Polygon writer Arthur Gies has decided not to review Star Fox Zero, despite the fact Nintendo sent the site a copy for review. Explaining his decision, Gies said:
It’s not that Star Fox Zero is hard, really. It’s often bizarrely easy, until it suddenly isn’t, in part because twitch shooting or action is so dependent on motion control with the GamePad. It is, to be blunt, a miserable experience, and the idea of playing more fills me with the kind of deep, existential dread I can’t really justify. The game itself actually seems fairly short, but it has the standard Platinum complement of challenges within each mission, collectibles to find, and more to pad out its length. […] This isn’t a review of Star Fox Zero. Save for very rare, extreme circumstances, Polygon reviews require that a game be completed, or at least a good-faith effort be made to complete it. I am not playing any more Star Fox Zero.
Currently Polygon has also received a large Ad set from Nintendo for Star Fox Zero, making the shock of not even attempting a review even more prevalent.
Polygon at the time of writing.
While Polygon says their review policy states they must attempt to finish the game, this is not the first time Polygon has had an issue like this with a Nintendo game. Last year, they also gave Codename: S.T.E.A.M. a 3/10 without attempting to finish the game. The author himself also caused a controversy back in 2014, when he gave the critically acclaimed Nintendo exclusive Bayonetta 2 a 7.5, exclusively because of the main character’s design rather than the gameplay mechanics.
There are some holes in Gies’ story. While he says the game has dificulty spikes, which contributed to him not finishing the game, Star Fox Zero actually has an invincibility mode, which, as the name implies, is a way to play the game without possibly dying. This removes almost all difficulty from the game if needed, coupling that with the comments about the game being “[…]fairly short,” Gies seems to be at odds with his own statments.
We have requested comment from Nintendo, and will update as soon as we recieve it.