Platform: Nintendo 3DS
We really, really want a new Star Fox game.
Two entire console generations have passed without Nintendo resurrecting the beloved aerial combat franchise, featuring only a couple of disappointing ground based adventures (including Assault, just to be clear) and a WiiWare port to satisfy the faithful and patient fanbase. It's been far too long since Fox McCloud, Falco, Peppy and Slippy took to their Arwings, and we're delighted that Nintendo have decided to completely revamp Lylat Wars for the 3DS. Star Fox 3D is just as brilliant as you remember, but does it offer enough beyond nostalgia value to warrant a pricey purchase?
In case you don't know, Star Fox 64 3D is a port of the classic N64 rail shooter Lylat Wars that casts players as Fox McCloud: the wingleader of an anthropomorphic group of mercenaries who are tasked with saving the galaxy from an evil scientist. You'll hurtle through a number of corridor-like stages, engaging a selection of aerial and ground units with your lock on laser and powerful bombs. On top of manipulating the aiming reticule, you'll also need to steer your Arwing fighter through an intricate array of obstacles - facilitated by simple velocity controls and the infamous barrel roll. Your wingmen occasionally stray onto the screen, requiring you to take down their pursuers and rewarding prompt assistance with an array of gameplay benefits. The core action is instantly accessible, brilliantly fast and utterly engaging; a classic and seminal experience that feels just as exciting and relevant as it ever did. The multi-stage boss battles are especially enjoyable and put many of their modern ilk to shame.Click here to read more...
Nintendo trading in nostalgia is nothing new, but there are differing degrees of success and views on what is and isn't acceptable. The recent Zelda revamp, for example, has been met with both praise and criticism (we gave it an 8) for keeping things virtually identical to the original. When toying with a retro gem for re-release, there's always the dilemma of how much should be changed, improved, altered or enhanced. Detractors suggested that Zelda 3D didn't do enough, the graphical updates were welcome, but it didn't wow anyone visually, and although Master Quest essentially doubled the length of the playtime, it was questioned as to whether it warranted a full price release. They hadn't even used a proper orchestra this time around for goodness' sake!
That said, nostalgia is a powerful drug and there's simply no good way to fully express the joy of having a game you adored and grew up with playable in the palm of your hand. Conveying a warm and fuzzy feeling doesn't quite cut it, but it is exactly how I felt with Star Fox 64 3D sitting snugly in my mitts, a full audio revamp singing into my ears.Click here to read the rest of Matt's hands-on preview...