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YMMV / Starlink: Battle for Atlas

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  • Awesome Music:
    • The Nintendo Switch version features remixes of the main theme from the original Star Fox, a remix of the Corneria theme from the same game as Fox's pilot skill theme, and the battle with Wolf has a remix of the Star Wolf theme from Star Fox 64.
    • For the game proper, there are dynamic tracks that ramp up as you fight Primes, Dreadnoughts, and Outlaw Hideouts.
  • Author's Saving Throw:
    • The Spring 2019 update for the Switch version brings in Falco, Peppy, and Slippy as playable characters, and Leon, Pigma and Andrew as bosses after they were seemingly replaced by original characters.
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    • The same update introduces a wide variety of new content to make up for the relatively short main campaign, including a new planet where players can take on all sorts of challenges.
    • Just the fact that that crossover exists can be seen as one both from Ubisoft's and Nintendo's position, spicing up an otherwise fairly generic world and making up for the lackluster Star Fox games of late.
    • The line "C'mon, Wolf. Since when were you anything but a mercenary?" might be the writers' way of expressing their acknowledgement over their misinterpretation of Wolf's character and goals.
  • Big-Lipped Alligator Moment: The ending of the Expedition arc of the Crimson Moon pack, if one chooses to use the Anvil instead of destroying it. A bizzaro Equinox appears out of a portal from nowhere and steals it.
  • Breather Level: The Expedition mission of the Crimson Moon pack is more focused on puzzle solving, with a focus on a decryption wheel that throws a few mind-bending curveballs. It's not too difficult to overcome as there's no necessary fighting.
  • Complacent Gaming Syndrome:
    • Naturally, with how much more attention the game got when the Star Fox crossover got announced, many players of the Switch version stick primarily to Fox and his Arwing.
    • For a non-Star Fox example, players have quickly found that using the Volcano Gatling with the Frost Barrage is an effective balance between elements, ranged attacks, and splash/homing attacks.
    • Generally, although the game kinda encourages you to use a variety of pilots depending on the situation most players will just stick with their favorite. Mastering weapons and ships does provide skill points for every other pilot, which largely defeats the incentives of Mentor skills and Equinox upgrade requirements.
  • Demonic Spiders:
    • Dreadnought/Hideout Turrets have heavy ordinance that can instantly destroy your shield if you don't block or evade them. It's ideal to destroy them first, but then again, doing so often spawns more fighters...
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    • Outlaw Mines are a nightmare to deal with. They'll constantly chase you if you enter a mere mile of their territory, and their explosions are enough to consistently take out your shields in one go. They're everywhere in Outlaw bases too.
    • On the ground, Legion Giants have bulky HP and hard-hitting attacks. Unlike lesser enemies, using an elemental combo or effect doesn't remove their elemental immunities, so it's a fool's errand to attempt to use Volcano gatling on a Fire Giant, for example. Doing this turns your enemy into an Empowered unit. But to complete the Prospectors questline in the Crimson Moon missions, however, you need to do this to three enemies just to lure someone out.
  • Ensemble Dark Horse: Fortune, whose charisma and Classy Cravat draw a lot of attention.
  • Fandom Rivalry: Seemed to be brewing with No Man's Sky, with many praising this game for basically being what they thought No Man's Sky should have been from the outset and taking shots at that one.
  • Game-Breaker:
    • Emptying the weapon slots on the Arwing grants you access to the Laser Cannons, imported straight from the Star Fox games. They fire in very dense bursts, and holding down the fire button results in a Charged Laser that homes in on the enemy and inflicts tremendous damage. Since the Laser Cannons take up the weapon slots when they're empty, they cannot be modded, however completing the Star Wolf quest chain gives you a series of Arwing-exclusive ship mods that, among other things, power up the Laser Cannons to ridiculous heights. While the Laser Cannons are Non-Elemental weapons, that doesn't really matter when it turns most enemies into scrap metal in about one or two charged shots and can send the Final Boss packing in about a minute. Of course, as it's not technically a mountable weapon, you won't gain experience points from it.
