Review by MetalFox3k
"Underrated like crazy"
Star Fox Adventures review
In 1993, under the eye of Shigeru Miyamoto, Nintendo released a flight game originally used as a test product for the new Super FX Chip. That game was known as Star Fox. It was a serious dogfighting game with colorful characters and beautiful worlds. It also introduced us to Fox McCloud, a brave young fox with a great sense of adventure and leadership. In 1997, Nintendo decided to continue the Star Fox series with a simply amazing game, known to us as Star Fox 64. It featured all the amazing gameplay from the original times ten. It was also the first (and one of the only) N64 games to feature fully digitized speech. Many N64 owners would consider it one of the best games on the console.
A few years later (the year 1999 to be exact), second-party developer Rare Ltd. announced a new N64 title in development known as Dinosaur Planet. It would feature a main character who carried a staff. This character would travel the world with his dinosaur sidekick and fight off mean dinos with skilled bo-fighting action.
A year later, Nintendo held their Spaceworld 2000 convention. Along with the GameCube, Nintendo announced a plethora of future titles for it's wonderful box of joy. Among those games was the former-N64 title, Dinosaur Planet. But who was the main character? Why, none other than good old Fox McCloud! Apparently Nintendo decided that Fox needed another game, and this game with no relation to the Star Fox series at all must have seemed like a perfect candidate. The game would be known as Star Fox Adventures. After a series of delays, gamers finally received the opportunity to purchase this game in September of 2002. Was it worth the wait? Well, beauty is in the eye of the beholder, and this beholder saw all the beauty of this wonderful game.
GRAPHICS AND SOUND- 9/10
If there is one point where this game truly shines beyond belief, the graphics would be it. The game is drop-dead gorgeous. Truly it must be seen to believe. Fox looks more realistic than ever. You can identify moods with his facial expressions. Sometimes he looks happy, sometimes he looks sad, sometimes he looks annoyed, and sometimes he even looks nervous. And lip syncronizing is dead-on. But it gets even more realistic: when Fox moves, his fur actually sways in the wind. It actually looks like every folicle is drawn individually. Unbelievable.
And I can't go without describing the beutiful water effects. It perfectly and realistically relflects what is on the surface, and it ripples realistically, too. Jump in the water and watch how Fox's body is distorted under the surface. It will blow you away.
However, the graphics do have a few flaws; some you may notice, some you won't. First of all, the framerate drops on occasion. Not often, but sometimes. You may begin to notice that it seems to drop in the same spots. It isn't something that destroys the game, but you may notice it. Second, Fox's shadow is too consistant. Even when you go in a building, his shadow will look just the same as if you were walking on the face of Mercury. Personally, I didn't notice this until the game was almost over, but some may notice it sooner.
If you can get past these few flaws, the game will be nothing short of an utter jaw-dropping experience.
The sound of Star Fox Adventures is a great experience. The game sounds great. Running water sounds like real water, enemies grunt realistically, and the sound of hitting enemies with a stick sounds great, though somewhat cartoonish. And then there's the voice acting. Gotta love the voice acting. Fox sounds great, Peppy sounds just like what you would expect him to, ROB64 sounds very robotic, and though Slippy has kept his annoying sissy voice, you gotta admit, it suits him pretty well. And all the residents of Dinosaur Planet sound great with their English and Scottish accents.
The thing that really brought the score down was the music. I really didn't like the music very much. It was just the same repetive things over and over, like something you would see in "The Land Before Time." There should have been more classic Star Fox tunes in it.
Star Fox has seen better days. The Lylat System has been pretty peaceful lately. To team Star Fox, that just means one thing: BOR-RING. Fox is bored out of his mind, Slippy is always busy with some gadget, Peppy is asleep eighteen hours a day (somewhat ironic if you consider his name is "Peppy"), and Falco isn't even there anymore. But then, all of a sudden, General Pepper appears on the hologram messenger thingy with a new job for them. Apparently the dinosaur-inhabited world known as Dinosaur Planet (how original) is in horrible shape. Some jerk is reeking havoc there hoping to get his hands on the great source of power being held there.
Though decent, no one said it was Shakespeare.
The game plays as your typical adventure game, which may come as a surprise to some Star Fox fans. Fox is no longer blasting ships from the safety of his Arwing. Now he is on the ground hitting dinosaurs with a stick. But don't shun it yet. If you've ever played a 3-D Zelda game, you can know what to expect. You fight enemies by first targeting them, and then hitting them repeatedly with your staff. Simple, yet fun.
Also cool is your sidekick. In this game you get a little triceratops partner named Tricky. Sure, he can be a bit annoying at times, but at least he's no Navi. Tricky can do various tasks such as dig holes, breathe fire, sit on switches, and even play fetch. He'll also help you by alerting you to hidden secrets and enemies. Sure, his voice can get annoying, but who cares? He's a pet dinosaur!
One other aspect I found interesting is the method of selecting items for use. All item-selecting is done in real-time with the C-Stick. No more changing weapon modes from the safety of an inventory screen. You gotta think and fight at the same time, making it much more realistic.
Though there are a few Arwing missions to keep Star Fox fans happy, the bulk of the game will be played on foot. Relax, it's still a great deal of fun.
I found no problems whatsoever with the controls. The Control Stick moves Fox, and the C-Stick accesses your inventory. A is used for drawing and swinging your staff, and B is used for putting away your staff and canceling menu selections. Y works as a quick assign button for certain menu selections. X is used to dodge and roll, and R is used to shield. Z enters first-person mode, and L centers the camera behind Fox, which is useful for sidestepping. Start pauses the game, and the Control Pad adjusts the Map.
The control is perfect. No complaints here.
Sadly, there was no multiplayer. It would have been cool for Rare to include a dogfighting mode like in Star Fox 64, but alas, we are left in the dark.
As for connectivity, it would have been cool to have someone control Tricky with a GBA, but it's nothing that we must have.
This game has received a lot of criticism for being a Zelda-clone, and though it is similar to Zelda in gameplay, the story and plotline is pure Star Fox. I believe it is a very underrated game that truly shows the capabilities of the Nintendo GameCube. It is a game that shouldn't be missed by Star Fox fans and adventure fans in general.
Reviewer's Score: 9/10 | Originally Posted: 06/16/04
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