Review by Ramza FFT

"Perfect on the PC, Great on the N64"

StarCraft, arguably the best strategy game on PC has surprisingly made it to a console, the N64. Being the PC fan of the game I am I did not hesitate to pick up the N64 version, which included the original StarCraft, StarCraft Brood War Expansion, extra N64 only scenarios, and multi player…

Story – 7/10 - I will keep it spoiler free. Much of what made the PC version so great were the briefings and conversations that took place before each mission that helped unfold the storyline perfectly, along with cut scenes. They are sorely missed on the N64. It is just not the same reading text compared to hearing voices, trust me. That said, they story is still well told throughout, with many twists and turns along the way to the grand finally (for both games).

Controls – 8.5/10 – Well done, even for the N64 controller. Is it as good as a mouse and Keyboard? No, but controls work fine. Hotkeys are missed but being able to select 18 units makes up for it, sort of.

Sound – 9/10 – The good old PC background music is still there, which is a good thing. All of the units attacking sound effects are still there, which is also a good thing. They cut out some of the units responses though, which I enjoyed on the PC, but they left the unit sayings when you select a unit about 7 times in a row, which are mostly funny.

Graphics – 6.5/10 – Ouch, could have been lower but considering that the N64 is far less graphically inclined than a PC, the graphics are not that bad. The PC version just spoils it though. If I would have only played this game on N64 the graphics would probably be an 8.5 ratings wise but I did not. The units are noticeably blurred, along with the buildings, along with the map, noticeably. Still if you can look past the graphics, for what this game really is then you will enjoy it as I have.

Gameplay – 9.5/10 – The bread and butter of this game but also with a downfall. First the downfall, the frame rates drop considerably during multi player games, almost to a standstill when fighting many enemies. That said the single player is a blast. Blizzard has done an unparalleled job in unit balance. Each of the three playable races, Terran, Zerg, Protoss, have their own strengths and weaknesses. The Protoss are strong, and defensively tough but the units are slow building and expensive. The Terrans are middle of the road, they have fast and slow units, strong and weak units. The Zerg have weaker units but the units are cheap and build very fast. One of the reasons why this game is so fun is because of the many strategies you can employ throughout. You can choose to be defensive or offensive, you can choose to go air and/or ground, you can choose to mass Zerg hydralisks and drop them in a helpless enemy base or sit back and watch as Terran siege tanks clear the ground while goliaths clear the air, or use a brutal Protoss air force and muscle your way through defenses. The possibilities are endless, each player finds their own knack to win (I personally prefer the tank and goliath method). In terms of gameplay the N64 version is on par with the PC version.

Replayability – 7/10 - There is really no reason to go through the game twice but it is so fun a person just might want to. There are a few extra N64 scenarios unlocked throughout the way which are fun and challenging, I personally like the football game. Also, there are cheat disks to find in certain levels. The multi player is fun for people vs. computer but person vs. person has lost the element of surprise since you can see you enemies screen.

Overall – 8/10 – Blurry graphics but great gameplay, which makes up for the graphics. Multi player is fun with a buddy playing against the computer, but the lack of surprise hurts person vs. person. Buy this game on the PC without a doubt, rent it on N64 and decide for yourself, I personally thought it was a great game.


Reviewer's Score: 8/10 | Originally Posted: 07/04/03, Updated 07/04/03


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