The original Star Fox 64 was the pinnacle that the series ever reached; widely regarded as one of the very best games on the Nintendo 64, and even one of the best Nintendo games ever made. It’s no surprise then, in Nintendo’s bombardment of remakes, that Star Fox 64 got the same treatment. That being said, Star fox 64 is the same game you know and love, and not much else. Although its graphics have received a significant upgrade, like Ocarina of Time 3D, Star Fox is exactly the same game as the original, which is both good and bad.
If you couldn’t guess or didn’t know, in Star Fox you follow Fox McCloud and his specialized Star Fox Team; which consists of Slippy, Peppy, and Falco. The evil scientist Andross has once again put the universe in peril and it’s up to you and your team to set things right again. The story obviously gets a little more intricate than this, but as widely loved as Star Fox is, it wasn’t because of the story in itself, it was because of the gameplay and characters.
The story plays out through a series of missions in which you take control of Fox’s iconic Arwing, and a few other vehicles like the Landmaster and Submarine. You control the Arwing from a 3rd person perspective and blast through levels with your lasers and bombs, and yes you do this while performing barrel rolls. Gameplay was really where the original shined, controlling the Arwing was fluid and easy, even when you had to switch to a free roaming all-range mode. Amazingly, the game controls have transferred almost perfectly onto the 3DS, and controlling the Arwing feels just as natural as ever. You use the circle pad to control the movement of the Arwing, and the shoulder and face buttons are designated for the various actions like shooting or boosting. There’s also a second control mode that uses the gyroscope controls to pilot, but because you have to move the system around for this mode, it ends up usually interfering with the 3D effect.
One thing that made the original so unique was its interesting mission structure. The game has multiple branching paths through the story, depending on your performance in each mission, as well as a few secrets. This was part of what made Star Fox 64 so great, was the various ways in which you could play it. The effect is heightened because of how distinctly different and enjoyable each mission is.
Of course, Star Fox 64 also had its share of memorable characters like most Nintendo games. Admittedly, a few of them not for very good reasons, I’m looking at you Slippy. But it does feel great to play through and see these memorable characters and moments again. It’s a great feeling to play through the memorable Star Wolf Team dogfight with shiny new graphics.
There is unfortunately one major criticism that people can weigh on Star Fox 64 3D, the fact that it is basically a game many have already played. While for some this won’t be a problem (playing this classic game again), for others it may feel that a simple remake isn’t enough to warrant a full purchase. It’s certainly understandable that someone might feel this way, and although the new graphics do look and feel fantastic, the game has not changed.
One other important criticism is a seriously missed opportunity. Star Fox 64 3D has no online multiplayer, even though it seems like a dead ringer for Nintendo to put online features into. There is still local and download play that you can enjoy with your friends, but it would have been nice to take the dogfights online. Multiplayer may not be the main draw of a Star Fox game anyway, but it would have been nice to see this feature included.
No doubt, you’re probably wondering how the main point of this remake looks, right? Well, the updated visuals look absolutely fantastic. It might not be wrong to say that Star fox 64 3D looks even better than Ocarina of Time 3D did, and it may even be the best looking game we’ve seen on the 3DS so far. Everything has been given a brand new glossy look, and the environments and effects look especially impressive. In addition, the 3D effect used in the game is definitely the best that has been used to this point. The added depth from the 3D works perfectly for Star Fox’s type of gameplay, and the 3D technology is really on display here.
Sound in the game is largely the same as the original. The music is the same, with the exception of an orchestrated version of the main theme and a few medleys. Sound effects sound just as good as they did originally, for some reason though the voice acting has been changed. While the new voices sound very close to how the originals did, it just doesn’t ever feel exactly the same. The cheesiness and charm of the dialogue is not lost, however.
Star Fox 64 3D doesn’t try anything new, but fans of the original or those who have never played the game before should definitely give it a try. This remake looks and feels great, and is one of the best experiences available for the 3DS. It may not be completely new, but Star Fox has never felt better, and now this classic is available right in your pocket.