I'm sure I'm not alone when I say that I'm disappointed with the first five months of 3DS software. The only must-have game released on the console is a remake of a 13 year old Zelda game. So, as I slid Star Fox 64 3D into SPOnG’s 3DS, I felt more angry at the lack of new titles than excited to play an old favourite.
The negative feelings soon dissolved and were replaced with butterflies in my stomach as the opening sequence launched. Stars glistened deep within the screen as “STAR FOX ON NINTENDO 3DS” faded in lightyears in front of them. All is forgiven, Nintendo. You've given us Star Fox 64
My love for this remake grew larger the moment I returned to Corneria. The first noticeable change to the game is the visual presentation. Like Zelda: OoT 3D
, it has had a complete makeover. Textures are more high-res and the models themselves have been give the once over. Individually, they look like minor amendments but together they create a beautiful environment whilst still staying faithful to the original design concepts.
The 3D is expertly implemented – as you would expect – and adds more of an immersive than cosmetic effect. Flying between buildings and under bridges makes for a fantastic spectacle but never distracts you from the task in hand.
This game is made for 3D.
The stars show a sense of distance while enemies firing toward the screen will make you gasp and grin like those idiots you see on the 3DS TV Adverts.
It's the gameplay that made Star Fox 64
one of the greatest space shooters of all time. Taking a console game that has a remarkable feeling of control and implementing it on a handheld unit is no easy task. Thankfully, this is where Q-Games has stepped up the the plate.
The developer is no stranger to the franchise. It produced the critically acclaimed yet slightly under-appreciated Star Fox Command
for the original DS and proved that they know what makes the series work and the release of this game makes it seem like they are just rubbing that point in our face.
The fact is that the 3DS version plays better than its N64 original and it's all down to your ship's reaction to the thumb pad. You feel in complete control of your Arwing at all times making tight manoeuvres simple to pull off. Soon enough, darting through falling buildings becomes subconscious thumb twitches and your mind can concentrate on firing down as many enemies as possible.
The button layout is limited to just two options, which seems a shame, but the two provided work fine once you get used to where your braking and boosts are. The L and R buttons take over where the Z and R buttons left off and soon enough you'll forget you're even playing on a handheld.
You're also presented with the option of using Gyroscope controls, however anyone who has used this option on a handheld before knows to avoid it like the plague. You should do no different here. Controlling your Arwing takes precision, something that needs your full control. The Gyroscope will never offer this. It makes even less sense on the 3DS, considering that you have to hold the device in a certain position to experience the 3D effects.
What's really frustrating, though, is that the game constantly asks whether you want this control method turned on. It introduces you to the option before you can even get into the tutorial and then repeatedly asks you why you haven't got the option turned on during missions. Trust me Nintendo, if I turn an option off, I don't want it on.
In terms of in game content, not much has been added to the original. The same branching level progression remains with the same goals determining which branch you take next. Thankfully, though, the 3DS version offers you the chance to pick the path yourself so that you don't have to personally play badly to experience a level you wouldn't have seen otherwise.