Ryan’s Random Rawr XD reviews: Star Fox 64

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Ryan’s Random Rawr XD reviews: Star Fox 64

Nintendo

Nintendo

Nintendo

Ryan Lingerfelt

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Nearly everyone has a game that they would dub their favorite. Personally, I have two favorite games, one being Star Fox 64. Star Fox 64, named Lylat Wars in Australia, was the second game created in the Star Fox series. It was released for the Nintendo 64 in 1997. The main cast of the game is Falco Lombardi, who is an anthropomorphic falcon, Peppy Hare, who is an anthropomorphic hare, Slippy Toad, who is an anthropomorphic toad, and the anthropomorphic fox you play as, who has the very creative name of Fox Mccloud who consist of a team named Star Fox. This game is widely considered the best game in the Star Fox series and it’s easy to tell why, between the plot, the in-game mechanics, the gameplay itself, and even the small things like the voice lines all come together to create a memorable and enjoyable experience. Whether it’s because of nostalgia or because it is actually an incredible game it always keeps me coming back.

Plot-wise the game opens with scrolling text that tells the story of how a genius named Andross, who was once a scientist for the Cornerian Army, turned Corneria, the fourth planet of the solar system present in the game which is named the Lylat system, into a wasteland and was exiled to Venom, another planet in the Lylat system. Five years after he was exiled there were reports of experiments on Venom and the general of the Cornerian Army, General Pepper, sent James Mccloud, who was Fox’s father, Peppy, and Pigma Dengar to investigate. After arriving on Venom, Pigma betrayed the team and James was captured and killed while Peppy barely escaped delivering the news to Fox. Years later Andross declared war and a new Star Fox team was assembled. The game consists of this team fighting their way through the Lylat system to get to venom and defeat Andross.

For most of the game, all of Star Fox flies Arwings, which is a spacecraft equipped with lasers and bombs. There are power-ups to increase the damage dealt by the lasers, and bombs themselves are collected throughout levels. In addition, when the Arwing gets hit enough it’ll lose wings and also it’ll lose all the laser power-ups to add insult to injury. The controls for the Arwing are inverted, you have to push down on the control stick to go up and vice versa. The game consists of two possible endings, 25 possible routes to play, and 15 different levels, or missions. These missions are extremely varied. Most of them are planets, there are seven of them, but there are three “sectors”, Sector X, Sector Y, and Sector Z, an asteroid belt and two levels that are in open-ish space. The majority of levels have 3-D scroll gameplay but, three of them, Katina, Bolse, Sector Z, and Venom when the player comes in through Area 6, have “all-range” gameplay where the player can move a full 360 degrees. There’s also three levels where Fox pilots something other than an Arwing, on Aquas he pilots the Blue-Marine, which is an Arwing but under the sea, and on Macbeth and Titania Fox pilots the Landmaster, which is an Arwing but on the ground. There are also places where a robot named ROB will essentially call Fox to provide him with supplies or provide cover for Star Fox with Great Fox, which is kind of like a mothership for the team. All of these mechanisms make the game feel more fleshed out then just flying and shooting things.

Nintendo

Throughout the game, all the main characters have different voice lines. One such line is “Cocky little freaks!” which is spoken by the boss on Sector Y, which is what my sleep paralysis demon says. Another line that sticks out to me is “Daddy screamed real good before he died!” Which Pigma says, which is kind of extremely messed up since Pigma is the whole reason Fox’s dad is dead and you play as Fox in game. All the members of Star Fox also have memorable lines such as Fox just screaming when you die in the Andross fight, and whenever one of the members if being tailed and the player kills the enemy they thank Fox. In addition, when they’re targeting an enemy and you kill them they also react in varying ways. There are also lines that Peppy says in Sector Y when you have a certain amount of hits at certain times that are along the lines of “You’re doing amazing sweetie” that give the player a sense of accomplishment for doing that good. On the other side of that, there’s a place in Sector Y where if you don’t have a certain amount of hits Falco will say “You’re supposed to kill them all” like you dumb bird what do you think I was trying to do. ROB, when he sends you supplies, says “Location confirmed sending supplies” and I really felt that. There are probably hundreds of voice lines in the game, all of them are well done and add a sense of immersion into the game.

The main gameplay of Star Fox 64 consists of fighting enemies while flying through different levels and also having to defeat a boss at the end, the fight usually taking place in “all range” mode. After beating each level if you do something like find a secret or reach a certain amount of hits, which are points that are awarded when the player kills an enemy, a different path is unlocked, usually, one that has a much harder difficulty than the “normal” path. For example, there are two secondary stages you can go to. There’s Meteo, the “normal” path, which is fairly easy to complete, and Sector Y, which is unlocked after flying under the stone arches in the water section in the middle of Corneria, which is much harder to complete. As stated before there are levels where there’s full movement. Those stages still have main missions such as, on Katina you help Fox’s old friend, Bill, hold back enemies that are trying to attack the base. In addition, there’s also a boss of sorts appearing as the enemies mothership, which if you destroy the core of you get to proceed to Solar. In addition, there are three all range levels where there’s a fight with Star Wolf, the “evil” version of Star Fox. This team consists of also cleverly named characters, those being Pigma, y’know the pig who betrayed Fox’s dad who is also the alternate version of Peppy, Leon Powalski, the lizard and alternate version of Falco, Andrew Oikonny, who’s an ape and the alternate version of Slippy, and their leader, Wolf O’Donnell, who’s a wolf and the alternate version of Fox. There are no possible routes where the player doesn’t encounter Star Wolf. There’s the “true” end and the “false” end. As one would expect it’s much harder to get the true end as to get to Area 6, which leads to the true end route on Venom, the player has to unlock the secondary routes from the preceding levels. The true end also requires beating Star Wolf before going on the fight Andross. In other Star Wolf fights far easier to defeat but, they get far more powerful as the game goes on. Not that it matters much but Andross’ true form is a huge brain and two eyes. That’s it. What the heck? Overall the replayability of the game is incredible, beyond just playing every route there are also medals to earn for every level. In addition, it’s a very quick game, one play-through only takes around an hour if you don’t die too many times. There’s also a certain sense of accomplishment earned when one learns a stage and can get through it perfectly.

Star Fox is by no means a perfect game, there’s a place in Area 6 where Great Fox will literally shoot Slippy which is the exact opposite of what it’s supposed to do, but the imperfections don’t matter. Star Fox 64 was and still is an amazing game, it’s provided me with a lot of great memories and will probably continue to do so. It may be old but it really does hold up.

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