Sunday, 9 October 2011

Starfox 64 3DS - Review and Opinions

Ah, Starfox. You have graced many of us with hours upon hours of dogfighting, landmaster missions and even some questionable 3D platforming. It's about time you showed up again on a more modern platform. Too bad you're a port, but beggers can't be choosers.

The thing about Starfox 64 3DS, is it feels more like Nintendo is testing the current market. Whether or not they'll accept Starfox, but I don't feel they did it with success in mind. This game is great and a lot of fun, as is expected of the Nintendo franchises. Nintendo recreated it beautifully, and the 3D works wonders on it.

Sadly, you can only choose between the motion controls or the 3D, but I opted for the 3D as it gave me better accuracy when shooting. When I did fiddle with the motion controls, however, it was a ton of fun. The perks for 3D (for me), however, were just more appealing.

That's all Nintendo brings to the table for Starfox 64 3D. No new modes, no online multiplayer, no extra hard settings. Just the old game with a couple of 3DS features. However, this game is still better than a lot of the release titles, and has a charming old school feel to it. Limited stages, limited lives and split second decisions to have the chance at seeing everything. Question is, will that appeal reach the younger demographic, and will that then give Nintendo the push to bring out a unique 3DS Starfox experience? I guess we'll have to see what they do with Ocarina of Time's success first.

The gameplay of Starfox can be likened to any shoot-em-ups, or schmups, and if you like those type of top-down-blast-the-sky-full-of-bullets games then you shouldn't give Starfox a miss. The game play is simple to get into, but as with most Nintendo titles, very hard to master (and show off with). Aiming at an ongoing battalion of enemies with the same stick you use to move, while still collecting power-ups and protecting your crew will give any 'hardcore' gamer a nice little challenge. Some rewards or in-game trophies would've been nice but Nintendo seems to be adamant about staying out of that system.
Graphically, the game is mixed. The space travel, planets and aircrafts are beautifully rendered with a nice frame rate that keeps the action going while still looking good. The characters however look a little plastic and there's no mouth synching, only flapping jaws. And to be honest, the voice acting should have been redone rather than re-used. In other words, it's B-grade terrible - which isn't always a bad thing (see Resident Evil 1). The stage music and sound effects, however, are not terrible and have done a great job of being updated. Using headphones is recommended for an enjoyable experience.

One of my favourite Nintendo franchises slowly making a comeback, which I hope will be successful. Not adding any unique extras to the package, except for motion controls and 3D - which is to be expected of a 3D motion controlling device - doesn't give any bonus points. Probably not a bad idea to wait for a price drop, but never a bad idea to support something if you want more of it.

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