Star Fox Zero Does a Barrel Roll into 2016

Star Fox Zero Does a Barrel Roll into 2016

As another Nintendo series ditches its 2015 release date, this season is looking weak for the Wii U.

Not too long ago, this holiday season promised to send the Wii U off with a bang, thanks to two series still absent from Nintendo's newest console: The Legend of Zelda and Star Fox.

Unfortunately, life isn't fair. Late March brought news that the latest Zelda game (still missing a subtitle) wouldn't release in 2015, and the lack of any E3 presence only added salt to the wound. And if you thought you'd still be able to fill your fall season with Platinum Games' reboot of Star Fox, well, you'd better start taking an interest in Xenoblade Chronicles X if you haven't already: the latest installment in Nintendo's furry-friendly shooter series is now due in the first quarter of 2016.

This was a decision that didn't come easy, according to some official statements from Nintendo's Shigeru Miyamoto, who played a huge part in developing the series' debut in 1993:

"We have been developing Star Fox Zero for Wii U with the aim of releasing it this year," he says. "Although we felt that the development had been progressing well, we now believe that we will need a little more time to work on areas such as the unprecedented discovery that we want players to experience in the game by using two screens, and further polishing the level designs and perfecting the tone of the cut scenes. While we have already reached the stage where it would be technically possible to release the title in time for the year-end holiday season, we want to polish the game a bit more so that players will be able to more smoothly grasp the new style of play that we are proposing.

"To the people looking forward to the launch of the game this holiday season, I am very sorry."

Those familiar with The Legend of Zelda probably weren't too surprised by news of its move to 2016; if you've been following the series in recent decades, you'd know it's practically synonymous with delays. And while the calendar isn't exactly empty for the Wii U this fall, Star Fox promised to be Nintendo's highest-profile release of the season—possibly because it's been missing from consoles for a decade. (And Star Fox Assault wasn't exactly the series' finest hour.) Based on Miyamoto's comments, this delay may be for the best; Nintendo's a company that isn't afraid to take the time to rework ideas, or even scrap them entirely, as was the case with the Super Nintendo's Star Fox 2. Our own Kat Bailey ended being up disappointed by Star Fox Zero's E3 showing, and critical reception in general has been pretty mixed.

Even if the possibility of a better game comes as slightly good news for patient Star Fox fans, the fourth quarter of 2015 is looking pretty grim for the Wii U. And even if Star Fox once stood as one of more important releases of Q4, it's arguable whether or not the series is still that popular to begin with. But one thing is certain: If you're looking to have adventures with a fuzzy fox companion this November, you'll need to find a suitable replacement.

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