Mario. Zelda. Metroid. These represent the A level Nintendo franchises.
Then there are the second tier titles. Kirby, Wario, Yoshi, Pikmin, that guy from Kung-Fu...
And then there's Star Fox.
Scratching the surface of true stardom, Fox McCloud often falls just shy of Mario and Link in the pantheon. Does Star Fox: Command propel him to new heights?
Does it give DS owners a sweet space shooter with tremendous replay value?
This DS title returns to the Star Fox of old. Blast everything that moves. Fortunately, it also removes the "rail" aspect of the old Fox, as each battle is free-roaming. The "command" aspect refers to some very mild turn based stratagy that precedes the battles. It isn't terribly difficult and doesn't get in the way of the blasting.
So what is keeping this Fox from going to new heights, despite a solid effort? Namely, the silly arsed plot. Granted, this has always been a kid friendly series. But Star Fox often falls into the category of a ridiculous Saturday Morning cartoon. This, by the way, underscores the brilliance of Miyamoto's Mario and Zelda. They are kid friendly, yet they do not feel "immature." They transcend the age group they are intended for, which Star Fox has never done, and does not do here.
But that doesn't mean this isn't a crazy fun game. Especially with its robust mulitplayer. With single cart, multicart, and wi-fi all supported, you'll be cruisin' in your arwing for many hours after you complete the single player quest.
Final Summation: Fun, arcade action and great multiplayer more than make up for the kiddie plot and somewhat annoying squawks that emulate talking. B+.