Star Fox 64 3D

10 Overall Score

Written by on October 6, 2011 in


“Do a barrel roll!” Star Fox is back and he is just as awesome as you remember him! Star Fox 64 3D is a stellar adaptation of the Nintendo 64 hit you played 14 years ago, with a few new tweaks to give you a new experience, while still delivering that good ol’ nostalgic feel. All your favorite characters are back including Peppy, Falco, Slippy, StarWolf, and the evil scientist Andross. Do you have what it takes to save the Lylat System and avenge your father?

StarFox 64 3D is comprised of 15 different levels, each with their own special environment and secrets. How you play the game determines which planets you visit on your journey to defeat Andross and save the Lylat System. Your path even affects the ending of the game! In the Nintendo 64 version you were forced to travel to a specific planet based on your actions, but in the 3DS version you can choose which planet you want to visit. This is a welcome change because it allows you the chance to visit more planets without having to know the complex secret path in every level. Starting the game you are treated to a tutorial which helps you get familiar with the controls of your Arwing and layout of the game. If this is your first time playing I strongly urge you to do the tutorial because it will come in handy later. Following the tutorial, your first mission is to help defend Corneria City from attack. In 3D, Corneria never looked better. This level brought back warm memories of Falco yelling at me, Peppy’s famous “Do a barrel roll!” line, and the trick for unlocking the alternate first boss. SPOILER: Navigate through all the rock arches when you reach the water section of the level and Falco will guide you through a waterfall to reach the alternate boss.

Most of the game is on-rails, but certain boss battles will put you in all-range mode, allowing you to freely pilot your ship. In all-range mode you are able to do special maneuvers with your Arwing like loops, U-turns, and chase enemies around tough terrain. Not every level puts you in a ship though. In a couple of the levels you will be piloting a submarine or a battle tank. A big new addition is the use of the Gyroscope within the Nintendo 3DS that allows you to pilot your ship by moving your 3DS console. Move your system up to make your ship ascend, or bank left and right to make your ship go through sharp turns and maneuvers.  This system is really slick and I’m glad they put so much work into making it. You might want to take your 3DS off of 3D mode though, because the image will get blurry when you move the 3DS, unless you move your body along with it.

The game has 2 different difficulty levels. One gives you the original Nintendo 64 experience and the other makes your ship stronger and your enemies weaker. Regardless of difficulty, completing the game should take about an hour, which is great for a portable game. Hidden in each level are weapon upgrades, bombs, and rings which act as health. Your ship comes equipped with a laser gun and bombs already, but you will want to upgrade your ship as often as you can by collecting powerups. I found it handy to keep one bomb ready at all moments because often my teammates, especially Slippy, would need me to assist them in getting the enemies off their tail and a bomb makes quick work of any enemy pursuer.

The graphics in Star Fox 64 3D have been redone from scratch and boy is this game beautiful. The 3DS hardware has been used to the fullest and the detail to the environment is astounding. I loved sections where waves of ships would come towards me making it seem like the ships were jumping off the screen. The levels with asteroids and debris is where the 3D really shines as you weave in and out of objects, feeling like you are a part of the battle. The background music, sound effects, and voices of the characters have also been updated with clearer and crisper sound. It’s still the same voices though, so don’t worry. You will still hear all the classic lines and every snide “Hey Einstein! I’m on your side!” from Falco.

A multiplayer mode is also included in the game, allowing you to play against up to 3 friends. The fun part is that you can video chat with your friends during the battle, taunting and laughing as their Arwing explodes. The battles take place on one of four small levels. You need to be a cunning pilot and have a deadly eye to win because these battles can get pretty heated when you have people on your tail every 5 seconds. Powerups like temporary invisibility or a position swap with the player closest to you help keep the fun alive. If you don’t want to play with friends you can also play against the computer, selecting a difficulty to help compensate for your skill level.

Since you won’t be visiting every level on each playthrough, this game’s replayability is really high. After playing through the game twice I still hadn’t seen all the levels. There are also medals you can earn in each level for scoring a certain number of hits against enemies. Earning a medal on every level can be difficult, but if you revisit levels and memorize enemy patterns you should be earning medals in no time. Earn all the medals in the game and you will unlock expert difficulty which has even more medals to earn.

The only gripe I had with the game was that I wish multiplayer had been actually online instead of local play only. I want more modes than just deathmatch where I’m shooting down my friends. It would be nice to see matches where you and your friends, or even complete strangers, competed to see who could shoot down the most enemies, or could collect the most powerups in a certain time limit. The original Star Fox 64 only allowed for local play as well, but I think that with our current technology we could have pulled off online play. This is a very small gripe though and I still believe that this is one of the finest handheld games to date.

Star Fox 64 3D is much better than a generic remake. For those of you who have been on the fence about buying a Nintendo 3Ds because you are waiting for “good games”, now is the time to buy because this classic game will bring nostalgia mixed with solid gameplay, well worth the price tag. On the other hand, if you already own a Nintendo 3DS you have to pick up this game. I can’t recommend StarFox 64 3D highly enough. StarFox 64 3D is available now on the Nintendo 3DS for $39.99.

A copy of Star Fox 64 3D was provided to The Married Gamers for review purposes.


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Author: Loren Nikkel View all posts by
Hardcore Xbox and occasional PC gamer. I love to play multiplayer and co-op games where strategy is key.

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