It's as if somebody at Nintendo carefully examined the classic of video gaming that was Starfox 64 and methodically eliminated everything that made the game fun. Massive destruction of enemy forces? Gone. Traditional Starfox-style rail shooting? Marginalized at best. Secret levels and lots of replay value? Who needs it? Super-tight control and gameplay? Ahh, no one'll notice if we take that out. Lighthearted fun? Silly, video games aren't supposed to be fun...
Oh, and don't get me started on what they did to my beloved Landmaster. No, please, just don't.
Really, though, the breaking point for me came during the closing credits. I had grimly struggled all the way through the game, hoping against hope that something cool would happen. (SPOILER: It never does.) While the credits were playing, a slideshow ran with text describing the amount of damage that had been done to various cities and space colonies by the war: Cornerian population devastated, government under military control, et cetera, and my mouth was practically hanging open in disbelief at this point. Dear sweet Lord, Nintendo, I would have shouted if I wasn't so stunned, this is Starfox, not Band of Brothers! It's supposed to be just a cute little kid's game about an adorable fox who flies a spaceship. There are no civilian casualties in Starfox!!!
It is, perhaps, not exaggerating too greatly to say that Starfox Assault crystallizes every negative trend in video gaming today. I got my revenge on Nintendo by trading it in to Gamestop so the next poor sap who buys it at least won't be putting money in the Big N's pockets, but then I used the trade-in money to buy Metroid Prime 2 so I guess the joke's on me after all.
On the plus side, I did finally get to use my "angry rant" LJ user icon. It is somewhat liberating.