A mad scientist by the name of Andross was exiled from the planet Corneria to the barren desert world Venom. When the Cornerian military received word that Andross was plotting something, they sent in a small unit lead by James McCloud. They were betrayed by one of their own and one of the members Peppy Hare escaped the planet. Years later, Andross begins his attack on the Lylat system. The Cornerian military turn to James's son Fox McCloud to battle Andross and his forces. -summary
I have to come out and say that I'm not too crazy about Nintendo digging under the bed for old classics to breath life into their newest system, especially after this slow start. If it wasn't for the announcement of several original games packed with release dates, then I would drop their 3DS right now and just wait for Sony's new portable. Nintendo brings back the classic game Star Fox 64which was originally released back in the late 90's for the Nintendo 64. This was one of their earlier systems that had a lot of potential, but was hurt by a limited library, and this was clearly what spelled doom for the system. Even though the N64 had a pretty short run, it left behind several memorable games with this being one of them. Back then, Star Fox 64 was packaged with the Rumble Pak, which was a peripheral that caused the controller to shake when the space ship either suffered damage or accelerated, this was quite creative at the time, and Nintendo attempts something similar now (I'll get to that in a little while). Some people consider this to be a remake. I'm thinking of it as a reboot, because there hasn't been that many changes. In all honesty, if I still had the original and played this on a friends system, I would've never bought it. In any case, Star Fox 64 3D isn't a bad game though, in fact, it's just as addictive as the original with updated visuals, controls, and still has quite a bit of replay value.
Star Fox 64 3D is a third person rail shooter that takes place in space, in an anthropomorphism populated universe. It's one player in the main game mode, and while it does feature multi-player in battle mode using the 3DS download, there's no on-line play. The main game follows Fox McCloud and his team made up of three other pilots in their own ships, as they take on Andross forces through seven missions out of a total of fifteen. Now, the way this works is after a mission is complete, the player has the choice of which planet to go to. However, based on your performance or if you meet certain requirements, additional stages will become open in your path, and you will have the choice of choosing between one out of two worlds to go to. This is actually what adds to the games replay, because it will take multiple play throughs to visit all of these stages.
Getting to Fox McCloud's fire team, they all have their uses such as finding alternate routes, running scans on enemies for their weak points, giving crucial advice, as well as showing stage bosses health gauges in battle. They also assist you in combat, but they can also take damage and will have to retreat, resulting in them not being present for the next stage due to repairs. They will send for help and you will have to blow the enemies off their tails. Should you lose all three of them in the same mission, then you'll just have to go it alone for the next one which can make things a little harder.
The basic premise is to shoot your way through the stages to the end boss, and battle this heavily armed monstrosity to the death obviously. It's not really as easy it may sound, because the enemies are relentless with their attacks as they try to turn you into space dust. The game is incredibly imaginative with a variety of stages that separates it drastically from your average shooter. The stages are littered with obstacles, such as, buildings and highways to crash into on the world of Corneria, or gigantic asteroids bouncing off one another in the stage Meteo. There's also one fire stage where pillars of flames, and mountains of lava are shooting through the air and rising, along with the intense heat of the stage killing you slowly while the enemies are attacking. One stage in particular that stands out pays homage to Independence Day and this is among the coolest stages.
There's an additional element to the game play called "All Range Mode". This limits the game play inside of a radius, where the player can fly around and will automatically make u-turns back into the hot zone should they float out of the radar. These stages features some of the best dogfights in the game, and this is where Fox McCloud and his team encounter their opposite number Team Star Wolf. These fighters put intense pressure on you and your team by riding everyone non stop, and should they take out all of your teammates, then they're ganging up on you next. They also make the primary mission of that stage a little more difficult.
The fighter ship Fox McCloud pilots is called the Arwing, and it begins with a single fire laser which can be upgraded into a twin blaster, and later into a stronger twin blaster by picking up icons. The laser has a lock on that can fire heat seeking bullets, and the impact causes a vibration that can take down scores of enemies. The ship also fires a bomb that destroys hordes of enemies, and this too can be used as a heat seeker. The Arwing can perform barrel rolls to lessen the chance of being shot, as well as a somersault and a u-turn in All Range Mode. There are two other vehicles to pilot; a tank and a submarine, which can only be used on certain stages. This change up is a welcome addition, but these vehicles really can't compare with the Arwing.
