When one thinks about anthropomorphic foxes, wolves, and bears, Star Fox 64 3D is probably not the first thing that comes to mind. Rather, if you’re anything like me, what you think of is a dimly lit convention center with lots of creepy people walking around in furry animal suits that have mysterious crusty spots on them. Time to get your mind out of the gutter, and into outer space because we’re not talking about yiffing or a furry convention; we’re actually going to talk about the aforementioned game, which came out a couple weeks ago for the Nintendo 3DS. In it, players will guide protagonist Fox McCloud and his team of critters take flight in ships called Arwings, and try to save his solar system from the dastardly plots of an evil scientist known as Andros. Read on to find out how the game handles on the 3DS, and if it’s worth 40 of your hard-earned dollars to play a game you probably already played when it originally released 14 years ago.
In the main story mode of Star Fox 64 3D, you will guide Fox and his posse around a map of the galaxy in their efforts to reach the planet Venom, where Andros resides. There are several paths to Andros’s world, and you will have to become an incredibly skilled Arwing pilot in order to complete every mission the game offers. Getting to Venom via the “easy” path takes about 2 or 3 hours of total gameplay, but you will then likely want to start all over again and try to find the means to access the other missions. If you’ve played any games like Super Mario World, or more recently, New Super Mario Bros. Wii, you will already have a rough idea of how you get these branching paths in the world map. You have to search for an alternate exit in a world, and it is likely to be very challenging to reach. For example, to reach the alternate exit on the Meteo mission, one must hit seven “warp rings” in succession. Each warp ring makes your Arwing go exponentially faster and they are at such odd angles that it will take some super piloting skills to hit all seven and access the alternate mission. Sadly, even these branching paths throughout the levels will not add much depth to this game, and players can easily expect to complete every mission in about ten hours.
Aside from the main story mode, there is also a mulltiplayer mode (which was not played for this review), and a score attack mode. Multiplayer is accomplished via a local wireless connection, and can be done with one game card. You can see each others’ real faces due to the use of the front-facing camera, which may be undesirable if you’re like me and like to wear you kitty cat ears and false whiskers while playing to make for a more immersive experience. Score attack mode is pretty self-explanatory – you simply replay missions, trying to get as high of as core as possible. Unfortunately, no Nintendo WiFi Connection support was included, because some online leader boards or online multiplayer matches would have been awesome and really made this game a lot more valuable in the long run.
When settling Fox into the cockpit of his Arwing, you have a lot of different options when it comes to control schemes. There is the traditional N64 controls, and the newer 3DS scheme which is far more intuitive with its button arrangement and allows for use of the 3DS gyroscopes to control the ships in the game. The N64 setup seems really clunky by today’s control scheme standards, but the 3DS one works like a charm. Pressing A for lasers, Y for bombs, X to boost, and B to break was so natural the game only had to give control instructions once and it was remembered throughout the game. Gyroscope control seemed like such a neat idea, but ultimately didn’t pan out.. The amount you have to move the 3DS seems incredibly out of proportion in comparison to how much the ship moves. Also, as you probably already know, the 3D effect on the 3DS requires you to be still and centered, so gyro control isn’t an option if you will be playing with 3D turned on.
The graphical overhaul in Star Fox 64 3D looks awesome, even with the 3D turned off. Colors are brighter, models look crisper, and the framerate is smooth as butter. With the 3D turned on, you will be treated to some of the best looking 3D available on the 3DS so far. There is little to no blurring or ghost images if you get slightly out of your 3D “sweet spot”, and the display offers a level of depth unparalleled even by The Legend of Zelda:The Ocarina of Time 3D The music is great and adds a certain level of campy charm that is appropriate for a game featuring spacefaring people/animal hybrids. The voice acting is a little silly, but the original cast reprised their roles quite well.
If you told me today that I would enjoy playing a game where foxes, bunnies, frogs, and birds pilot spaceships to stop an evil monkey doctor from destroying the galaxy, I would have laughed in your face. However, since I have some nostalgic fondness for Star Fox 64 3D, I was able to have quite a bit of fun with this remake, despite the game’s shallowness or goofy cast of characters. The game’s $39.99 price tag is a little hefty considering the sparse amount of content, but for those looking to relive some of their fond N64 memories, but now on a handheld console and in shiny new 3D, this game is a must-have. If you happen to not like it, I’m sure you could turn a profit re-selling it at your city’s local furry convention.
Star Fox 64 3D
|Great 3D graphics that show off the 3DS's capabilities well, overall the game is pretty fun while it lasts.||Very shallow game, voices can get pretty annoying if you're unable to find campy humor value in them, gyro controls don't work very well, no online functionality in a game that seems perfect for it.|
|Verdict||Star Fox 64 3D is a nice nostalgic gem on the Nintendo 3DS, but with little to offer other than a graphical overhaul it may be difficult to justify the price at this time.|