Fox McCloud is back in a Re-mastering of a classic Nintendo.
Star Fox 64 3D invites players to assume the role of the legendary Fox McCloud, and bring your air combat squadron against the evil forces of Andross and save the galaxy from destruction. Large 3D graphics provide a striking sense of depth, distance and position of the players that will bring help
to take down dodge meteors and enemy combatants.
A complete graphical update brings the classic of the Nintendo era to the 3D portable. The game makes effective use of both screens ofthe Nintendo 3DS: The top screen shows 3Daerial combat, while the lower display showsthe characters and dialogue.
There are two methods of control for the player. Nintendo 64 mode provides original controls, while the new 3DS mode uses motion controls using the rotation sensor system.
Joint developers Nintendo EAD and PixelJunk studio Q-Games have made use of the 3DS gyroscope to allow players to control Fox’s Arwing by tilting the system itself. It works as you’d expect, but may be a source of too much embarrassment to suit the commute, and the subsequent pitch, roll and yaw of the 3DS hardware is, at first, a headache waiting to happen. Once your eyes become accustomed to the shifting 3D sweet spot, it plays the role of the right stick: fly the Arwing with the circle pad and make minor adjustments to the aiming reticule with gentle tilts of the system.
Most striking of all is the realisation that this is a game perfectly suited to portable play. Levels last minutes, a complete playthrough barely an hour, and the branching map requires players to fulfil certain conditions – save a teammate, fly through a series of rings – to unlock different routes. When completed, these often change the rest of the level and its boss, and working out which route yields the highest score encourages repeated play.
It’s not perfect: with 3D on, your reticule is too often obscured by the Arwing itself, and a slavish faithfulness to the source material means 1997’s occasional pop-in and clipping returns. The brand-new multiplayer mode offers only local fourplayer battles via Download Play, with no online component at all, a lamentable omission in a game so heavily based on high scores.
As with Ocarina, at first there is a rush of nostalgia. As it fades, it’s replaced by the realisation that, in many ways, the original was the playable prototype and this is the true final product, a fantastic fit both for the hardware’s portability and feature set. No cash-in or release schedule stop-gap, this is an excellent update of Nintendo’s classic space opera.