BRR: Star Fox 64 3D review

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Happy 3DS month, this is really just a plot to distract everyone from the fact that I can never beat a game a week, proving the schedule to be too regular, but a biweekly review schedule would leave me with a backlog and far less interest in the actual actually reviewing.  But for now, let’s talk about a game that I should have written a review of 8 months ago, Star Fox 64 3D.

Star Fox 64 3D review
Release Date: 9/9/2011
Platform: 3DS
Price: $39.99

Star Fox 64 is considered one of the essential titles for the Nintendo 64, and despite owning said system, I never actually played the game until this past September.  And while I could go on about how moronic the title is and how it translates, at least to me, as Star Fox 192D.  I think it’d be better if I just dive right into it.  Star Fox 64 3D is a game where you play as an anthropomorphic fox with the ingenious name of Fox McCloud.  He along with: a rabbit who states a line that makes me cringe due to both its inaccuracy and the resulting meme of it.  A blue falcon man who is very cocky when you consider how his AI had the most difficulty not dying.  And an effeminate frog man who is infamous for being annoying, but I found to be adorably incompetent.  

The actual plot is that Fox and his crew of flight school rejects who do not know what a U-turn and Barrel Roll are, are recruited to stop some threat caused by some giant monkey who lurks somewhere in space.  It does not make much sense, but it is done with enough campiness that it does not really matter.  That and the purposeful lack of effort with the lip flaps is hilarious in its own right.  Also, the dialog is thankfully placed in during the actual gameplay, which manages to fit in a lot better than, say, Kid Icarus Uprising, maybe because this is more like a B-movie, while Kid Icarus is more like a reference filled anime.  But the core of a game is the gameplay, and Star Fox certainly delivers in that regard.

I would classify the gameplay as an arcade style space shooter where the primary gameplay is shooting and avoiding enemies in Fox’s space fighter, the Arwing.  You avoid hazardous via loops and spins, chain together combos with charge shots, use bombs if you are bored, and collect upgrades for your health and basic laser blast.  The only real exceptions to the gameplay are when you are placed in a submarine and a tank, both of which feel needlessly clunky in comparison to Fox’s Arwing, but they are only used a total of three possible times in the game.  

While on the subject of game length, this game offers a multiple path structure, where you have hidden paths in every level that can be accomplished by obtaining a certain number of points, not getting hit during one section, or going through a jumbled mess of an optional pathway.  This is very nice and does offer replay incentive due to hidden levels and objectives, but getting to all of them would only take most people 2-3 hours.  I am genuinely shocked at how Nintendo thought that they could get away with charging $40 for a remake of a game that can be breezed through in one sitting.  And as a remake there are few upgrades besides environmental changes.  And while the environments do have a neat pop-up and are all distinct enough to be remembered, as are certain boss encounters, the prettier world does little to advance the game’s net value.  Even when the presentation is top notch with good and memorable tunes of space battles with rewarding sound effects.  There is a pretty and memorable world with fun set pieces.  And it has simple, yet enjoyable gameplay that at least offers some diversity even if it is just another shade of the same color.  

The game simply suffers from a price tag that is twice as much as it should be.  I can safely say that I got more value out of downloadable games like Shantae: Risky’s Revenge and Shadow Complex, which were $12 and $15 respectively.  Some may say that price is not a justifiable factor for degrading a game’s score, but everyone would think worse of, say, Limbo if it was $40, and anyone who says otherwise has either an undying love for the game or has too much money to spend on 2-3 hour long games.

It’s held back by certain flaws, it manages to be a competently executed and fun product that is worth playing.

//The game itself is great and has very few faults, but is overpriced for the content that is presented and as such, loses about 5/40 points.  I plan on reviewing two of the titles mentioned in the closing bit, but due to scheduling, they might take a while.  Either way, this game is still a lot of fun, but I say that I should’ve gotten more bang for my buck than this

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