It’s been five years since Star Fox 64 —the last time we saw Fox McCloud and his crew in action. But on June 10, Rare brings them back for a new Adventure.
Our story begins as the Star Fox team lands on Dinosaur Planet, a once-peaceful world now under the rule of the tyrannical General Scales. Armed with a transformable spear, you (as Fox McCloud) set out to help return peace to the planet. Helping you along the way are new characters Krystal, a blue female fox with ties to a mysterious race of ghost-like beings called the Krazoa, and Prince Tricky, a wisecrackin’ Triceratops.
Basic gameplay is reminiscent of Nintendo’s N64 Zeldas. You auto-lock (no button required) onto enemies for easier 3D movement in battle, find keys to get inside locked doors, etc. Fox’s staff is used for unlocking gates, throwing switches, or giving the scaly army of evil dinos and bosses a healthy beat-down. But you don’t always have to use hand-to-hand combat. Occasionally you’ll ride a jet-powered bike or pilot your Arwing (that’s the Star Fox version of an X-wing) for flying missions.
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After defeating Andross eight years ago, the Starfox team has been waiting patiently for the next big reward mission. Although the team members have moved on to other things, they all stayed poised for the next opportunity and had no hesitation accepting it when it came. After receiving their orders, the Starfox team arrived at a planet that was being torn apart. With the potential to unbalance the entire system, Starfox heads down to the planet's surface as he attempts to uncover and reverse the damage already done.
Starfox Adventures, unlike previous Starfox games, is a third person shooter that takes place mainly on a planet inhabited by intelligent dinosaurs. A question quickly arises as to how a planet of dinosaurs fits in with the Starfox license and the short answer is 'not well.'? Originally, this game was called Dinosaur Planet and had nothing to do with the Starfox license at all. Nintendo came in and 'suggested'? the Starfox license be used to transform Dinosaur Planet into Starfox Adventures. The end result is a great game but the Starfox license is used little in the end.
As for the graphics, audio, and control, you'll find few complaints. The graphics in particular are some of the best seen on the Gamecube. The environments are well detailed, supporting the dinosaur theme, and the attention to detail is clearly visible down to Starfox's fur as the individual hairs can be distinguished.
Even with the great graphics, it's the gameplay that pulls the game together. With different puzzles, large maps, and a solid story line, the overall game will immerse most and make the small use of the Starfox license easier to swallow. Other additions like Prince Tricky, a young dinosaur who accompanies Starfox for most of the game, will also ease the license issue as he gives Starfox more abilities and possibilities.
With only a handful of great titles released for the Gamecube, Starfox Adventures will give another reason to purchase a Gamecube this year. With Nintendo only now releasing their juggernaut games many have been waiting to receive for over a year, this one is a step in the right direction and worth waiting for. Although it stretches the Starfox license, once the game begins, you'll hardly notice and the game's length will keep you busy for some time.
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