You get to control a number of different ships, and not just the Arwing that belongs to Fox McCloud.
Mainstays like Mario and Donkey Kong are here, as well as Fox McCloud from Star Fox, Captain Falcon from F-Zero, Ganondorf from Zelda, and even that yellow, electric rat-thing that we all affectionately know as Pikachu.
Scott McCloud's excellent and deeply profound book Understanding Comics outlines this philosophy.
The Mario, Zelda, Mega Man and other franchises continued to proliferate, as well as a wide range of other hugely popular games that introduced us to Fox McCloud, Kirby, and Earthworm Jim.
Fox: The protagonist from the Star Fox series of games, Fox McCloud is well equipped with his blaster and flying kicks.