It has been a good few years now since we last checked in with everyone's favourite fox fighter pilot in Star Fox Zero (seven years, to be precise) and the chances of him returning to the Switch seem to lessen everyday. In the ensuing period while we wait (fingers tightly crossed) for news of a series reboot, the good folk over on the DidYouKnowGaming? YouTube channel have been digging into one of the series' cancelled titles at Retro Studios.
In its most recent video, the channel got a chance to talk to Eric Kozlowsky, a former Retro Studios artist, who had pitched a game titled 'Star Fox Armada' back in early 2013. While the studio would eventually pass on the title, Kozlowsky shared his 24-page pitch document with the channel and discussed many of the game's proposed features.
Star Fox Armada was to be a follow-up to Star Fox 64 both narratively and in terms of gameplay. This was not going to be a title à la Star Fox Adventures where you would see McCloud hopping out of his ship to tackle enemies on foot, oh no; instead, Armada was proposed as classic Star Fox through and through — taking out foes while flying through space. The story would see the team attempting to rebuild the Lylat System after the fall of Andross, throwing it right back to the 1997 N64 title.
In terms of an aesthetic, Kozlowsky was aware that the Wii U couldn't keep up with the PS4 or Xbox One in terms of realistic graphics, so had pitched the game as having puppet-like visuals much like the series' early promotional material.This would have allowed the team at Retro to still create a convincing anthropomorphised squad, without the need to make them look uncannily real — we're picturing 'Fantastic Mr. Star Fox' once again...
And what about the 'Armada' of the title? The game was pitched with a heavy online aspect, letting you build your own team of animal pilots to take the galaxy by storm. This would have resulted in massive online dogfights with your friends and surprise attacks from other squads while you were busy in missions.
Unfortunately, Retro passed on this pitch supposedly with little debate. For the full details of everything that Armada was hoping to achieve, however, check out the complete Did You Know Gaming? video below:
Will Star Fox make a surprise return for Nintendo's next console? Let us know what you'd like to see from a follow-up title in the comments!
Retro turning down projects like they've got something better to do!
8 days to go until we reach NINE years without a game released by the studio.
Star Fox is Nintendo's most unfortunate series. It had one highly-regarded game on the N64, but otherwise is mostly known for its characters being top-tier in SSB Melee.
All Star Fox releases post 64 have had something controversial about them.
From being a reskin of what was originally supposed to be a completely different IP (Star Fox Adventures), to being released well past its prime (Star Fox 2), to being just plain bad and killing the series off entirely (Star Fox Zero)... this poor fox can't catch a break.
@nocdaes Since the release of DKC:TF Monolith Soft released 3 brand new XC games, a port of the original, a remaster of the original + new epilogue, a DLC for XC2 and are currently working on a DLC for XC3. Also they assisted on developing multiple games like BotW, TotK, the Splatoon series and Animal Crossing: New Horizons
Kinda insane looking at it like that
Retro clearly passed on this so they could pursue their dream project of not releasing any games for a decade.
@mariomaster96 To be fair, they had some help with the New 3DS port (Monster Games), but otherwise yeah, fairly accurate. I feel like we are long overdue a new title from Retro Studios.
Regarding this idea for StarFox, it would of been interesting to see the puppet presentation, but the rest of the pitch I am not too fussed about, generally not a fan of online focus; though it could of been cool.
They were supposed to become the new Rare :/
That's a shame, sounds like it could've been a really interesting title.
Hopefully they'll be able to revive the series in a big way one day.
I really hope we get at least Star Fox Zero remaster of sorts for Switch! New game would be super amazing too! Nonetheless, playing the 3DS remake of the N64 version, I would be just happy having a nice remake of the N64 game since even Zero was missing content from N64 like the underwater level.
I wish they continued working on DKC, as Tropical Freeze turn out so much better than Returns. I imagine third entry with animal buddies and K. Rool.
What the heck was with Nintendo and puppets in the 2010s? Reminds me of that one E3 Direct.
