DS Review

Star Fox 64 3D

Not quite the high flyer it was.

Star Fox 64 3D has tried to re-build its experience as something more than a nostalgia trip, but despite the many tweaks and re-workings it remains very much the same as it did back in 1997 on the N64. Whether this is an indication of the quality of the core experience or not is very much down to what you're after from this version, but veterans of the original are unlikely to be impressed overall.

For new comers, though, Star Fox 64 certainly has the charm to pull you in. You take control of Fox McCoud, called into action alone with a band of ace pilots to battle against the evil mad scientist, Andross, as he invades the Lylat solar system. The characters are all anthropomorphised animals ranging from a fox to a frog, all voiced with an emphasis on begin campy and light, much like the narrative. It's certainly an endearing package and one that you can enjoy or completely ignore depending on your mood. The meat of the title is all in the gameplay.

Piloting your fighter with the circle pad and face buttons is simple and intuitive, and before long you'll be soaring through planet skies, asteroid belts and more like the ace pilot you're meant to be. The gyroscope is also called into play as an optional alternative control method, and whilst actually bobbing and weaving yourself to control you fighter is quite fun it's also tricky, not to mention pointless if you intend to play with the 3D on. The 3D itself looks fantastic. The feature is used subtlety and effectively brings the world to life.

Star Fox 64 3D plays more like an on-rail shooter than a dog fighting game, with your momentum moving forwards maintained for the most part whilst you're tasked with clearing as many of the enemies as possible before you pass them. On occasion things open up and grant you full control and you even get to pilot a tank and submarine on some levels which adds a nice slice of variety. Additionally there are several points in the story where you can alter the way you progress and experience different levels. It offers great replay value; in fact the experience alone keeps you coming back as you feel compelled to better your previous run through of each stage. Fortunately Star Fox 64 3D features a new Score Attack mode which is a perfect addition that supports this replay mentality.

Multiplayer unfortunately offers a severely disappointing package, with local link-up play the only option with gimmicky incorporation of the camera and no opportunities to use the tank of submarine. It's certainly a missed opportunity not having online play and leaderboards.

Despite the 3D, gyroscope and Score Attack mode, not much else is different from the N64 version. Higher quality textures have been used to help make it look more relevant, and the re-done voice work is clearer yet just as cringe worth - for better or worse. Otherwise, Star Fox 64 3D allows new comers to experience the classic and veterans to relive it in all its arcade action glory but it feels like the 15 year old game it is.

E3 Trailer