Star Fox 64 3D

Cartoonish space shooter a faithful remake of N64 classic.

What parents need to know

Positive messages

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.


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.

What's it about?

Star Fox and his cadre of elite fliers are thrust into battle to save their star system from an invading force in STAR FOX 64 3D, a remake of the much-loved Nintendo64 original. Players zoom around both linear and open environments -- primarily in spaceships but also occasionally in ground vehicles, such as a tank -- shooting down enemy craft as well as fixed targets on the ground. This version of the cartoonish classic has received a graphical overhaul, including support for stereoscopic play, as well as a new control option that allows players to pilot their craft by using the 3DS’ built-in gyroscope to shift the camera with intuitive physical movements. A new local multiplayer mode allows up to four players in close proximity to play against each other, with only one cartridge needed.

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.

Families can talk about...

  • Families can talk about violence in games. Some games focused on combat are more family friendly than others. Why do you think this is the case? Is variance in the graphic depiction of violence the only factor, or is there something else that partially determines the way we perceive the harshness of battle?

  • Families can also discuss playing games together with friends in the same room versus over the Internet. Is playing together locally more social or more fun? Do you find you focus better when playing online because there are fewer distractions? Which do you prefer?

Game details

Platforms:Nintendo 3DS
Available online?Not available online
Release date:September 9, 2011
ESRB rating:E10+ for Fantasy Violence (Nintendo 3DS)

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Learning ratings

  • Best: Really engaging; great learning approach.
  • Very Good: Engaging; good learning approach.
  • Good: Pretty engaging; good learning approach.
  • Fair: Somewhat engaging; OK learning approach.
  • Not for Learning: Not recommended for learning.
  • Not for Kids: Not age-appropriate for kids; not recommended for learning.

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Teen, 13 years old Written bySovaso July 30, 2012
age 9+

Enter Star Fox

The N64 version of this game was great, but now the graphics are better, the controls are better, and you can take it EVERYWHERE! The stereotypical action space shooter is not too great, however, its a very good thing that this isn't stereotypical! Fox's plane, the arwing, feels great with the new circle pad, the mix between shooting and flight is perfect, and the stereoscopic 3D is awesome! One message is not to give up. You play as Fox Mcloud, an orphan who leads a team of a galactic heroes who search for a criminal named Andross, a... monkey, yeah. you search for Andross for a long time, but Fox Mcloud, Falco Lombardi, Peppy Hare, and Slippy Toad don't give up once. The game can get boring if you aren't adventerous, so I guess being adventerous a positive message. Fox is a good role model, along with Peppy, Falco, and Slippy. They battle Star Wolf, Andross, and the Vermenian army through many levels and planets. The violence is shooting mecanical robots and mild explosions. when the arwing is shot, a wing can cripple; smoke is seen from the broken wing. The bosses are essentially giant robots that shoot at you crush you or even make your arwing explode. Falco is a little bit of a smart-aleck. He uses mild language like crud and dang. He also uses sarcasm. Overall this game is great and very fun. Seriously Common Sense: three stars? This deserves at least 4 stars, however in my opinion, 5 stars, 9\10!
What other families should know
Great messages
Great role models
Too much violence
Too much swearing
Teen, 16 years old Written bymoviewannabe December 24, 2012
age 10+

Other stuff about the game

Fox McCloud, Falco Lombardi, Slippy Toad and Peppy Hare are once again trying to defeat Andross. Learning value: Kids can learn the history of gaming and can experience an old game with new graphics. Other "what parents need to know" stuff: Violence: The corridors in Andross' lair are really dark, scary and evil looking. Also, Andross' brain in shown (comical gore). Sex: Falco has a crush on Katt Monroe. Language: "Stupid" and "fool" are sometimes used. Sometimes, the bosses in the game might taunt Fox.
What other families should know
Too much violence
Too much sex
Too much swearing
Teen, 15 years old Written byComedyKing January 30, 2012
age 5+

Let's review Star Fox 64

Should I talk about the story first and then what parents should know? Sure, why not? Of course, you'll play as Fox McCloud. The game's protagonist, who was inspired to become the leader of the commando unit for hire known as the Star Fox to get revenge on the evil scientist Andross who murdered his father, James McCloud and has declared war on the Lylat System. The fans didn't give a crap about the story. They just like the 3D graphics, famous quotes, memorable characters and the addicting gameplay. The game follows the original very closely. The graphics are superb including the cutscenes + the boss battles that all look fantastic. The control’s great too. So anyway, on what parents should know. This game has a lot educational value. After you defeat Andross, Fox is trapped with no way out and is left to die along with Andross and he just decides to accept his fate and die. But then James' ghost appears to help him escape and he tells him to NEVER give up. This game teaches us to never give up even if you think you're gonna die in real life you'll see the results and to trust yourself during the most important situations. There are some positive messages to trust your instincts. I don't know what that means but it is a positive message. Of course there are certainly some good role models like Fox who wants to follow his father's footsteps to save the Lylat System and teams up with Falco, Peppy and Slippy who are supporting him on his mission. But the only bad role model outta all of them is Falco Lombardi. Falco is the Star Fox team's ace pilot whose consider by fans to be their favorite character outta all of them but he's also stubborn, smart-mouthed and brash. He gets cranky and uncooperative and doesn't show very much appreciation for Fox's help and would even get mad at him over nothing. But despite his ugly personality, in reality his relationship for the Star Fox team is second to none and he even considers the team his family. But whether Falco is bad role model or not, both the original 64 version and the N3DS are great games. DEFINITELY BUY IT NOW!!!!!!!!
What other families should know
Great messages
Great role models
Too much violence


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