Review by matt91486
"Jumping off a Cessna without a parachute would be more fun!"
Star Fox for the Super Nintendo was a great game. I never got to play a lot of it but I always thought it was fun when I did. So here comes Star Fox 64. (Why not Metroid???) So I tried it. And nearly instantly stopped. Then I started again because I felt it was my duty to warn the public about the dangers of Fox McCloud to your Nintendo 64.
Star Fox 64 poorly executes one of the greatest concepts in video games--the space shooter. Space shooters have always been one of my favorite genres, but this one is poorly executed (as I said before). Sometimes you can pilot different vehicles, but nearly all of the time you are in your Arwing. The gameplay is not complex, this is basically a straight up shooter, with no objectives. You just shoot everything you target. The only innovation in this gameplay is the revelation by Nintendo that space shooters can be made in three-dimensions. And if they did not try to disguise so badly that this was just an action oriented game, they probably could have carried out these concepts better.
The graphics are adequate. They certainly do not reach the innovation of the Super Nintendo original. No one had ever seen anything like the original Star Fox before. To us, Star Fox 64 just looked like any old Nintendo 64 game. And the dull coloring really does not make the game any more exciting in the least.
The backgrounds are the best thing about the graphics in Star Fox 64. They are done perfectly. The obstacles put in blend perfectly with the scenery, so it looks like it is all connected (like it is supposed to, in other words). The pillars actually look like pillars. And there are so many of them, that helps a lot. The water does not look as good as in Wave Race 64, but it is decent enough. The skies of space are oddly enough many hues, because they range from purple to yellow to black in some levels. Once again, Nintendo’s creativity has taken them a little too far.
The music is substantially below average in every way. If there is a good song, a bad one quickly follows. If it is average, the pattern will start somewhere. Nintendo tries really desperately to make it sound spacey and high-tech, but it just sounds awful. It all seems rather melancholy, which does not fit this game at all.
The sound effects are better, but sadly they are still not of the quality that I expected. Most of them are done somewhat well, you just hear them so often it becomes rather grating. The fact that all of the characters can talk in battle is very cool, however, and it is executed beautifully. Nintendo did a great job making the characters cry out for help, and let each other know when they need a target blown to bits.
This is where the game falls flat on it's face and yells for mercy. The control is awful. You fly the ship to the left, it either does not move, or it flies to the right. Same for if you fly it to the left. It is bad, bad control. It does not listen. Bad fox. Bad. Even the one button movements are difficult. Advanced movements. Beginning movements. All nearly impossible with the horrendous control brought to you by Star Fox 64.
I want multiplayer modes in games. Including this one. But here is the catch; I need multiplayer modes that are not useless. Ones that are fun. Star Fox 64 does not deliver. Not even like a tired paperboy at 3:00 Sunday morning. Or even a drunk mailman. Not that I have ever seen a drunk mailman, but you are catching my drift. This game is a disappointment all around.
For once, the missions in a game are more fun than the multiplayer. The missions offer complexness and better space shooting than the multiplayer does. Without these missions the score would be considerably lower. In all actuality the only reason I ever play this game is to play the couple of tank missions. Star Fox 64 is a space shooter. When I play a space shooter for tank action, something is amiss.
This is one of the easiest games I have ever played, especially on one of the more advanced systems. Usually first party games from Nintendo take me a long time to beat, but I beat Star Fox 64 in a day. This game desperately screams “I need difficulty options!” The difficulty level would also be increased dramatically had Nintendo included some much needed variety in the missions. When you are basically doing the same thing over and over again you are bound to get good at it.
Once you beat the game with gold medals on all of the missions, there is no point to playing this game. This is solely because the multiplayer is not worth playing. The only way any of you should have to suffer through playing it again is if you are in a contest to try to beat it the fastest. The tank modes are far more fun than using the ships, but once more, I would rather be playing something else. If I wanted to pilot tanks, I would be playing Battle Tanx.
*The triumphant return of Fox McCloud to a console that desperately needed him.
*You should not have any problems beating the game.
*Some of the best tank fighting on the Nintendo 64.
*The multiplayer capabilities are utterly useless.
*A two-year-old should not have any problems beating this game.
*Some more work could have been done on the music.
Apparently some of Nintendo’s plan for the Nintendo 64 was to set some of their classic series back many years, due to horrible flops like Star Fox 64 and Donkey Kong 64. When Nintendo says that they have learned from their mistakes with the Nintendo 64, I hope this below average game is included in that statement. Because if those developers do not figure out what they are doing pretty quick, they could end up like Sega.
Reviewer's Score: 3/10 | Originally Posted: 07/22/00, Updated 10/19/01
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