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Star Fox Command Interview
01-25-2007
By: TSA
If there's one man that knows the Star Fox series inside out, it's Takaya Imamura.

Beginning his career as an artist on the original Star Fox (Star Wing in Europe), Imamura-san went on to become lead artist on Star Fox 64 (Lylat Wars), supervisor of Star Fox Adventures and co-producer of Star Fox Assault.

Now at Nintendo's Entertainment Analysis & Development Division (EAD), Imamura was the ideal choice to become producer of Star Fox Command, the series' Nintendo DS debut.

Star Fox Command introduces not only intuitive touch screen controls but also a new turn-based strategy element to the long-running saga of Fox McCloud and co. Before each thrilling 3D dogfight, you can now plot your ships' flight paths simply by drawing on the touch screen.

We began by asking the question that's been on the lips of Star Fox fans since 'Command' was first announced…

Nintendo of Europe: Imamura-san, why did you decide to bring strategy to a series that is most famous for being purely a shooter?

Takaya Imamura: "A game called 'Star Fox 2', which was not actually released, once existed. In that game, there was a strategic system, which we thought suitable for Nintendo DS. That is how we started the project."

NoE: Star Fox Command has much more of a storyline than previous games in the series. Why is this?

TI: "This time, we wanted a somewhat different storyline of destiny for the characters, and not just a regular story like Hollywood movies. Consequently, we incorporated a multi-story system."

NoE: Where does Star Fox Command fit into the series' timeline?

TI: "It tells the story of about 2-3 years after Star Fox Assault."

NoE: What can you tell us about Q-Games, the development team behind the game? How did Nintendo come to work with them on this project?

TI: "Mr. Dylan Cuthbert, the president of Q-Games, is one of the team members who created Star Fox [Star Wing]. I think this is the main reason why Nintendo came to work with them."

NoE: Why did you choose to use only spacecraft and not include any land- or sea-based vehicles, as featured previously in the series?

TI: "In this game, we incorporated a new control scheme involving the stylus. Because of this, we did not create vehicles other than spacecraft because we wanted players to focus upon controlling spaceships. However, players will be able to control various different kinds of spaceships."

NoE: Were there any other characters or vehicles that didn't make it into the game that you can tell us about?

TI: "During the beginning of the development process, we experimented with the Arwing transforming into a robot, but we decided not to include it in the end."

NoE: What made you decide to leave the strategy element out of the multiplayer mode? It would have made for an interesting addition if players had to plot their courses not knowing what other players would do.

TI: "From the beginning of the planning of the game, we decided to incorporate only dogfighting. Of course, we many times investigated the possibility of having strategic features in network play. However, we decided not to this time. I really would like to if there will be a sequel."

NoE: Were you surprised to find that stylus control for the Arwings worked so well? Did you consider just using the control buttons instead?

TI: "Stylus control is the one thing we were thinking about from the start of the development. We believe we could make it work well after trial and error. There was an idea of controlling with buttons, but we decided to use only stylus control for this feature because we realised that controlling with the +Control Pad to fly around in the all-range mode is not comfortable enough."

NoE: Star Fox would be perfectly suited to Wii's controls. Are we ever going to see a Wii version?

TI: "I wonder how the adventure of Fox and friends is going to go next time?! I have come up with some idea in my mind, but it is still just a small one. I will try my best so that I can deliver it to you some time!"

NoE: Whenever it might happen, we and a lot of Star Fox fans will certainly be looking forward to it! Mr Imamura, thanks for your time!

Star Fox Command is available for Nintendo DS from January 26.

Source: Nintendo of Europe
Comments: 5

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Comment #1 by burnedown98
01/25/07 22:17
I didn't really like the strategy elements in command. I didn't like how you had a time limit, and how you had to fly around a map filled with random enemys and some that were almost imposible to destroy within the time limit. I like to keep going along the level, blast everything in my path, avoid obsticles, enemys, and anemy fire, help the other star fox members and have them help me (which they stink at).
Comment #2 by Rukario
01/26/07 11:17
I HATED Command. Adventure & Assault are MUCH better. (I dunno about SF64, cuz I've never played it. The same goes for the original SNES version)
Comment #3 by MoALttP
01/26/07 12:36
I don't know what you two are talking about. Star Fox Command was a great game. It brought completely new elements to the franchise, while at the same time retaining the original Star Fox feeling. Also, Rukario, you can't really say that Adventures and Assault define the series, because they don't. The SNES Star Fox is where it's at.
Comment #4 by TSA
01/26/07 22:27
StarFox 64 >>> StarFox >> Command >> Assault >> Adventures
Comment #5 by Henrie
01/27/07 02:55
I have to admit that I have not played Command (I didn,t like the stylus control in metroid prime hunters. It scared me off somewhat), but I really hope nintendo makes a REAL Starfox game for the wii. So no rpg-bits, and no wandering. Make it just like Starwing or lylatwars: Flying, flying, flying (and maybe the landmaster and submarine. But only if they controll well). Give us many levels and level-select, and I would be as happy as a child! I fear we will never get a proper Starfox again!
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