Star Fox Zero will have an invincibility mode
Speaking with TIME, Nintendo designer Shigeru Miyamoto revealed a few new facts for Star Fox Zero, a robust aerial action game billed as a "reimagining" of Star Fox 64. Among those new details, Miyamoto indicated the game would feature an invincible Arwing for younger and casual fans interested in taking more of a 'guided tour' approach to their space furry shooters.
"We recognize that there are probably going to be younger kids who are playing a Star Fox game for the first time with Star Fox Zero, and maybe this will be their first action game," Miyamoto tells TIME. Sure, yeah, and perhaps not-quite-children players who nevertheless are not super adept at the style of combat the game offers, but still wish to progress. "There’ll be a way for them to get an invincible Arwing, so that they can fly through and see the levels. But at the same time, we’re also preparing modes for Star Fox fans looking for an even harder challenge."
These challenge modes include an alternative ship which confers additional firepower in exchange for weaker defenses. As we've previously seen, Star Fox Zero will also feature branching level designs and multiple gameplay paths, which is either a treat or a curse if you're of a completionist mindset.
And Miyamoto stresses that the casual-friendly features won't be to the detriment of the game's challenge level. It's not, he says, a matter of simply dialing back difficulty. Rather, it's about tailoring the game to suit the players' skill.
"I’m not very supportive of simply making a game easy so that people who don’t play games can play the game themselves," he says. "Obviously part of the fun of taking on a challenge is that the challenge has to be a hurdle that you overcome. [...] What’s fun is you mastering the skill and having that sense of accomplishment -- of achieving something that’s difficult."
If you're wondering, this is the sort of thing people reference when they talk about the challenges of 'literally translating' a language like Japanese. The formal, modest and frequently indirect way Miyamoto speaks is quite common among Japanese businesspeople, but it's sometimes at odds with discussing things like gameplay in concrete terms. Nevertheless, it's pretty clear Miyamoto wants Star Fox Zero to offer something that is both accessible to newcomers as well as the dogfightiest dogfighter game helmed by not-actually-a-dog-actually-a-vulpine that we've seen in some time.
Star Fox Zero will be hitting Wii Us worldwide on April 22nd.
Kris Ligman is the News Editor of ZAM. It feels like there were way more anthropomorphic animals on television when Kris was a kid than there are nowadays. Say hi on Twitter @KrisLigman.