Not to be outdone by a spritely elven boy, Nintendo’s spaceship-flying anthropomorphic fox is rolling out his barrels of nostalgic Nintendo 64 fun to the 3DS. While it might technically be a “new” game, let’s face it… you’d like to play something on your 3DS and the idea of jetting around with your old friends Slippy, Peppy, and Falco is an appealing one. Should you get back on board with the gang and relive old glory days or just fly on by?
The game is of course the same on-rails shooter mixed with open-flight arenas that made it so popular years ago. As much as I loved the 3DS version of Ocarina of Time, I actually think that Star Fox 64 fits more into my portable playing habits. Star Fox’s levels are almost bite-sized, taking mere minutes to complete. Heck, an entire story arc can be completed in about an hour, but the branching paths leading to different levels based upon your in-game actions definitely up the replay value of the title. There’s actually a lot of content here when you take into account how different successive runs through the game can turn out. Plus, individual levels can be played in a score attack mode too.
My entire time with the game was spent with the 3D setting at max. This is because the effects are among the best of any 3DS game so far. Not only did I get a sense of depth into the screen, particularly in the closed-in tubular missions that have you dodging falling structures, but there were instances in the game where it appeared as if ships were flying out of the screen. The last boss is also fantastic to behold and upgrading from the low-polygon count of the original game really makes this game a lot easier on the eyes. Gyroscopic controls are an optional addition to the game as well and after one or two levels I optioned to turn them off. Maybe some people will enjoy using the motion controls, but I preferred keeping the screen where I could clearly see it, appreciate its 3D effects, and not accidentally shoot down Slippy. I swear it was an accident, Slippy. Maybe.
One of the big draws of the N64 version was the multiplayer and that returns in this version as well. There’s even a really cool addition of being able to see your opponents face in streaming video above their ship as you engage in dogfights. Unfortunately, I will never play the multiplayer in this game because there is no online mode, it’s local only. At least the game only requires one cartridge to play a four player game, but I simply don’t find a situation where three 3DS-owning friends and I will decide to sit down in the same room and play multiplayer Star Fox.
Star Fox 64 3D is a successful update in bringing an iconic Nintendo 64 game into your hands. The shooting holds up well, the visuals got a much needed overhaul, and the game offers enough content to make the seemingly endless wait for new Nintendo games slightly less turbulent. It’s very much a known quantity, but it’s a worthwhile addition to your 3DS collection.
Outstanding | Very Good | Fair | Poor | Awful
Recommended Buy Price: $30.00
Current MSRP: $39.99
Star Fox 64 3D was provided for review by Nintendo. I played the game for six hours, completing four different campaigns through the game. Star Fox 64 3D is a Nintendo 3DS exclusive.