Review by KeynoteImpaler
"A great addition to your GCN collection"
Star Fox Adventures is one of those games that people either love or hate. Some deride it as simplistic and boring while others hail it as one of the best games on the GameCube. Here follows my opinion of what makes this games a great choice for any GameCube owner looking to add a gem to their otherwise robust collection.
This review is divided into several categories followed by an overall review at the end.
Unlike previous games in the star fox series, Star Fox Adventures takes place almost completely on the surface of Dinosaur planet rather than in your arwing, although there are several points at which you will fly in Fox's arwing.
On solid ground Fox learns how to fight melee style with a magic staff that can be upgraded at certain points with special power-ups that will allow you to access more and more of dinosaur planet as you progress. The combat system is not exactly deep. There are a few different moves that you can pull off by pushing or pulling the stick while pressing the A button. You can also block attacks and shoot enemies with your staff's magic powers. The combat is mostly very simple, which some people may not like, but it does what it needs to, which is to get the job done. The enemy AI is not exactly going to come down hard on you though, as even when you are surrounded by enemies they will only attack you one at a time. Once you learn the basics of combat it becomes second nature very quickly. If you aren't looking for deep combat then this combat-lite shouldn't be a problem.
The rest of the game plays out like a typical action adventure game. You'll travel to several different environments and fight a boss at the end of each to retrieve a special item for your quest. You'll need to collect maps, mushrooms, special seeds and pods, and other things designed to help you reach new places or see in the dark or to feed your sidekick.
In fact, the sidekick is the most important aspect that some people love to hate. But the truth is that your sidekick is a clever addition to the puzzles of the game and can also help you dig up buried treasures scattered throughout the game. The food you'll need to keep your sidekick going can be found in abundance, so managing your little buddy shouldn't prove to be at all difficult.
As stated earlier, from time to time you will fly to another environment in your arwing. The combat and style are very much like that of the Star Fox of the N64 days although much shorter sadly. As far as gameplay goes, space combat is one of the few things this game needed but didn't really deliver enough of.
The story has our vulpine hero heading into action to save dinosaur planet from the clutches of the evil General Scales, who has literally torn the planet apart. Fox must find a way to retrieve the lost pieces of the planet and thwart the General's plans with the help of old friends such as Peppy and Slippy, as well as new friends including Krystal and Tricky. The story is not particularly deep, but it keeps the game going and drags you in just enough to keep you playing for the ten or so hours you need to complete it. Trust me, it isn't the worst story ever, although a few points may be groan worthy.
This is where the game really shines. The graphics are beautiful, and better than many games from 2002. Even now, the graphics are still clean and eye-catching. The detailing on the characters fur makes them look soft and furry rather than looking like they just have a fur-like skin color. The palette is full of vibrant colors and is very easy on the eyes. Stars twinkle in space, and the fire and water effects are very well done. I'll say it again, this game is great to look at.
This is where the game is a little dicey. The background music is good and stays out of the way mostly, but it can drive you a little nutty sometimes especially considering the limited number of tracks. The voice acting and sound effects are good, but the parts that are performed in the dinosaur language are delivered with far too much conviction for my taste.
Finally we sum up the overall aspect of this game. To be honest, if you are a hyper-serious gamer who doesn't get any enjoyment out of a simple and light-hearted game, then Star Fox Adventures may not be for you. However, if you enjoy games that don't take a lot of work to learn and offer a good amount of fun with some unavoidable corniness, then this game may be just the little gem your GCN has been needing.
Reviewer's Score: 8/10 | Originally Posted: 10/08/07
Game Release: Star Fox Adventures (US, 09/23/02)
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