Review by Computerbug9

"Great Fox is ready to go"

Star Fox 64 puts you in control of Fox McCloud, son of James McCloud, the leader of the former Star Fox team. You go from planet to planet, galaxy to galaxy, nubula to nebula, etc. until you reach Venom, the planet of Andross. Not ocnfused yet? Kepp reading.

To start off, you hear in an opening that this maniac named Andross was doing a science experiment, but it was too dangerous and he got exiled to a distant planet called Venom. Half a decade later, General Pepper was getting concerned and sent a team of Peppy Hare and Pigma Dengar led by James McCloud to find out what Andross was doing. Pigma ends up betraying the team and James and Peppy get held prisoner of Andross. Peppy escapes with his life, but James doesn't. Now, a few more years have passed and General Pepper is again getting worried, so he forms another team consisting of Peppy Hare, Falco Lembarde (did I spell it right?) Slippy Toad and led by Fox McCloud, son of James McCloud. (that's you)

This gameplay starts off normal. Before and after a level, you see a map of everywhere in the Lylat System. You start on Corneria, and pretty much shoot everything that gets in your way, except for three things: Peppy, Slippy and Falco. Your three comrades pop up in the level and seldom do they do anything. Peppy and Slippy are pretty much useless the entire way except for some things they help you do to accomplish objectives, and Falco's really only good for level one. There are usually at least two ways to complete each mission: you either accomplish it, or you complete it. If you accomplish it, you have finished the level doing the objective you were sent to do. If you complete it, you don't finish the objective. This is where things get a little interesting though...if you accomplish a mission, you go a different way in the path than you would have if you completed it. (unless you choose the "Change Course" option) This way is usually harder, but by accomplishing missions, you can meet some sideline characters, such as Bill, Fox's brother, or Kat, Falco's annoying girl friend.

I hate these kinds of controls where up is down and down is up, and that's the case here. Aside from this, the controls are pretty simple to master. Your comrades can tell you how to fire at or bomb an enemy (basics) all the way to doing fancy acrobatics, which could take some practice to get used to. Still, the controls are easy and once you get used to them, they're easy to master.

This was an early made Nintendo 64 game, and the graphics are kind of decent . Sure the Arwings and other ships look pretty well done, as do the surroundings. But for some strange reason, they just couldn't pull the explosions off. I don't mean the ones after you shoot down a random enemy, that's fine. I'm talking about the big explosions when you blow up a base or a gigantic robot. Not only do the explosions sound more like a loud wind blowing, but they're nothing except large, see-throughable red balls with white things streaming up the sides. More can be done on those. One more bit on graphics is when you find Andross. Andross looks like a bulgy head...not too realistic.

For a while, this game could be great for replaying. If there's a mission you can;t quite seem to be able to accomplish, it's pretty fun going back looking for a secret portal or trying to find that specific thing you needed to do and/or not let happen. However, once you do find out how to accomplish a mission, it can be a real pain finishing it. The two places which have hard ways to accomplish a mission are on Zoness or the Asteroid Field. Still, it's always worth going back. You never know, you might find the harder path easier and the harder path harder.

What's the word I'm looking for? Um...oh yeah. Short. There are probably over 20 levels and you can only play 7 of them, including Venom. Once you get the hang of it, you could beat this game in 30-40 minutes without dying once. That's how easy it can be. But, if that's the case, do what I reccommended above and try a different path if you haven't already.

This is the weak point in the game. It can be a bit fun at first, but after a while, it just gets boring. What do you do? You go around in your arwing trying to shoot down the other player(s) arwing. You can unlock new vehicles, including the landmaster and on foot, but it's no easy task at times.

Other notes:
This is actually a very fun game. The fun parts can come when Star Wolf and his team (now including Pigma) come and attack, and the game did a great job setting it up so you'd have to fight them at some time or another, no matter what route you took. The different planets and areas are quite interesting to fly in, or in some cases, drive in. Some positive notes are that you can listen to conversation between your comrades, despite the fact they say stuff over and over again. Examples are when you kill a boss, they say stuff like "You'll never defeat Andross" or "I can't believe I lost to this scum!". Another example is on Katina when you accidentally shoot down an ally, Bill says in pain "Fox, that's one of ours!" Even the stuff your comrades say when you fire and (sometimes) accidentally hit them like "Hey Einstein! I'm on your side!" is pretty interesting to listen to. Also, the fact that you can choose whether you want an exterior view of the arwing or a cockpit view is very interesting. The only times you can't be in cockpit are in all range mode. The backgrounds are well done, whether you're in outer space, a life-flourished planet like Corneria or a submerged planet like Aquas.

For some negative notes, you'll find that you can mostly only play one mode. There is a second mode, expert mode, but you have to get medals on ALL the areas, and that could take you a few good months. I think the way you get a medal is by shooting down an acceptionable amount of enemies in one level. Also, your ship seems to be the only destructable one in the Cornerian Army's fleet. You cannot blow up your comrades' ship, including Bill's and Kat's. For Slippy, Peppy and Falco, they simply say they can't fight anymore and retreat and you'd get them back the level after the next.

Buy or Rent?
Despite the fact I really like this game, it won't keep you occupied long enough after beating it, so I'd actually say just rent it. If you really, REALLY like it, then go ahead and buy it.

Reviewer's Rating:   4.0 - Great

Originally Posted: 11/01/04

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