(3DS eShop)

Strike Force Foxx (3DS eShop)

Game Review

Strike Force Foxx Review

USA USA Version

Posted by Lee Meyer

Get to the chopper!

Not to be confused with a certain furry-tailed Nintendo character, Big John Games' Strike Force Foxx is a helicopter rescue game starring humans. Heavily inspired by the 1982 computer game Choplifter, its retro roots show in its simple, action-oriented gameplay and tongue-in-cheek '80s action movie story. There is charm to be found in Strike Force Foxx, but it doesn't deviate at all from its premise and only barely expands the gameplay as the player progresses. Strike Force Foxx is a fun little action game, but it's held down by generic production values and repetitive action.

The game's hero is the titular Captain Foxx, a cocky action hero who pilots a chopper and rescues hostages while taking down enemies and saving the world. A variety of colourful supporting characters are sprinkled throughout, like his best friend Gunner, a character called Wrench who upgrades the chopper, a one-eyed villain, a sultry doctor and more. The script is intentionally cheesy and fun, with the story hitting tropes like avenging a friend's death and flirting with the aforementioned sultry doctor. Unfortunately, the plot is told only through stills at the beginning of each level, and the art is disappointingly bland. A game with a silly, cliché-driven story like this could benefit from some colour and fun. As a result, the game frequently feels low-budget and one-note.

Gameplay in Strike Force Foxx is simple and solid. Players control the chopper with the circle pad, using the shoulder buttons to switch the direction it's facing. Shooting is as simple as pressing a button. The main objective of most stages is to rescue a set number of hostages, which is done by landing the chopper and waiting for the hostages — which are represented by tiny characters in white shirts — to climb aboard. The challenge arises when there are incoming enemies — such as tanks, submarines, and on-foot shooters — who are determined to take you down while you're attempting to rescue the hostages. Curiously, while it's possible to accidentally kill hostages with friendly fire, the enemies will never take anybody out. This would have added some suspense to the proceedings, whereas killing a hostage accidentally just results in having to redo the level. When the chopper takes it damage, it gradually becomes harder to control, and the slowly depleting fuel gauge is only refuelled when you land at the base to let hostages out.

Each stage is scored upon completion, granting the player 1, 2 or 3 stars based on time, enemies killed and buildings destroyed. Stars unlock upgrades — such as faster gunfire, more health, mercenaries and other weapons — that you can buy with money gained from completing levels. The upgrade system is helpful in theory, but most of the enhancements aren't made available until very late in the game, and some — like the mercenaries — feel quite pointless.

Strike Force Foxx's in-game visuals are simple and recall the Steel Diver series. They are serviceable, but we noticed some significant slowdown when the screen became crowded. The 3D effect isn't too deep, but with all the scrolling and chaos, it's hard to find the "sweet spot." The boring music, meanwhile, is nothing compared to the two or three responses from the hostages when they're rescued. "Thank you!" says a cutesy female voice. "Thanks for the ride!" says the jovial male voice. At no point do any hostages sound scared, panicked or aware that they're in any danger. Maybe this was a stylistic choice, but it doesn't work.

Conclusion

Strike Force Foxx is a fun, simple arcade experience that is unfortunately bogged down by its lacking production values and curious game design choices. While there are plenty of exciting action games on the eShop to choose from, Choplifter fans will no doubt have fun with this neat if unspectacular little throwback. Just turn off the sound beforehand.

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User Comments (25)

TG1

#5

TG1 said:

"Curiously, while it's possible to accidentally kill hostages with friendly fire, the enemies will never take anybody out."

This isn't true. If the chopper gets a hostage between them and and enemy, the hostage can be taken out by enemy fire. Granted this is easy enough to avoid, but the fact remains that enemies can and will take out hostages on occasion.

Spectator

#6

Spectator said:

Nice to see a decent little old school choplifter game on the handheld. I'm a sucker for arcade style games.

Captain_Gonru

#11

Captain_Gonru said:

@SetupDisk The unrelated "Strike" series (Desert, Urban, and Nuclear, if memory serves) was on Genesis (the first two, at least. I had Nuclear on PS1), but I'm not sure if they were on SNES. Yes, I could look it up, but I like relying on brain from time to time.

SetupDisk

#13

SetupDisk said:

@Captain_Gonru
Yes using your memory is good. But I have played so many games over the years I will think of an awesome song or stage or ending and have no idea form what it was.

I youtubed it though and I remembered the graphics just like they were.

TantXL

#16

TantXL said:

@Spectator i have that game on my Megadrive A.K.A Genesis! Or maybe it's another strike... I'm pretty sure i own jungle strike and desert strike But i might be wrong...

OorWullie

#17

OorWullie said:

@Spectator It sure was.I actually played it not that long ago and it's held up pretty well.
@Captain_Gonru I forgot to add,the first 3 were on the SNES but are inferior to the Megadrive versions.Not sure about the other 2 but I remember Desert being zoomed in too much making it hard to figure out where to go.

Spectator

#18

Spectator said:

@TantXL
Your right they were both also on the genesis. I'm a pretty hardcore sega guy and those were some of the games I played back in the day, when EA wasn't horrible. :)

WinterWarm

#19

WinterWarm said:

It's wierd but... This review kinda made me want it more than before.... It's been Wish-List-ed.

MeloMan

#20

MeloMan said:

I kinda expected this game was like this. While I do love a good arcade experience, and I think this will scratch that itch, my backlog of games is going to put this one toward the bottom of my to-do list. If by some freak chance I get though the games ahead of it, I'll give it a go.

Windy

#21

Windy said:

I will probably wait for a sale on this one but Big John has been a little stingy in the sales department. So maybe never. I still think the review was good and probably pretty accurate. 6 is not a bad game. I do have a huge backlog myself which never seems to get any shorter lol

Captain_Gonru

#22

Captain_Gonru said:

@OorWullie Nuclear Strike was, fine. It looked great, being on a (at the time) next Gen system. But, if you played one strike game, you kinda played them all. I know, its crazy to imagine EA rehashing the same game over and over...

eviLaTtenDant

#23

eviLaTtenDant said:

Sounds and looks to me like Super Army War (Glory Days in Europe) on the GBA or its sequel and the DS is the better choice

kishimi8

#24

kishimi8 said:

this resurrects my shoplifter memories ,,.., that game was really difficult ,.,. miss my gameboy days

bhornburg

#25

bhornburg said:

I agree with this review. I loooooved choplifter when I was a kid (had it on my Apple II+), this game brings back that nostalgia for a little while. But the bare bones presentation and lack of a ramp in difficulty or variety made me lose interest in this one pretty quick.

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