Star Fox 64 3D: More Than Just A Remake
Fox McCloud's future hangs in the balance.
The Star Fox franchise is a classic case of fans asking Nintendo for X and the company giving them Y, or even Z. The first entry, 1993's Star Fox for Super Nintendo, was an air combat game that threw players into impressive 3D environments full of enemies and laser fire.
This continued in 1997's superior Star Fox 64, which upped the ante with more attractive worlds, explosions and chatter between hero Fox McCloud and his team of pilots.
Then, the wheels came off. Nintendo, for whatever reason, chose to mix things up with the entertaining but strange Star Fox Adventures on GameCube, a third person adventure peppered with all too brief flying sequences. The same can be said of Star Fox Assault, another GameCube exclusive. The space combat was quite thrilling and a wonderful homage to the glory days. The on foot missions? Unnecessary.
Fox and friends appeared to be back on track with Star Fox Command for DS, though once again, Nintendo meddled with the successful formula, merging turn based play with the dogfights, which took place within small boards that left us wanting more.
Thing is, we can't remember fans begging Nintendo to mix things up. The publisher simply chose to mess with a sure thing, and fans have shook their heads ever since.
Now there's Star Fox 64 3D, a remake of the Nintendo 64 original that, thankfully, has been left alone. You won't find some bizarre role-playing game, or the option to collect Star Fox branded cards.
Instead, you'll enjoy some welcome cosmetic changes, including improved graphics, glasses free 3D and the ability to put your face above a ship during multiplayer bouts via the system's internal camera; Nintendo also threw in gyroscope controls.
The result should be one of the handheld's best games, as well as the definitive version of the beloved console smash hit.
Thing is, it's a bit more important. How audiences react to Star Fox 64 3D will have a huge impact on the franchise moving forward. If it flies off shelves, expect good old Fox McCloud to fly again, presumably in a sequel. If it tanks, he will have flown his final mission.
How serious is Nintendo about this? In a recent interview with legendary game designer Shigeru Miyamoto, he remarked, "If first-time players like this game, Star Fox will be reborn!"
Miyamoto elaborated, saying, "So if there's anyone out there who wants to look at the future, please play this!"
Concerning words, all things considered. Nintendo has never killed one of its main franchises, even in the face of poor sales. Losing Star Fox, while not as huge as losing Mario or Pokemon, would still be a disappointing blow.
That said, we can only hope that consumers vote with their wallets when the game debuts in the U.S. September 9.
As for you, help keep Fox McCloud flying the unfriendly skies.