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Star Fox 64

Rated KA for Kids to Adults

Platform:

Nintendo 64 (N64)

Publisher:

Nintendo

Developer:

EAD

Released:

July 1997

ROM Size:

96 megabits

Players:

One to Four Simultaneous

Genre:

3D Shooter

Save:

Cartridge (only saves high scores)

Optional:

Rumble Pak

 

 

> Final Rating: 4.6 out of 5.0

Introduction

Just like Mario Kart 64, Star Fox 64 marks the arrival of a long-awaited 64-bit sequel, which upgrades a platinum-selling game that originated on the Super NES. Unlike Mario Kart 64, though, Mr. Miyamoto was more directly involved in Star Fox 64—and it shows. No one should be disappointed with what should be the biggest N64 title of the year. Think of this as Christmas in July.

Gameplay & Control

When it comes to gameplay, let me make this short: Star Fox 64 is just wonderful. The game features 15 levels, multiple paths, three modes of transportation (flying and driving), and strategic elements. Depending on which path you take and which of your wingmen stay alive, you have quite a few combinations to play through. At any rate, if you liked Star Fox on the Super NES, then you'll love this sequel.

 

Star Fox 64 also contains a multi-player VS mode, which is a nice addition to the game. It certainly lacks the complexity of a Hexen deathmatch or a Mario Kart 64 race, but it's fun nonetheless. And when you open up the options for the tanks and to be "on foot," the multi-player mode gets even more interesting. Too bad there's such a limited selection of arenas.

 

Without question, Star Fox 64 features near-perfect control. The controller setup couldn't be any better, and the Control Stick once again helps the gameplay. The addition of a somersault and U-turn enhance the control as well. And who can forget the Rumble Pak? This nifty force feedback device takes the Star Fox 64 experience to a whole new level.

Graphics & Sound

Star Fox 64 arguably features the best graphics to ever grace the Nintendo 64. The game has a smooth, constant frame rate throughout with almost no slowdown. It also features no clipping and very little pop-up. Many levels feature distant horizons with little fog and tons of enemies on-screen at once. Furthermore, some levels showcase incredible graphic effects that defy belief. And, of course, we cannot forget the real-time cinemas sequences that are generated on the fly. Forget memory-hogging full-motion video, because real-time cinemas are the future.

 

Sound-wise, Star Fox 64 would rate a lot lower if it didn't have all of its real-time dialogue. All of the voice in the game is just amazing for being on a cartridge, and it actually makes the experience more immersive and enjoyable. Moreover, the voice acting is relatively good and doesn't sound grainy. As for the music, it's not as good as the original Star Fox because it tries to convey a more cinematic feel for the game. However, considering some of the music in other N64 games, it's actually pretty good.

Conclusion

There's so much to say about Star Fox 64, yet it can all be summed up with a "This game rocks!" comment. Also, both of the game's gimmicks, the Rumble Pak and real-time dialogue, are actually nice additions. In fact, the game would undoubtedly score noticeably lower without them.

 

Basically, everything about Star Fox 64 is great except one thing: the game does not save your progress. Yes, it's cool that it saves your high scores and medals, but this game would have been over the top if you could save your progress. So if none of the previous games caused you to run out and purchase a Nintendo 64, then this will more than likely be the game to do it. Star Fox 64 is an instant classic.

 

Graphics:

4.8

Sound:

4.5

Control:

4.7

Gameplay:

4.7

Lastability

4.2

OVERALL:

4.6

 

DOWN THE ROAD

Star Fox 64 is one of the more odd experiences for me. I gave the game high ratings and lots of praise, which was well deserved, yet I find that I hardly played the game that much compared to other N64 games. I can't quite put my finger on it, but for some reason I played the original Star Fox much more than the sequel. Actually, now that I think about it, the reason might be that the game does not save your progress. The original Star Fox didn't save your progress, either, but most games didn't back then. I guess I'm just spoiled with being able to save in most of the games released over the past few years. By the way, the multi-player mode is below average, but at least the option was included.

 

Review by: Scott McCall

First Reviewed: July 8, 1997

Appendix Added: December 6, 1997

 

 

 

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