Review by bladerestored
"A great adventure, however not without its faults."
**Note to review validators: This is an update to my review posted on 06/11, I fixed some incorrect information. o_o; Do not include the parts between the asterisks, please**
So, Star Fox is no longer a shooter. Welly well well, to be honest, I didn't see this coming at the tech demo(then again, I didn't see Zelda being cel-shaded either). Well, let's see how it racks up.
Story: You are (take a guess) Fox McCloud. During your last confrontation with Andross, whom you happened to beat into a pulp, he is now gone, and it's been eight years since that adventure. What does money do to a person? Well, for starters, having no money puts the Great Fox into disrepair, and ends you up patrolling the cobweb corner of the Lylat System. Falco has long since gone, as to be expected, and the crew is just begging for that trumpet sound. Suddenly! It's General Pepper(though not related to the infamous doctor, a caffeinated beverage
nonetheless)! You are to go to the Dinosaur Planet, which happens to be breaking apart at the very moment, and to well...put it back together, and on that moment, you are to get paid...immediately.
Southside Story: You are Krystal, last of a race named the Cerinians (I think that's what they're called, don't quote me on that). You've recieved a distress call from the Dinosaur Planet. ''Being of a kind nature, Krystal decides to investigate.'' Her side of the story is (for most of the game, anyway) suspended in a bitter irony, which was kind of sad when I saw it(well, you'll see what I mean when you play). That pretty much sums up the story. On to the review, and GGRS it is.
Graphics: Everything in this game is absolutely beautiful. I mean it when I say everything. Everything is so umbelievably detailed(talk about pushing the polygon limit! With careful scrutiny, you can even see the individual hairs on Fox's fur, a noticeable detail), it's hard to put into words the realism this game provides, even though it's sci-fi fantasy. This game has such contenders in the graphics department as Super Mario Sunshine, which is a high honor. This is also one of the few games, from what I've played, where some work was actually put into the camera algorithms.
Gameplay: Despite all the wonderful things I said about the graphics, the gameplay suffers a bit. The combat is fairly straightforward, I would have liked some variation in the AI stylings of Dr. C. P. U. (Hey, it's better than using the words ''Christmas'' and ''Sanchez'' in the same dialogue. =P) Also, this is just me talking, but quest after quest after quest kind of gets on my nerves. I can see what they meant when they (Mike & Jerry of Penny-Arcade) described the quests as ''an unbroken string of petty indignities.'' Gameplay's saving graces are the bosses, and wow, what thought was executed in the structure of the boss battles! Cherish these moments,
for there are few. Slippy as a helper is, at the beginning of the game, a very specific hint-giver, but as the game progresses, he just gets more and more vague until his hints are useless, and you have to go to an FAQ site like five times to finish one puzzle(let's say, this one =P). It's a very obvious fact that the shooting levels were thrown together at the last minute. The controls for the Arwing were sometimes inresponsive, and I ended up retrying the course to one of the levels because of a missed gold ring due to control-stick crapout. =P I
did like one of the puzzles, though, and believe me, it is a toughie. I did pull out a ''vibrating move,'' however, which won the day for the strength test, which can be very tedious at times. My muscles still hurt from that...
Tricky as a helper is superbly executed. I've tried to lock myself into doors to which Tricky was holding open by calling him, and all I got was ''Not gonna do it!'' You need Tricky if you're going to get through this game.
Replayability: Plain and simple, there is some replay value to this game, if you like some of the cutscenes, and the ending (which I did both; the ending gave me sort of a warm feeling, which means it was good, a vg ending hasn't done that to me since Final Fantasy VII),
then feel free to replay it again. You can also buy cheat tokens, which unlock special secrets that are a godsend for those of us who thought Rare didn't add any secrets(elbows himself). Yes, yes, I'm an idiot, I know, stone me for such blasphemous thinking. =P I would have loved a sound test, but I'll get to that in the next section.
Sound/Musical Score: Hoo boy. The music is one of the best parts of the game (Krazoa Palace is just spooky, and the rock title is just great). It's up there with Chrono Cross, which also had great music. I'm in despair, however, considering I can't find any music for this game anywhere. The aural ambience is excellently crafted into every area. Let's head over to the other side of the spectrum now. I've told you the good, now here's the bad: The VAs. Dear
Lord, make it stop. Save a few main characters (Fox (which does have some heart to it, sometimes; other times, you get the impression that Fox just doesn't care, which matches his personality perfectly), Peppy, Tricky, Krystal (in English; but of course Dino Talk sounds harsh whichever way you go), General Pepper, and Warpstone) as well as a few unmentionables (wouldn't
want to spill the beans, now would I?), the voice acting is absolutely horrible(someone please hit Queen Cloudrunner, it'll jangle her voice box =P). Well, not absolutely horrible. You'll still want to mute
the cutscenes at some point, which might be a good idea if you're a fan of Kingdom Hearts, because your high expectations of the VAs might shatter whatever credibility they have left. =P It really is a mixed bag. If you could turn off individual voices, there wouldn't be such a problem. I'd rather sift through all the bad voices to get to the eight good ones. If this game had a sound test, i'd probably buy it just for that, because the music as well left me with a warm feeling, whilst the voice acting left me heartless.
So, is it worth a buy, or a rent? Definitely worth at least a rent. I'd buy it just for the sound test. It's worth a play, though. I finished it in about three days, though from 4PM to 12Mid. It's definitely worth the six bucks you'd have to pay at Hollywood Video. Hehe, I forgot about Warpstone. Rent the game just for Warpstone. =P Everyone needs a little Scotrock in their lives.
**OK, so there WAS a sound test. I am a blooming idiot. So, that's what those cheat tokens were for. =P**
Reviewer's Rating: 4.0 - Great
Originally Posted: 11/06/02, Updated 11/08/02
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