Review by Light_Inside

"That Bushy Tail Won't Get You Anywhere!"

Number of players: 1
Memory Card: Required to save data. ( 3 - blocks of space needed.)
Rumble Feature: Works on this game.

This game was originally going to be released on the Nintendo 64 under the name of Dinosaur planet. That is until Rare and Nintendo discovered that they were working on similar projects - so they merged their plans together. Then the games release date was delayed. It was eventually released on the Nintendo Gamecube under the name of "Star Fox Adventures".

Star Fox Adventures is the last game to be produced by Rare for Nintendo, as Rare have since been bought by Microsoft, taking along some of my favourites with them. (Banjo Kazooie and Perfect Dark, to name a couple). However, Rare will continue to produce games for the Gameboy Advance occasionally.

I received this game as a present in November, and I immediately placed the game in to my Gamecube and pushed the power button!
The plastic case is arrives in is conventional design wise, kind of rectangular, and has art work on the front, as well as screen shots from the actual game on the back, as well as the plot line. The instruction manual is present, and full of art work and easy to read instructions. Both the case and manual are well presented and at a high quality.

~~~ The Plot ~~~~

The plot goes that 8 years after the demise of Andross (In Lylat Wars for the Nintendo 64) that dinosaur planet, a planet in the Lylat system is under threat from General Scales. General Scales has stolen four magical stones which are required to keep the planet stable, General Scales plans to take over the planet. However, with him having posession of these stones, the planet is under threat of exploding, which would cause major problems for the Lylat system.

Krystal, a female blue fox, which has the ability to talk, and practically do anything a human could, gets a distress call from the innocent dinosaurs on the planet. On a stormy, rainy night, Krystal, quickly hops on to her flying dinosaur friend and makes her way to Krazoa Palace - where the signals are sounding from. However, on the way Krystal is ambushed by a large flying ship that has the ability to float in the sky - the ship belongs to General Scales who wishes to stop Krystal in her tracks.

You actually gain control of the flying dinosaur, and you press A to shoot fire balls at the ship, as well as using the controller to move left, right up, down and in all other directions possible. Once the flying sail ship has been defeated, you make it to Krazoa Palace. The palace acts as a tutorial, and you can learn the controls. You learn that 6 Krazoa Spirits are required in order for the planet to be restored to it's normal state, and as krystal you manage to obtain one of these. However, Krystal is soon imprisoned by a strange entity and the story then moves across the galaxy....

The Great Fox, a huge spaceship is cruising through space, on board, is Fox McCloud, Slippy Toad and Peppy Hare. They get a call from Sergeant Pepper, telling them to get to Dinosaur planet as there are problems. This is where the game starts...

~~ First Impressions~~~

Now, before I carry on, I must say this. My first impressions? That this game is fantastic! The graphics are smooth, and well rendered. The stormy rainy atmosphere created at the start of the game, when playing as Krystal is fantastic. Playing this game on a large Television with surround sound - especially in the dark would create a very movie - esque feeling. The amount of detail on the sail boat and the shiny tiled Krazoa Palace is breath taking, along with the haunting music that sounded rather Egyptian feel to it , I really could not believe it. The atmosphere created by use of visual and audio set a promising outlook for the game.

~~~Controls~~~

So, what are the controls and combat system like?

Well, the combat system is not the best in a game. If you have played the Zelda series for the N64, you will be familiar with the style, however, on this game the battles seem much more restricted and the attacks are not as vast as those ones present in Zelda. When enemies approach, the camera goes kind of behind your character of Fox. Your main weapon is a staff, which you can use to whack the enemies with. Pressing A allows you to do so. in addition, holding the control stick at different angles while doing so, allows you to pull of various combat techniques. The battles are not that exciting, you press A over and over, and that is it. You can press the C stick to select any special powers you have acquired, and then press A to use them. One such power is shooting fire balls from your staff.

When not battling, you use the control stick mainly to run about, and press A to chat to various inhabitants on the planet. Also, if you run towards any ledges, or spaces that require you to jump, it automatically does so for you.

