Review by nintendosega
I'm torn. On one hand, everything that's here is great, which should in theory warrant a great score. But don't pay $40 for it.
I have to say, playing Star Fox 64 3D gave me one of the biggest moments of complete shock that I've experienced in a video game in a long time. But before I get into that, some background; this was my first time ever playing Star Fox 64, and after Ocarina of Time was brought over to the 3DS very successfully, it seemed that there was no better time to give this classic N64 title a shot as well. Sure enough, Star Fox 64 has been brought over to the 3DS with flying colors. The game makes great use of the 3D effect, the graphics have been given a major revamp, the action's fun, and the (traditional) controls work very well. All the markings of a great game, but then, after literally 1 hour and 57 minutes of playtime, I got the end credits; now, that bummed me out.
It's an interesting point of discussion; this is of course a remake of an older title, and an older title which was very well-received. With the graphical updates, the 3D, the new gyro controls (though do yourself a favor and switch these off) and a lack of a true Star Fox game since Namco dropped the ball with Star Fox Assault back on the Gamecube, Nintendo probably felt little reason to add more to this remake, but the question is, should they have? I have to say that despite how much I enjoyed the game, hitting the end credits so quickly put a big dent in my overall experience, and I just can't get past that. I'm definitely falling on the "game's not worth a buy at a full price" side of the fence here.
Now, to be fair, there's more to do after you watch the ending, as Star Fox 64 is a very score-driven game and there are multiple paths and other levels to access, but still, you're looking at under 5 hours of playtime here and I just can't justify that for a $40 price point in this day and age.
That said, there are some things I definitely have to commend here that might add some value to this purchase. As a showcase for the 3DS' 3D capabilities, Star Fox 64 is pretty fantastic. With enemy aircraft flying the skies, with all the bullets constantly soaring by the screen, with the game's fast speeds and hectic action, this feels like it was born to to play in 3D and it does this very well. You can opt to use the system's tilt controls for steering but I can't for the life of me figure out why anyone would use this option, as this removes your eyes from the screen and messes with the 3D effect, and given how great this game's 3D presentation is, I'd stick with that over the gyro controls, but you have a choice, which is nice. The standard controls work well and the game runs pretty fluidly for the most part, with the exception of some framerate drops here and there, and the voice acting's still awful, which I guess gives the game a little bit of extra charm. If you've never played Star Fox 64 before then this is a great way to get to experience it...
...but why didn't they add more to this? If they knew they were going to remake a very short game, why not add new levels, why not add online to the multiplayer, why not fix the pop-up, why not do *something* to justify this game's $40 price point?
Verdict: This really should have been an entirely new Star Fox game, which would have been a real treat. Still, for those of us who haven't played the original, this is great fun and a fine showcase for the 3DS, well, while it lasts. It's a short game, one that I just can't say is worth the money. If you don't mind a game that's this short, feel free to change my score to an 8/10, because what's here is great, there's just not enough of it. At least, for my tastes.
Presentation: The classically bad voice actors and lip sync have been left in place, for better or worse. Menus are slick and the story gets you from one level to the next. Makes great use of the 3D.
Graphics: Maybe not the best-looking 3DS game and some pop-up definitely shows, but there are some beautiful moments and overall this is a great update visually over the N64 game.
Gameplay: A lot of fun, great controls, intense action, great old school gameplay re-packaged for a modern audience.
Sound: Nintendo fans will have no trouble recognizing these tunes.
Value: Under 2 hours to reach the end credits, 5 hours of gameplay here at most if you want to reach additional levels via branching paths and harder difficulty settings. But still, short, and lack of online's incredibly weak.
Overall: 6.5/10, though 8/10 if you can nab it for under $20.
Rating: 3.0 - Fair
Product Release: Star Fox 64 3D (US, 09/09/11)
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