Originally released back in 2011 when the 3DS was struggling, Star Fox 64 3D and The Legend of Zelda Ocarina of Time 3D acted as filler games in the slow line up of 3DS titles. Nintendo, being able to port these games quickly and without taking up too much work force allocation, opted to rush these titles to market to buy sometime to work on the eventual Fire Emblem Awakenings, Zelda A Link Between Worlds, Pokemon games and other fantastic first party 3DS titles. Currently available for 700 Coins via the dying Club Nintendo program, fans now have easy access to this space fighter that they might have missed or ignored when first available.
In short, Star Fox 64 3D holds up well as the overall gameplay is still fun, each stage is short which makes it suitable for portable play, and the 3D effect is nicely done and actually adds value. Yes, the dialog between squad mates are still some of the cheesiest dialog in gaming but that is why makes it so memorable and quotable, and the friendly AI is as annoying as ever. But there is something still charming about Star Fox 64 that makes the experience entertaining from beginning to end, with high scores to beat and tons of medals to earn. Dedicated fans can even unlock a secret ending that ties together the importance of the Star Fox lore. This is also the game to play if you want to know about those Smash Bros. characters you have been playing as for all these years.
The battle mode has also been completely reworked from the original. While it is nice to fight against local wireless opponents on your own screen or against computer controlled bots, battles are limited to Arwing dogfights only whereas the original mixed together flight, tank, and on-foot options that still retained balance. Having battle mode limited to local multiplayer only is a huge missed opportunity not having online play available but this was a rush job game after all. Also, it is a little strange seeing your opponent’s face via the front facing camera as you shoot them down on screen when they are just a couple feet away from you. The included gyroscope controls act well enough but doubtful anyone would prefer this method of control over the Circlepad. Further, using gyroscope controls also makes viewing the 3D effect nearly impossible which overall makes this a moot feature. Luckily, the redrawn graphics and 3D effects are nicely done, especially when compared to the N64 original.
One important thing to point out is that the 3DS hardware is different than the N64 controller. The N64’s bigger and lighter plastic buttons made it easy to rapidly tap the laser button to effortlessly shoot rapid fire. The 3DS buttons are more solid and cramped which makes physical thumb endurance an important factor. I found myself needing to take a short break in between each stage just to recover from thumb exhaustion. Also, Star Fox 64 will forever remain in history as the first title to use force feedback support via the Rumble Pak. With no rumble feature available through the 3DS hardware, fans will quickly realize something is missing without it. Luckily, newcomers will probably not know the difference.
If I had paid $40 for this game when it was first released on the 3DS a few years ago now, I probably would have felt a little short changed. But since I basically got this game for free via the Club Nintendo program, there really is nothing to complain about. Ignoring my nostalgia for this beloved title, Star Fox 64 3D is still worthwhile despite having a drop in the multiplayer department but makes me look forward to the upcoming Star Fox Wii U title.
Better Than: Star Fox Command and Star Fox Assault
What Is Up With: that super long tunnel the Star Fox team runs through in the opening cinematic. That must be the longest tunnel in gaming and it is supposed to be on a flying ship!
Wait For It: Star Fox Wii U
By: Zachary Gasiorowski, Editor in Chief myGamer.com