It has been seven years since the release of the last Star Fox game. a divisive entry in the franchise called Star Fox Zero for the Wii U. Considering Star Fox is one of the most recognizable names in the Nintendo pantheon alongside Mario, Zelda and Metroid — that’s surprising.
While Star Fox Zero had admirable intentions, with the aim to showcase the Wii U Gamepad and its innovative capabilities. While the game wasn’t an abject failure, the controls hinging entirely upon the Wii U’s gamepad required players having to constantly switch their attention from the game pad to the TV screen and made for a steep learning curve that deterred many.
There hasn’t been a Star Fox game since even with the Nintendo Switch seemingly the perfect platform for a new installment — which begs the question, will there ever be a new Star Fox game? If you ask Dylan Cuthbert, former Argonaut Software developer and one of the main programmers for the original game on the SNES, the answer is yes.
“Oh, I’m sure [it’ll return]”, Cuthbert said in an interview with VGC. “I mean, they keep trying, don’t they? They keep trying, not quite achieving the original.”
Cuthbert went on to explain some of the inspirations for the original Star Fox game and how that set it apart from some of its less acclaimed sequels.
“But I think that’s one thing – my opinion is that the original was born out of the UK Amiga-style 3D at the time, games like Star Glider or Carrier Command. It was born out of those and a bit of the Star Wars Arcade game, combined with Namco’s Starblade.
“And then there was all the Nintendo character building, all the characters and stuff, making it very family friendly.”
Cuthbert explained that the modern Star Fox games are missing elements from the original that made it so iconic and indelible to fans.
“It’s the combination of all those things that I suppose was what made Star Fox what it was,” Cuthbert added. “So some of the more recent titles – maybe, say, the Namco version, for example – are all great games, but there’s always that one element missing, that sort of UK old-school 3D shooting game element missing from it.
“So that one was very slick – they got the Starblade side of it perfect, but it’s a combination of all [elements], you kind of need it all in there to make it work.
“And then, of course, the one that Rare made, Star Fox Adventures, that was also a good attempt but that was too British, it didn’t have the Starblade side of it.
“So I think Star Fox is a very complex title, because you’ve got to have all those elements in place, and that gives it the atmosphere it needs to make it really work.”
Despite the original game being released 30 years ago in 1993, Cuthbert isn’t tired of talking about the game which put Argonaut on the map.
“I think it’s still a pretty original title really, isn’t it?” Cuthbert said. “There isn’t really an equivalent game to Star Fox even now, so I think that’s why it’s kind of stuck around and kept in people’s minds. It’s weird, but it’s remained a fairly unique title and I think that’s really cool.”
Cuthbert added, “But I’m not bored of Star Fox, really. It was a fun project, it was fun to make, I was very young at the time but it was just a really good experience all around. Just one year of development time, everything packed in there, and there was only really a handful of us working on it.”