Star Fox 64 3D
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Star Fox 64™ 3D invites players to take on the role of
legendary Fox McCloud as they lead a fearless squadron of fighters in
fierce aerial combat to battle the evil forces of Andross and save the
galaxy from destruction. The rich 3D visuals provide a remarkable sense
of depth, distance and position as players dodge meteors and blast enemy
fighters out of the sky.
System requirements for Nintendo 3DS
Star Fox 64 3D reviews and comments
You take control of a battle spacecraft called the Arwing, its mobility and functions are basic but effective: you move vertically and horizontally while the ship goes its way. The core mechanic is to shoot as many enemies as possible while you evade obstacles and projectiles, it is also possible to throw bombs that are limited but more powerful, as well to increase your power by shooting two beams at the same time. Most of the stages have a rail structure but some of them will start or end with a battle on which you can take full control of your Arwing's direction. Every stage will culminate with a boss battle that for the most part will be pretty easy but introduce you to a disposable but pretty fun antagonist.
The combat is pretty solid, my only issue is that your ship can get on the way and you need to relocate a lot to see what it's coming your way, this can be a little tricky as your shooting reticle depends on your Arwing's position, it is not hard to get used to it but if you receive enough damage one or both of your wings will blow up and your aiming will be incredibly compromised as it will be hard to get a steady aim. I'm not sure if this kind of aiming and damage was a thing back in the year when it was released but it certainly is not present on the few shooters that I have played and I find it brilliant, it is a simple mechanic made for a simple game but it adds a whole layer of tension when you're on the verge of exploding.
The game lets you choose from two game modes at the start of the campaign: 3DS mode and N64 mode. 3DS mode let you use gyro controls and it seems that enemy HP has been tweaked, N64 mode apparently retains the same difficulty and controls from the original, and also you can shot your comrades in this mode, a thing that sometimes can be annoying since they like to appear out of nowhere into your shooting range but it is to add some difficulty into a rather easy game, not to mention that I can't play with gyro controls and 3D on.
Aside from the Arwing, in a few planets you will be using a tank or a submarine, while they don't feel as good as the Arwing mechanically speaking, they still feel like they should. The tank feels heavy but destructive and the submarine while I think is the clunkiest it is also a little more versatile in terms of your arsenal. These scenarios add some versatility to the game and while they are not the most fun to play they are a breath of fresh air.
You can unlock several routes and mix them to add replayability but it's still a pretty short game, each playthrough took me around one hour and it took me 3 playthroughs to play them all and unlock the "true ending". It is not an issue at all because its flow is greatly made but keep in mind that if you're looking for a long experience you probably won't find it here unless you're into having the highest score possible.
Visuals have been upgraded to look good on a 3DS screen, it is not the best 3Ds game you will find but it looks good and the framerate is pretty stable. The thing that I like the most about its graphics is that they have their original appeal and don't deviate much from the N64 art direction. Character design and story have a Tokusatsu and classic Japanese action show stylization to it that works incredibly well with the puppet-like characters. This stylization is well translated to a Saturday morning cartoon style, normally I wouldn't like a choice like this but it is pretty on spot. Although I don't prefer that everyone sounds jerkish and snotty most of the time, it might be a thing of the original script but who knows, it would be great to have the option to play the original Japanese voice acting. Speaking of which, it seems that they cast the original actors from the N64 game and they sound good and replay their roles without any noticeable issue.
For an experience crafted 24 years back, Star Fox 64 3D holds up pretty well with its solid gameplay and charming stylization, this remake celebrates its glory and for better or worse it doesn't try to rectify or upgrade what could be done. I would like to have Japanese audio and maybe a deviation from the original script but these are just nitpicking. Its simple story and gameplay may not be the most memorable things that will change your life or at least mine, but they make up for a pretty fun rail shooter.