Review by OniKun
"Get this game now."
Remember 5 years ago? With your brand new Nintendo 64, you waited for Starfox 64 to come. And it did. The revolutionary Graphics, the superb gameplay, the replay, the story, the difficulty, and overall, the satisfaction. Fast forward to now, and Starfox Adventures: Dinosaur Planet is out now. (Hereby known as SFA) Promised for many a day, and finally out, this game is just as impressive as when Starfox for the SNES came out, or Starfox 64.
This game takes the Gamecube's graphics to the maximum potential. Every nook and cranny of the CD has been used, to fully utilize the graphics into this beautiful game. First and foremost, the Character designs. Any character that has fur, look closely and you can actually COUNT the separate hairs on their head. The grass is made up of many tiny blades of grass, decorated with patches of flowers here and there. The lighting effects are astounding, being done in real time, and are breathtaking. The weapon affects are incredible, and you can watch each smooth swing.
The environment itself is great. Everything looks realistic. You can see cracks on the ground, see difference in the trees, and even look closely at dinosaur skin and see an insane amount of detail. The weather affects are also incredible, from the real time lightning affects to the snow. The water also has its own separate special spot in graphics. You can see your reflection actually RIPPLE on the water, and as you move, so does the reflection. In my opinion, the water effects are, quite frankly, THE BEST YET.
The characters themselves also look great. General Pepper, while being a minor character, still looks great with his flopping ears. Fox and Crystal, two of the main characters, have undergone an incredible graphics re-vamp, and look as realistic as possible. There are separate furs on each character, you can see little fangs inside their mouths, and you can see almost everything. Non-playable-characters also look great, but not as detailed as fox and crystal.
Be prepared for a graphical-orgasm when you turn this game on.
This is the ONLY area that SFA almost does badly at. Basically, the control stick moves around, A is your Action button, doing things like talking to people, throwing something, and attacking, B is Cancel/Put away something, X rolls, Y is your choice, L centers behind you, R defends, and Z looks around in first person view. The C stick is your inventory, which is hard to get used to at first, especially for people who Played ''Super Mario Sunshine'' a lot, and got used to the camera. When rotating the C stick, you can cycle through items and different commands to give your sidekick ''Tricky''. Tricky can do lots of things, which will be explained later. One of the few problems with the C stick is that while its real time, making it more convenient, it's hard to distinguish between the different items you are looking at.
The battle system is Top notch. When you see an enemy, you run up to him, and you go into ''Lock on Mode'', which enables you to focus on the enemy alone. Essentially, you keep pressing A to attack, but you look damn cool while doing it. Holding the control stick in different directions makes Fox do more and cooler moves, such as twirling his Staff around and beating the living daylights out of an enemy, or Jumping up and whacking the enemy.
In this game, there is heavy emphasis on collection. Bofomdads, roots, berries, fuel cells, and anything else you can think of can most likely be collected. This is what might disappoint a lot of people, because they expect more action. The action everyone strives for comes in the Flying levels. Strewn about the game are different levels where you fly to get to an objective. Mainly, it's used for selecting a level, and then you have to fly there. When flying, the classic Starfox and Starfox 64 physics and gameplay come into play. Straight-forward ''Shoot or die'' gameplay is evident.
If you haven't played a classic Starfox game, it's like this: You are in an Arwing, which is like a space fighter. You are in third person view behind your ship, and enemies are in front of you. Your job is to kill every enemy, dodge shots, and get to the end of the level, collecting upgrades and stuff along the way. In SFA, it’s a little different. There aren't end level bosses in this game, and you must get gold rings, or beat something else to finish the level. If you miss the objectives, you must do it again.
Tricky is another new gameplay element. When walking around, tricky follows you, like faeries in the legend of Zelda games, but not quite as annoying. One of the reasons he isn't annoying is that when you get mad, just load this game up and beat the crap out of tricky. Yes, you heard me; you can hit him with your staff. While I might sound like a sadist, it is a key gameplay element, simply because Navi in Ocarina of Time was so annoying that many people wanted to swipe at her, but alas, you couldn't. Back on topic though, tricky does a variety of things. When there is a secret nearby, you can order him to go off and dig it up. You can tell him to stay, so he can push down a switch for you, or you can tell him to come towards you. You can also play with him, which, albeit somewhat useless, is amusing for a little bit.
The main gameplay that dominates most of the game, as I said, is emphasized on collecting. There are lots of different ''mini-games'' to play in this game, but most of the time you are collecting something. This is what MIGHT piss some people off, because some people might have wanted the old school gameplay. Quite frankly, this takes some of the best elements of Action/Adventure games and makes it better. In lots of Platform/Action/Adventure games, puzzles and mazes come close to last, while enemies, bosses, and graphics are first. In SFA, Puzzles and mazes are definitely first. While battles are still in the game, a lot of it is used solving different problems, or collecting that one item to give to that one guy that then opens up that one door that…
This is one of the few times I will ever give an 11/10, and there is good reason why. The music in this game is top-notch. I am probably going to get EVERY MP3 of this game, for the sheer fact that the music in this game is incredible. The pause music is addicting, the over world music is great, and some classical tunes are strewn about here and there. The music is for anyone.
Sounds in this game are also very good, timed perfectly, and make sense where they are put. I see no problem with any of the sounds in this game, and a lot of them sound very cool. The voice acting/Lip syncing could have used some work though, because the mouths don’t move like the words do, and it sometimes throws the game off.
Don’t fall in the lake, or get burned, or get ambushed, or fall from that platform. Everything in this game is a challenge, especially the puzzles. A lot of the puzzles are arranged funny, and it usually takes a little bit to figure out the simplest of puzzles. This can get frustrating at times, but most of the time, its perfectly fine. Some of the puzzles are over the top, but overall, the difficulty and learning curve is fine tuned to perfection.
The story is deep, and great. There are many twists and turns to be found, and everything in the game wraps perfectly with the story. I cannot say there is or isn't a dull moment, for you must find that out for oneself. There are enough plot twists to keep anyone entertained also.
RENT OR BUY?
BUY NOW. GO. BUY IT.
Reviewer's Score: 10/10 | Originally Posted: 09/25/02, Updated 07/01/03
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