Review by King_Meteor

"One of the first N64 games I ever played...and one of the best"

I remember playing this game when it was new, back in '97. I was 6 years old then, so I was terrible at the game, but I loved it. And I still do 13 years later.

The Lylat System was once great and prosperous, but a Cornerian scientist by the name of Andross turned it into a barren wasteland. Fortunately, General Pepper of the Cornerian army captured Andross and banished him to the desolate planet, Venom. A few years later, General Pepper received reports of disturbing activity coming from Venom. James McCloud, Peppy Hare, and Pigma Dengar of the mercenary unit known as Star Fox were sent to investigate. But when the Star Fox team arrived at Venom, Pigma betrayed his allies and turned them over to Andross. Peppy managed to escape from Andross and returned home to James' son Fox what had happened. A few years have passed and Andross has once again invaded the Lylat System. General Pepper has called on a new Star Fox team, led by James' son Fox. It's up to the Star Fox team to defeat Andross and his army and save the Lylat System.

Overall, the graphics are very good. The graphics of the original Star Fox may have been revolutionary, but they lacked a lot of detail and didn't look that great since the SNES was only a 2D system. Well, that's not the case with this game. They could do a lot more with the graphics on the N64 and it shows. The characters and stages are all nicely detailed and look quite nice.

While Star Fox 64 doesn't have the most earth-shattering soundtrack, the music is very fitting for the stages and battles. Some songs are better than others, but overall the music is very good. What really stood out to me about this game, though, was the voice acting. The dialogue in this game is completely voiced over. We're talking 1997. This was uncommon if not unheard of. Sure, the voice acting may not be the greatest, but the fact that all the dialogue is voiced over in such an old game is quite a breakthrough. And as if that's not enough, this game also has some of the most well-known and made-fun-of quotes in video game history. Do a barrel roll!

Star Fox 64 is an on-rail shooter. In most stages, you'll fly through the stage in your ship called an Arwing and shoot down enemies. For a few stages and boss battles, you'll be in “All Range Mode,” which basically means you can move around anywhere. In two of the stages, instead of flying an Arwing, you'll be driving a Landmaster tank and in one stage, you'll be underwater in the Blue Marine. I don't enjoy the Blue Marine stage that much and the Landmaster stages are pretty fun, but not as fun as the Arwing stages. I think Falco said it best when I said “I'll take the sky any day.” Thank goodness those are the most abundant. The thing I like most about this game, though, is the ability to choose your own path. Most stages can be completed in more than one way and which way you complete the stage will determine which stage you'll go to next. This makes for multiple paths through the game. Unfortunately, you can't save in this game even with a memory card, but the game's short enough that you can easily beat it in a single sitting. The game may not be long, but it's fun. This game does have a multi-player mode, but it's not that great. There are three different stages, which are more or less the same; they just look different. Overall, this is primarily a 1-player game.

For a short game, this game has a pretty high replay value. For one thing, the ability to take multiple paths adds a lot of replay value. There's also the extra challenge of winning medals on each stage. If you destroy a certain number of enemies, which varies depending on the stage, and keep all your allies alive, you'll win the medal for that stage. If you can win medals for all the stages, you can unlock Expert mode. Even after you've unlocked Expert mode there's the challenge of getting all the metals on Expert mode.

This game is a classic. I highly recommend it. If you can't get this for the Nintendo 64, you can also get it on the Wii virtual console. Either way, it's a great game for a relatively low price.

Reviewer's Rating:   4.5 - Outstanding

Originally Posted: 03/17/10

Game Release: Star Fox 64 (US, 07/01/97)

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