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Star Fox 64

Released originally on the Nintendo 64, in 1996. Rereleased on the Virtual Console.

This is the game that added "DO A BARREL ROLL" to the internet. And is the second most cited source of vidya furries turning to the fetish after Sonic the Hedgehog.

My brother was a gamer, I was the person that read the faqs to him so that he'd shut up and I could watch the game without having to play. Except water levels, I was always too afraid to watch those. Star Fox 64 is a classic now, which makes me feel very old. Two years ago, Zack, the part time shopkeep at the comic store was playing the VC for the first time ever. It was boggling to think that he didn't know how to unlock the secret paths, hard mode, and medals and stuff.

The game itself is a rail-shooter. You play as Fox, the head of a mercenary group, the titular Star Fox, to strike at the Tyrant Andross, whom is currently winning the war against Corneria. Somehow, four mercs are all that stands between Lylatt's survival and a giant monkey head. Well, there are dumber premises. WAY dumber. This one just skirts the line of plausibility. One of the hardest stages  (the hardest one) has the crew deciding that its a perfectly viable strategy for four men and a big honking mothership to punch through the most fortified area of the enemy's starfleet, thinking it the utmost stealth, seemingly forgetting that the last level was an ambush, and the level before that was a stealth mission that ended with them destroying a naval base. I dunno.

The mechanics are solid, as expected of something Miyamoto slapped his name on. There are moments that are difficult, the bosses can catch you off guard the first few times, but after a few tries, and some dexterity building, you learn to master a sort of button-mashing-riff.

The music is good, epic. Note that the first game had "The Saints Go Marching In" on the soundtrack, so there's a major improvement. Some characters (Slippy) could do with a mute. Its a shame his function is so useful, otherwise I'd kill him each mission just to cram a sock in it.

Multiplayer isn't half bad either, save the pain in the ass that is unlocking all the vehicles.

This is a must-play game. Its a staple of modern gaming, internet lore, and has held up decently enough after nearly 14 years. Trust me, like Sonic, nothing this series has done since this game is worth playing. This is as good as Star Fox gets before you start talking about Smash Bros.

RATING: 9/10
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Kelil Stephanos

April 2010

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