Star Fox was first introduced on the Super Nintendo Platform and since has had many reincarnations. The game was reborn on the Nintendo 64 and was acclaimed one of the best games ever by a few gamers. Many years afterward Rare released a RPG entitled Star Fox Adventures which felt stale but had lush graphics, fans were none to pleased overall with the game. Now the latest one from Namco retains most of the original roots with a few twists and manages to deliver on a mute level but in the same sense leaves the player wanting more.
The game opens with a very beautiful introduction. To Namco’s credit the introduction really gets the player excited to play the game. The intro shows the games play modes, and has a very serious, orchestrated sound to it and it sounds just as wonderful as it looks. Pressing start brings up the menus and there are more menus in this game then any other Star Fox before it. This is both good and bad. Fans of the original will be disappointed by the way the game has changed in this department, but it also allows new comers to set difficulties, control styles, etc.
Another thing players will notice is the amount of cut-scenes has been upped. You find yourself watching a lot more videos this time around and it wouldn’t be so bad if the audio was of higher quality, but more on that later. After you finish through all the cut-scenes you will begin your mission and prompted with what’s going on. You’ve been given a mission briefing and your assignment as in the past games is to defeat your opposing enemies.
Each level has three difficulty settings: Bronze, Silver, and Gold. Each is more difficult than the next. This is something new to the series and I’m not sure if I quite like it yet, it gives the game a more, arcadey feel to it. You also don’t just earn two medals anymore, there are plenty of medals to collect through out your adventure for doing certain tasks, such as getting a high score or completing a difficulty level.
You start off fighting in space and it feels very true to the older Star Fox games, but the controls just aren’t as tight as previous titles. The lock-on system isn’t as good as Star Fox 64 and the controls just don’t feel as good overall. The same principles, though, from previous Star Fox titles is still implemented and left intact. This is good, but then Fox McCloud later on has to play on foot and drive other vehicles. The controls on foot aren’t really terrible but on the same token aren’t very intuitive and really take away from the Star Fox feeling. They actually drag down the pace of the game. The Landmaster is back and controls just as it did in its previous game.
The graphics aren’t anything to talk about. The environments are nice and well animated but overall the game could’ve pushed the hardware more so than it does. It looks like an updated version of Star Fox 64 with better environments. Corneria looks very nice and the enemies are fluidly animated. The character models are well done and the visual style is true to game’s roots. It’s not a visual stunner, but it’s not hard on the eyes, it’s decent at best.
Although the background music is pretty good and will have veterans humming in bliss, the voice acting is treacherous, every character actually has an echo to their voice and it’s terrible. To add to the game’s disappointing voice acting, the characters voices do not match up to their characters. Falco no longer sounds badass, he sounds as if he’s in a tunnel and is very childish. The characters actually sound more like they’re reading from a script and not actually talking from the top of their head. The engines on the ships sound like mini-vacuum cleaners, but at least the shots fired sound decent.
I haven’t touched the multiplayer aspect yet, but will soon. I know Star Fox was never about awesome visuals, story telling, or groundbreaking audio but this game just left me overall disappointed. I will continue to spend more time on it and hopefully my opinion will get stronger, we will have a full review in the coming weeks.