Review by JoeB_91
Reviewed: 09/10/07 | Updated: 05/12/08
Can't We Kill The Frog?
Star Fox 64 is a graphically reimagined remake of the original game for the SNES [thats what Wiki said] made by Nintendo. It is also one of the first good games for the Nintendo 64, and I believe that it earns an award for cramming so much sound inside of that Cartridge so early on.
The story is pretty much the old game but redone a little bit. It starts off with an overview of what happened before the game, Andross the evil scientist was exiled to Venom for crimes against humanity, he was found to be doing more experiments, so the Star Fox team was sent to investigate. While they were there James and Peppy were betrayed by Pigma, James died and Peppy had to escape. Moving on to now you are Fox, James' son and you lead the team, you need to kill Andross to help the Cornerians stop a war against him. Basic stuff but this made it sound kinda interesting, albeit using some bare-boned descriptions.
This is a big improvement over numero uno. The game is very non-linear and you can choose your own pathway to Venom from the levels that they give you by the choices you make in levels, such as saving your wing mates from the enemies that they are too stupid to kill themselves. You also earn points for everything that you kill, which goes to earning medals, and those open up a "Hard Mode" and some stuff for the Multiplayer mode. I do like how you can save your allies, and how they can change the levels [opening up different paths, giving hints, killing stuff for you], but one problem I had with them was that well... other than the scripted stuff they are useless. Sometimes I just wound up shooting them down so I did not have to listen to their incessant whining.
On to the enemy, they were well designed and some of them provided a decent challenge before I became good enough to get around 1700 points without a Game Shark. But the thing I like the most is the sheer number of differing paths you can take in the game to get to Venom, you can do specific things like flying through warp rings, shooting some switches or blasting gates open to go a different way. All in all the game plays very well, although it is too easy [the only hard thing about "Expert Mode" is flying without breaking a wing off], any game where you can beat it with 20 lives is too easy for me.
The only thing that provides a huge challenge in Star Fox is trying to fly in Expert mode without your wings getting blown off. The game itself is very easy to beat, and it is not very hard to get all of the medals by killing a certain amount of enemy's, it is not very hard to go through the levels and do every thing if you know how to play games. When I got this game back in 1998 [I was 7 at the time] I was not very good, but now I can blow through the levels.
Once you know how everything works, you can breeze through the game. But Slippy is still painful to endure.
With the Nintendo 64 Gamepad everything works very fluidly, although it does get tiring hammering down on the a button to fire after a while, and if you have a bad stick it gets hard to turn. As simplistically as I can put it, it will be easy enough for you to do everything you need to do because the game is set up very well. And if you can find a Controller with a rapid fire function that does not break after a week, get that it helps.
Star Fox is a great looking game for 1997, the ships are very well designed, and they give you a satisfying explosion when you wipe them out. But the environments are a little bit blander, you can tell that most of the work went into the Ships but the Nintendo 64 is terrible with large textures. Still this is very impressive for the time it was made in, and that alone does deserve some recognition.
Ohhhhhhhhhh.... that Frog. Yes anyone who has played this game knows about the ear piercing voice overs that were done, and the most piercing of them all was Slippy who sounds like if it is a he, had all of the Y Chromosomes sucked out of his body. And some of the things that they say just get so annoying, how many times can you hear "DO A BARREL ROLL!" without wanting to rip your hair out. If you want a laugh, just listen to how campy some of the dialog is.
There are also some good sound effects, you get to hear ships explode, you hear engines, you hear the pulsating blast of a laser exiting your cannons, so that is nice. Finally, there is some music in every level as well, some of them sound good and kinda like classical music turned into MDI's but some are terrible. And you are capable of unlocking a "Music Library" thing so you can listen to every song, at least it's cheaper than downloading them off the internet.
All in all, some good sound is voided by Slippy who makes you cringe and hope your ear drums pop.
The levels are well designed and some of them give a feeling of the war that is going on, and the music also sets up the feeling for action, exploration, danger and everything else. And the action feels very war like although after you play as many times as people like me have [its been out for 10 years!] it is all very predictable.
You can go into a four player battle with your buddies in either an Arwing, Landmaster or on foot with some kind of rapid fire energy bazooka. One problem is that even with 2 people there are 4 screens so it is hard to see everything if you have a small TV, and compared to Goldeneye [the pinnacle of Multiplayer at this time], Star Fox 64 has nothing. But if you are just looking for a way to kill some time, this does work very well.
You can keep going to earn all of the medals or to see how high of a score you can get [mine is around 1700/1800 points], and there is a simple multiplayer. Other than that it is a very short, easy game so there is not much left to do.
Good graphics, non-linear gameplay, Slippy is fun to kill.
SLIPPY EXISTS, too easy to beat, useless wing mates.
Should you get it:
Star Fox 64 is a great old game for the Nintendo 64, there is also a port of it on the Nintendo Wii that works very well, you should pick it up and add it to your collection.
Star Fox 64 although it has a few flaws is a good game for the Nintendo 64 and an improvement over the old one. It is also a good example of just what the 64 could do early in it's lifespan.
Rating: 4.0 - Great
Product Release: Star Fox 64 (Players Choice) (US, 12/31/98)
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