Review by LegendaryFrog

"Fox is out of the cockpit and hitting things with sticks... with dinosaurs!"

The game formally known as Dinosaur Planet was one of my most anticipated games for the Gamecube. Seeing Rare make a Zelda like adventure was just about the best thing I could imagine. Even when the Star Fox team took over it was still #1. Now that it’s here and over with (fairly quickly I might add), I defiantly have mixed feelings about Rare last Gamecube offering.

Gameplay 7/10 and Design 6/10

Let me start off by saying this is a fun game... moving along:

Star Fox Adventures is a Zelda clone, no question asked. Fox McCloud is basically Link Jr.... I say Jr because Link can just DO more. Link has a arsenal of weapons, Fox has a Staff with a couple upgrades. Link can auto jump, Fox can to but only when it the game wants it to. Link can swim underwater, Fox can swim but can’t dive. Link has a horse, Fox can ride dinosaurs when puzzles call for it. Link braves dungeons and collects keys, Fox presses buttons. Link visits many towns, Fox visits one true town. Link goes hand on hand with foes, Fox presses A over and over. Link can go on several mini quests not important to the game and yields cool bonuses, Fox can get more staff magic power. Get the point? Take anything from Ocarina of Time and Majora’s Mask, dumb it down, you get Star Fox Adventures.

As an adventure Star Fox is pretty cut and dry, having players run from point A to point B. Some my argue that Zelda was much the same, but in Zelda you had more freedom to explore and waste time. In Star Fox, if you don’t go where your suppose to go, you can’t do much. There are no optional quests or secret upgrades besides the staff ones which are out in the open.

Puzzles are fairly solid... nothing hair pulling. “Dungeon” design, however, is lacking. While the first 2 are solid enough, the final two I beat with my eyes closed. The last 2 have a total of about 3 puzzles and just alot of wondering around in big open areas. Fighting baddies is a joke. Simply Press A over and over. If you want you can press the control stick to see different moves... and you probably will because it makes you feel important and like your actually doing something. Bosses are even worse. The only boss you fight hand to hand is the first one, and since he’s the first boss he’s fairly easy. Boo.

I must address the Star Fox issue although it does not effect my score at all. (except for some the Gripes section) All in all Rare made it just believable enough to imagine the Star Fox team will really be in this situation. (dispite the fact the scenario of this game was once used for something more serious). In fact if it wasn’t for the fact the character is Fox McCloud you might forget this game has the “Star Fox” label.
The only piece of “Star Fox technology” in the game is a visor that lets you zoom in, and the Arwing to get to different levels. While playing though this game I had a dozen different cases where I could make this FEEL like something in the Star Fox universe and still keep the premise of the game. Most of them involve having the rest of the team on the planet, Falco , and a big floating monkey head.

To make room for Fox and co, Rare had to get rid of Dinosaur Planets male lead, Sabre. Kyrastal, the other playable character, was turned into nothing more than a damsel in distress. (who, oddly enough, has the same plot line as the old game but it’s never dealt with)

Graphics 10/10

Now that THATS out of the way I can start raving about some stuff. First up is graphics. You wouldn’t believe this was once a N64 game. Amazing. Fox and other hairy characters even has rendered fur which is officially the coolest thing ever. Come to thing about it, I can’t think of one bad thing to say here

Sound 9/10

Once again Rare treats out ears with wonderful music. Most of the released Dinosaur Planet tunes made the cut to Star Fox, but some are arranged into other themes. One minor gripe... the SNES Star Fox theme doesn’t make on appearance.

Voice acting is great, especially Fox. Wonderful lip sync. Nice humor where it counts.

Story 7/10

8 years after Andross was defeated, the Star Fox (Minus Falco, who has became a loner once again) team is on the overskirts of the Lylat system. Eager to take any job they can get their hands on to fix up the aging Great Fox, general Pepper assigns them to the remote Dinosaur Planet. Dino Planet was mysteriously broken apart, and the planetary energy building up inside the planet could cause the entire thing to explode, thus wrecking havoc on the sector.

Meanwhile a scantily clad woman named Krystal responses to a distress call at the Krazoa Palace on the planet, who quickly meets up with General Scales, would be ruler of Dinosaur Planet.... and our the Adventure begins.

While the story is good, the Star Fox license makes it fall apart and shatter at the very end. Once again more planning within the game could have made the very out of place finale more appropriate

Replay 5/10

Given that there are no optional quests to prolong game life, and the fact that once you reach the last boss you can’t wonder around the planet anymore... replay is very very low. But, its still a fun game, so you’ll come back to it later.

Gripes

You know how I feel, but most of the things that made this game weaker was the last quarter of the game. Simply put, it just don’t work. Other than that, the game is more than enjoyable.

Overall 7.5/10

I hate myself. A 7?!?! I gave Sonic Adventure 2 a 7. I have Luigi’s Mansion a 7. Star Fox Adventures is NOT a 7. its... 7.5 Somehow that .5 points fits... The Star Fox tag has nothing to do with it. If this game where still Dinosaur Planet there’s no doubt it would have the same problems (but with a better ending). This cut and paste adventure offers nothing new, and the Rare uniqueness is not there. This 20 hour quest is enjoyable, but perhaps not very memorable where it counts. A few great puzzles here and there, but ultimately strait forward. Breath taking visuals but not enough time to enjoy them fully.

And on a unrelated note, good luck to Rareware on the X-Box.

Recommended Rental.


Reviewer's Score: 7/10 | Originally Posted: 10/19/02, Updated 11/09/02


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