Review by Nivla
"One of the best N64 games available"
The original StarFox all the way back in the day of the SNES was a hit, a natural top seller. So it would only be natural to make a sequal to it. And oh yeah, a sequal did come, with a bang. This game is one of my all time favorite figher jet simulators from the day it was released, and it still is. The action is fast paced and non stop. StarFox 64 is a game you would like to play over and over again.
The general gameplay is similar to the original StarFox. You know, blow things up, collect powerups, destroy boss, stuff like that. But besides that, there are a lot of improvements made. First of all, your allies play a much larger role. They can help you shoot down enemies, and if they call for help, you better give it to them becuase they also help you shoot down enemies that can do some real damage if you give them the chance. Also, some of them have a special abilities. For example, Slippy has the ability to give you the boss life guage. But perhaps the biggest improvement is the moves you can pull off. In addition to the barrel roll from the original StarFox, players can now do summersaults, and other combat moves that can be done in the real world. The challenge in this game is a bit too low for the more experianced gamer. Even the toughest course is a bit too easy. The controlls were okay, but not too easy too use. Some button mashing required.
Another great addition is the number of vehicles. Besides from the Arwing (which is the futurisitic fighter jet primarly used in the game), the player can also controll a tank and a submarine, increasing the playing variaty. Another new addition that makes the game a lot easier is the targeting coursor. A box will appear around an enemy when it is in your range and locked on. Holding the fire button will charge your laser and it will become a homing laser (very effective, makes shooting funner, easier and more effective). Just like in the original StarFox, you are still required to fight a boss at the end of the level, but a lot of these bosses are in a free range area, which means you are not restricted to fly in a straight line anymore, you can circle around the boss, go over/under the boss, it's total freedom now. Also added is the new multi player mode. In here, up to four players can go head to head in a versus game. Or a timed game to see how many enemies a player can take down in a set number of time.
There are even more additions to talk about that make this game a lot better then the original. There is now more then three courses available to Venom. But they cannot be chosen. You can select a path by the things you do while on your planet. The number of points you get may affect your next destination. The objects you shoot/destroy may affect your next destination. It is total freedom. There are a lot of couses to be discovered, each with their own challenge, difficulty and surprises. Find the hardest course and the last boss will take a whole new form. Also, medals can be earned for tasks you do on a planet. These medals lead to awards such as getting bonus vehicles in the multiplayer mode.
The graphics are another huge improvement. The graphics arn't huge polygons anymore. Instead, they are very realistic, very nice graphics. All the building actually look like buildings. The system of planets look very real, as you can rotate the camara in deep space to look at the planet from all angles. The surfaces of certain terrains are very well done. The ground looks amazing as you fly over it. And water looks quite realistic. Also, the camara angle during gameplay is a big improvement too. Much more can be seen, plus you can have a first person perspective too (although it will get you really dizzy). The audio, I feel is not as good as the original StarFox. Although some songs were memorable, the overall soundtrack was not very good. The sound on the other hand isn't all that horrible. In fact, it's quite good.
The fun factor is really high. Since this is one of the most realistic fighter jet simulators, it is extremely fun to tyr an evade enemy attacks by doing all those new manuvers. The replay value is also very high since there are so many different courses and medals to be earned. Also, the multiplayer makes this game very replayable for all of your friends.
Overall, this is one of the best N64 games available. There were many new additions to make it a game to remember (okay, that didn't sound too good, but you know what I mean). This game is definatley worth buying.
Reviewer's Score: 8/10 | Originally Posted: 07/20/00, Updated 07/20/00
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