    • As there are no Stasis element enemies, the Levitator tends to be a safe choice in ground combat. It deals lots of siege damage and is very effective against gravity enemies, which there are many. The only downside to this weapon is its demanding energy usage, which can be alleviated with energy saving/boosting mods.
    • In a sense, Armories are relatively game-breaking because of how effective they are against the Legion once you have all the associated Equinox upgrades. These give them exceptional durability and attacks that counter the enemy's element. When you've gotten all the upgrades, even a single level 3 Armory can put an entire planet on lockdown, taking out Extractors with total ease and making it almost impossible for the Legion to make any progress on a planet once it's locked down.
      • Ordinarily you can't build new armories on planets with heavy Legion activity but as long as you have 100% on the right planet you can build them on a completely overrun planet and just sit back and watch them take down almost everything the Legion has on their own. Only the Primes and Ancient Extractors are safe, and even then when you start attacking them you'll get backup almost immediately (and the Prime will be severely weakened from the other Extractors being gone)
    • Deflection Armor, especially at Legendary Quality, can turn the "Just Frame" Bonus into a One-Hit Kill by making all damage reflected by your Active Shield into a 2500-damage attack. A few taps of the button while being pelted by rapid enemy fire can drastically reduce the enemy numbers.
    • Unlocking all the Mentor Skills that affect the acquisition of energy for your Pilot Ability will leave you with an almost perpetually full Ability gauge, letting you end fights as fast as they begin, and keep you topped off for the next. Combine this with Pilot Abilities that render the user invincible (such as Levi's and Fern's) and you'll almost never die again.
    • The Gauss Gun Mk.2, a Kinetic Railgun, it deals similar damage to the Arwing's Charged Laser and with the right Mods fires faster and potentially twice per charge, and unlike the Arwing you will not only gain Experience for Pilot Points but also use weapon mods for the improvement mods, leaving the ship mods free for improvements of your own choice, unlike the Arwing however it is only available in a Weapon Pack.
    • For the cheapskates who didn’t buy any Weapon or Pilot Packs, or only stuck with their starter sets (especially on Switch), the Shredder+Frost Barrage combo will make most bosses fall in less than 15 seconds, especially if both have Fire Rate mods.
  • Germans Love David Hasselhoff:
    • The game is adored in Japan, receiving an impressive 9/8/8/9 score from Famitsu magazine (not near-perfect, but outstanding nevertheless), as evidenced by Japanese Youtubers praising the environments and gameplay. As expected, Star Fox’s portrayal in this game is really well received.
    • On the other side of the world, the Japanese dub, especially for some characters like Levi and Hunter, who seem to be unliked in the West, is considered an improvement over the original English language dub. For example, Levi seems to be voiced by Yoshiki Kishinuma’s voice actor.
  • Goddamned Bats:
    • Imps may not be very powerful, but they have the annoying habit of jumping onto your ship, forcing you to shrug them off with the dodge/boost button. They are also very small, making them difficult to hit especially with precision weaponry. Fortunately, the Shockwave weapon is extremely effective against them, hitting in a wide area and often killing them in one shot.
    • Legion Drakes/Outlaw Fighters are relentless in their attacks, swarming you in space battles. It's impossible to dodge their hitscan weapons outright, forcing you to use aerial maneuvers (or Barrel Rolls) to survive. They can be pretty difficult to pursue with all the aerial maneuvers they do themselves. Outlaw Fighters are slightly worse, in that they will not stop taunting you as long as they're alive.
    • Prickle Burrs and Snowcatches were introduced in an update, to everyone's dismay. All they do is follow you when you get too close, attach themselves to your ship, and slow you down (and freeze you in the case of Snowcatches).
    /"Prickle Burr attached. Attack or launch the Prickle Burr to dislodge it."
