Review by strawhat

Reviewed: 01/03/05

Nothing like shooting the bejesus out of things with a fox.

Star Fox 64 is about a character named Fox who is a fox. I'll bet you couldn't guess that. He's just like an average, everyday fox that you see in the woods. Orange, furry, and small. Oh, and he pilots the Arwing, a ship with devastating bombs, double-laser shooting, rapid barrel-rolling dodges and kickass engine power.

The game's storyline is an in-depth, melancholy tale about Fox's adventure to defeat Andross and avenge his father. Andross was an evil scientist whose experiments were dangerous and threatened Corneria, the planet of main life. He was sent away to a far away planet called Venom so he could rot in peace and not threaten any more living things. However, Andross's power was underestimated and hazardous things were detected on Venom. So, General Pepper sent three of his best pilots to defeat Andross. Those three were Peppy Hare, James McCloud(Fox's father, although his name is James, is also a fox.), and Pigma Dengar, forming the Star Fox team. However, a disaster happened at Venom as Pigma betrayed the team and James was captured. Peppy managed to escape one way or another and alerted General Pepper. He now assembled a new Star Fox crew. Fox, Peppy, Slippy, and Falco are now ready to take on the challenges that await them at Venom and will(hopefully) stop Andross this time.

Fox pilots the Arwing which you can control with your handy dandy controller. The controls are simple with A to shoot and B to drop a bomb. You can also speed up, slow down, and charge attacks with one press of a button! If you want to act all cool and buff, you can also do advanced techniques like barrel rolling which requires two presses of a button. How's that for style? If you REALLY want a cool experience, the game also offers a camera angle which puts you in first person mode instead of third person mode!

Over the years, Andross has summoned quite an army. You, controlling Fox, must shoot down the enemy ships while dodging giant asteroids, buildings, and other obstacles. This game is a little more than a shooter game though. There are powerups that you can pick up while you are shooting the crap out of your enemy. These can increase the number of bombs you are holding(you start only with three), upgrade your lasers, recover health, repair a wing, and a couple more. There are also tough bosses that require(GASP!) strategy! Without shooting at certain points or dodging attacks, there would be no way that you can beat this game.

So, what are this game's fine points? Other than the impressive storyline for a shooter, this game has voice acting. Pretty good too, unlike many games that you see today. No more BLEEP BEEP! or Hiyah! Huh! These characters actually say words which is easily comprehendable. The overall sound quality is excellent. You can hear your Arwing shattering, enemies being hit, poisonous explosions, and cries of anguish. It's amazing how many sound effects are in this game. The music is also great. It's smooth, variable, and addictive. Star Fox 64 is top in its genre for music and sound quality.

So, what else is great in this game? Instead of a linear storyline, doing certain things in the level will grant you different levels. These levels will change the storyline. You can also drive a tank or submarine in certain levels. Only you can choose the path that you want to take though. A certain path will even give you a different ending...

As said before, three characters in addition to Fox make up the Star Fox team. Each of these characters have different abilities and give you more points if they stay alive. Although it may be fun killing the toad, don't do as you'll lose points and the ability to see the life for bosses.

The characters are greatly detailed, as well as other things in this game. The environments are beautifully set in 3D. They are detailed with windows, texture, and color. Space is pitch black with little white dots as stars. Arwings are carefully done with angular wings and smooth texture. The graphics in this game were simply stupendous.

Although this game had a great concept and was effortfully done, it was missing something also known as a save feature. The only things in the game saved are your top scores. This means that you must complete the game on your first go. Once trip to Venom costs about one hour of your life or more if you die a lot. This means that some people, namely kids, would never be able to finish the game due to their parents not wanting them to play video games or just because they don't have time. If someone wanted to play video games just for a little while, playing this game would be like throwing some minutes of your life away.

That said, there also isn't that much of a replay value. Playing through every planet once will take about 20 hours. The only thing to do afterwards would be to get every medal for every planet by getting a very high score. This may take a while, but again the only way to save those medals would be to get a game over or beat the game once. This game also features a shabby multiplayer, but it seems very sloppy offering few modes of play on a terrain too large. Most people would spend a lot of time just finding another player on the map.

This game is an excellent one player experience for those who have time. If you think you can give up an hour at a time to get a good experience on this game, by all means go ahead and buy it. In my opinion though, it's more worth it as a rental. Think about the good and bad points mentioned in the review and you decide whether it's something that you like.

Rating:   4.0 - Great

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