I'm going to have the best laugh of my life if Metroid Prime 4 has some weird aesthetic to it because Retro doesn't think the console is powerful enough for a more realistic artstyle.
Nintendo should have maxed out the formula they created in Assault. Seriously, the game has a very good concept and was lots of fun but it was ultimately too short and lacked the polish that Adventures had.
@mariomaster96 Yea, it's absolutely crazy. I don't think it's an exaggeration to suggest the studio is on the line with Metroid Prime 4. I suspect we're going to hear all sorts of horror stories from the devs working on that title with the pressure they must all be under.
Why they haven't released a third Donkey Kong Returns game in this period is bewildering. We've already waited 6 years for MP4 with no new Donkey Kong game. Who really would have cared if MP4 ended up 2024 but we had new Donkey Kong in 2022. I believe they would have benefitted from developing both games together - allow the team a rest from the pressure cooker. Poor decision making by Nintendo, and as for Retro, maybe one day we'll learn about the project(s) that have clearly been abandoned between Tropical Freeze releasing on Feb 14 2014 and the day they got moved onto MP4.
Oh, and this is assuming MP4 even comes out soon. No news is most certainly not good news with this game. We need to see something this year.
Usually when a company goes a full decade without releasing a game, they’re usually a dead company.
Sounds like metroid is their last chance. And considering they weren’t the original devs for prime 4 I do wonder what was going on. I did like the starfox content in starlink though. So it isn’t like Nintendo didn’t try to make Star Fox mainstream.
@antonio2244 Would love that. The only reason Retro’s DK games don’t measure up to the Rare ones for me is that they’re missing those two ingredients. I’m confident they could make a
DKC title to rival Diddy King’s Quest if they did that.
With regards to Star Fox, man, I wonder if he’s been quietly retired, much like F-Zero has been. I mean, he did get featured in Starlink, but I doubt that did him much good. It probably signaled to
Nintendo that there wasn’t huge interest in him, based on a decidedly average game that released as an expensive package initially.
Star Fox 64. I hope a remake soon.
Exactly what have they been doing for nine years. They should have a good few games to go by now!! Regards to Starfox its well overdue for a new one.
I want a job at retro between 2014 to 2019, sounds kinda chill xxx
Well, this provides some more context for why Nintendo used puppets back at E3 2015 for the Star Fox Zero reveal. Aside from Satoru Iwata also being sick.
It's a shame that the Star Fox series has never reached the heights of 64 again. The 3DS remake is one of my favorite games ever.
@betterman Retro was created because Nintendo liked the Turok games on the N64 so they hired these developers to make FPS for them. Which gave us the Metroid Prime games. But now those developers are not part of Retro anymore there's no much point to keep that studio except to support other studios.
Sounds better than Star Fox Zero. Star Fox has become yet another dormant series when it never should be. I don’t believe it’s dead but there’s no telling when another game will come someday, even if it’s just a much improved remake of Zero. Nintendo has lots of IPs but needs to take more risks.
Retro has been very disappointing these past 10 years. I really wonder what's gonna happen with them in the future?
Ah, yes, the thought experiment "The video game developer of Theseus". If a video game company that developed a highly praised trilogy has all it's employees that worked on said games completely substituted by new employees, are they the same company?
@glaemay Those who left Retro studios formed Armature . They did nothing of significance, only ports and some original ips that noone remembers
@Selim It already got a remake
I thoroughly enjoyed Star Fox Zero, and completed it 3 times over...
I'm one if the few who liked it I think...😏
wasn't Retro supposedly working on something original in between the Metroid and Donkey Kong games? I faintly remember that they were developing their own IP.
This guy's idea Sounds so cool, as a fan of the genre im all for it, i guess its time to play some Starlink and scrstch that space fighter itch
Wasn't this also the early name of Star Fox Assault?
Nintendo killed Paper Mario by insisting on "innovation" in ways that weren't needed. It's the same with Star Fox. They claim they can't make a new F-Zero unless they come up with a new hook. Fox McCloud's dad was already in the F-Zero series.
