by Liam Edwards
previewed on 3DS
Remakes! Remakes everywhere!
I am going to go ahead and throw it out there. Lylat Wars (because that's its correct name to me and the rest of Europe), was one of the best games on the N64. And, if Ocarina of Time had not been released, it would have certainly been number one. The spell-binding combination of interesting characters, multiple level choices, an engaging story and magnificent 3D space-warfare was unheard of in the 90s. Nintendo led the chase with games like Lylat Wars (Star Fox 64) and since then many space themed games have been created, but many have failed to match what Lylat Wars created.
So it is inevitable that with the recent trend of remakes that has hit the 3DS, that Nintendo would stumble upon the gem it created back for the N64 and re-release it for the less than successful handheld. And why not? With the recent success of Ocarina of Time's rebirth on the 3DS, it seems to be a winning formula for Nintendo to re-create titles. Also, many may have missed Lylat Wars on the N64 because it was a sequel to Star Fox, a not-so-successful predecessor on the SNES. Or they weren't alive when it came out. And that is a damn shame.
I was skeptical at first when the Star Fox 64 3D re-make was announced at E3 2010. Many gamers have treasures within their gaming history that they feel should be left alone. I didn't want the N64 beauty sullied by just some revamped graphics and extra bits on the side. Star Fox 64 is an on-rails shooter in spirit and on-rails don't tend to go down too well in today's gaming market. It is certainly a game I didn't want people laughing at because of its primitive gameplay. But fears and doubts died away after a sit-down with the title at GamesCom.
DO A BARREL ROLL!
The crew is back! Fox McCloud, Falco Lombardi, Peppy Hare and (the more than annoying) Slippy Toad return, and it is damn good to see them. With the original voice work for the characters, the 3DS version hasn't lost any of what made the characters so great and interesting. Upgraded art and visuals do make them look better though, and the interesting story of the fight between Fox McCloud and the evil monkey Andross is as compelling as ever.
Star Fox 64 3D's gameplay is simple yet deep. It is one of the key features as to why the title was praised in the first place. The simple no-acceleration-needed gameplay allows for fluidity in controls, although brakes and boosts are there to be used at key occasions. The 3DS' lovely control scheme makes Star Fox 64 even more inviting, with players being able to use the thumbstick to aim and shoot enemies with ease. Executing the well-known commands of “DO A BARREL ROLL” and “TRY A SOMERSAULT” are performed with light flicks of the thumbstick and the tap of a button. It is a control scheme that is simple, yet, in situations of heavy fire and waves of enemies, makes players look pro while performing such aerobatic commands. Nintendo has also offered up the option of a “3D mode.” The “64 mode” is the classic use of the controls with the bottom screen holding all relative information and the speech between the Star Fox team. The “3D mode” uses the internal gyroscope within the 3DS so players can fly the Arwing using motion control. Much like the Ocarina of Time usage of the gyroscope controls for the bow and arrow, they work surprisingly well and offer up some changeability in gameplay. But with the 3D being awkward when moved sideways, the gyroscope use is less than handy when in a very combat heavy situation.