Star Fox 64
Reviewed by Scott McCall
Much like Mario Kart 64, Star Fox 64 is a 64-bit upgrade (not sequel)
to a platinum-selling game that originated on the Super NES.
Unlike Mario Kart 64, though, Mr. Miyamoto was more directly
involved in Star Fox 64 -- and it shows. No one should be
disappointed with what should be the biggest N64 title of the
year. Think of this as Christmas in July.
Star Fox 64 arguably features the best graphics to ever grace
the Nintendo 64. The game has a smooth, constant frame rate
throughout with almost no slowdown. It also features no clipping
and very little pop-up. Many levels feature distant horizons
with little fog and tons of enemies on-screen at once.
Furthermore, some levels showcase incredible graphic effects
that defy belief. And, of course, we cannot forget the real-time
cinemas sequences that are generated on the fly. Forget
memory-hogging full-motion video, real-time cinemas are the future.
Sound-wise, Star Fox 64 would rate a lot lower if it didn't have
all of its real-time dialogue. All of the voice in the game is
just amazing for being on a cartridge, and it actually makes the
experience more immersive and enjoyable. Moreover, the voice
acting is relatively good and doesn't sound grainy. As for the
music, it's not as good as the original Star Fox because it tries to
convey a more cinematic feel for the game. However, considering
some of the music in other N64 games, it's actually pretty good.
Star Fox 64 features near-perfect control. The controller setup
couldn't be any better, and the Control Stick once again helps
the gameplay. The addition of a somersault and U-turn enhance
the control as well. And who can forget the Rumble Pak? This
nifty force feedback device takes the Star Fox 64 experience
to a whole new level. As for the gameplay, Star Fox 64 is just
wonderful. The game features 15 levels, multiple paths, three
modes of transportation and strategic elements. Depending on
which path you take and which of your wingmen stay alive, you
have quite a few combinations to play through.
As for the VS mode, it's a nice addition to the game. It certainly
lacks the complexity of a Hexen deathmatch or a Mario Kart 64
race, but it's fun nonetheless. And when you open up the options
for the tanks and to be "on foot," the multi-player mode gets
even more interesting. Too bad there's such a limited selection
There's so much to say about Star Fox 64, yet it can all be summed
up with a "This game rocks!" comment. Also, both of the game's
gimmicks, the Rumble Pak and real-time dialogue, are actually nice
additions. In fact, the game would undoubtedly score noticeably
lower without them.
Basically, everything about Star Fox 64 is great except one thing:
the game does not save your progress. Yes, it's cool that it saves
your high scores and medals, but this game would have been over
the top if you could save your progress. So if none of the previous
games caused you to run out and purchase a Nintendo 64, then this
will more than likely be the game to do it. Star Fox 64 is an instant classic.
Graphics: 4.8 out of 5
Sound: 4.5 out of 5
Control: 4.7 out of 5
Gameplay: 4.8 out of 5
Lastability: 4.4 out of 5
Overall: 4.8 out of 5