Simple controls, although a little too simple, they kind of get repetitive.

~~~ Game Play ~~~

What does the game run like? Well I have mentioned the controls and battling events, so bare those in mind.

The game involves exploring the vast environments around. There is a jungle like area, full of trees and lakes home to friendly dinosaurs and "The Warp Stone", a large rock giant that strangely has a Scottish accent. Then, there are snowy mountain tops, home to Woolly Mammoths. At a few points in the game you must ride on snowmobiles at fairly fast speeds, which adds a new dimension to the game.

There are also plenty of puzzles to solve, one example is when you are locked in a room which has gas being pumped in to it, and you must quickly push stone blocks over the vents to cut the gas off. Another puzzling section is when you are in a room full of invisible walls, and the easiest example of a puzzle to mention - a maze.
Puzzles can be tricky at times, but I wouldn't say that any were hard.

You also meet Prince Tricky, a young energetic Triceratops. He joins you from early on in your journey and remains there until the very end. He gives little hints, as well as doubling up as a useful tool. Tricky, can be commanded to dig holes, thus revealing useful passage ways or items that will be valuable for your quest.

One problem with the game I feel, is that it likes side quests, the game heads you in one direction - that of the plot, and there is little room for doing fun side quests, like those in the Zelda games.

Also, when travelling from one part of the planet to another, Fox must jump in his Arwing (A small space ship), and fly through asteroid fields, and the game becomes a shoot ‘em up for a brief time. It is reminiscent of the Lylat Wars game for Nintendo 64. It's a great idea, although the shoot ‘em up sections are just a little too short.

Each location is home to a variety of 'baddies'. Most of the planets inhabitants are friendly, but the 'Red Eyes' (A herd of T rex) are not so friendly. (As you can see in screen shots included at the bottom of the review). Other enemies you will encounter are Scale's band of army (they resemble T rexs as well) as well as in some points in the game - floating brains with tenticle arms. There are lots of other strange creatures that try and attack you during your journey, but none are too much trouble.

On the screen as you play, you have a energy bar present, a symbol representing how many 'energy cells' you have, as well as scarabs, ( read on for explinations). There is also to the top right of the screen a small box which consists of a PDA item, which holds information such as a map and so on.

You have a life bar , which increases as you proceed through the game. Each time you take damage, you can locate energy by smashing wooden creates open, knocking fruit down from trees or by purchasing some from a local shop cave. The currency is 'scarabs' so keep your eyes for them. Scarabs can be found under rocks, which you must use your staff to lift up. Once located they will try and run away, so be quick to grab them.

Another thing to point out is that you need to obtain a certain amount of special 'energy cells' before you can fly to the different locations. So you must also search for them with the help of a handy radar system you posses.

Pressing "Start" opens up a screen that lets you view what items you have collected, your location on this large world, as well as hints. You can also save your game on this screen.

~~~Graphics~~~

The graphics are some of the most amazing on Gamecube or any other consoles! The cut scenes are just like the actual game you control, smooth, fully rendered graphics. Everything is detailed to the maximum. The water ripples, reflections are also present. Grass sways back and forth. On the beach area, you leave foot prints in the sandy terrain momentarily. There is one problem though - when you jump in water - the splashes are not as good as what they could be, although sometimes the splashes are non existent. The phrase 'eye candy' springs to mind. It is a visual treat! Also, areas go from light to dark as the sun rises and lowers, these effects accompanied by the music and sounds create a astonishing environment. I often spend minutes on end admiring these graphical scenes!

~~~ Music~~~

This games music - great in my eyes! Or should that be ears? The music is rather safari like, and very gentle in a number of places. In the area with friendly dinosaurs and trickling lakes, the music is rather tribal. However, in an area which is a larva filled mine, the environment is much darker, and this calls for darker sounding music. It truly is great. The music is a lot more menacing, and as enemies approach the music fades in to another more menacing tune flawlessly. Some areas however, do not have music, and the sound effects create the environment. Music is used sensibly, and effectively.

~~~ Sound~~~

Sound. BRILLIANT! In fact, there is even a sound/music test present, so you can just listen to these if you want to. Sounds range from pouring rain, to birds twittering. The game has the most natural sounding sounds to the more mechanical sounding effects, such as machinery cranking.

In some environments, there is no music present - just sounds. One area is mellow with nothing but brown leaved trees , and the leaves slowly drop to the floor (See image at bottom). You can also hear nearby water trickling and birds whistling, creating a soothing environment. I could sit there on this game for ages just listening to these sounds. In an area named "Moon Mountain Pass", which is a strange purple mountain full of strange creatures lurking in the cracks of the rocks, there are simple eerie strange "ooohh" noises present. (If anyone has seen the original Planet Of The Apes Movie, think of those weird "oohh" noises you hear at the start of that to imagine what I mean). The noises create a real spooky cold atmosphere as you stand a top the cold looking lonely mountain. My point? The sound effects combined with the rest of the games music and graphics - fantastic, but just alone, the effects have a huge impact on the game.

~~~ Length~~~~

Well it depends really. Are you a person that sits on computer games for hours and hours? Well this took me a month at least to complete. The game is full of things to explore, and the environments are fairly large. However once you have played this game through, because you know where everything is, and what is around every corner, you won't be spending as much time admiring all the environments, and so this will cut the completion time of the game down. The replay value is rather low, I read various reviews stating that it was low, and I thought "nah! It won't be bad to replay again", but in reality, the replay value is just low, cause you know what to do. If there had been sub quests present, then the value would have increased no doubt. However, I have not played this game for, perhaps close to a year, and so I now have the urge to play it

~~ Overall~~~

Well. It's a great adventure game! Proof required? The game turned platinum and can now be purchased at bargain prices. I have seen it at various places for £15 - £20. It is also bound to be on various websites going cheap. I have seen it on car boots for £10 also.

It provides great enjoyment on the first sitting, and the game is of a high standard. There are minimal flaws, one being the not so good combat system which as stated before can be repetitive after a while.

It's not too hard, but not too easy, anyone can play it. If you are an adventure game fan I would highly recommend that you play this at least once if you have access to it.

Here is to hoping you found this review somewhat useful. Thanks for reading.


Reviewer's Score: 8/10 | Originally Posted: 05/13/05


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