas Whitehead

Second screen detailed further

Star Fox for Wii U was one of the most peculiar reveals of E3 2014, in that it was leaked hours before Nintendo's Digital Event, teased but not shown by the company, and remained a behind-closed-doors demo away from the thousands in attendance on the main show floor. It was one of the biggest stories of the entire event yet, ultimately, one of its greatest mysteries.

With no video of the title, we've been reliant on details from interviews and a small number of hands-on accounts. Its approach of aiming being controlled with the GamePad's gyroscope and screen while conventional flight is controlled with sticks and shown on the TV may seem baffling, but Shigeru Miyamoto explained the concept further in an interview with Kotaku.

To me, what's most important is probably the gyro sensor in the GamePad. It's a little bit hard to understand, but when you're looking in that third-person view, you can see what's happening straight ahead of you, but when you have the cockpit view, you actually have to look over and see what's to either side.

The third-person view of the entire area, what it does, it gives you a broader view of what is happening around you, certainly more than you can see when you're in that cockpit view. And so as we get deeper into the missions of the game, we'll be able to use that to give people reasons to take advantage of that. So, for example, if they're in a course or a level they may need to figure out where the exit is, so they'll have to be flying around, looking up and around to find that.

Is there a danger that these controls — perhaps with some tentative similarities to Metroid Blast in Nintendo Land — could be overcomplicated for some gamers? Naturally Miyamoto-san has that in mind, as he's revealed that co-op will be supported in the title, allowing one player to focus on the gunner role with the GamePad while another flies the ship.

We're still developing the game... but one thing we always like to try to do is have some sort of way for people to play together, and the thing about these types of space shooter games is that they're fairly easy to get into but they can look somewhat intimidating and complicated, so this time what we're doing is we actually have a mode — we just didn't show it — we've designed it so there's the ability for cooperative play where one player is able to pilot the ship and the other player is able to use the GamePad and be the gunner. So they can just aim and shoot. They don't have to worry about flying.

How will the GamePad and its screen enhance play, meanwhile? Somewhat like Project Guard and Project Giant Robot, it'll serve to provide a more immersive and intimate experience.

If there's an event scene or cinema scene—because you've got your cockpit view that's reserved for you—the event could be playing out on the TV and you've got a different view of that. So we'll be able to take advantage of [you] being able to feel more like you're part of the event that's happening because of your ability to look around with that second screen.

It's the co-op aspect that's eye catching, particularly as it could be a fun way for less experienced players to enjoy the game with family and friends. Let us know what you think of the concept in the comments below.

Thanks to Ryan Millar for the tip.

[via kotaku.com]

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User Comments (75)

User1988

#4

User1988 said:

I think my girlfriend and I would be all over that co-op mode. I can see her wanting to be the gunner while I fly the ship :D

LazyShell

#5

LazyShell said:

I'm glad it has local co-op. Here's hoping that it will have online multiplayer as well. I like options. :)

DestinyMan

#7

DestinyMan said:

I like the two-screen cutscene concept. If there's a giant enemy robot on the ground controlled by a cocky ape taunting you, the robot might look a bit far off on the TV screen because you're high up, but on a first-person perspective in the Arwing, the robot might look a bit bigger.

Overall, this game sounds a lot like Metroid Blast from Nintendo Land, which is a good thing because that was my favorite game in Nintendo Land.

rjejr

#9

rjejr said:

But...

oh I'm sick of typing it, and I'm sure your'e all sick of reading it.

sinalefa

#12

sinalefa said:

@rjejr

Concerning your new obsession, if Giant Robot is for two players (and it should), that would be the perfect title for that.

But hey, you wanted Nintendo to release figurines to drain your wallet and you got that wish, so...

Yorumi

#13

Yorumi said:

It's a special kind of hell gunning a space shooter while someone else flies. It's so fun to aim when you have no idea where you'll be going next.

nilcam

#14

nilcam said:

YES!

My wife and I played tons of Double Dash because she loves gunning but not controlling vehicles. Day one purchase.

aaronsullivan

#15

aaronsullivan said:

Loving the sound of this. I feel odd asking for it, but I really want on-rails play of the originals, too. Maybe it will be free flying but have several "trench run" areas so you can still get that kind of play going.

Also, for the dogfighting I'd like to feel my ship's weight more than the previous games. I'd love to be in a "Guardian mode" in Star Fox and skid all over the ground with lots of inertia while shooting. :P I imagine the shooting in different directions while flying could really make the dogfighting more interesting, though.

