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9/30/2011

REVIEW: Star Fox 64 3D (3DS)


 Star Fox 64 is one of the most memorable games of the Nintendo 64, considered by many as a classic and one of the best games in the console, rivaling huge titles like Zelda: Ocarina of Time or Super Mario 64. Because of this, Nintendo made the decision to remake the game for their new portable console, the 3DS so old-school fans and newcomers alike can enjoy the game in full 3D and everywhere they go.

It is a very simple shooter where you control a small spaceship on rails, that means the (with many few exceptions) you can’t really go anywhere you want besides moving the ship around the screen shooting enemies with your laser, charged shots and remote bombs. Star Fox 64 tells us the story of how a group of four pilots: Fox, Falco, Slippy and Peppy will travel around the galaxy doing missions in order to bring down the evil Andross and his army of monkeys.

You will always be in control of Fox’s ship while your three teammates will usually be seen on the screen chasing enemies and being chased by them. And depending on what you do on the missions, the squad will choose a destination once the mission is over. This is where the routes come to play. Before every mission, you’ll be able to see a map full of planets and a line representing which one you’ll travel to next. But if you complete a given task, you’ll be able to change your course and maybe do a different mission in a completely different planet. But at the end, all the routes lead to a final battle with the evil Andross.

Depending on the route you take, you’ll also be able to drive either a Tank or a Submarine in a couple missions. The gameplay changes are minimal, the only difference is that the Tank can jump and the Submarine cannot charge the laser beam but has infinite torpedoes. But still, it is a nice change Nintendo did to avoid driving the same spaceship in every mission.

Unlike many other Japanese on-rail shooters, the screen won’t ever be full of bullets and the difficulty isn’t very hard. If you die on a mission it’s because you made a silly mistake that can be done right on a second try. The 3DS game has a “Nintendo 64” with the original difficulty and a “Nintendo 3DS” mode that is easier and allows for gyro controls which to be honest, aren’t very comfortable. You can also change the control scheme to a couple of variations so you can choose whichever makes you feel more comfortable with the game

Graphically speaking, the game looks very good but it’s far from the best graphics on the 3DS. Older games like Ocarina of Time 3D or Dead or Alive Dimensions look better in both 3D and 2D. But Star Fox 64 looks pretty, specially on the missions with water and many enemies around the screen. When you turn the 3D effects on, the game runs perfectly and the frame rate doesn’t go down, which is great news given that this is a very fast game.

The music is very pretty; there are many memorable songs that were remade in better quality for the fans of the original Nintendo 64 version. They sound like common Nintendo songs and to be honest, the soundtrack is one of the best things about the game. The sound effects are also great, the explosions, spaceship dashes, lasers and missiles make cool sounds that give the feel that a real space battle is going on.

The voice acting is actually different from the original game, the voices sound very similar but are different actors. The lines are extremely silly, especially when they come from Slippy and sometimes they just sound too funny. If you’ve been on the internet on the past years you’ll recognize legendary lines like Peppy’s “Do a Barrel Roll!” or Falco’s “Hey genius I’m on your side!”

The gameplay is good, as I mentioned before, you’ll take control of Fox’s ship at almost every mission and they’ll all varied enough to avoid being boring. You’ll destroy satellites in different ways, chase trains, kill huge ships over a lake and things like that. But the thing is that no matter what route you take, the game is extremely short, taking about an hour to complete. The different routes and varied missions allow for lots of replay value but for today’s standards, the game is way too short which will result in players getting bored of it quickly, but I guess the developers couldn’t do anything about it since this is just a remake of an early N64 game.

Besides the story mode, you have a score attack mode where you’ll be able to play any mission aiming to break your records and the multiplayer where you’ll battle either the AI or friends in local-play to kill each other in Deathmatches, Timed Battles or Survival Battles. The thing is that the multiplayer modes aren’t very different and we don’t get many maps to guarantee a varied multiplayer. Also, it’s not possible to play it online which makes looking at the faces of your friends over the ships on the screen be silly since you have those people sitting beside you.

As I said, the game does have a fair amount of replay value. Playing through the story several times is fun and there are even some hidden missions in the 3DS game but they’re all short and not challenging enough to make you go do them many times. You can aim to have a high-score but since there’s no online multiplayer, there’s really nobody to compete with. And the multiplayer, while very fun, grows old quickly because of the lack of modes or maps.

In short, Star Fox 64 3D is a very good game that I recommend specially to the fans of the original N64 version. Newcomers will find lots of fun on it but if they’re already used to today’s standards in both single player and multiplayer games, they’ll get bored fast and most likely move to another game. I do recommend buying and playing it since it’s a great classic but comparing it to today’s games, Star Fox 64 3D falls short in many aspects.


Pros:

-          Many varied and fun missions take you to visit beautiful locations and kill lots of enemies
-          The different routes available allow for replay value
-          Multiplayer is really fun if your friend know how to play the game


Cons:

-          Story mode is way too short, no matter what route you take
-          No online multiplayer
-          Graphics and voice acting are better in other 3DS games

Graphics and Visuals………...8
Music and Sound Effects……..7
Gameplay……………………8
Replay Value………………...7

Overall Score………………..7.5 / 10

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