    • Flawless Cyclopses aren't relatively dangerous in terms of their offensive power, but they resist all weapon types, have shields much like Shielded Cyclopses, and take forever to whittle down. Have fun dealing with them if you're up against an Extractor and the core opens up based on enemies killed rather than nodes destroyed.
  • It's Short, So It Sucks!: One criticism of the game is that there is not really much to the game itself. It is entirely possible to blaze through the game in about 15-20 hours, even less if you are good with shutting down Primes and especially Dreadnoughts (destroying Extractors and Primes simply makes Primes and Dreadnoughts, respectively, easier; following the chain is not strictly necessary). It's also relatively easy to increase alliance power on every planet, whether it be by upgrading/building outposts or capturing cities, and the Legion isn't very fast at deploying Dreadnoughts and Primes no matter the difficulty. There are relatively few unique sidequests (all of the sidequests the outposts give you are always in one of a small handful of formats) and the endgame just consists of "do all of the generic outpost-claiming and landmark-visiting that you haven't done yet, sometimes a new Dreadnought appears." The full digital version is a whopping 80 USD; still cheaper than doing all the DLC purchases separately or getting the physical edition and the toys to go with it, but there is not much fulfillment for players to get out of it given the cost. Fortunately, this was remedied with the Crimzon Moon update in April 2019, which adds a wide variety of new content, even if you don't get the paid DLC to go with it.
  • Just Here for Godzilla: Pre-release interest for the game was lukewarm at best, with many dismissing it due to the "toys to life" aspect. It was only until the game's reappearance the following year, where it was revealed that the Nintendo Switch version would now feature Fox McCloud as a playable character, that the title began receiving more attention.
  • Memetic Mutation: Comparing Wolf to Scar from The Lion King (1994) because of his voice sounding similar.
  • Most Wonderful Sound:
    • "Star Fox, form up on me!"
    • "This is Vigilante Squadron! We've taken down an Extractor!" and all variants thereof. Considering that Extractors can be tedious to destroy sometimes, it's a relief when you hear that your hired guns have taken down an Extractor on their own.
    • With how obnoxious Outlaws can be when they taunt you during combat, it's satisfying to hear the pilots of their Battle Mechs scream in frustration when you knock them down by shooting their kneecaps.
      "ARRRGH!! HOW?!"
  • Nausea Fuel: Vylus, described as "the universe's largest petri dish", is infected with all manners of mold and fungi, making it not a friendly planet for the mycophobic. Hunter often remarks that in addition to Legion infection, there's other kinds of infection to deal with as well.
  • Nightmare Fuel:
    • When you enter ship wreckage in space, the usual ambient space music stops and is replaced with a low, constant droning noise. Furthermore, as you make your way inside, you have to deal with mines that can potentially come in from unexpected angles and blow up on you. And finally, if it's an Outlaw ship, you're greeted with a Scare Chord as you enter the central chamber.
    • Ashar, already an extremely hot planet with an atmospheric temperature of 213 Cnote , is full of acid lakes with a surface temperature of 1500 Cnote . That, according to in-game lore, Outlaws used for torturing captives and hazing new recruits by way of dipping them in; the in-game encyclopedia states that the longest one has been able to last without screaming is a mere twelve seconds.
  • Popular with Furries: In addition to the Star Fox crossover, various characters that Starlink visits tend to be anthropomorphic animals, namely the outpost managers and some outlaws.
  • Replacement Scrappy: Kash, Zonna and Koval for Andrew, Leon and Pigma. Having the original Star Wolf team not show up was bad, but to have them replaced by three other original characters when Wolf could have just come back with his team intact? That was just pouring salt on the wound. Although that issue was remedied with the release of the Crimson Moon DLC.
  • The Scrappy: The creators clearly designed Levi's personality as some sort of fun-loving, thrill-seeking Kid-Appeal Character who connects with the YouTube Generation, but judging from comments online the vast majority of the fanbase just sees him as an obnoxious dudebro character who's trying way too hard to be hip to modern kids. This may have been alleviated if he had some Hidden Depths or had a role on the crew that no one else could fulfill, but even in-story, there's barely any justification for him having equal clout to astrophysicists, ace pilots, ex-military, and helpful Atlas natives. Don't expect to see his model flying off store shelves. It's even more hilarious and pathetic that he's still this even when Slippy Toad is around, who was The Scrappy for the same reasons in his own series but isn't so much in this game.