This will certainly be one to watch and I'm really glad Shigeru Miyamoto is working on the core game play so hard first. The other Star Fox sequels after SF64 went in odd directions that weren't really that fun.

And now I just realized I'd love it we could play co-op with two players each on a GamePad in their own Arwings. You did this to me, @rjejr !

@Yorumi
Some people talk to each other when they play. It's part of the challenge and part of what makes co-op fun. :P

PvtOttobot

#16

PvtOttobot said:

I love how people always mention their wife/girlfriend when commenting on anything co-op related ;D

SavoirFaire

#17

SavoirFaire said:

I for one thought the control scheme detracted from kid Icarus uprising and held the game back. I am worried the same thing will happen here, but I am cautiously optimistic.

KLZ

#19

KLZ said:

I only played the samus's gunship in nintendo land a few times and it was kind of hard but once I got how it works it was so much fun.

Fun fact: metroid blast was originally going to be a star fox atraction in nintendo land but miyamoto thought it was kind of weird for the arwing to move that way so they changed it to metroid.

rjejr

#20

rjejr said:

@sinalefa - So I'm 2 for 2, or 1 for 2? I feel like 0 for 2 b/c I now realize I didn't want just toys, I wanted an actual game to go along w them. Pokepark 3, Subspace Emissary 2, Nintendo Land 2 (yeah I know I'm always trashing that game but they could do a sequel right). Something in depth and involved.

As for that giant robot game, I'm sure player 2 could use 2 Wiimotes to kind of sort of play it.

Gozar

#21

Gozar said:

I really like this idea. Although it may be off-putting to some, but I think it's a more unique take on a flight co-op. My wife read this news and was immediately hyped for the co-op. So I'm entirely game for this.

sinalefa

#23

sinalefa said:

@rjejr

I am happy since like I commented in the other article, Giant Robot proved to the world that Bill Trinen is actually a robot. So that is another thing you got right :)

rbmoura85

#24

rbmoura85 said:

It just ocurred to me that they revealed it so soon because they wanted some early feedback on these controls

WiiULoveSquid

#25

WiiULoveSquid said:

Can't wait for the "Why can't they just make it like....!?" comments to come out after reveal.

With a mega-franchise movie like Star Wars coming out next year, games like No Mans Sky will get some added space ship hype and probably do well. Star Fox needs to look just as stunning as they can make it to really have an impact if they are releasing next year. Disney will be releasing X-Wing toys and Miyamoto wants Arwing toys, so if it's all quality, it really could be great timing.

2Sang

#26

2Sang said:

Give me 10 because I will break at least 9 of them from my hands shaking so much.

ShigKirby

#27

ShigKirby said:

@SavoirFaire Not to blame you but that lack of acceptance in learning a control scheme that I found fine but was passable still for those who stuck with it, is why one of the best revivals of a series go underappreciated. A modern gem.

JaxonH

#28

JaxonH said:

@Haywired

Not sure how you came to the conclusion that this is 'clutching at straws' to use the gamepad...? But even if it WERE clutching at straws, it would only be because everyone has been complaining non-stop that not enough games use the gamepad. Can't have it both ways. Either people want the gamepad to be used more, or they don't. And Nintendo heard fans loud and clear to use the gamepad more. So here we are. I mean, this is what everyone here asked for and begged for.

But I don't personally see how anything is 'convoluted' here. Just because something doesn't use the bare bones controls of games past, doesn't mean its convoluted. Nor does it mean this won't play 'just fine' as well. Just because the Wii happened to be simple, doesn't mean the Wii U is supposed to be. If they wanted simple, they wouldn't have made a gamepad in the first place. It's SUPPOSED to have depth. It's SUPPOSED to offer us different ways of playing games. No one ever said the Wii U was supposed to have super simple control schemes. And besides, we're gamers. We don't like 'simple' anyways.

WhiteTrashGuy

#29

WhiteTrashGuy said:

After hearing that they spent 6 years trying to create a meaningful concept for Wii, I am sure that the final result will be amazingly entertaining. The cockpit via gamepad view sounds brilliant as does the 2 player. I said Nintendo needed to announce either ZELDA/METROID and STAR FOX/F-ZERO at E3 this year. At least one of each set. Mission Cleared.

SavoirFaire

#31

SavoirFaire said:

@ShigKirby don't get me wrong I think uprising is a great game, but I feel the controls make it a bit too hard to get into. It is of course a comment about my own personal experiences, but I haven't beat uprising mainly because the controls are too hard for me (big hands/small 3ds, or maybe lack of circle pad pro). I'd hate to see the controls be a turn off for the star fox game. I can play a day or two and hurting hands end up getting the best of me.

