The Gadget Helpline: RETRO REPLAY feature will bring you a weekly throwback to the days of old school gaming and will present a little history on the new wave of classic titles currently getting a revival on our modern gaming gadgets.
This week we bring you a little bit of back-history on the classic galactic dog-fighter – Star Fox 64. Originally touching down on the Nintendo 64 console, the title has just been relaunched for the Nintendo 3DS handheld.
Full Title: Star Fox 64 (Lylat Wars – in Europe)
Original Platform: Nintendo 64
Release Year: 1997
From the imagination of legendary games designer Shigeru Miyamoto, a handful of inspiration from traditional marionette puppetry and quite obviously borrowing heavily from the Star Wars Saga – Star Fox 64 (or Lylat Wars in Europe and Australia) introduced gamers to the heroic fighter pilot Fox McCloud – leader of the Star Fox team of animal space mercenaries.
Along with his helpful pals – Peppy (a rabbit), Slippy (a frog) and Falco (a falcon, not the ‘Rock Me Amadeus’ guy..) – McCloud battled evil scientist Andross across a series of planets in the Lylat System, after the villain threatened to destroy Fox’s home planet Corneria, and succeeded in killing his father James several years before the game’s story begins.
As the game progresses Fox flies his Arwing fighter into battle against Andross’ minions in rival fighters, close to the ground and up in orbit – at some points even engaging in tank and submarine battles as his team mates help out with various tasks, and appearing in the hero’s view screen with hints and tips of how to defeat certain types of foes, rival mercenaries and end of stage ‘bosses’ – usually various forms of Andross as massive war machines.
Gameplay was delivering in a ‘corridor mode’ which meant movement was straight ahead, left and right, with objects to be avoided (much like the early Star Wars games) and none of the ‘free roaming’ which came with later games. However the ‘boss’ stages were set within a larger arena which could be used to get the best vantage point to hit the right targets.
The best part of play, for many, was the four person multiplayer available on the Nintendo 64 console. Up to four buddies could hop in an Arwing fighter and battle each other in all against all combat for points, a last man standing style dog fight, or participate in time trials where the most ‘kills’ of enemy fighters in a certain amount of time could pick up the win.
The multiplayer also incorporated the Landmaster tank and it was also possible to battle on foot, with shoulder cannon, if this was your preferred weapon of choice!
With Star Fox 64 arriving on Nintendo 3DS now, the popular multiplayer element is brought back to life for a new generation to enjoy – with an added twist. Not only does the 3DS, of course, deliver the gameplay in three-dimensions but now with the portable’s in-built camera it means that with up to four players (each with a handheld) joining in the battles gamers can actually see each other in the view screen in live video. Making it all the more personal when you blast your chums out of the skies – Just like back in your old bedroom!
The Star Fox evolution has come full circle – the original Nintendo 64 title was actually a ‘reboot’ of a popular fighter title on the SNES (Super Nintendo Entertainment System) and was the first to introduce the ‘Rumble Pak’ – an accessory for the console’s control pad which would create a vibration in relation to events in the gameplay and a version of this will be reintroduced to the new Wii U console.
In last week’s RETRO REPLAY we took a look back at Sonic CD ahead of the SEGA classic’s revival for mobile gadgets, as well as Xbox 360 and PS3 consoles!
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