|Gamecube Reviews: StarFox Adventures|
| Starfox Adventures Screenshots|
| The Final Say!|
- reviewed by Tory Favro
Review Date: 15 November 2002
Review Score: 9.1/10
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Starting as a game originally titled Dinosaur Planet, Starfox Adventures is the first and last time that Fox McCloud will appear on this console due to the developer, Rare, having been bought out by Microsoft. More is the pity.
This game is a third person action adventure/ platforming title that will capture the imagination of players, especially fans of the Starfox series as this is the first time our hero has ventured outside the cockpit of his beloved Arwing spacecraft. Another interesting point to note is that the game also combines magic with technology which is another first for the series.
Graphically, this game is going to leave you stunned. Everything in the game is packed with detail and a delight to behold. Textures abound and Rare have taken advantage of the GameCube's ability to bump map and then notched it up a degree. Name a graphical effect and it appears that Rare have used it. I was amazed when standing still to realise that the grass was actually gently moving from side to side. You can even see details like the actual fur on Fox wisping when his tail moves.
Starfox Adventures Features
- Players 1
- Memory Card 3 Units
- Dolby Digital
- Classification: MA15+
- Game Type: Adventure
- Skill Level: Intermediate
The game's controls are nicely mapped though I did find a bit of getting used to not having control over the camera by using the C Stick. The camera is pretty intelligent though and I didn't get stuck anywhere in the game as a result. To right the camera behind Fox, a quick tap of the L will set you to rights.
The C stick activates Fox's inventory and is quick and easy to navigate. As features become available, they will appear on the inventory. Fox also is assisted by Prince Tricky, a young dinosaur who has been rescued by Fox. Tricky can do many tasks that Fox is unable to carry out by himself, but the good natured little guy needs constant feeding of mushrooms that Fox needs to gather for him.
During the game you also get to play as Krystal, whose staff is Fox's weapon during the game. These are for the most part only short sojourns with a fairly linear progression. It really adds to the overall feeling of being part of a storyline that is a little bit bigger than the player.
Another point to note is that Fox cannot jump at will, it is an automatic function of the game. I was not used to this arrangement, though fans of Zelda should be as the control system is very similar to that great title. For me, it was a case of constantly hitting the C Stick as I turned the camera - instead getting the inventory! Eventually I got the hang of it, just a case of old habits dying hard.
The whole game is ridiculously good and the character animations are flawless as far as I am concerned. There are no textures that I saw characters get stuck on and collision detection was pretty much spot on. A lot of little touches have been added that were appreciated, such as footprints in the snow and even when Fox emerges from water, his fur is temporarily wet. When inert, his tail swishes and there are a number of good idle animations. Another feature that truly impressed me were the facial animations that ran whilst ingame. Detail upon detail upon detail.
As with most GameCube titles the framerate is great and there are very rarely any problems. The whole time I played, I witnessed only two circumstances when the rate dropped and it was, surprisingly enough during periods when there was nothing happening on the screen other than Fox running about in the snow. Speaking of snow, it was very neat to notice that the snow on many levels actually contained the snow crystal pattern as it floated near to the screen.
One thing that is worth mentioning is that even though Prince Tricky is a tad annoying, he does learn and get new abilities for Fox to exploit later in the game. Just keep him happy with those mushrooms and it all should be alright. Fox also gets powerups for the staff that will open up all sorts of avenues for gameplay.
Level design is amazing on this game and will be just a small part of the huge reason that your hands will be glued to the controller whilst playing this great looking game. It's a shame that this is the last game that Rare will be making for the Cube as they have certainly pushed a lot of boundaries as far as level design and working the hardware goes.
Starfox is a great buy for any GameCube owner. Go get some!
- Tory Favro
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