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Star Fox Command - hands-on

Once you've collided with an enemy, be it airborne fighters or a home base, the game switches to old-school Star Fox shooting action. The touch screen moves the ship around, displays a map of the area and stores screen-clearing bombs, which can be dragged anywhere on the map and detonated. Quickly rubbing the stylus back and forth puts your ship into a barrel roll, which deflects incoming shots.

Each skirmish has a specific target you need to take care of. It may be one enemy ship or a whole host of craft circling a base - because each member of the Star Fox squadron boasts different weapons, shields and handling, you'll need to lead the appropriate pilot to certain battles. Slippy's got a pretty tough ship, but Falco's can target multiple enemies at once with homing shots. If you're running low on time, that's worth a lot more than raw power.



No matter how many enemies you take out, the home bases can keep churning more out. Battling the bases usually means downing some kind of miniboss, then soaring right through the center of a hovering mothership by slaloming through a series of red squares. The squares act as a "preferred path" that guides you right to the ship's weak point, letting you split it down the middle. As a bonus, scrapping a base gives you two extra turns to beat the overall mission.

Our video also shows off the fog of war, where you have to scrape away globs of goo to find your targets on the map. The fog grows back after every turn, however, so keep in mind where things were before they disappear all over again. Once all the enemies are gone, it's time for some melodramatic dialogue between cuddly animals and their friends. The joy.

Star Fox Command hits stores on Tuesday - we'll have the final word on Fox's latest mission for you then.

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