In 1995, Star Fox 2 was inescapable. The followup to Nintendo’s cutting-edge space fighter game, built by the British team behind the original, it promised to be the Super Nintendo game to beat. And then, it vanished. Until today, when Nintendo surprised everyone by announcing that finally, Argonaut Games’ followup would be playable for the first time on the SNES Classic. So why did Star Fox 2 sit in Nintendo’s vault for more than two decades?
The original Star Fox was a groundbreaking game when it arrived in 1993, offering full, three-dimensional, polygonal graphics. Until its release, “true 3D” graphics were only found in arcades. The ability to render the polygons and shading that offered the illusion of three-dimensional depth was simply beyond the technology of the Super Nintendo and the Sega Genesis. “3D” games at the time pulled off the effect with clever art design, layering 2D graphics on a 3D plane. The first Mario Kart is a good example. Star Fox was Nintendo’s attempt to prove that with a little help, the SNES could deliver true 3D graphics.
Compare that to Star Fox: