Title: Strike Force Foxx
Developer/Publisher: Big John Games
Release Date: July 17, 2014
When you summarize the generic 80’s action movie story, throw in Airwolf and put in the 1982 game Choplifter’s basic gameplay, you’ll come up with Strike Force Foxx. Strike Force Foxx seems unremarkable when described like that, but for once the game is greater than the sum of its parts, because the gameplay is fun and addicting, something you’ll keep coming back to until that save file says ‘100%.’
An attack-and-rescue game, Strike Force Foxx has you flying a chopper, shooting bad guys down and rescuing hostages. You are Captain Foxx, the hotheaded hero with his best friend Gunner as his calm sidekick, and your enemies are Grid, a terrorist organization with an eye-patch-donning villain. The plot is basically what every 80’s action movie did, something the game acknowledges with a nod and a wink. Sadly, the story is told through still images and text speech, and despite the humour in the dialogue the art style in the cutscenes is just far too serious and plain for the story to be as tongue-in-cheek as it intends to be.
The controls work well, as there are both button and touch-screen controls for some functions so you can pick whichever is preferable. Rescuing hostages while shooting bad guys down is suitably challenging as you keep an eye on your chopper’s remaining health and fuel while avoiding missiles. The hostages come first – if more than two or three of them die, you’ll fail the mission. You can take photos using the 3DS camera and then assign them as the hostage’s pictures – it doesn’t really affect anything but it’s a lot more fun to take pictures of Vocaloids or anything you like and pretend you’re rescuing them.
At the end of the level, your score, based on how many enemies you killed, enemy buildings you destroyed, hostages you rescued and time you took is added up, and you can get one to three stars based on your performance. The more stars you collect, the quicker some upgrades, such as missiles and rope ladders for your chopper, become available. You can spend money earned from missions to upgrade your chopper’s machine gun, armor and other parts as well.
A single playthrough of Strike Force Foxx can last up to five hours, depending on how much of a perfectionist you are, but the gameplay is enjoyable enough for you to play it again. The environments are nicely detailed, and the objects look fine but not anything special. The music is fine and doesn’t interrupt your concentration, while the few snatches of voice acting for the hostages and enemies’ death-groans are hilariously bad – the hostages say, “Thanks for the ride!” and stuff like that as if you’re a cabbie instead of the guy who saved their life. The 3D effect in cutscenes is really nice, and it works well for the backgrounds in the gameplay as well.
Strike Force Foxx is a great game, if you’ll allow an intentionally cliched story. Although it has a couple of setbacks, the gameplay is enjoyable and provides just the right amount of challenge. As a matter of fact, it got the difficulty right better than any other game I’ve played in a long time.
Overall Score: 8/10