  • Scrappy Mechanic:
    • The controls are largely immutable, and there are a couple sore points about them in particular:
      • Turning and pitching the ship is locked to the right analog stick, even when in flight mode, while the left stick is used for throttle and strafing. Given that nearly all flight-based games that use twin-analog gamepads use the left stick for turning/rolling and pitching (including Star Fox, which this game crosses over with in the Switch version), this will take some getting used to.
      • If you pull back on the left stick and press the right face buttonnote  while in flight mode, you will execute a U-turn. While this can be useful, more often than not you'll do U-turns by mistake when you attempt to dodge sideways (left or right on the left stick + right face button). It's not uncommon to lose your ship while fighting a Dreadnought or Outlaws because you meant to dodge and you U-turned instead.
    • The Levitator is the only stasis weapon available at launch. Why is this a problem? For a long time, it was only available in the Neptune/Judge ship pack, and 100% Completion is impossible without it as there are Warden Spire puzzles that require multiple uses of a stasis weapon in a timed sequence (Meaning no cheesing it with nearby Stasis Canisters). Gravity weapons are also required for some puzzles, but there's several ship and weapon packs that contain a gravity weapon, and there's no stasis element enemies in the game (Though gravity IS a rather powerful status effect that works on any enemy and meshes well with fire or ice). Somewhat downplayed with the large amount of gravity element enemies the game throws at you later in the game, as they can still be beaten with any other non-gravity weapon, even if it takes a little bit longer. Also alleviated when the Crimson Moon update came along, which added more Stasis weaponry within a number of other pilot packs.
    • At the end of the game there is also the spawn timers on the Dreadnoughts and Primes, with it taking hours for a new Dreadnought to spawn, even on the highest difficulties, leaving the Player with large swathes of nothing to do except wait. This seems to have been fixed with the Crimson Moon update, in that Dreadnoughts and Primes spawn faster.
    • If you go out of your way to get the ships, weapons, and wings in toy format, you can use them in-game without needing the physical toys connected...for only one week, as opposed to having them permanently if you buy the DLC or the Deluxe Edition. Did you lose your toys? Have fun double-dipping.
    • The Star difficulty added to the Crimson Moon DLC set, which scales certain units to your current pilot's level. Admirable endeavor, but it makes the game Very Hard-esque in difficulty, even in Normal. Enjoy having up to 10 Game Overs per hour.
    • When you purchase the DLC for most pilots, they scale to your existing pilots' levels. Fox's three wingmen, on the other than, start at level 5, even if everyone else's levels are maxed out. Have fun getting three-shotted by enemies that the other pilots have no trouble with.
  • Scrappy Weapon: Gravity Weapons are usually looked down upon, mainly because there are no Stasis-elemental enemies to be found, rendering its strengths moot. They also tend to create black holes that trap the player more than they do enemies.
  • Spiritual Adaptation:
    • The Switch version of Starlink: Battle for Atlas is often referred to as being a new entry in the Star Fox series in everything but name. The open-world space gameplay is seen as one of the better experiments with the franchise's formula, and many previews had journalists impressed by how seamless the addition of Nintendo characters was done. More specifically, the game has a lot of similarities to Star Fox 2, in which the player would defend Corneria from assault by destroying enemy weapons and strongholds. The difference here is that you have multiple planets to defend and you can set up bases of your own.
    • The game in general may be a more successful version of No Man's Sky, taking the concept of exploring planets, harvesting resources, and interacting with sentient lifeforms, all without the monotony and questionable hurdles this time around.
    • The open-ended and exploration-heavy nature of the game, combined with the idea of liberating/deploying outposts and uncovering undiscovered terrain brings Far Cry to mind.
