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Old 10-09-2015, 06:48 AM
Beta Metroid Beta Metroid is offline
Going On An Odyssey
 
Join Date: Nov 2009
Location: Michigan
Posts: 1,047
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^That's always good to hear! Well, the first part anyway. I mean, not that you should feel bad for having nothing else to say...I'm moving on now.

But seriously, thanks!



Okay, it's time for Serious Business. If it didn't come across, the difficulty names are a little...generous. With Normal missing a surprising amount of features (viruses, Andrew, Hunters that aren't the Mirage Dragon, Fortuna, Macbeth, Sith Lord Andross) and having Pepper explain a lot more to you, it's more of a tutorial than the default mode that "normal" implies. Hard offers a more complete experience, but it still feels like Andross is pulling punches.

The random number generator can help you out on Expert (like it did on Hard), but you can also get very, very nasty rolls. While I'm reasonably confident I can have a successful run, I honestly have no idea what kind of damage Corneria will take or if both pilots will make it out alive.

I will say right off the bat that I'm glad I have Fay for this run. I plan to talk more about balance and characters later, but in my experience, the ladies are just completely superior. Their extra speed is essential in preventing foes from escaping and wasting time, and their super-fast homing shot is great for both survival and for managing crises efficiently. And while I appreciate having Slippy or Peppy for longer base missions, the dirty secret is that Fay and Miyu's superior speed and ability to dish out damage faster really adds up over those long hauls. You have to be a bit more careful, but you can save so much time that there's wiggle room to snag a health drop or healing pad.

The kicker is that their Arwings come standard with twin lasers. It's a temporary advantage, but it just looks comical. If all craft types have the same laser, I still give the edge to Fay and Miyu, but it's somewhat reasonable at least. Their laser advantage makes me think that someone at Argonaut looked at the cast and somehow drew the conclusion that they were at a disadvantage, and I just can't comprehend that. If this were the original Star Fox, things may be more even, but fast, efficient play is extremely valuable in Star Fox 2, and Fay and Miyu just hold all the cards in that department. Again, I have more thoughts about the game's balance, so we'll come back to that later.



The initial situation is similar to Hard. We have three planetary bases and four battleships (with only two active) to take care of. Our bases this time around are on Titania, Fortuna, and Eladard. I mentioned before that the position of Titania and Fortuna makes them extra annoying to contend with, so having them both right off the bat is just a lovely sight! And they finally put a stop to my "warp to Eladard immediately to clean up the fighters on the right" tactic.



The fox and the hound are up to the challenge!




Alright, let's size up the immediate concerns.



The missiles only pose a minimal concern. We have a pair of Spiral Kites in both squadrons, accompanied by a Prison Bow in the left group and Escort Fighters in the right.



With Eladard occupied, I warp to Meteor to shorten the distance to the Kites and Bow.



Fox makes his debut, taking care of business without much trouble.



Yikes, that missile's getting close! Time to warp back and take care of that. Luckily, objects don't damage Corneria until they're a ways "into" its image on the map. The square in the second image is a good guideline for the outer boundaries of its hitbox.



Fay puts the missiles down with a single charged shot. Man, a no-damage run on Expert is asking a lot, but I sure don't need to cut things this close right out of the gate.



A quick warp back to Meteor, and Fay just wreaks havoc on this foursome.
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