Flashback – Star Fox 64

Our flashback features will look at games from today’s perspective and are a bit different from regular reviews. After reading about the upcoming Star Fox 64 3D, I felt a driving need to play the old classic again on my trusty N64. So of course I did, putting in many hours of time to get an accurate reading on the game with today’s standards, though of course from back in the day. For those of you who don’t know Star Fox, he’s a fox that flies around in space shooting baddies and doing some impressive maneuvering.

Star Fox 64 ScreenshotSo, as I played this game again, I remembered how fantastic I thought this game was, and incredibly still is. Playing through it like it was the first time was wonderful, going back to the days when I was 8 and younger. If you’ve never played this game before, it would be a good idea because this particular N64 game shines bright. It is styled much like an arcade system on steroids. You have lives, scores for a later leaderboard, some of the ambiguity of an arcade game’s story and of course the old school graphics. Let me break it down.

The gameplay is wonderful. I would only say that some levels might be a tad hard for most people, though most people can probably beat every world with practice. Speaking of the worlds, when you play you’ll get to choose what path to take (at least if you earned a MISSION COMPLETE). This creates the interesting scenario that every playthrough has many different options. Once you’ve played for a while, you get a good idea of what path to take depending on the kind of game you want to play, which made the game much more fun than if I had to follow a predetermined path. The power-ups (and bombs) in the single-player are well-designed, being highly effective and seeming plentiful when superfluous and spitefully scarce when desired. This game still proves to be a challenge in some areas for me, even though I’ve been playing for over a decade, which is refreshing because I can play the same level over and over and still be challenged but not discouraged. The separate levels are for the most part Star Fox 64 Screenshotquite distinct and memorable, particularly Aquas the only underwater level. Though the gameplay is merely flying around shooting enemies, it isn’t too repetitive which is accomplished through a varied level design with varied enemies, some that are even level-specific, not including bosses. The bosses are also extremely varied and there aren’t any that I consider to be too easy, even the ones that only take me 30 seconds. Also considering the age of the game and it’s linear style, I’m surprised that I never get the feeling of being out of control, that I have so much to explore.

Though it’s an old game, it has great sound effects and good design. Every design in the game was creative, and the sound perfectly fitting with the game as a whole. Of course nothing to really get excited about these days, considering how much work is put into immersing you in the experience with pretty lights and fun sounds these days. Put together, I see this as a confidently made game, something I fear we don’t see enough of. But for its time, very well done.

Music Credits: Star Fox 64 “Sector X” – Original Composer: Hajime Wakai, Koji Kondo – Remixer: DZComposer

About Will

A lifelong gamer, I've always had a passion for the geekier lifestyle. Now, I'm working towards making that a lifetime career. Here's to me

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