  • Take That, Scrappy!: St. Grand's dossier on Levi. While it does start out with admiration of his daredevil bravery, it pulls no punches on the fact that he's not even supposed to be here and his disdain for his worse habits.
    Levi is also an entitled little brat who snuck aboard my ship. He's oblivious to basic social cues. His obsession with selfies is a textbook case of compulsive narcissism.
  • That One Boss: Outlaw Sloop Tanks, which were introduced in the Crimson Moon update, are exceedingly frustrating to fight. Not only do they have some very powerful attacks, but they are also obnoxiously resilient. The first phase is as simple as using your shield ram to take out its armor, but in the second phase, it will open its main gun at intervals to fire a very powerful shot, and this is your only chance to do a reasonable amount of damage, and the AI seems engineered to only expose the main gun whenever it feels like it. It's easy to get stuck fighting it for 10 minutes or more while losing ship after ship. All of this while listening to the usual Outlaw banter.
  • That One Level:
    • Both of the Dark Sector planets are difficult, but Ashar in particular is strewn with acid lakes that will rapidly heat your ship up, cutting off your shield regeneration. Worse, several generic outpost missions require you to visit facilities that are submerged in the stuff, forcing you to perform a tricky aerial assault on enemies that need to be cleared out or use the roofs of buildings to keep yourself safe, something that's no easy feat if your mission requires you to hack something.
    • Tundria of the Frontier Sector is more or less the same, but replace acid lakes with icy-cold ones. Ashar and Tundria are filled to the brim with fire and ice type enemies, respectively, putting the time-tested Volcano Gatling and Frost Barrage combo on hold.
  • That One Sidequest:
    • Fauna analysis missions are not particularly difficult, but they are very tedious. You need to pick up an Analyzer for the species you need to scan, and since it's a heavy object, you can't fly or use Warden Spire warps with it. Then you need to find three specimens to scan, which can drag on given that this is the only outpost objective type not to tell you specifically where your destinations or targets are. The Analyzer does show you where fauna are on the radar, but the radar icons don't show if it's the correct species. After you complete all this, then you have to actually return the Analyzer to the same outpost that hired you, whereas other "carry this object" objectives simply have you plonking down the object required into the correct area. It is inadvisable to engage in combat, as the Analyzer may get destroyed in the process, wiping out any progress you may have made and automatically failing the mission. All in all, it may be easier to roll the dice by cancelling the mission and getting a different one.
    • St. Grand's Secrets is a mostly straightforward story-driven Fetch Quest with a few fights in between. The difficult part comes from the platforming. The first instance on Kirite isn't too bad, but the one on Vylus borders on Fake Difficulty. You'll need to bring an item to the top of a rock, which means you can't just cheese it by flying. Some of the rocks rotate, forcing in some waiting times. One rock in particular is so lopsided that you'll practically need jump quickly to the next one. One mistake and you'll need to do the platforming sequence all over again. Without a mod that enables double-jumping, this part is by far the most tedious of the quest. However, playing in co-op mode does allow you to use the Starlink tether to your advantage to simply cheese through these puzzles by having player two hold the necessary item while player one simply flies to the destination, and then have player two either break tether or push right on the d-pad, spawning them right next to player one.
    • Closer to the end of the same quest involves fighting a trio of ancient cyclopes that are absolute bullet sponges. Though their offense doesn't pose too much of a threat compared to most enemies at that time in the game, this part will test one's fortitude as these enemies are resistant to all elements. You'd best have deployed an armory or two to help out...
    • The Prospectors sidequest in the Crimson Moon pack is a huge Difficulty Spike compared to the rest of its missions. One part of the sidequest involves empowering elemental giants of every type before killing them, which makes them even more powerful (there's also no direct indication whether or not a giant has been empowered either). Another involves killing outlaws with precision (actually it involves killing outlaws by making a finishing blow on their critical weak spot), which can be frustration incarnate, especially with allies stealing the kill and weak spots not always being obvious. The final push of the mission involves storming an Outlaw-controlled Dreadnought with mines in addition to its already powerful turrets and fighters. Oh, and you have to reflect against its shield covering the missile port too. All without any allies to help you this time around.
