31 Reviews

Star Fox 64 3D

Saved by the great Fox?

Page 2 of 3

Maybe it's the voice acting, which is certainly a lot louder than it originally was. In boosting the volume level they've really emphasised what a whiny little turd Falco is, and every time we helped him out, only to receive sneering, sarcastic thanks, we wished the game still had the option to switch the voices to nonsensical babble - the UK N64 version let you do that.

Even the Japanese voices would have been preferable, and if it wasn't for the 3DS region lock we'd recommend importing it. When you're going to be playing through the same levels as many times as you are in Star Fox - and certainly experiencing the compulsory first one often enough to be wearily familiar with its every nuance - there are times when it would be nice if it could just bite its tongue for a moment.

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The final battle with Andross is another part that really started to grate on our nerves. He's an absolutely terrible way to end what is otherwise a thoroughly excellent game. (Hopefully revealing this sort of detail won't be much of a spoiler, as the game is rather well known and it only takes an hour to get this far...)

Anyway, Andross. Let us count the ways in which we hate him. He's a giant monkey head who tries to swat you with his floating hands before attempting to inhale your ship and chew it up. If you get sucked in, the fun is suddenly over, as your ship's wings get bitten off and you've got to finish the rest of the battle with the laser equivalent of a pea shooter.

His weak spots are the palms of his hands, but aiming isn't all that easy and the part where he tries to breathe you in is full of all kinds of cheat. You can follow the exact same pattern of moving to the edge of the screen and slamming on the brakes, but sometimes you'll avoid it and sometimes you won't. We couldn't tell what we were doing wrong, but if the ship passes a certain point on the z-axis then it gets dragged into that monkey's stinking gob, regardless of how close it was. Even if it has to pass visibly through the ear or the back of the head, when the game says your ship is getting chewed up, it's getting chewed up.

Same again
And if fighting Andross and his subsequent transformation with a crippled ship proves too much to take, you've got to go right back to the beginning of the level and fly through a long, slow corridor while he repeates the same taunts he did last time. And the time before, too. Oh, and the time before that. We soon turned the volume down for this, which completely ruins the cinematic atmosphere but at least saved Nintendo's 3DS review unit from getting snapped in half.

The strange thing is that when the Andross battle went our way, it was over in about two minutes. How we can beat it so comfortably one time and then lose so frustratingly the next is beyond us. But that's the only part we consider genuinely bad. The rest of the game is much more consistent, and the variety of different things to do in the levels is still impressive.

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Whether you're trying to shoot down a giant missile as it streaks towards the Great Fox mothership or moving gloopily through the polluted sea of an underwater scene, you can be sure the next level - whatever it might be - definitely won't be just more of the same.

In one of the best levels you're driving the Landmaster tank alongside a huge train, passing from one side to another via tunnels as you avoid tumbling rocks and shoot down swarms of enemy fighters. You can either pursue the train to its destination and fight the boss or take the sneaky route, switching the points so it crashes and explodes, sparing you the trouble.

Once you've figured out exactly what you're meant to do on each level to open up the alternative routes, the areas you've visited become available in a high score mode. It's far better than having to play through the entire thing for the sake of one level.

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