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There are two ways in which you can look at this game. You can see it from a 'retro game that has been upgraded' point of view or you can look at it as a stand alone 3ds title. Either way, I think you'll be a little disappointed.
This game, along with Goldeneye and Mariokart 64 was probably one of the best titles to ever come out for the Nintendo 64, way back in 1997. I played it back then and bought this title off the back of that experience - you know what it's like, fond memories of times gone by. This was also one of the first titles out for the 3ds - so I went for something I new rather than taking a risk on something I didn't.
Unfortunately, what you have here is pretty much exactly the same game, with some updated graphics and a new control system, specifically meant for the DS - which is a disaster. Oh and you have 3d graphics now, which look great for about 10 minutes, before you realise they actually detract from the gameplay and switch it back to flat screen mode (and thus stopping the headache before it starts).
The concept is pretty simple, as Fox (the Hero of the piece) you fly your ship through levels (eathier forward scrolling or in a battle 'arena'), shooting stuff, whilst desperately trying to keep your (slightly annoying) allies safe and sound. Generally, the better you do at keeping them alive, the harder the next level in your chosen path will be (although in some levels you have to perform certain things to open up the hard path). If you don't perform, but finish the level you are likely to go on the easier path. You would think that the 3d element would help in this, but it just makes it harder to judge your positioning.
One of the issues with this game is that the story mode is not long enough - I think you get 7 or 8 levels plus a boss - which won't keep you going past two or three nights at best. Doing it on the hard path from start to finish is a challenge, but with little reward, other than seeing new levels. The other issue is the new control method (which you do not have to use) where the DS is basically your control stick, so you end up wafting it around your head in a desperate attempt to turn right. This is not very well thought out at all as it is completely incompatible with the 3D element of the new DS. The whole reason that you don't need glasses for the 3ds is that you have to look directly at the screen to get the 3d view. This is pretty hard to do as your wafting it around your head!
There are also (limited) battle arenas to fight against friends and family, though these are not as fun as say a mariokart battle as all options are very much the same (no variety).
As a new game, this doesn't cut the mustard - there are much better titles out there for the 3ds (like Mariokart 7) - so I would opt for one of those. As a retro game - I think you could probably buy a Nintendo 64 AND Lylat Wars (it's original title) for about the same money as this game costs brand new - I would go for this option as you'll play it for about 3 days solidly, then consign it to the 'games we want to keep for prosperity but will in all probability never play again' cupboard!
Starfox 64, original known as Lylat Wars in the UK, was one of the Nintendo 64's classic games. It combined some of the system's best graphics with an easy to pick up style of gameplay and a basic plot. It was an easy game to begin with, but offered an increasingly difficult, branching level structure for those who really tried to master it. Now it joins Ocarina of Time 3D as a port on Nintendo's latest handheld, but is it really worth the price of a full title?
Firstly, this is a very well made port. The most significant upgrade is a bump to the graphics which look far more modern and clean while retaining the look of the original title. While playing you will never see an ugly texture or a hideous dated model, and yet you find yourself forgetting the game has ever looked any different. It's a true remastering, not a recreating, and the results are very strong. It doesn't really push the 3DS hardware, but it looks solid and polished which is really all anyone can ask from a handheld title. The 3D effect is pleasant enough but considering the game features really deep scenarios, it shows up just how little depth the 3D screen is capable of rendering. I know I've said it before, but it really is hard to get away from, while the 3DS screen does work, it's simply too small to have any impact.
Gameplay itself is totally unchanged. You are the pilot of an Arwing in an arcade shooter. You destroy enemies as they fly towards you and weave through obstacles, there's a degree of freedom but the effect is more like an on rails shooter than a dogfighting game. Again, it's solid gameplay but it never really excels and it's actually starting to feel a little dated. There just isn't the flexibility to the levels with all the appeal coming from hammering on the weapons and not on the flight itself. Levels look nice with exploding cities, lava planets and giant space robots all making an appearance, and all the old tricks and secrets still exist. An overworld map guides you from the first planet to the last, and you'll still need to learn how to unlock each planet, but there are no extras.
This title also uses the 3DS motion controls as an optional control scheme. As usual, they are responsive but really not as intuitive as using the circle pad. Plus, shifting the console around so much loses the 3D effect pretty quickly. I found myself sticking with the basic controls.
Starfox 64 3D also features local multiplayer which unfortunately I couldn't test as I don't know anyone else with a 3DS, but this will probably be a selling point for a lot of people.
Starfox 64 3D isn't a bad game, it's actually quite well developed with no glitches and a nice coat of polish that sets it apart as a Nintendo title, but there's just not enough new here. Starfox 64 came out in 1997 and a lot has changed since then, the gameplay is solid but primitive now. Also, while the 3DS is short on decent games, a very basic update of an old N64 title just isn't enough. Starfox 64 doesn't have the depth, or the reputation, of Ocarina of Time and it just doesn't live up to its price. This game would probably have been better served as part of a bundle with another N64 port.
If you can grab a cheap copy second hand, the game is a lot of fun and a nice addition to your library. Unfortunately there's just not enough here to make it worth buying new.