Review by PlasmawarriorX

Reviewed: 10/18/11

A game that all others owe themselves to.

This is the time where video games were at its highest point: Not now where on-line is the norm, but where off-line one-player games were so brilliantly done that it scared you on how it was 3-D to the max. When it came down to it, there was one game, one series, which has brought us what true 3-D was for nearly 10 years. That was of course, Star Fox. It remains my favorite video game of all time. I know that doesn’t mean it’s the best.

Concept:

How about your typical ‘rail shooter’ on steroids for its time? That’s pretty much what you got. It was fighter pilot heaven for most gamers. It’s simple but yet with the reality of you being gunned-down by the whole other army, I can’t begin to ask myself ‘Ok, how many things did I destroy in this game? Can’t remember but it had to be 1,000 or so.’ 10/10

Gameplay:

Simple enough, you’re given a ship and you have to protect your teammates as they gun down the whole enemy army of whatever the heck. You’re given a set amount of bombs and energy and you’re ready to go. Some upgrades are good, such as the plasma blasters, but others such as the ‘power shield’ are pretty useless. Pretty much you’re going straight-forward on one of three paths to beat things up. That would change in other games in the series, but here it’s pretty semi-linear. 7/10

Controls:

Blaster, boost to gain speed just a tad, retro thrusters to slow down slightly, fire a bomb off on people, and of course, one of the most out-played move in video game history, flying on your side holding L or R, than tapping it twice to do a barrel roll. That’s pretty much all there is too it. Easy, responsive, and all-around simple. 10/10

Graphics:

Have you ever seen a 16-bit system take on 3-D-like graphics? Well here you go! It wasn’t the best for its time but the Super FX chip was one of the most powerful things in all of gaming. Only 5 games used this chip that I know of (Stunt Race FX, Vortex, Dirt Trax FX, and the SNES Doom are the others) but its power was one of the best things you could ever have put together. The graphics were the best and cheapest to produce at the time. And these graphics showed in an in-game demo (where you can see other enemy ships when you got a game over and were allowed to continue). I’m still blown away by it nearly 20 years later. 10/10

Sound:

I tend to remember two great things about this game: One is its powerful music. From start to finish you’re almost in dog-fight heaven with its soundtrack. The other thing is that the voices for everyone sound like they’re speaking 8 different languages and not even one of them seems ‘normal’ for the game. The Sound effects were pretty good though. Shooting lasers off and crashing into buildings never sounded so good. If only I could get that whole ‘I’m Slippy and I suck’ bit out of my head… 8/10

Story:

Given this was a game made for action, the story is pretty solid. You are Fox McCloud. Your job is to go out into the Lylat System and destroy the now Emperor Andross and his War Machines. Somewhere along the way before you, your father died while trying to fight Andross himself. I didn’t get the feel or revenge in this game as you’d expect, I just got more ‘duty’ than anger. That being said, the back-story to the other characters is seriously lacking, even in later additions. How did Falco join Star Fox? When did Slippy learn how to build stuff like he does? Yeah, lots of holes still to fill in the series. 6/10

Replay Value:

Ironic as this game is so straight-forward, there was a pretty good amount of returning to the game. With three areas to go through and a lot of bosses (though some do repeat themselves), the game always had something that kept you coming back for more. And did I mention right at the time I beat all three levels; they came out with how to get to the two hidden stages of the game? Got to say that was ether the best idea ever to wait until the whole world got enough action or another reason to keep playing to sharpen your skills. 10/10

Fun Factor:

This game lacks time wasting stuff. However I did like the whole ‘ship changing mode’ when you got to continue. It cost you all your lives but having an Arwing that can turn into a twin-blaster upgrade and rotate around looked pretty cool. I don’t think I had much enjoyment out of the special areas, but the main game is a thrill-ride that still keeps you on the edge of your seat 16 years later. For the main-game of anything to do that now of days, that’s a huge improvement. 7/10

Challenge:

Not easy in the least. It takes a while to even clear level 1, stage 4, let alone level 3, stage 7. The game is made to keep your eyes open and your mind sharp. One or two mistakes are all it takes to have a full shield up to needing a supply ring. I tend to remember once getting hit by a few plasma bursts and then going from max shield to ‘Oh no, I need help!’ Its takes time but even the most skilled Star Fox gamers will need to keep up. 10/10

Fandom:

This game was the first game on a cover of the no-longer-produced Game Players Magazine, then a huge game publication equal if not more popular than Game Informer. The whole game pretty much broke the mold for all the games to follow, including the current gen systems. The Super FX chip made the video game world go into the next, current, and future age much faster than most other games. But perhaps the biggest fandom at the time was when it was released, everything short of a cartoon series came out of this. A comic book printed in Nintendo Power (which is pretty good by the way), a watch that played a part of an area of Star Fox made by Tiger, and even one of the most unique event for one game in history: Star Fox Competition Weekend. Here Star Fox masters would take each other on in a simple 3-stage run that would put together both skill and speed. With that being said, not many games now of days have a special production for the most elite of the elite. Yes it was common back in the day but these days, not even Nintendo will put out a special version of something like Pokemon for only the best. 10/10

Over-all Rating:

This remains to this day my favorite video game of all time. It doesn’t mean it’s the best of course, to me that still remain Super Mario Bros. 3. This game however paved the way for most of the others to come after it. This one simple idea, this one powerful new computer chip, and this one team of Space Pilots changed the age of video games forever. Say what you want, but this is a MUST PLAY game to see how we got to where we are now. If you can get it on ebay, go for it. I’ve tried it with emulation and it just doesn’t match up right for the game’s frame rate. That being said, it’s a game that stands the test of time, and one of the best shooter games ever.

Still a blast to play after all this time. 87 out of 100.

Also, there was another Star Fox game for the Atari 2600, however that is totally unrelated to this one, and the company has died out. Check it out on the FAQs. The guy who wrote it for the game tells the story of how it may have been ‘Star Fox’ was ‘Starwing’ in the U.K.

Rating:   4.5 - Outstanding

Product Release: Star Fox (US, 03/31/93)

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