Today I did a barrel roll, and I did it good.
Let’s just be honest here; almost any one reading this site has at some point and time in their lives played Star Fox 64 assuming they are not younger than the game itself. Star Fox was one of the biggest and best games the N64 ever offered, and making use of the brand new (came included) Rumble Pack for your controller, it was in many ways one of the more exciting titles of the day. In addition to being one of, if not the first console game to feature physical feedback, it was also one of the first to feature a full voice cast. These are pretty standard these days though, so does it hold up in its newest form?
Many years later, I still hate Slippy and Star Fox is still a fun though short experience that is really showing its age.
Star fox was an amazing game for the day, and the basic core gameplay is still fun (ironic being that rail shooters have done little to improve after all these years). The game itself is lightly serious, in that it has a fairly serious story but also stars an anthropomorphic fox flying a space ship. It was always a weird combination, but the game still works and blasting Andross’ minions is still fun to do. Yet there is a hesitation in all of this.
Once you remove the nostalgia effect there isn’t much to celebrate in Star Fox 64 3D. While the new 3D graphics do help to make the dated visuals of Star Fox pop on the 3DS, and it certainly looks better than hooking up the original to a HD TV, not much else has been done. Now, revamping the entire game would have been akin to burning a copy of the Koran to many gamers, but certainly there could have been some improvements to update the game not just to 3D but to the modern era of gaming. For example, how about improving the always flawed Star Fox 64 multiplayer; making use of this new fangled internet I keep hearing about. Even just some minor re-skinning (with the option to play it as classic of course) would have been huge. Ultimately, the game really just looks and plays exactly like you remember it, only in 3D.
This initially sounds like a great thing, and to some extent it is. The original is a classic, but considering that even when you play through the game on the hardest path (it still goes without saying that the fact the game had various paths that you could reach based on performance in a level remains one of the coolest aspects of the game) it only takes about an hour to beat. There are really only 2.5 unique paths to take as well, so the game doesn’t offer much in replayability to a current gen gamer who is far more likely to have many other titles awaiting their attention. See, back when Star Fox 64 came out, the average gamer was much younger and more often than not had less money to spend on games compared to the older game of today. Star Fox 64 3D mostly suffers because it isn’t the only game I have to play for the next two months. With an almost complete lack of updating to the game beyond the 3D visuals, there just isn’t much to keep you coming back.
If you haven’t played Star Fox 64 in years, the 3DS re-make is a nice trip back down nostalgia lane, but it lacks beyond that. The game itself is still fun and goofy and certainly brings back great memories of a very different time in gaming; but it is also dated and packs a playtime more like what you would see from a downloadable title. Back in the day, Star Fox was cutting edge gaming; unfortunately Nintendo didn’t decide to do anything cutting edge (or even up to date) with the 3D remake. Pick it up if you need the nostalgia, or you just have nothing else to play on your 3DS currently, but don’t expect the world.
Tomorrow I let the bodies hit the floor, and then count them, in BodyCount.
Final Rating: 7.5/10
CBR Break Down:
Console Played On: 3DS
Time to completion: About 1 hour for each playthrough.
Gamer Score Earned: N/A
Price Bought at: $21
Current Price: $37.16 (Amazon)
Recommend Purchase Price: Under $15 is where this becomes more worthwhile.
Why you should buy it: Nostalgia/the fact the game is still fun.
Why you shouldn’t buy it: Nothing has really changed, and I mean that in a bad way.