reviews\ Sep 12, 2011 at 8:00 pm

Star Fox 64 3D Review


While the Nintendo 3DS’ success remains in question, Nintendo continues to pull out all stops to show consumers that the 3DS has what it takes to get back to the top in the handheld market. First, there was the extreme price drop just months into the 3DS’ lifespan coming with the Ambassador program to keep original 3DS owners still on board with their recently purchased handheld. Now, the 3DS still remains on the fence for many, but the upcoming software line up may sway the masses. And what better way to jump start that success than releasing an old Nintendo 64 classic, Star Fox 64, remastered for the 3D handheld.

Star Fox 64 3D, is a port from the last Nintendo cartridge based console. Back then, it was an instant hit pushing the first 3D graphics to the extreme. Considered one of the greatest rail shooters of the time and now makes its way to a new audience with the 3DS.

For players familiar with Star Fox 64, not much has changed. The same story mode is available to play along with a few more options. Along with story mode, there are two more modes to play, battle and score attack. In battle mode, you can choose to play by yourself with three other computer air pilot extraordinaires or you can play via download play with three other local players.

Continuing on with battle mode, there are three types of “battles” to choose from, Survival, Point and Time battle. Survival is essentially a last man standing mode, where your goal is to be the only guy still flying while taking your opponents out first. The next mode is Point Battle Mode, which sets a goal of a certain amount of points to receive with players getting those points by shooting down their opponents. And the last battle type is Time Battle, which is extremely similar to point battle except the player with the most points as the time runs out wins the game.

As for story mode, it hasn’t changed and that's definitely a good thing. It contains the same classic gameplay and story back from its N64 glory. If you're unfamiliar with it however, you take control of star ace Fox McCloud as you and your crew of Peppy, Slippy and Falco take the air as fighter pilots ready to shoot down supporters of the evil Andross who has taken over the galaxy.

Star Fox 64 was way ahead of its time back in the day and it shows as the gameplay still holds up perfectly today, fourteen years after its original release. Players won’t be disappointed by the sheer fun and exciting action that Fox and friends bring to the table in this game.

Although Star Fox 64 hasn’t aged a bit (it in fact looks even better now) Nintendo decided to reinvigorate the game by adding a new control scheme to the mix. Players can now choose between the standard controls, or to use the 3DS' built in gyroscope for tilt controls. Although gyro controls are a cool feature to use, you’ll find almost immediately that it feels a lot more natural to play with the original controls as using the gyro hurts the 3D experience. If you're inclined to use the gyro controls however, it's recommended to turn the 3D effect off completely as the often fast moving motions that will occur while steering will throw the 3D visuals off almost immediately after you start playing around with it.

Though we're glad to see the return of the classic four-player multiplayer modes, Nintendo really dropped the ball with the omission of any true online multiplayer. This makes even less sense when you factor in that you're able to stream your reactions real time using the built-in camera. I can easily see my friends if I'm sitting right next to them, whereas it would be much cooler to see their reactions online when playing someone 5000 miles away. When will Nintendo realize that having online functionality is important to us gamers, especially gamers that wanted to rekindle their fond memories of saving the galaxy from Andross.

Also an upgrade from four players to eight players would have been welcome. This is the next generation of handhelds, and there should be an option to play with many other people. An eight player match would make sense if players had the choice to play as both the Star Fox team and the Star Wolf team.

Star Fox 64 3D is a nostalgia kick to the face that leaves you wanting more. Players can get excited to see Fox McCloud back in action in his true glory and not a part of a lame adventure game for Gamecube or as a playable character in Super Smash Bros. With the upgraded visuals and enhanced controls, you'll gladly jump into the cockpit once again and take flight with your crew (even you Slippy...) and relive those cherished memories blowing into that old Star Fox 64 cartridge back in the day. And as for you newcomers, what better way to get acquainted with the coolest fox in space, than with the best game of the series.


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