GAME NAME: Strike Force Foxx
DEVELOPER(S): Big John Games
PUBLISHER(S): Big John Games
PLATFORM(S): Nintendo 3DS
RELEASE DATE(S): July 17th, 2014
I was pretty excited when I received Big John Games’ Strike Force Foxx. I had reviewed their puzzle game Ohno Odyssey and found it to be quite amusing. Strike Force Foxx is a little change of pace though from Ohno. Instead of clever puzzles, you are inserted into the role of a helicopter pilot in a straight up action affair.
Taking a page from the classic game Choplifter, Strike Force Foxx has you rescuing hostages and killing baddies but there is actually a decent story told here. Big John Games mostly tells the tale of Captain Raymond Foxx through cheesy B-movie dialogue, which I am totally okay with. A game that is in the vein of an 8-bit game can’t really take itself to serious or that is just a recipe for disaster. Your mission (besides trying to get a piece of the hot doctor) is to take down the terrorist orgaization Grid and their evil mastermind Dr. Synchros. There are 35 missions in all and the game’s story takes place in the form of cut scenes after every few missions
The gameplay of Strike Force is to fly your helicopter across a 2D level and take out the bad guys and save the good ones. The bad guys are denoted by wearing brown or black camo and the hostages will be wearing white lab coats. It feels really easy to control the copter. Using the 3DS slide pad you will hover the copter in any direction. You can turn in 3 directions with the help of the L and R shoulder buttons. You can face left, forward or right with facing forward being the easiest way to pick up the hostages. Once you land the hostages will make their way to the helicopter and you can then return them to base. You can hold a max of 6 at a time. You can shoot from you vehicle by using the a button or holding down either shoulder button when you are facing in that particular direction.
Each level grades you with 3 star ranking system depending on how you did killing the baddies or rescuing the hostages. Time is a factor as well so you will want to make sure that you use the boost wisely. The stars will help you unlock new weapons and armor bonuses which can then be purchased using credits earned from each mission. Each unlock has up to 3 levels of purchasing upgrades. Once you get into some of the later locations, with subs and huge artillery the armor upgrades are almost a must!
Graphically Strike Force Foxx reminds me of the 16-bit, golden era of gaming, which could be considered a good thing or a bad thing depending on your flavor of art. The 3D effect didn’t do much for me and I played the game with the effect turned off for the most part. The backdrops range from mountain sides, to jungles and even urban wastelands. The sound track has some rocking loops that get old pretty quick and the hostages saying “hey, I’m over here!” and “Thank You” gets rather annoying in a hurry.
When I was younger I was also a fan of games such as Contra and other 2D shooters. Strike Force Foxx does a great job of making you feel like you are in control of the action with tight and responsive controls. The graphics are a bit bare and the sound gets repetitive but the good old school does enough to make you want to keep playing. This is a wonderful effort by Big John Games who seem to be getting better by the title.