Ten years ago today, Star Fox Assault was released for the GameCube in America (February 14, 2005). Ten days after that, it would be released in Japan (February 24, 2005). The rest of the world followed in April 2005. Released almost two and a half years after Star Fox Adventures, the game represented a return to earlier Star Fox game mechanics. Fox returned to his Arwing and Landmaster, with some levels being on foot. However, the game focused exclusively on shooting mechanics unlike Star Fox Adventure's action-RPG style exploration, item-collecting, and melee combat mechanics. The game would be Krystal's second outing in a Star Fox game.
Character-wise, Peppy retired officially from his Arwing piloting days to take on a more advisory role in his old age. Slippy retained his mechanical ability, and we got to see his predecessor, Beltino Toad, for the first time. Falco had rejoined the team as Fox's wingman as if his long absence prior to Star Fox Adventures had never happened. Krystal had joined the Star Fox team and shown herself a quick study when it came to piloting and modern combat tactics. Her expertise with extrasensory perception gave the team advanced warning of danger on multiple occasions. Finally, Star Fox Assault would mark the first time that Andross was not in a Star Fox game. The Aparoids, a hive-mind controlled species of bio-mechanical insects took the stage as the villain.
During this game, we saw Fox and Krystal's developing relationship, such as it was, with much romantic banter between them. This would later allow the strange relationship troubles discussed in the opening of Star Fox Command.
Graphically, Star Fox Assault, felt sharp and modern thanks to a distinct visual style that emphasized the futuristic nature of the vehicles and locations. In spite of this, the game was graphically inferior to Star Fox Adventures on many counts. Mechanically, the game played well, but was less polished than earlier Star Fox games. The audio, however, was quite good, some scores being done orchestrally. Star Fox Assault was a collaboration between Nintendo, who published the game, and Namco, who developed it.