Review by Maximum J
"I wanted to love it, but I could barely like it..."
StarFox Adventures…Is it a good game? For the first half hour. Could it have been a great game…maybe. The problem with StarFox Adventures isn’t that it seems like a Zelda clone, it’s that it seems like a mediocre, and at most points, a bad Zelda clone. It’s no wonder Nintendo was so eager to get rid of RARE.
Graphics - 9.8
One of StarFox Adventure’s problems is NOT the graphics. The game has some of the best graphics I’ve seen. From the characters, to the backgrounds, to the special effects, this game’s graphics will impress you. The only problem I have is the water effects, but that probably just weighs on the fact Super Mario Sunshine has better water effects and I played quite of that game. It kinda bothered me that water didn’t drip off of Fox’s fur after he climbed out a river and such.
Sound - 9
I’m gonna separate sound effects and voice acting, since if I included them in one category, sound would get a 4, and also, voices are becoming more and more a part games. The effects serve their purpose, but don’t leap out at you, so this category gets a 9.
Voice Acting - 2
What the hell was Rare thinking when they hired these actors? Why didn’t they use the ones from StarFox 64? Those guys were perfect. Fox sounds pretty much the same, Rob is exactly the same, Slippy sounds like…well, he just sounds bad, and Peppy sounds half descent. But General Pepper…OMG…General Pepper…He had my favorite voice from StarFox 64. His voice actor was so good, I’d walk around saying, “Impressive, StarFox!” just because it sounded that cool. Rare seriously should’ve kept the original VAs or hired people who sounded like them.
Another gripe is Tricky. Tricky has THE worst voice in the entire game. And the worst part is he follows you around for the WHOLE GAME. Hearing, “Where are we going, Fox?”, “Let’s Play!”, and “Bad Guy…” really starts to grate on your nerves especially after you’ve just been told by some dinosaur just told you where you’re supposed to go, when you’ve just finished playing with him, and you’ve already killed the “bad guy” in question. I just wanted to shove the staff down his throat.
Oh, and Falco…WTF was going on when they hired this guy? Were they repaying a favor to someone or finishing off a bottle cough syrup? He made Falco sound like some wanna-be badass when the original Falco sounded like a cool guy/smartass. Luckily, Falco isn’t in much of the game.
The game series’ VA history reminds me of DBZ. The first two season’s VA, from Raditz to the Namek battle with Recoome, were just freakin’ sweet. These new guys, from the Jeice and Burter fight to the Buu saga, just freakin’ blow. Same thing could be said about StarFox 64 and StarFox Adventures.
Music - 8
Most of the music is awesome. The Krazoa Palace and the two ThornTail Hollow themes are some of my personal favorites. The music is one of the few factors that kept me playing. Only few tunes should’ve been changed or left out completely.
Control - 10
You should’ve have any problem with the controls, especially when they aren’t a problem.
Gameplay - 5/7
It’s split, since there are two different types of gameplay present. The Zelda-type and the original StarFox-type we all love. The Zelda-type that take place out of the Arwing, which is the meat of the game, definitely could stand a few changes. The “dungeon” levels are usually gonna be easy-boring or frustrating-boring. Not frustrating “Oh, I have to think too hard”, because that wouldn’t be a bad thing. This is frustrating “Oh, this running around and these long, boring wanna-be puzzles are pissing me off.” The other “puzzles” are solved so easily, they‘re no harder than moving Fox up and down a ladder. It does have a few good ones, though, so it’s only a 90% loss there…
Also, in the likely case you get stuck or lost in all of your running around, you have Slippy there to tell you things you’ve already figured out. Slippy is like Navi from Zelda: Ocarina of Time…the useless part that told you to “Head for the castle. The princess is waiting!“, when you’re standing at the castle gate. Then there’s Tricky. He’s also like Navi…a Navi that talks too damn much. The question marks and exclamation points over his head are enough of a clue for you to make an educated guess about what you’re supposed to do. You don’t wanna hear, “Look at this!” every time you pass a switch; I know I didn‘t.
Also, there’s one thing about Tricky that I can’t help but notice. The game and instruction booklet call his abilities “Sidekick Commands,” but they’re more like “Dog Tricks.” Honestly, I think Rare was planning to make Tricky Fox’s pet, but changed the story after they’d already designed his functions and some the levels.
The ground combat with the staff is great…for the first 10 minutes. It gets extremely repetitive. They look beyond sweet the first time you see them, but when you realize Up+A, Left+A, and Right+A basically activate the same combo, you’ll pretty much wanna stick to shooting or freezing your opponents, once those are available, since it gets the job done faster. The two cool non-combo attacks are too hard to connect with or just too weak with even bother with. Those are the Tail Sweep and the Overhead Smash (they even sound cool, don‘t they?). One bonus, though, is that Tricky’s Flame command is a very devastating attack. The only other redeeming factor about the game’s land-based combat system is that the special staff powers would be so sweet in the next Super Smash Bros. game, if Nintendo makes one.
Now, the Arwing combat…It’s like a simplified version of StarFox 64, almost to the point where it’s just a mini-game, and you can’t move on in the story until you “Fly through [insert number] Gold Rings.” If they’d expanded on this part of the game, instead of making it, “Shoot stuff, but don’t forget to fly through the Gold Rings,” it might have made up for the rest the faults.
Story - 7
A story is no good if the characters aren’t enough to back it up. Luckily for this game, the supporting characters sound better the main guys and listening to them is tolerable, and at times, pleasant. The story itself pretty cut and dry for most of the game. “Get the Stones and Spirits, and while you’re at it, stop Scales,” but the ThornTails, CloudRunners, Shopkeeper and some of the other dinosaurs make drudging through the menial labor (also known as it’s gameplay) tolerable.
Replayability - 3
When you finally make it to last boss (if you can stand the game for that long), you’re treated to surprising and spectacular end boss fight, followed by poorly written and executed ending, you more than likely won’t wanna play again, unless you HAVE to get all of the secrets (if there are any) or you like being bored.
Overall - 5
The game could‘ve been more than just a weak Zelda clone, but it wasn‘t. It ended up a weak Zelda clone that wanted to be StarFox, along with it. I say buy it after the price goes down, if you really think you want it, otherwise, just rent it. You could conceivably beat it two or three days, since it’s relatively short.
Reviewer's Rating: 2.5 - Playable
Originally Posted: 11/07/02, Updated 11/07/02
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