Review by Funk
"Truly the last masterpiece from Rare..."
A few weeks ago it was announced that, once and for all, Rare was being bought by Nintendo. Millions of Nintendo fans across the world were shocked by the transaction, I for one, was one of them. But, it happens, and amongst the middle of it, Rare's latest and last gem for Nintendo systems came out, known as StarFox Adventures: Dinosaur Planet. The first GameCube game to fully star all the members of the StarFox team, it's a very different type of game from the previous StarFox games. Unlike the other airplane-simulation type StarFox games, this one is like an Action-RPG, starring Fox McCloud and the rest of the StarFox team. You get a 3rd person view of Fox the character, instead of Fox the guy who is currently in an airplane. This is a true gem for the GameCube, and one of the only games that are worthy enough to recieve an actual 10 from me.
The different styles of gameplay in the game are truly an artist at work. The 3rd person perspective you get are great when you're exploring areas, personally, I find third person views better than first person views, and this game satisfies that taste. When Fox is exploring areas, the camera generally stays behind Fox, keeping you in touch with the surroundings, allowing you to soak in any secrets, boxes, plants, etc. that are around you. Rare set that part up better than most third-person games out there, and it just flourishes by using this set-up. The game also shines when you come near an enemy and are about to fight them. The camera does a shift, and the camera stays behind Fox no matter what, instead of shifting around like it occasionally does out of battle. Fox uses his staff in battle, to use combos, and knock the opponent into oblivion. He does some cool moves in the combos, and knocks the opponent up pretty bad. There is one down-side though - there isn't exactly many different combos, there's only around 2-3 different combos that Fox uses against the opponent, making on going hand-to-hand battles somewhat boring, but that doesn't take too much away from the game.
Along with that unique battle system, Fox is also stocked with different power-ups for his magical staff that he finds mysteriously hidden in the trees. These power-ups allow Fox to get through seemingly impossible attacks in the game. The first power-up you get, for example, is a simple Blaster power-up for the staff. It allows you to shoot different plants, enemies, and buttons on walls, along with other things. It also comes in use when wanting to get through areas, such as shooting down stalactites to cross over them in a pool of freezing water. Another power-up, for example might just give Fox an extension to his staff power meter, which brings me to my next explanation of the staff system. You see, in order for Fox to use his staff effectively and successfully, he must have some amount of magic in his staff power meter. In order to fill up that power meter, Fox must find different colored balls that are found in plants, enemies, and boxes all over the planet. All the balls are different colors, and each color fills up more or less of the power meter.
Not only is there the 3rd person adventure part of the game, but in sequences of levels, you can actually fly in an Arwing! Yes! Although the parts of these levels aren't exactly lengthy, and they aren't exactly common in the game, they're still there, and are quite fun. You need to fly in the Arwing to get from different parts of Dinosaur planet, seeing as Fox isn't going to be able to walk across huge chunks of planets just to save some dinosaurs. Each Arwing level forces you to fly through a set number of gold rings, in order to open the 'Force Field' to the next level. In each Arwing level, you'll encounter enemy spacecraft, obstacles like meteors, chunks of ships, and strange rock formations. But along the way, you'll be able to pick up bomb power-ups (they're still as devastating as SF64, by the way), laser power-ups, and health power-ups, making it incredibly easy to finish the levels easily. These levels don't exactly have a huge effect on the game, seeing as they hardly ever come up, and they're very short, but they're still fun as it is.
The story of the game isn't as compelling as other Rare games, but it's ok. An evil dictator named General Scales pretty much wants to take over the planet by beating the living crap out of every dinosaur there is. Well, by hiding these 'SpellStones' all over the planet, he caused parts of the planet just to fly out of the formation of the planet, and into parts that are away from the planet. Which is another cause for using the Arwing. So anyways, Fox has to retrieve these SpellStones, and return them to the different Temples, in order to get the world back together. Obviously, Scales hid the SpellStones all across Dinosaur Planet, making it infinitely harder for Fox to get all of them, and save Dinosaur Planet. Along the way, he'll meet up with the Prince EarthWalker, Prince Tricky, and Tricky will help Fox in every way he can. Fox also gets help from his StarFox crew, like General Pepper, Peppy, and Slippy, where's Falco you ask? You can find out for yourself! Overall, the story is laggy and boring at times, but it's still pretty good.
Now, here's the graphics. A huge plus in this game. All the characters are crisp and clear, the game doesn't have much of a slow-down at all, and the backgrounds are just absolutely beautiful. The graphics are also highly detailed, as you can see the hairs on Fox's fur, wooden splinters on trees, etc. Along with the great graphics and details of the characters ON the Dinosaur Planet, why don't I explain to you about the Arwing Mission's graphics? Simple. They're pretty damn good. The meteors truly look 3d, and the laser blasts, bombs, etc. look quite realistic, both in the air and when they connect with the target. Even the backgrounds in space are detailed, such as stars or planets in the background. So, after explaining all that, there aren't many flaws with the graphics, and they are definitely one of the stronger points in the game.
The sound and the music in the game are pretty good. The calls of the Dinosaurs, the sounds of the staff smacking SharpClaws in the head, they're all there. There aren't many problems with the sound, but sometimes the bats, animals, and enemies get annoying. The music when you're approaching the enemy is pretty creepy, actually, and the different musics for the different worlds are pretty nostalgic at times. The voice acting of the game is voiced pretty good, actually, but the strange languages of the different dinosaurs without the translator are hilariously annoying, and I didn't like that part the least bit. Especially with the subtitle '-Dino Talk-' Besides that, there aren't many things lacking about the sound, and it's pretty good all the way through.
So, overall, StarFox Adventures sweeps through Nintendo and makes a perfect choice for a GameCube library. The perfect blend of a story, gameplay, graphics, and sounds that make the player amazed.
Overall Score...[Not an average]...10!
Reviewer's Rating: 5.0 - Flawless
Originally Posted: 09/29/02, Updated 02/08/03
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