On the normal difficulty, I found the game fairly easy, but this was mainly because I still remembered most of it from years ago. The difficulty setting can be increased to Expert Mode only after unlocking it by accomplishing certain task, and this setting definitely adds to the replay because the enemies are far more fierce, and they focus on destroying one of your wings, which limits your mobility as well as takes out your twin laser. The battle mode can be against the CPU, and this takes place in an area with obstacles like buildings while the other Arwings are trying to take you out. I couldn't play this against live opponents because I don't know anyone who has a 3DS. Now for the new stuff, there's another mode called "Score Attack", which allows you to select and replay stages to beat your previous score. This wasn't in the original version. This mode can be very challenging and it allows you to earn medals. The game also has a save feature after each mission, something the original didn't have and it forced you to play through the whole game. This is great for me, because sometimes I find myself just plain having to stop, and keeping the game on pause for hours shouldn't have to be an issue in this day and age.
The story sees Fox McCloud not only wanting to put an end to Andross menace, but also avenge his father. There are story elements that prove to be interesting at times, and this is mainly through the character interactions which I found to always be entertaining.
The controls are very smooth and responsive. It's a breeze to pull off everything. If the player chooses to, there's a training mode that gives a run through of all the ships features. There are two new features to the controls; the first one is that the ship can be controlled by the circle pad, while the d-pad controls the ships special moves such as the somersault and u-turn, which is far more helpful than the manual way it has to be performed. This is great during the heat of battle. The second is the "Gyro" function (I referenced this with the Rumble Pak earlier). This allows the player to maneuver the ship by manually gliding the 3DS system in the air. It controls well, but I couldn't get use to it, and I don't see any vets bothering with that for too long. I only went through four stages of that only for the sake of this review.
I haven't played the original in years, but I can see the obvious upgrade. The backgrounds are still incredible with a lot of depth, and the different stage designs provides that needed amount of variety. The animation and frame rate is amazingly fluid with absolutely no slow down whatsoever, even when the 3D is at its strongest. I believe its the spectacular camera work that enhances the visuals the most. The rising waves of lava almost look as if they can jump right out of the game and grab you.
Another stage that uses the camera very well is the one space fight that follows Team Star Fox as they're breaking through the enemy fleet. When going pass the enemy ships, the camera makes these flying fortresses look a lot bigger than what they already are. There's also quite a bit of imagination in the character designs for the enemies. The bad guys are definitely the show-stealer here, with walking behemoths that kind of resemble Godzilla, and a giant flying saucer that also takes advantage of the camera work when you fly underneath it. Everything is a sight to behold in this game. Now in regards to the manual portion of the 3D; I didn't notice any ghosting after about an hour of play, but I can't play games like this for too long because it bothers my eyes. The game does recommend taking breaks after a certain amount of time when using 3D.
The BGM features a space opera theme that captures the feel of every single stage. And the music is exactly how I remember it. Some of the boss themes have a well orchestrated blend of drums and high hats that brings out the epic feel in the battles. The game also features voice overs which were re-recorded for the game. I can't exactly remember them from back then, but the cast still appears to be hamming it up, and the dialogue adds to the fun. The sound effects are pretty noticeable; when asteroids collide with each other making a "boom" sound, and when the ship takes hits. There's also a pretty cool fade out when bombs and explosions go off.
Star Fox 64 3D has tons of replay for the completest. When trying to outdo your last score and earn medals, as well as trying to learn all the paths to the different stages, this is not something you'll be putting down quickly. But in all honesty, outside of finally getting to visit all of the stages; trying to outdo my last score and collect those medals really didn't appeal to me for too long. I like to beat my games and move on to the next, because life is way too short to spend on one for too long.
I really don't recommend this game to those who still have it on the N64. I just don't think it's worth playing the exact same game again only to earn medals and shoot more enemies down. However, if you loved the original, sold it years ago, and just plain miss it, then that's a different story since it's for nostalgia sake, because it's exactly how you probably remembered it. If you never played the original ever, then get this immediately because it's still one of the finer shooters out there.
Pros: -Visuals, Controls, Gameplay, Lots of replay value
Cons: -Not really necessary if you still own the original, pretty easy on normal level
Solid game for the 3DS with some cool new features like the score attack, and being able to save the game after each mission. The visuals are a huge step up, and the game has pretty high replay value. Gyro mode doesn't suck, but man, I couldn't get use to it. Full review coming very soon.
Star Fox 64 3D (スターフォックス64 3D, Sutā Fokkusu Rokujūyon Surīdī?) is a video game for the Nintendo 3DS and is a remake of Star Fox 64. It was co-developed between Nintendo EAD and Q-Games, and was published by Nintendo. It was released on July 14, 2011, September 9, 2011 in Europe and North America, and on September 15, 2011 in Australia. Although the original Nintendo 64 version was called Lylat Wars in Europe and Australia, as well as its 2007 Virtual Console port, the 3DS remake uses the Star Fox 64 title in all regions.