Star Fox refers to a series of games developed by Nintendo which focuses on the Star Fox Team and their adventures in and around the fictional star system known as the Lylat System.
The original game Star Fox (also known as Starwing in Europe & Australia) set the series standard as a forwards scrolling sci-fi shooter. At the time its revolutionary use of the Super FX Chip allowed gamers their first go at accelerated 3D graphics on a home console (the Super Famicon/SNES). Later games in the series would significantly stray from the original game's scrolling-shooter roots, incorporating less linear style game play and even a complete change to 3D action-adventure in the case of Star Fox Adventures.
Today the Star Fox series is still considered one of Nintendo's most beloved franchises, and the character Star Fox is one of Nintendo's most popular and well known characters (beaten only by Super Mario, Link from the Legend of Zelda series & Samus from the Metroid series).
The Star Fox series includes:
Star Fox (Super Famicon/SNES, 1993) AKA Starwing
Star Fox 64 (Nintendo 64, 1997) AKA Lylat Wars
Star Fox Adventures (Gamecube, 2002)
Star Fox Assault (Gamecube, 2005, Developed By Namco)
Star Fox Command (Nintendo DS, 2006)
Star Fox 64 3D (Nintendo 3DS, 2011)
The most unusual game of the series is Star Fox Adventures for the Gamecube. Completely braking away from the franchise norms, the game takes a third person perspective over the series star Fox McCloud as he travels around the Dinosaur Planet in a full RPG action-adventure format that is much closer in style to the 3D Zelda Series games. This change in tone lies behind the game's development. Originally designed by Rare and just called Dinosaur Planet, it told the story of two characters in a unrelated stand alone title intended for the Nintendo 64. In the end the decision was made to convert it into a Star Fox title for opening release with the Gamecube, making the game Star Fox Adventures. Several screen shots can still be see of the game in its original format on the internet.
There is a missing game in the franchise known as Star Fox 2. Developed to completion for Super Famicon/SNES and originally set for release in 1995, it was sadly never released and the project was binned at the last minute. Though no official reason was given by Nintendo it is known that Nintendo's creator Miyamoto-san wanted a 'clean break' between the 3D games on the SNES and those on the upcoming Nintendo 64. As the game was made to completion several working copies of the game have since been circulated on the internet despite never having an official release.
Star Fox 2 featured several defining features. These included various playable character and ship choices (including two new Star Fox Team members), introduced the Star Wolf Team that would not officially appear for the first time until Star Fox 64, a new ability that allowed the Arwing ships to transform into walker-like robots, and a real time overworld map of the Lylat System, where players had to make tactical decisions of what to do and in which order whilst protecting the planet Corneria from enemy attacks (the real time overworld map would also later appear in Star Fox Command).
There are also two other cancelled games- Star Fox for the Virtual Boy and a Star Fox Arcade. Little is known about either of these cancelled titles. Only a handful of screen shots of the Virtual Boy version exist, and all that is known of the arcade game is that it was intended as a companion game for Star Fox Assault.