|The First 100% QuickBasic Game Review Magazine
Updated November 20, 2004
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(Terminator_Z and White Shadow)
"Part Animal, Part Special Agent!"
Gaming Gold Award Winner for Best Platform Game
Whenever the world is in trouble, it's up
to the world's finest and most confident special agent to get down to business.
So when the world becomes a victim of a massive and abnormal radiation
ploy, the British Intelligence calls upon FoX to find out who's behind
this massive scheme!
From Tokyo to the Alps, FoX is the animal
for the job. With up to eighteen levels of play, use remote controls to
take out laser barriers, discover Game Boy games and slot machines, and
uncover the secret behind the mysterious gems!
use of animation and visual effects to stimulate the senses
|The game's low point.
Many QB coding groups who aren't fortunate enough to have a graphics artist
in their group choose to borrow some graphics from other games or sources,
then finish the job by providing some of their own graphics. FoX takes
this practice one step too far by ripping a majority of the game's graphics
from other videogames and sprite libraries. As a result, game levels look
disjointed and many of the game's enemies and items don't look like they
fit with their surroundings.
Videogame fans both
inside and outside QB will also notice quite a few appearances of characters
from other videogames because of the ripping. Some cameos are cute; seeing
Coby from Wetspot drop in during the Alps levels was particularly funny.
But seeing overfamiliar characters like the Busy Beetle from Mario and
map backgrounds from Donkey Kong Country are not.
smooth blend of atmospheric sounds and original harmonies
many of the sound effects in FoX should sound familiar to gaming fans,
particularly people who've played the early Sonic the Hedgehog games. FoX
dies like Sonic, pick ups items that sound like Sonic rings, and makes
jump sounds like Sonic. It would have been nice to see some original sound
Thankfully, the music
is unfamiliar to my ears and is one of the refreshing aspects of FoX. Since
the FoX team didn't give credit to anybody for the music in this game,
I could only assume the music was either from some elaborate music database,
game music from a commercial game I haven't played yet, or an original
work by Terminator_Z and White Shadow. In any event, the music is obscure
enough and takes good advantage of the BWSB music engine.
precision of control and involvement of character within its universe
|FoX is a massive,
eighteen-level exploration platform game. The main objective of each level
is to fight your way to the silver teleporter, usually guarded by enemies
you have to stomp on or by laser barriers that can only be deactivated
by finding remote controls fiendishly hidden somewhere inside the stage.
FoX also demonstrates
some non-linear elements. Within each stage are three gems (also guarded
by laser barriers), with the game continuously prompting you to replaying
earlier levels so that eventually you can have all the gems and possibly
figure out about the game's story.
Other items help
FoX in different ways. Save up moneybags and you'll be able to buy hints
at the slot machines or save your game at a save point (if you find these
on the world map). Drumsticks and 1-UP hearts are your means of gaining
more lives, and super shoes give you the ability to jump higher than usual
for the duration of the level.
The nicest addition
in FoX is the use of a Game Boy Pocket. If you find a Game Boy cartridge
during your quest, you can play up to four different mini-games from the
world map screen. Not every Pocket game is enjoyable though; without trying
to spoil the game, one game was fun, but I found the control for a couple
of the other games to be really sloppy.
With all these goodies
and 80-screen worlds, FoX showed a lot of promise in the Gameplay department.
However, the execution was a little bit on the sloppy side for FoX. For
starters, hit detection isn't exactly player-friendly, often giving enemies
the advantage. Oftentimes I'll jump directly on top of smaller enemies,
only to get hit instead. Other times, an enemy will push me into the wall,
causing 5-hit combos that sap FoX's HP meter dry. But what really makes
me awry is when you make a long jump across the screen, only to be knocked
off to a cliff by an enemy that was off-screen, waiting to ambush you from
the other side.
Another problem I
have with FoX is the game's level design. Many of the game's secret items
and areas are hidden far away from where the eye can see (which I'm fine
with), but sometimes these paths can only be found by making suicidal jumps,
hoping that you'll land somewhere safe. And even if you do land somewhere
safe, you better have the right laser barriers deactivated or else you'll
be trapped and forced to kill yourself.