What if they make everyone happy by releasing a new game for F-Zero and Star Fox in the same or consecutive quarters with traditional game play but then let the gimmick be some way that they interact with each other? Then this could be grounds for an extended cinematic universe. 😀
I would so buy this! 😂
Technically, Star Fox Armada was what Star Fox: Assault was originally titled, however the gameplay between the two would have obviously been different. However, that pitch is a lot like my own idea for a Star Fox game, rebuilding the Lylat System (albeit after the Aparoid invasion, retconning Command), and making it an MMO. And you would play as a new recruit to the Star Fox team.
I'm not too big on the puppet aesthetic, though. Even Adventures on the GameCube had decent graphics, even better than Assault's, with every piece of Fox's fur standing out. Heck, they could have hired furry artist CakeInferno (formerly known as GreyFireFox), who made an absolutely beautiful render of Krystal, to do the character design for the game, using his character rigs in Autodesk Maya.
I never played much of the original Star Fox, but I did enjoy the N64 version a lot, and was curious to see if they'd ever do another one in the same vein. Oh, well - maybe Nintendo will change their minds once their new console comes around.
As much as it sucks that the game was ignored completely, I will say...online dogfights strikes me as something that could have been very rough with Nintendo's mixed online gaming history unless it was developed by a studio that had experience making online multiplayer content (which unless I'm mistaken is definitely not something Retro does)
Still, the idea of a Star Fox version of Rogue Squadrons is intriguing.
Probably would have been another Star Fox where I get let down by the meager amount of arcadey on-rails stages in favor of all “range mode” stages where it’s difficult to track anything so you have to resort to spamming the charge shot.
That's frustrating to hear. I absolutely would have loved that, as Starfox 64 is my favourite entry and the puppet aesthetic sounds hilarious. Seriously, how does Retro Studios get paid for never releasing anything over a decade?
Damn, that would have been awesome! Instead they used all those years to do.......... literally nothing.
@EarthboundBenjy Completely disagree with SFZ being "plain bad." It's not very original, basically just SF64 all over again, and the graphics were nothing to write home about, but the game was extremely fun once you figured out the control scheme. Far from being the awful game people popularly say it it.
It's quiet at Retro Studios, too quiet.
Thankfully Star fox Zero was such a great succes..
They should have given Platinum games full creative control over Star fox zero.
Armada sounds on paper like it would've been fun.
I didn't mind Star Fox Zero even if 'not a retelling again' would have been nice and even then I'm a newcomer not played other entries other than Command or Zero. Or Platinum had more control their other games show they can do more with ship and otherwise combat and ideas even.
Even then I loved ReCore by Amarture it's one of the few games I won't sell my Xbox One I enjoyed it. Wasn't too familiar with their ports or other original games but enjoyed the one I have from them. Then again how many veterans have formed new studios. Which sure their decision but in Retro's case I'm not surprised why they wouldn't have had people leave to make new studios to get IP ideas out they want if many got rejected existing or new IP while Rare always got many out. Or Sakarai (sure one notable person besides however many that also assisted development and aren't as well known in the industry) even with Meteos or Kid Icarus Uprising beside Smash or whatever else. Some people get that chance others don't.
It sounds interesting. But then again every pitch Retro has gets pushed aside and it's sad. Rare got many out of original IPs even beside DK games. Every Retro one has been 'oh we have this IP direction for an existing Zelda, Metroid, Starfox, whatever' nope 'oh we have this original IP direction of these before Metroid Prime of these 3 games or this before Prime 4' nope.
They have it really tough, Prime 4 will be interesting but whatever they were working on it sucks IF they had to or haven't put it on hold or not to work on Prime 4 depending on the staff needed or if a small team working on the other project they had in mind is kind of sad, their Metroid/DK games are good but they can't catch a break either it seems.
@Selim Star Fox 64 IS a remake. And it already had two remakes.
@Moviefan2k4 It’s called Star Fox Zero.
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