Review by TacoHunter
"Those crazy Brits have done it again!"
The year, 1991, the loonies at Nintendo in an attempt to show off the mighty power of the Super Nintendo Entertainment System created a new franchise. It was called Star Fox, the first true 3-D game for the Super Nintendo. Oh sure, compared to what we have now the sounds were grainy, the graphics were nothing more then blocky low polygon objects, the frame rate was an embarrassment, the texturing was a joke, I could go on forever, but I won't. The game was revolutionary for its time. After that though, it never could reach that bar. Star Fox 2 wasn't anything too special from my understanding and Star Fox 64 was...it wasn't bad. And so we come to now, Dinosaur Planet. In the works for, some like, 3 years maybe 2, I'm not entirely sure. I never really gave a damn about it, so never followed it.
Story- With the defeat of Andross peace has over ran the Lylat system. Good, unless you are a mercenary who makes money off of war. To be honest, that sounds terrible. Can't Fox get a normal job like everyone else? Anyway, 8 years after Andross was defeated, Falco left the Star Fox team, the Great Fox has fallen in to disrepair, and Fox is now pretty much the only one who is a pilot. Oh sure, Peppy and Slippy are there, but they're tactical. So anyway, in need of some cash, the Star Fox team takes a mission to go save Dinosaur Planet, 'cause its falling apart.
Now the characters are great. To be honest, it actually seems like Fox has a personality. Its got this kind of heroic anti-hero feel to it. He doesn't want to do all this work (and you will feel his pain, trust me) but he needs the money. Slippy is no longer nearly as annoying as he once was. Now Slippy annoys me on an entirely new level, more on that later. It feels like the characters have a bit more depth then normal. Its not really there though, but at least its better then Star Fox 64's.
Graphics- If its one thing I can always count on in a Rare game is that its got great graphics.
The redesign of the characters isn't too bad. Peppy actually looks like he is 50 something, which he should be. The Arwings better and worse. The Arwing actually looks like it could be real, but it also looks kind of stupid. Its a trade off, and I can live with it. And the Great Fox looks like a piece of crap. Which it should because it hasn't been maintained very well over the years.
The texturing looks wonderful. You can actually make out Fox's hairs. The water isn't as great as lets say, Super Mario Sunshine, but this game isn't focusing on water. So it doesn't matter. However I thought the heat waves where done better in Star Fox then in Mario Sunshine.
The game will sometimes have a few frame rate problems, but unless you have a really good eye for it (or maybe I just have a really bad eye for it) you won't notice.
Sounds- The sounds are good, nothing too special in the sound effects department, but it gets the job done. Now the Music, its kind of odd. It doesn't at all feel like Star Fox music, except for when you are in space. Now just because the music doesn't feel Star Fox-ish, doesn't mean its bad. Just means it doesn't feel like traditional Star Fox music. Which is okay, because this isn't a traditional Star Fox game.
Gameplay- Its an adventure game, don't expect too much. Its your classic grab the item that was mysteriously placed in the most insane location which is full of absurd puzzles to protect said item, then after you have gotten said item take it to some other ludicrous location where it will help save the world, then repeat. Now if you are familiar with Rare games, you may assume you'll need to do a lot of back tracking to find some item you'll need to get to move the game along. You will do a fare amount of back tracking, but its not anywhere near as bad as DK64 or Jet Force Gemini.
One of my big complaints is the combat. Fighting isn't really that fun when all you have to do is hit ''A'' over and over again while moving the stick to do different combinations. It gets boring, like Eternal Darkness's combat system. It would have been nice to have some more variety in weapons, even different ways to link combos, and some strategy to beat different baddies.
My second gripe with gameplay is the classic Star Fox levels. You can tell they just kind of threw those together at the last minute, that or they really just didn't care. The controls aren't nearly as responsive as Star Fox 64's.
Now on the good side of things, are the puzzles and bosses. They is more then enough diversity in bosses and in puzzles. This is the selling point of the game for me. Lately games have been WAY to easy for me, it probably because I'm older, but I want harder puzzles for me to figure out anyway. I got stuck so many times when the answer was just staring me straight in the face. Then I'd figure it out and proclaim myself a genius. It was a great feeling. A feeling I have only felt every now and then in videogames. But in this game, near the end, it was a great feeling figuring out the puzzles on my own. Also, there were so many, it was a great fun frustrating time working through one just to be met with another.
Challenge- Slippy is what Navi from Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time should have been. In the beginning Slippy will pretty much hold your hand and walk you through the whole damn problem. That pissed me off at first. But then he started getting more and more vague in his hints. I liked that. And near the end he becomes so horribly vague he's no help at all. I was so mad that he wasn't helping me at all at the end, I was ecstatic to rub it in his face that I beat...no CONQUER that puzzle without HIS help. Okay, I might be over exaggerating a bit, but still I was pretty damn proud. Or at least until I hit the next puzzle where I'd be cursing his name. But over all, most of the puzzles are self explanatory for a logical mind. So you probably won't be spending too much time on anyone puzzle, with or without Slippy.
Length-It took me about 18 hours to beat this game first time with no walk through. At least an hour was spend just wasting time exploring. The rest was me trying to progress the story (and it usually worked).
Replay- There is none. That makes me sad. I would have at least like...something, ANYTHING! But its got nothing. You might play it again, but it won't have the same feel as when you played it for the first time.
Over all- Its worth a rent. You might want to buy it depending on what type of gamer you are. I found it to be very challenging and fun, also a bit tedious and boring when I had to go from point A to point B. But if you are an RPG fan, you do lots of boring leveling up, so you could easily look past the ''take item from point A to point B.''
Reviewer's Score: 8/10 | Originally Posted: 10/02/02, Updated 10/02/02
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