Wednesday, June 06, 2007

Review: Starfox Asasult (Gamecube)

Platform: Gamecube
Publisher: Nintendo
Developer: Namco
Release: February 2005

While it’s probably not the best game in the series, Starfox Assault delivers a great experience that is worthy of the Starfox legacy.

It’s been a long time coming, but Starfox Assault finally continues the tradition of the legendary series (The 2002 release, ‘Starfox Adventures’, was a standard Rare platformer with Starfox characters tacked on to it). Combining the talents of two of the best game developers in the biz, Namco and Nintendo teamed up to create an adventure that not only delivers the tried-and-true aerial battles the series is known for but some new on-foot battles as well. The result? As expected, spectacular, though it does fall a wee-bit shy of greatness.

The storyline is the same ol’ inanity the series is known for, and while it was entertaining in some parts, I mostly found myself skipping through the storyline and cut-scenes. Because of this I’m not going to go deep into this aspect of the release. However, the classic, well-known characters such as Falco, Slippy, and others are still here and as charming as ever, (though you’d have to play prior releases in the series to appreciate their presence). Some new characters have been added as well, but me not remembering their names is evidence that they are forgettable and worthless. The dialogue is humorous and fits each character’s personality well.

When you first start up the game you’ll be immediately put into some intense aerial battles. They’re reminiscent of Star Fox 64, and just before you know it you’re put into an on-foot battle. These battles have been catching much criticism from die-hard fans who are scared of change, and in truth, they are flawed (and by the last one, you’ll be finding them a bit repetitive). However, they’re mighty fun, and add variety to an already impressive package.

The visuals are decent during on-foot battles but during aerial battles they are simply majestic. The variety of colors, the effects… they all show that the Gamecube is capable of providing some truly fantastic graphics. Sound-wise, this game has the best soundtrack of any game in the series, and the soundtrack and effects are absorbing and original.

The controls get the job done as well, and if the default controls aren’t to your liking, there are two other schemes to chose from that will suit your fancy.

With all of this goodness, there has to be something wrong with Starfox Assault right? Well, it does have a few problems that prevent it from reaching the legendary status it could have had like Starfox 64 before it. While it doesn’t quite live up to that release in every way, it nearly does, though I was hoping that this game would be longer that it would. I completed all ten missions in a mere six hours, though you’ll probably feel compelled to play the exciting and fun missions over again to gain high scores and new medals. Even so, the game felt only half as long as it should have, and while I enjoyed the on-foot battles, more aerial ones would have been nice.

While it’s probably not the best game in the series, Starfox Assault delivers a great experience that is worthy of the Starfox legacy. Since it has been recently added to the Gamecube value line of games (known as Players’ Choice releases), you have no excuse not to play through Fox Mccloud’s most recent console adventure.

Rating: 8.7 (out of 10)

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At 7:05 PM, Blogger The Elderly said...

6 hours is a bit of a let down... great review as always, considering the price of the gamecube.. .and the stable of games... hmmmm, a precusor to a purchase of the Wii...

(snaps out of it...) sorry lost in console obsession again..

At 12:32 PM, Blogger gnome said...

And let's not forget such games are playable on the Wii...

At 6:56 PM, Blogger The Elderly said...

you mean... right i better do some reading before i make any purchase...

At 10:43 AM, Blogger fatherkrishna said...

Great review... Now I have my Wii, I will undoubtedly invest at some time in the future...


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