If you know me you know I play a lot of Star Fox 64, and one thing ive noticed is that well... it just hasn’t got old. Besides the speed runs and score runs I've attempted i still enjoy every playthrough, every attempt i make to replicate something turns out different. I’m not even speaking on the actual planets and what not yet, but mainly everything.
Though for the sake of people that haven’t played this gem ill summarize it just a bit.
Nintendo released Star Fox 64 for the N64 on April 27, 1997, and it's still very solid. You play as Fox Mccloud, son of James Mccloud who was once leader of the Star Fox Team (Featuring himself, Pigma, and Peppy) until Pigma betrayed the team allowing him to be captured by ex-scientist Andross. Andross was once a well known scientist in Corneria, until he got a bit to hungry for power. After being scolded and told to get rid of some of his more harsh experiements, he began most of them in secret. Until a accident happened which destroyed part of Corneria, Andross eventually gets banished to Venom where he forms his own army. Although Pigma betrayed the team Peppy still escapes and informs Fox about the incident, and as more time passes soon enough Andross launches a attack across the Lylat System. Fox then forms a new team featuring Falco Lombardi, Slippy Toad, and Peppy Hare.
Now you must take the fight to Andross.
There’s a total of 15 levels, but NUMEROUS routes you can take rather on accident or on purpose, or even help some of your other friends out. Mostly score or certain little secrets such as warps usually puts these factors into play. The levels normally dont last long either, unless you die a lot then well .. it may seem a bit longer. Depending on the path you choose to take, you also may get a different ending. It’s kind of weird but I didn’t realize how much you can do in this game until just recently. Theres numerous things that can make or break what your trying to do and may even throw you way off from what you wanted.
I can’t really count how much times ive played it, but I know that’s one of my main reasons for coming back.
As you play through each level you must plot your own course too Andross's home world and defeat him. You collect plenty of power ups along the way, and may have to save certain party members every now... and again, but everything just flows together. You can pick enemies off with quick shots, charge shot groups of them, and for those bad situations use a bomb which usually eats through everything. You achieve points as you take out enemies also, and a nice little tally at the end of each playthrough. The levels sometimes may switch from on rails into "All-Range mode" which puts you in a small battlefield like scenario which changes up the gameplay in a nice way.
One thing that needs props is this game's soundtrack, i really have no complaints in that department its one of my favorites. It does a great job of fitting the planet or situation.
With all that in mind if your interested, you can also unlock expert mode once you reach a certain score on each level.It really cranks up the difficulty factor. When you crash your Arwing for example, your more than likely going to lose a wing or two. You also take more damage and enemies can be a pain to take down. I just unlocked this for the first time not long ago and really felt accomplished because at one point it was a feat I didn’t think I could ever pull off. If you don’t know ive streamed the game frequently and still get little tips that may give me an edge on something. I placed on speedrun.com not so long ago, and practice certain things frequently to get better and better. It’s crazy to think that years ago it took me so long to make it through the game. My first playthrough on expert was a great experience, and seeing all the little things they added in for it was great to see.
If you look up “Replay Value” the definition would be: "The quality or fact of being suitable for or worth playing more than once." That’s my main point, games like this although short are meant to be enjoyed over and over. I never really forgot about the game, but I didn’t realize what I was missing out on until I started playing it again. The games as simple as can be, a on rail shooter with simple controls, good story, and great gameplay. You don’t see much on rail shooters anymore, and it’s a shame.
Like i said unfortunately you don’t see many on rail shooters at all anymore, but this one here is timeless. I still hope for what I feel would be a… true sequel, if only to satisfy my hunger for more Star Fox. All in all, if you haven’t played it, play it. If you have then I still recommend playing it again even if it’s just for nostalgia. This game will go down as one of my personal favorites for sure. You can pick up the original, or pick up the 3DS version which adds even more content in. That's it for this article guys, i still do a little bit of score/speed runs when i have the time so be sure to check those out also !
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