Review: Star Fox 64 (3DS)

My first proper console was the Nintendo 64, and one of the many fond memories I have of it, is playing Lylat Wars (the European name for Star Fox 64).

I’m about to embark upon the Wii U Star Fox Zero, but having been away recently, I jumped back into games in my 3DS collection, and gave Star Fox 64 3D some long overdue attention.

I’m not able to capture 3DS yet, especially when on the go, so I don’t have any screenshots for this one….

Lylat Wars? Star Fox? What?!

Yeah, here in Europe, we didn’t have Star Fox 64, we had Lylat wars.  I’ve done a little digging into why it was named this, and whilst there are several theories about there being other games with “Star Fox” and “Starfox” as the name, it’s apparently due to the name of a company in Germany called Starvox (link to Nintendo Life article).

How does it hold up?

To me, this is the only question I was bothered about.  Does it meet my rose-tinted expectations, based off hours and hours of playing it years ago?

Well……yeah, it does!

It’s all sharpened up visually, although those rose tinted glasses help you remember it looking much sharper than it really did.  Much better textures, and the 3D element adds that depth that really helps immerse you into it.

It handles and “feels” how I remember it, albeit with the circle stick instead of my favourite ever gaming controller.

The problem with it being such a faithful re-creation, is that it reminds you of things that you perhaps forgot about…….like the incessant voice lines from your squad mates.  “Use your bombs wisely” says Peppy……every 30 seconds after you pick up a bomb.  “Aaaaaaaahhhhhh” exclaims Slippy, basically all the time…..useless frog bastard.

The worst thing though, is that Falco is still a tool.  I remember him being a douche, but damn.  He asks for help shaking bad guys off his tail, you help him, and he give sarcastic “gee I’ve been saved by Fox”.

Honestly, I remember them being a little annoying, but wow.  These guys are a pain in the arse!

Other than that though, you get everything you remember, but on the go.  What more could you ask for? Even the voicelines are a part of the original charm really.

Does it work as a portable game?

Absolutely!

Headphones on, sit back on your flight, train journey, bus journey or whatever you doing, and go for it.  It’s easily finished in under an hour, if you take the standard route.

You can play it with the 3DS’s gyro function, so you can steer your ship/tank by just moving your console around, or you can play it traditionally with the circle pad.  I don’t much like gyro controls at the best of times, and in the cramped confines of an aeroplane, it’s not ideal.

The stick works a treat though and it’s really responsive.

Because of the speed of a playthrough, you can run and re-run to beat your scores and unlock the “Expert” mode, as well as find all of those forgotten hidden routes to other planets.

Honestly, it’s so much fun trying to remember what you used to do, only to find that as a 13-year old, you had much better flying skills!

Worth a buy?

It’s like Star Fox 64 was designed for the portable console.  Easily accessible, fun to re-play, and not too taxing in terms of time it takes.  There’s no grind, no inventory management, just a wander down memory lane, and a good time re-discovering something wonderful.

A quick look in places like CeX, Grainger Games, eBay and Amazon, and you can get this for peanuts.  Make the investment and have it to hand when you’re going out on your travels.

I’m sure people new to the game may have a different perspective, but to me, this is an essential purchase for a 3DS owner, if you played it on the N64 as a youth, you’ll have a really fun time taking that trip back down memory lane.

This is 100% essential as far as I’m concerned.

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