One final turn-off
(which is less major once you get far enough in FoX) is the game's save
point fee. Although limiting saves can be a good way to enhance challenge,
starting with such a steep save point fee early on in the game without
any real means of making a lot of money early on can be a great way of
repelling gamers from reaching a point where the game can get interesting.
It's a combination of all these factors that are most influential in reducing
FoX's gameplay score.
creativity and presentation of the game's critical plot
|FoX's plot is like
a James Bond flick slapped on top of a Donkey Kong game. It's asking a
lot from the gamer when FoX is portrayed as a British Intelligence agent
trying to uncover a radiation plot put together by the Japanese and American
governments, if only because not enough of the game connects to the plot.
Some things, like using a Nokia phone and tracking down remote control
devices, seem like things an Intelligence agent would do. But FoX rarely
encounters any enemy agents or does anything spy-like throughout his quest.
|Replay Value (n.)
timelessness of the gamer's delight, such that the experience can be repeated
again and again
|The replay value
in FoX is all about going back to the earlier levels and trying to find
all the gems, Game Boy cartridges, slot machines, and hidden levels. This
quest for hunting down secrets is enhanced by the fact that the game remembers
all the gems and remote controls you've found in each level everytime you
save your game. To encourage some hiking, you still have to grab a new
pair of super shoes each time you re-enter a level.
strike the mental nerve in such a way as to stimulate human thought and
|FoX must have taken
a lesson from Capcom's Resident Evil team, because FoX is one of the hardest
platformers to get started. Because collecting money and drumsticks is
so critical to keeping your lives and saves stocked, you'll be forced to
jump many of the same death-defying holes and enemies over and over again
in search of remote controls, gems, and the silver teleporters. Many items
are also well-hidden, requiring you to either jump several ledges, or literally
jump off of ledges hoping that you've collected all the right remote controls
before reaching a dead end.
|Fun Factor (n.)
overall entertainment value as maintained throughout the adventure
|It's amazing how
much forgetting to add a few gameplay details to an 8-way platformer can
devastate the overall game experience. In it's core, FoX is supposed to
be a game that should be touched and felt by the gamer, but because of
it's restrictive control system, FoX isn't the exploring platform game
that Terminator_Z and White Shadow wanted it to be. Instead, it's more
of a "jump off a cliff and hope you don't die" guessing game that's riddled
with bad hit detection.
This isn't to say
that FoX doesn't have any brilliant moments. When you are willing to hurt
yourself enough to trudge through the game's start and reach a point where
you can save quests and you've beaten most of the game levels, going back
to the older levels and trying to find all the gems and Game Boy cartridges
is a lot of fun. This is what FoX should have been about-- it's a shame
that nobody will probably get that far because they'll be too hesitant
to save their quest under the expensive save feature, and too annoyed by
the game's other features to reach that point.
FoX should have been
the best QB platform game ever made. But several gameplay quirks and ripped
off graphics and sound make FoX feel less like a classic and more like
a hacked version of an old Genesis game.
FoX v1.00 Reviewed
by Vance Velez
||To solve: 10-16 hrs Final Rating:
download FoX v1.00 (1.91MB), click here.
you're unzipping this program in DOS, you may have to use the -d option.
game is joystick compatible.
you run FoX v1.00, make sure you run "SNDSETUP.EXE" to change the game's
play FoX v1.00, unzip the file and run "FOX.EXE".
Back to Platform
and White Shadow
out of 35 points
Highs: The longest platform game in QBasic,
and a good game for people who like to explore and be challenged.
Lows: FoX's over-ripping of several other
platform game's graphics will pretty much repel any gamer who's played
games during the 16-bit era.
V Planet! Archive
This is an archive of V Planet, circa November 2004, when the site was last active. This is read-only, and preserved here as part of the QB Zines Archive at Pete's QB Site.
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