Star Fox 64 3DS
Another month for the 3DS and another remake, this time we are taken back to 1997, a time of Teletubbies, Titanic and a huge battle between a fox and an ape across the Lylat System.
The evil simian Andross, thought defeated years ago threatens the Lylat System once again, leaving the Star Fox team led by Fox McCloud to stop him. Star Fox 64 3DS is pure arcade action, reliving one of Nintendo’s best titles.
The game is mostly presented as a corridor based shooter, with the camera constantly pushing you forward in your Arwing, spinning, dodging and shooting your way to the inevitable boss battle. All these levels are set up with some incredible scenarios, pitting you against huge mother ships that spew small attack craft, throwing you into a huge armada of battleships, dodging asteroids and navigating through lava worlds where the environment eats through shields. Each offering a short but thrilling adrenaline rush start to finish.
To break up the corridor style shooter Star Fox 64 3DS also offers some All Range Modes, usually in boss fights, where you are able to fly anywhere you fancy, which makes for some spectacular dogfights. It’s not all based in the Arwing either as Fox’s tank makes an appearance; with the Landmaster placing you on the ground against a huge battle-train. There is also a deep sea mission in where you pilot the Blue-Marine, but this is no easy feat to unlock.
Though the game is relatively easy, taking about 60 minutes for a straight playthrough there are multiple routes to discover by carrying out certain criteria, allowing you to take alternate routes to Venom and also unlock Andross’ true form and defeat him once and for all. Sadly the longevity of the original Star Fox 64 was a pretty big issue and, even though a great game, being so short left a bitter taste in peoples mouths, especially considering the N64 cartridge prices. There has been an attempt to rectify this by adding two versions of the game, the N64 version and the 3DS version but the only real difference is the 3DS version is slightly easier due to it being controlled by the built in gyroscope, allowing you to tilt the 3DS to control your Arwing. This works really well and is very responsive but voids the use of the 3D effect due to image ghosting, feeling more like a gimmick only to be used for a few minutes before going back to the more conventional control method and enjoying the full on and impressive 3D graphics.
Away from the main story there are also medals to be won on each level by keeping your wingmen alive and a Score Attack mode but these feel rendered useless by the complete lack of online score sharing. In a day and age of fridge freezers with an internet connection why can’t my 3DS talk to another online? Nintendo invented Street Pass, why not use it? This is even more frustrating with the addition of the Battle Missions, which seemed a great idea at first until you realise it’s only local ad-hoc, such a wasted opportunity. On a plus side these 4-way dogfights situated over a couple of well-designed arenas only require one cart per group via Download Play.
For such a great game to play and look at it is a shame it is over far too quickly; if you enjoy replaying levels ad-nauseam to beat your own high scores then this is worth a look, otherwise this may just sit on the shelf after a couple of days play.