In Play is a column taking a weekly sideways look at new game releases.
I don't know about you, but I absolutely adore the mad side of Nintendo. The one that announces the localisation of a game with a 10-minute mix of surreal salesmanship and cut-glass cuteness. The one that pauses halfway through another conference to contemplate an unpeeled bunch of bananas. The one that got so carried away with the 3D fad it bet on the marvel of glassless 3D in a handheld whose ubiquity has helped obscure its eccentricity.
Sadly absent on Nintendo's last console, the high-achieving Platinum Games revives a much-loved franchise on Wii U this month. After many delays to get its controls just right, Star Fox Zero makes smart use of the GamePad's oft-neglected second display and gyro controls, now letting us move and shoot in different directions. As integral as it may be to piloting the Arwing, it's clear this dual-screen dynamic demands a lot from the Wii U - but how does the final experience stack up overall?
The Star Fox series has its own particular catchphrase, of course, but there's another line that's lingered with me a little longer. You'll know it, I'm sure; the crudely digitised bass bark of General Pepper as you shoot out into Corneria for the first time, full of hope, excitement and, if you're an 11-year-old just back from a Rumbelows in Chesham with a box-fresh SNES hastily plugged into your CRT, pure wide-eyed wonder at this dazzling new world of wireframes and polygons. 'Good luck!'
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It's a quiet Sunday morning in downtown Los Angeles, and while young men and women, some wearing Mario beach towels as capes, queue to be admitted to the Nintendo World Championships fan event - which I later gather from Twitter to be a roaring, feelgood success - a handful of press have been assembled at the back entrance to the Nokia Theater for a different purpose. We're here to get a preview of this morning's Digital Event, to hear from Shigeru Miyamoto about the headlining Wii U game Star Fox Zero, and to play it ourselves.