A beautiful remaster of a classic game
While I can’t speak for anyone else, most of my friends hold particularly fond memories for N64 era gaming. Their seminal games aren’t Contra or Street Fighter, but Goldeneye and Diddy Kong Racing. Personally, I’ve never held much reverence for the Nintendo 64, but I’d be a liar if I said that I didn’t completely love Star Fox 64. Following the precedent set by Ocarina of Time 3D, Star Fox 64 3D ups the presentation on a decade old classic, but at $30 more than its Virtual Console counterpart, are better graphics worth the price hike?
Star Fox 64 3D explains its canon from the very start. Team Star Fox, composed of James McCloud, Peppy Hare, and Pigma Dengar, are a mercenary team under the command of the Cornerian army. Sent to the planet Venom to confront mad scientist Andross Bowman, Pigma betrays his team, killing McCloud and leaving Peppy to flee to the shelter of Corneria. A new Star Fox team has been assembled, with the new additions of fighter pilot Falco Lombardi, mechanic Slippy Toad, and James’ son Fox. Equipped with the best ships in the Cornerian fleet, team Star Fox sets off towards Venom to bring Andross to justice.
If you’ve played Star Fox 64 then you’re already familiar with how this game plays. Levels are either on-rails aerial combat, open arena all-range dogfights, or a combination of the two. Aerial levels takes team Star Fox through 7 of the game’s 16 planets, where shooting enemy ships and collecting power ups are the primary focus. All-range segments focus more on specific tasks, such as destroying parts of an enemy base, or defeating an enemy fleet.
Shocker: If you like Star Fox 64, you already love Star Fox 64 3D. It’s the same case as Ocarina of Time 3DS. Nintendo and Q Games have done an excellent job of restoring a classic game, and there have been no sacrifices to gameplay in the process. Shooting down opposing ships still feels tactile and sharp, and crisper environments only add to the experience. The only complaint I can offer is that the constant chatter between your teammates can grate may grate on your nerves, but it isn’t Star Fox if Slippy isn’t creating crises or Falco isn’t being surly. It’s a big part of the game’s charm.
For the first time in my life I find myself without much to say. In my Ocarina review I worried that a classic game for us may seem a little empty to new gamers. In the case of Star Fox, that simply isn’t the case. The gameplay found in Star Fox is far more accessible to a modern audience, and is much better suited to portable gameplay. It’s exceptionally easy to play a mission, close your 3DS, and get on with your life.
Star Fox 64 3D is the first must-have game for the 3DS. There’s surprisingly little to criticize, and the title’s portability adds tremendous value. There’s not a lot of variety to the 3DS’ library, and the addition of an N64 classic is exactly what the system needs more of.