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According to the prologue, every member of Star Fox, except for R.O.B. 64 and Fox McCloud himself, have disbanded from the team. Fox broke off his relationship with Krystal and forced her to leave the team for the sake of her safety. Slippy Toad found amphibian love with a frog named Amanda. Peppy Hare was made the general of the Cornerian Army as a result of General Pepper's forced retirement due to illness, and Falco Lombardi became somewhat of a loner, and simply drifted from job to job. There are also new characters such as Dash Bowman, who is the grandson of Andross, and for the first time ever, James McCloud is also playable during the "Dash Makes a Choice" level.
Throughout the course of the game, however, the team can reassemble and thwart the Anglar Empire, or take entirely different paths...
Several other characters make playable appearances, such as Wolf O'Donnell, Leon Powalski, and Panther Caroso, who want to remove bounties from their heads, and Katt Monroe, who usually appears when Falco needs a hand. Other familiar, but unplayable, characters are also present, such as Andrew Oikonny, who had joined forces with the Anglars.
Gameplay in Star Fox Command is far more rooted to the styles of Star Fox 64 than Star Fox Assult was. The levels start out with a turn-based movement system similar in style to Advance Wars. Players are marked by Arwings, enemies are marked by red dots, and bases are marked by small building sprites. This is very similar to the map system from Star Fox 2. "Fog of War" covers the field and the player can remove a certain amount of the fog once every turn. A player's flight path must intersect with that of an enemy to engage in battle. After engaging, the battle goes to a fully 3-D "All-Range Mode" stage. Here, the player uses the stylus to move their ship about and perform various maneuvers, while they can use any of the face buttons to fire their main weapons.
Star Fox Command has two types of play within the single player game: a strategic map mode and a battle mode. The overworld-like map mode is where the player takes command of several ships. This mode is used to get ships into the battle mode and is essentially a simple turn-based strategy game. Up to four ships can be maneuvered at a time. The object of this mode is to prevent enemy ships from reaching the Great Fox. This mode also allows players to fire missiles from the Great Fox that they have picked up from exploring in this mode, or from meeting certain conditions in the battle mode (usually destroying all enemies). When a craft that is controlled by the player encounters an enemy group or missile in this mode, the gameplay switches to the battle mode. Battle mode is similar to the "all-range mode" employed in Star Fox 64 for some bosses and levels. Like the canceled Star Fox 2, the game is completely all-range as opposed to the "on-rails" levels featured in most other Star Fox games (however, the game will sometimes force the player to engage in classic "chase" missions in order to complete an objective). The usual objectives are to destroy a base ship, destroy all enemies, or collect a number of cores to complete the battle mode. Once the battle mode is completed, the game returns to the map mode.
As players progress through the game, they will be able to choose to go different routes upon completing certain levels. Each route has its own character dialogue to accompany it, and players will be able to visit differing planets depending on what routes they choose. The game features 9 different endings altogether. Players can access all of them by playing the game multiple times, selecting different routes each time. Instead of merely giving different perspectives on what happens to the Star Fox team, each ending is unique — the characters go in various directions depending on what ending is watched.
Star Fox Command does not feature traditional voice acting. Instead it outputs gibberish akin to the "voices" in Star Fox for the SNES, or the "Lylat speech" present in Lylat Wars (but not Star Fox 64). Players can also record their own voices into the game’s "gibberish generator" using the built-in DS microphone where it is converted into the garbled speech of the various characters.
Star Fox Command supports 6-player local wireless for multiplayer matches via DS Download Play. Up to four players on the Nintendo Wi-Fi Connection are supported. In Nintendo Wi-Fi Connection matches, only the Arwing II is available. Players score not by killing opponents, but by collecting stars from them when they have been destroyed. It is also possible to collect a star from an opponent not killed by the player. This is a modified version of the mode from Star Fox 64.
- Twin laser upgrade: Equips The Player With Twin Lasers
- Plasma laser upgrade: Equips player with plasma lasers.
- Time bomb: Gives players a modified smart bomb. When dropped, it leaves a five second countdown visible to others; at its end it explodes.
- Supply ring: Health.
- Stealth: Makes players invisible on screen and radar.
There are five stages available in the game. These stages are randomly selected, and all of them can be found in the single player mode of the game too.
- City: A city with buildings. The buildings are intangible but cause damage if flown through.
- Mountains: The mountain stage consists of a green landscape with canyons and rivers.
- Ocean: A flat arena above water, it can be very easy overseen due to the lack of high objects.
- Space: As the name implies is this stage located somewhere in space. There are no objects whatsoever here, except some asteroids.
- Fichina Mountains: Snowy mountains on the planet Fichina.
The following information and pictures are taken from the Gallery section of the game where every main character is shown.
Every character is presented with a short description of their person and their own ship that they use throughout the game:
Krystal - Star Fox
Krystal - Star Wolf/ Cornerian army
Star Fox Command debuted on the Japanese best seller list as number 14, selling over 20,000 copies on the first day. In the United States, it was the 5th best seller in the first week. Star Fox Command has received mostly favorable reviews. IGN gave it an 8.0, or "Impressive", calling it a "surprisingly rich and faithful action game" that had similar gameplay to Star Fox and Star Fox 64. Star Fox Command received IGN DS's August 2006 Game of the Month Award for capturing "the fun and essence of what made the series so significant. Fox is finally back in the Arwing -- where he belongs, Stylus control is mostly excellent, Strategy elements work well." The Associated Press noted the game for having developed the game to work well with the DS controls, but had mixed feelings about the turn-based sections of gameplay. Electronic Gaming Monthly claimed that while the game has its own charm, it lacks the original gameplay from Star Fox and Star Fox 64 and becomes repetitive. UK website Mansized gave Command a three out of five stars, stating that "Star Fox Command can’t hold a candle to previous games in the series." Command was nominated in three categories in Nintendo Power's annual vote-in awards, although it did not win any of them.
Star Fox Command has multiple endings, depending on story paths that you choose. The endings range from Fox's son creating a new Star Fox team, to Falco creating one. It is unknown as of yet which ending, if any, is the true ending. It's also implied that Star Fox Command may not even be canon to the series. The rumored upcoming game, Star Fox Wii, will probably reveal what is the real ending of Star Fox Command or if the game is canon at all.
- Star Fox Command shares many similarities with the movie Return of the Musketeers. Both are sequels to their respective series, their canonocity is debatable, a villain who should have been dead returns (two in the case of Command) while the major antagonists (Andross and Milady de Winter) are not retconned (aside from a story Peppy tells about Andross), and at the beginning the main characters' teams have disbanded and must find each other again, with one (Krystal and Aramis) temporarily joining forces with a shadier character (although if the player chooses, Krystal could remain with Star Wolf rather than rejoin Star Fox).
- Command seems to disregard Wolf's team turning good during the battle with the aparoids. The intro says they continued to be involved in dirty dealings, to the point of being wanted by Corneria. It could be argued that this is similar to Bowser joining forces with Mario in Super Mario RPG: Legend of the Seven Stars.
- This is the first of the only two Star Fox games for a handheld console, the second being Star Fox 64 3D.
- In comparison to the Star Fox 64 Lylat map, both Zoness and Macbeth are nowhere to be seen, even though they were not targets of the Anglar invasion.
- This is the first game in the Star Fox series where non Arwing or Wolfen spacecraft are playable.
|Star Fox series|
|Star Fox | Star Fox 64 | Star Fox Adventures | Star Fox: Assault | Star Fox Command|
|Star Fox 2 | Star Fox Wii | Star Fox Arcade | Cameos | Star Fox 64 3D | Star Fox Game Watch|