A Lot or a Little?
What you will—and won't—find in this game.
Players battle bad guys to save their home star system and, later, eradicate the source of the threat. Recurring themes include honor, perseverance, and courage, though of a light, Saturday-morning-cartoon variety.
Positive Role Models
Despite their animal forms, Star Fox and his team of space pilots are archetypal “good guys” who go into combat with the objective of saving people and planets and ridding the galaxy of an evil force. That said, players never really get to see them out of battle, and they seem shallow, one-dimensional, and focused only on war as a result.
Ease of Play
Varying difficulty levels and control options should provide players of all skill and experience levels an accessible entry point. Players can choose between the standard flight controls of the original game or new gyroscope-enhanced controls. Bosses can be difficult, but so long as you make a point of hitting each level’s checkpoint marker as you fly by you won’t need to cover too much ground to get back to these main villains should you perish in your first attempt to defeat them.
Violence & Scariness
Players zoom around in a space ship attacking other ships. Shooting enemy ships with blasts of energy causes them to explode in small balls of flame.
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Parents Need to Know
Parents need to know that Star Fox 64 3D is a short and simple space fighter with little in the way of iffy content, save its cartoonish ship-to-ship combat. Players pilot spacecraft (and occasionally other vehicles, such as a hover tank) in an effort to defeat an evil force invading a peaceful star system. Violence is depicted in the form of energy blasts and brief, fiery explosions. Multiplayer is limited to local download play, which means only one cartridge is needed and there is no concern of players chatting with strangers online. Parents need to remember that Nintendo is warning all parents not to allow kids age six and under to view game graphics in 3D because that viewing "may cause vision damage." The Nintendo 3DS offers parents the ability to lock out the use of 3D graphics in the system's Parental Controls.
Is It Any Good?
If you’re a fan of Star Fox in general and Star Fox 64 in particular, there’s every reason to believe that this game will sate your appetite for lightweight space combat. The controls are tight, the graphics are noticeably improved over the original (we loved the sharp light reflections issued from the surface of an icy, watery planet), and local multiplayer provides players plenty of reason to keep playing after they finish earning all available medals in the campaign.
That said, Star Fox 64 3D is recognizable as a game from another era. Its short campaign can be finished in around an hour (though it offers good replay value), the environments feel small and cramped and have low ceilings that place limitations on aerial maneuvering, and the story is threadbare and filled with one-dimensional characters. That makes its $40 price tag hard to justify, especially given that Wii owners can purchase the original -- minus this edition’s graphical and control enhancements -- for a fraction of the price through the Wii Shop Channel. It’s a good game, but it also serves as a reminder that the Star Fox license is in need of a brand new adventure.
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Our Editors Recommend
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