Friday, 9 September 2011

Game of the Week: Starfox 64 3D [3DS]

The Star Fox 64 game, (which was actually a sequel to a  SNES game called StarWing,) was first released for the Nintendo 64 console in 1997, and now over fourteen years later, lead character, Fox McCloud and his intergalactic team is set to take flight again in order to stop his nemesis, Andross, from destroying the universe, and this time around, the whole battle will take place in full autostereoscopic 3D.

For those gamers amongst us who are old enough to remember the original version of the game, the worry here will most probably be that the game will be too familiar and thus not offer enough new content to entice them to purchase a 3DS version.

Nevertheless, there are a few subtle differences between the original version and the 3DS updated version, which does make this game a lot more challenging than its predecessor.

Vehicles in the game are mainly controlled via the Nintendo 3DS Circle Pad, which can sometimes feel a little bit awkward and difficult to move, however, for those brave gamers amongst you, Star Fox 64 3D also has the option of using the gyroscopic features of the 3DS console - by tipping the console left or right - which does enhance the gameplay and make it more believable, but can also slow down your progress through the various levels slightly.

As in the original game, players who perform badly during the in-game missions may find themselves  sent back to a previous (supposedly easier) level depending on how well they are deemed to have performed in the mission(s) included in each level.

However, in the 3DS version, this gameplay structure has been improved. Thus, players can now unlock different portions of the Star Fox 64 3D storyline depending on which characters you manage to locate and save during the missions, which does increase the game's replay value.

Having said that, the game's overall storyline remains virtually identical to the previous Star Fox 64 title, and for veterens of the series or hardcore gamers alike, it can be completed in under two hours of constant playing.

Nonetheless, the missions are fun and engaging, and the 3D graphics look really great and do seem to add to whole experience.

Furthermore, the game now features a new Score-Attack mode, which allows players to revisit any of their previously unlocked planets and try and gain a new high score. Again, this increases the game's replay value immensely.

The game also features a Multiplayer Mode for up to four players. Players can battle their family and friends in various aerial dogfights. The Multiplayer Mode also features new power-ups and weapons not used in the original version.

Unfortunately, the Multiplayer Mode does not include Internet capability, which means that it is restricted to local wireless play only. Nevertheless, the game does support the 3DS' Download Play function, which means that your friends can connect with their 3DS consoles, even if they don't own a separate copy of the game.

Overall, this game is a very good update of the original Star Fox 64 title. It makes excellent use of the 3DS capabilities and also includes some changes to the main gameplay mechanisms, which certainly ensures that the game can be replayed many times over.

Veterens of the Star Fox games will however find several familiar elements throughout the game, which may mean that the game is easier to complete than it will be for newbies to the series. Ultimately though, this 3D version of Star Fox 64 is a brilliant edition, which is not to missed. Overall rating:9/10.

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