  • They Wasted a Perfectly Good Plot:
    • The Atlas B and C stars are mentioned, but the most you get to explore of either of their respective star systems is the surface of Atlas B, and only to fight off some Elite Mooks and the Final Boss in an arena.
    • Some think that the premise of Wolf just running away from the authorities and trying to build his own criminal empire would've made a much more interesting story than the last-minute reveal that he was trying to destroy Corneria through alien technology. Not helping matters is that the second Wolf is stopped, Star Fox's entire reason to be in Atlas (to arrest and bring him back to Corneria) is inexplicably dropped out of the window and never mentioned again.
  • Tier-Induced Scrappy: Haywire's Pilot Ability is perhaps the most problematic of all the pilots' Abilties. It hacks nearby enemies, making them fight for you for a while. What's wrong with it? To start, hacked enemies are invincible and hacks cannot be cut short by pressing the Ability button a second time, so you can't just blow them up if you decide you don't need them anymore, meaning that hacking enemies during Extractor fights can prolong the fight needlessly and if you hack enemies outside of Extractor skirmishes, you can potentially hack an enemy or three, go do business nearby, only to have those enemies breathing down your neck unexpectedly because you forgot they existed. And finally, Haywire has Pilot Skills to extend hack duration and allow all pilots to auto-hack enemies when critically damaged, two Skills you perhaps should never dump points into. To compare, Slippy's Pilot Ability causes enemies to turn against one another, but still allows you to still damage them.
  • Unexpected Character: Even considering the previous year's collaboration, no one expected Nintendo to let Ubisoft utilize another of their properties so soon. Even the game's producer was shocked when Nintendo staff and developers ended up being so intrigued by the game that it was them that asked Ubisoft to pitch an idea for integrating Star Fox.
  • Underused Game Mechanic:
    • There's a "corridor" on-rails control mode (similar to classic Star Fox gameplay) where you use the left stick entirely for moving...and it's only used for going through Dreadnought tunnels, where your only opposition is a bunch of defensive laser beams that can't be damaged.
    • Even though you can fly while in a planet's atmosphere, there's almost no proper aerial combat unless you go out into space; the only times when intra-atmosphere flight is mandated are when you're on phase 3 of a Legion Prime (and even that can be skipped if you destroy enough Extractors first) and the last phase of the Final Boss. Air-to-ground assaults are not recommended either, due to the fact that none of your weaponry is designed for them (all of your weapons shoot straight forward, shoot straight backward if they're flipped, or charge you forward).
    • The game allows you to use motion controls to aim...but only if you're zoomed in, and the motion aiming is fixed to a very low sensitivity.
  • Visual Effects of Awesome: The Star Fox characters look amazing, and the rest of the game is no slouch either. Each planet is filled with rich colors and fantastical geometry that's a blast to speed through in your ship. And yet, it all runs smoothly no matter which version of the game you're playing.
  • Win the Crowd:
    • For the Switch version, having Fox McCloud as a playable character and being bundled with an Arwing figure, may have sold fans of Star Fox franchise (and owners of the system in general) on the game. Interest increased even further when it became known just how much the Star Fox crew would be integrated into the plot, with the characters showing up in pre-rendered cutscenes alongside the main cast, having full conversations with them during gameplay, as well as their own plotline involving Wolf O'Donnell. There are even nods to obscure Star Fox lore, such as Fox McCloud's home planet.
    • While it was known that it would be possible to purchase content digitally for a lower price, the digital deluxe version of the game including nearly all of the ships, weapons, and pilots (The only exceptions are store and pre-order exclusive ships and pilots) for only five dollars more than the vanilla physical edition of the game helped win over a fair many fence-sitters that were weary of the game's toys-to-life aspect.

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