arclightborealis's Star Fox 64 (Nintendo 64) review

Do a Barrel Roll!

Starfox 64 is one of those games that does it's series justice, and the sequels that follow cannot match how amazing this game is. With a full Voice Cast, multiple paths to completing missions, and a simple yet awesome story, this game is a must own.

Story: The game gives the backstory to the events when you first start. Andross was once a scientist that was banished to the faraway planet, Venom, due to his dangerous experiments. 5 years passed since Andross's exile, and General Pepper of the Cornerian army, hires the Starfox Mercenarie team to investigate unusaul activity coming from Venom. When they arrived, Starfox member Pigma Dengar betrayed the team and resulted in James McCloud and Peppy Hare's capture. Peppy barely escaped Andross's clutches, and returned to Corneria and informed Fox McCloud of "his father's fate". A few years passed by, and Andross began a full scale blitzkrieg on the Lylat System. Fox McCloud arose as the new Starfox leader, with old mentor Peppy Hare, long-time friend Slippy Toad, and ace pilot Falco Lombardi, ready to take on Andross and free the Lylat System from tyranny.

Controls: Use the control stick to steer the Arwing, or on different planets, the Landmaster and Blue Marine, and press the A button to fire your lasers and B to launch a smart bomb. The Z and R buttons are used to tilt your craft left or right for quick steering. Pressing Z or R twice will make you perform the infamous barrel roll (copyright 1997 Peppy Hare :P). Plus, there are other neat little tricks that can give you the advantage. Aside from the on-rails segment, you will get to on occasion go into all range mode, a feature that was transferred from the scrapped Starfox 2. In all range mode, the same basics apply, but you'll also get to perform U-Turns. Flying the Arwing in Allrange mode is just excellent, especially one your shooting down enemies, or engaging in dogfights with the rival Starwolf team (again, another feature from the scrapped Starfox 2).

Graphics: The character models are very close to their official art, which I believe was intentional. As if the character models couldn't look better, the bosses you fight are detailed and HUGE. Andross, the final boss, is pretty amazing. A gigantic monkey head with two gloves. Aside from the character models and bosses, the environments look very detailed. My personal favorite is Macbeth, where you're driving the landmaster as you are trying to catch up to the enemy train, and there is just so much, especially the detail put into the train cars. The graphics are overall great, and they're still great to look at.

Sound: This was probably one of the first Nintendo games to feature a full voice cast. And it fits so perfectly. Fox's voice fits his personallity as a young teenager with a mildly cocky attitude and the charisma of a leader. Falco fits the bill as the ace pilot, yet who is brash and uncooperative, yet he still respects his leader and friend Fox. Slippy...well, for most, he's annoying, but I can handle him. The only strange thing is that he's male, yet his voice sounds like a girl. WTF? And Peppy's voice is perfect for an old timer. The music is great as well. And once you get to Area 6, you'll be determined to keep going forward, not because of what you're up against, but the Area 6 theme, is the BEST out of any starfox game. It just fits the mood.

Replay Value: Oh, theres plenty. 15 different levels, and scoring enough kills, while keeping your team all intact (which sounds tough, seeing as thousands of people want to kill Slippy), will earn you a medal. Earn all 15 medals to unlock expert mode, where you got much more tougher enemies as well as James' sunglasses. Earning the medals in both normal and expert on Venom will unlock some neat bonuses for multiplayer. Multiplayer is up to 4 players, with all-range mode maps as well as 3 different modes up play. Now, earning the medal on venom the first time unlocks the landmaster. Earning the Venom medal on Expert will allow you to play as your character on foot. It's a unique sort of ground combat, but multiplayer is all around fun.

Overall: Don't ignore this game. Get it. One of the best railshooters to be created. The characters are memorable, the levels are fantastic, and you just cant pass up the multiplayer. A great addition to anyone who loves the N64. 5 stars.

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