My worry is star fox u will end up the same: a solid game that is set back bc of wonky or tricky controls. As has already been pointed out in these comments, perhaps the hush hush of the title was Nintendo testing the waters of the controls at e3.

sinalefa

#32

sinalefa said:

@Haywired

That's exactly Miyamoto's point. If the game is too hard for you to fly and shoot at the same time, then have another person help you on co op.

I hope today's gamers can stand a learning curve. Scram Kitty has been one of the most refreshing games I have played in a long time, because it has one. Same for Yumi's Odd Odyssey and the Wonderful 101.

JaxonH

#33

JaxonH said:

@Haywired

I'm not interested in "attacking" you. Just pointing out the logical fallicies is all.

The thing is, you don't HAVE to look at the gamepad for the cockpit view. From what I've seen of it, you can still very much play the game as you always have, just don't look at the gamepad to aim! Just aim from the 3rd person perspective on the TV as you have in past games.

Me though, I'm definitely using the gamepad. This is the kind of stuff that makes great games even greater. This is why I loved ZombiU. It's why alot of people loved ZombiU. It adds to the experience by doing exactly what he stated in the explanation. That's what it adds. It allows you to aim more precisely through a cockpit view, that handles just like if you were actually piloting the plane.

Nareva

#36

Nareva said:

@nilcam I had the same thought. My wife loved manning the weapons in Double Dash. I thought it was a great way to play. This sounds like it'll be a hit for us for the same reason.

ledreppe

#37

ledreppe said:

Nintendo Life & Nintendo stop being obsessed with local co-op, you know everyone wants online. You never cater for the lone wolves, which is why I was so dissapointed in Star Foc 64 3D, they made excuses as to why they couldn't make that online, but at the end of the day they were just idiots for excluding it. I seriously would condsider passing this up with a lack of online. I've loved the StarFox series from the SNES days, but I haven't enjoyed it as much since. Please Nintendo, get this right, it may be my last Star Fox for a long time if I don't buy future systems.

Th3PlaidHatter

#39

Th3PlaidHatter said:

It only sounds complicated because it is different. For the same-old-same-old, yearly release dudebro games, please see the consoles brought to you by the numbers One and Four ;)

Jahir

#40

Jahir said:

@sinalefa I wish nowaday gamers weren't so close minded about different control schemes and/or about learning new ways to play. I loved the games you mentioned not just because they're fun but also because you have to learn how to play them, and once you do it, they're awesome (AND unique)

Ichiban

#44

Ichiban said:

I'd like it if once your Arwing is destroyed, instead of crashing & restarting at the last checkpoint, Fox ejects from his seat to off screen. Then instantly comes back from the top of the screen in a fresh Arwing ready to continue the fight. It would work well with newcomers who are struggling with a boss battle or whatnot, and look damn cool to boot.
But like Ive said earlier regarding Starfox......I'm watching you Miyamoto.....dont mess this up

rbmoura85

#45

rbmoura85 said:

@Haywired

yeah, but it doesnt hurt to go against his usual thing once in a while. Besides, he also said that it gets fun afterwards.

dabaumer

#49

dabaumer said:

@rjejr dude! We watched that the other night, found it randomly in a bin for cheap on blue ray....I loved it...I always did, but sometimes you realize how bad a movie was, but dude it was still awesome to me

MeloMan

#50

MeloMan said:

I'm just glad to hear about Star Fox again. If Miyamoto is directly involved, then I'm not worried. But the killer is the patience I'm required to have until more info comes.

Giygas_95

#51

Giygas_95 said:

Sounds somewhat like Apache Air Assault! My brother always piloted the chopper, and I was the gunner! I'm sure my brother will play this with me too!

dumedum

#53

dumedum said:

I want Nintendo to provide standard controls too with a game like this, for fun. But idiots then always say "see - no real reason for gamepad because its optional" - "but if it wasn't we'll complain too- why force it".

eltomo

#54

eltomo said:

It will be interesting to see the game pad on this one.

Perhaps holding the pad upside down will make the arwing fly upside down... It will be just like Top Gun!

But then if they did try something like that I can imagine a lot of broken pads from people attempting barrel rolls!

xevious

#55

xevious said:

This sounds fantastic. This is exactly the kind of use I would like to see for the Gamepad.

andreoni79

#56

andreoni79 said:

Thanks to the gamepad, we have basically two cloches (the analogue sticks), each one with two buttons (LB+ZL and RB+ZR), eight front buttons (cross on the left and A,B,X,Y on the right) and a huge space for extra buttons and levers (the touchscreen). Now give us a mech sim too!
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rGgxRsaGdcA

AJWolfTill

#57

AJWolfTill said:

If they push these innovative sounding control ideas over catering to nostalgia this could be really interesting. I'm not going to buy it if it takes an hour to complete though.

