|The Hero of the story is Fox McCloud, leader of the mercenary Space Fighter Squadron, Star Fox. This consists of five people: Fox, the leader, Slippy, the frog mechanic, Falco, a Punk Falcon, and Peppy, a hare who knew Fox’s father.|
In both of the original games, the player, as Fox, was hired by General Pepper of the planet of Corneria to take down the mad scientist Andross, who was responsible for the death of Fox’s father, James McCloud. Along the way, you are fought by Andross’s ships, planet-based hazards, and a rival Mercenary band hired by Andross: Star Wolf.
This game takes place eight years after the second game. The team has not had a job in a while, they are low on money, Peppy and Slippy have taken up non-flying positions in the team, and Falco has left without a trace. So when General Pepper calls, saying he has a job for them, they gladly take it. Their mission: Save Dinosaur Planet!
Meanwhile, in a converging plot, a blue girl-fox named Krystal, while searching throughout space for her parents, hears a distress call from Dinosaur Planet. She goes to it, and discovers that the Evil General Scales and his minions, the SharpClaws, have chased the Kranoa away from their shrine. The Kranoa are powerful spirits that in the right hands bring peace, but in the wrong can bring terrible destruction. So, of course, Krystal goes and looks for the Kranoa. Unfortunately, she is accidentally pushed into a magic beam and gets sealed inside a (surprise!) giant crystal!
Back in Fox-Land, Fox meets the Queen, who is looking for her son, the Triceratops Prince Tricky. After you find him, he becomes your companion, able to do useful skills like breathing flame and finding secrets hidden in the earth. You take him back to his mother, who tells you that Dinosaur Planet has a powerful magic field that is constantly pulling it apart. To counter this, four “spellstones” were created, but General Scales scattered them and the planet is being ripped apart.
So, you must fly in your Arwing fighter craft to the different chunks (four in all, with one per spellstone) and recover them. Flying to the different chunks brings back memories of the other Star Fox games. You must fly through Gold Rings, you collect laser powerups, you blast enemy ships, and you get to the area. Unfortunately, you can’t warp back to places you already visited, so you must keep doing flying scenes. To counter the boredom of this, there is a “Best Times” scoreboard, keeping track of fastest trips to different areas.
The gameplay in this is very much like the Legend of Zelda games. You attack with the A button, you collect money, you buy stuff, you get magic powers. Fox finds a Magic Staff, which is his main weapon and can be enchanted to shoot fire, rocket upwards, etc. Most of the game is spent this way, with the occasional puzzle thrown in, like mazes, some “Shoot this spot” puzzles, and so on. One of the most annoying puzzle/action sequences involves a ramp, a barrel that you must bring to the top of the ramp, and other explosive barrels flying down the ramp towards you. Donkey Kong, anyone? But the ground-based gameplay, despite some minor annoyances, is still very good. This, combined with the Flying sequences, combines two great games of the N64 and brings them even further.
The Graphics in this game are great, from the skin of the dinosaurs, to the fur on Fox, to the warts on Slippy. The staff that Fox finds glows and burns with a bluish light, and the effects of that are done very well. The Great Fox (Star Fox’s Mother Ship) and the Arwings (Star Fox’s Fighter Jets), which were white and polished in the original games, are now gray, dark, and dirty, showing the state of poorness Team Star Fox has fallen into. The cutscenes have the same quality as the in-game graphics, but you don’t notice because the in-game graphics are very good anyway. When an enemy dies, they don’t stay on the ground, or lie for a little while. They fall backwards and at the same time disintegrate (or something like it) into a bright, white light. The overall effect of it is amazing, and it looks cool without having bodies everywhere.
The sound of the game is also done incredibly well. The voices are better than the last game. Slippy, who in Starfox 64 sounded like a girl (high, whiny annoying voice), now sounds recognizable as a boy (though he still does have a high, whiny annoying voice-just one recognizable as a boy). The dinosaurs’ growls and roars sound incredibly real. The warpstone, a giant stone creature that sends Fox to different areas, has a rich Scottish accent. Why, I don’t know, but it’s kind of funny anyway. The music is very beautiful, with far-off dinosaur cries punctuating the haunting music. The lava music, as one might expect, is very rocky and hot sounding: Rumbles, sounds of fire being blasted upwards, and low drum beats. It makes a very real experience, and if you play this game without sound, you are missing a lot.
Overall, this game was incredibly good. I could not find any major errors with it, so I will rate it a 10 of 10. The sound, graphics and gameplay combined beautifully, with no errors, problems or bugs. I congratulate the team who made it.
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Starfox 64 Review