Goginho

#58

Goginho said:

I hoped for seperate co-op: two characters, two different ships, two different screens. But this sounds good. And the chance of full co-op still remains though.

DBPirate

#59

DBPirate said:

Glad they're finally revisiting the Star Fox franchise. It seems they are already trying to make it better.

Nintenjoe64

#61

Nintenjoe64 said:

I liked that Metroid Blast style of control, it would have to be tweaked for an Arwing but I think something like that is needed in Starfox. I hope they make the Wii U one as much of a cinematic hardware showcase as 64 was.

@rjejr
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Q8AzKq9xh3U
I am sure I had a terrible C64 or Spectrum cassette with a home made The Last Starfighter game back in the day!

KingofSaiyans

#63

KingofSaiyans said:

Sounds like the type of gameplay style that would have suited a Mario Kart Double Dash style for Wii U

kobashi100

#64

kobashi100 said:

Seriously if this doesn't offer traditional controls with the pro controller then there is not a chance I will buy it.

kobashi100

#65

kobashi100 said:

@ledreppe Nintendo live in this bubble where they think people still all gather around in one room and play local co-op together.

Maybe in Japan that still happens but not in the west. Friends play together Online!!

rjejr

#67

rjejr said:

@aaronsullivan - My sons friend just came over for a "play date" and he has an original DS phat w/ him, first time I ever saw one up close. Not saying the Gamepad is as hideous as that - my kids started w/ DSi before getting 3DS - but Nintendo is certainly capable of improving their hardware so a lighter Gamepad would be nice improvement.

DESS-M-8

#68

DESS-M-8 said:

This control scheme is EXACTLY what I hoped would be developed for star Fox and what this type of game is perfect for

3MonthBeef

#69

3MonthBeef said:

If the concept is anything like Steel Diver then it should be all good. I routinely use the 3DS gyroscope to survey the area. I only wonder how it will work in a frenetic pace like StarFox?

However, considering how my arms would get tired after a while I think Nintendo would be better off making a VR headset.

Action51

#70

Action51 said:

I love the people who jump to conclusions based on not paying attention to details.

This local co-op gunner mode does NOT rule out online multiplayer.

However, the nature of this title makes it seem more and more that an online multiplayer might just not work, unless it added special multiplayer missions or a simple "dogfight" arena mode.

ThreadShadow

#71

ThreadShadow said:

Yes, co-op sounds great. I hope 2 arwing co-op will be included too. One player using the TV the other the Gamepad.

ShigKirby

#72

ShigKirby said:

@SavoirFaire I suppose having the 3DS XL helps and I usually pick up control schemes very quickly. Took a couple of hours but after 50+ hours playing, they become second nature to me. It can strain your hands so taking short breaks is adviced. Seriously though, the XL helps tremendously. I remember first setting down in the burning town and not being able to control the camera while moving. I couldn't aim and kept doing the sliding dodge instead of running normally, but as the intensity and need to explore the environment opened up, so did my understanding and bearings on the controls. Don't get me started on the first time I had to control that motorcycle in the Labyrinth. :D

Turbo857

#73

Turbo857 said:

@Goginho

Same here. I've been hoping for a 2-4 player co op campaign in Star Fox for a long time. Since the Wii U can support 2 Gamepads and 3DS connectivity, a 2-player co-op with 2-arwings/2 screens for each player isn't out of the question. But the 1 arwing for one pilot and one shooter is intriguing and a step in the right direction imo.

Turbo857

#74

Turbo857 said:

@kobashi100

Not everyone I'm afraid. I play co-op locally and online rather frequently and local wins hands down every time. But I believe all/most multiplayer games should strive to appease both crowds.

Turbo857

#75

Turbo857 said:

@Haywired

Actually, the Gamepad's role for Starfox's Wii U's new control scheme is to solve an issue that's long plagued Starfox... which is when moving the aiming reticule the Arwing moves as well. This new scheme makes it possible to make Arwing manuevering independent from aiming, which better simulates how many aircrafts control.

Miyamoto also stated that after getting used to the controls, you can hold the Gamepad down and not even look at the cockpit view to properly aim.

Also, I'm sure Nintendo will offer controls schemes to appease those who favor simpler traditional controls as well. But like with Skyward Sword, I'm sure those that take the plunge and actually try to learn and adapt to the new control scheme will realize it's superior and an overall better way to play.

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