Nintendo Reviews Rating:
Age 10+
Posted: September 20th, 2003
Star Fox Adventures was in development for quite some time and it was finally released in late September of 2002 only for
Nintendo Gamecube. Was the joint development including Rareware really pushing for a great game? The full review is
here!
This review was edited for quality on December 20th, 2007.
Sound

Many sound effects take place in this game from the moment you turn it on until the ending. Most of them are pretty well
done. Since I look for new sound effects, I'd have to say Rareware did a great job. As with previous games, there are
effects to just about everything. From the thumping of the hard ground to the clanking of metal floors, many of the
unique sound effects come from Fox just walking around. The staff's sound effects however are very basic sounds that
we've all heard. As for the rest, it's a job done well.
Even today, not many games have much voice dialogue. Star Fox Adventures' story is built around the spoken dialogue.
It's actually nice to hear the British accented voices implemented in most characters. (This is due to Rareware being based
in the UK.) The voices are also accompanied by the characters' mouths actually moving in this game, which will be talked
about more in the Graphics section. While some of it is a bit over-dramatic, it mostly works, and it's a great touch. Dare I
say that I would call it next-generation, in a way. I've seen plenty of GCN games that lack here, so it's much appreciated.
The best thing is the music. The mixture of the music is so amazing, I had to up the score to the Sound. They all sound
orchestrated in a sense, and they all fit the mood. In most cases, you'll hear different music for different areas, so
basically the variety is big. There are exactly 100 different songs in the game that you can hear by unlocking the Jukebox
mode. (Some songs heard there are exclusive to the Jukebox mode and not even in the actual game!) Koji Kondo also
helped in bringing back some old tracks for Rareware (including the Star Fox theme) which are now newly composed, and
also very well done. I could just sit down and listen to the ThornTail Hollow theme (Day or Night version) for half an hour.
It's that good.
Control

The control for Star Fox Adventures goes to two areas: flying and walking. Most of the control is found by walking because
that's basically most of the game, so I'll start with flying.
I'll be the first to say that the Arwing levels would be more fun if it wasn't for the bad control. First off, it goes a little too
fast for a Star Fox game. After playing Star Fox 64 in the Nintendo Wii, I realized that Star Fox games work fine with a
faster speed, but the levels are so short that the speed doesn't help. It's so hard to aim at the enemies, and they almost
feel thrown in. Secondly, the setup isn't too well done. Y is boost and X is brake, and it seems simple, but try braking and
shooting at the same time. They could have used L and R, but they assigned the barrel roll for those buttons, not that it
matters because there's hardly any enemies to hit you anyway. The barrel roll is only useful for the final air battle.
Ironically, Nintendo adapted the Y and X buttons for the Virtual Console remake of the original Star Fox 64, and they
work fine there.
Another reason to blame the bad control in Arwing levels is because of the purpose of the game. Since there's a mix of
flying and walking, they decided that the play control in Arwing levels needn't be perfect. The developers obviously
thought not many would care about the Arwing levels anyway since they are so easy. These levels feel more tacked on
than part of the core gameplay, anyway.
The play control on land isn't all that great either. A is assigned to everything-even using your staff as a weapon. Zelda has
the right idea of using B as a weapon button. B is only used as Cancel. Also the only button assigned to as a 'quick access'
is Y. You'll use L as a camera control, which can also be a problem sometimes. The good thing is that enemies nearby will
automatically be 'locked-on' by your camera so you can fight without holding down anything.
Here's the last part that's good and bad in different ways. The C Stick is used as getting things out of inventory and using
Tricky's moves. The good thing is that it's easier to get to the items because you just use the C Stick. That means you can
do something while retrieving an item or a move by your staff/for Tricky. The bad thing is when you want to use
something fast, you won't be able to pause the game and wait, so if there's an enemy and you're trying to do something
with the C Stick, it can be hard to control both.
Graphics

Amazing! Just amazing. First off is the artwork. Rareware has great ideas for making everything
seem different. Lighting effects are astounding, and reflect well against Fox. Shadows seem very
realistic and move fluently with Fox. Character designs are great and very high-polygon. Added
effects like mist and fog can be seen as well as beams of light in different areas. The Arwing level
graphics are also just as good as the land graphics.
Fox's design is where the quality of the graphics show. Fox being fur-rendered also shows what
GCN is capable of. His fur moves so well with his actions that if you run, you'll see the effect of
his fur going backwards and vice versa. The only thing is that his fur isn't very thick so it's hard
to notice that effect at first. Light reflections against him are also neat to see. When you play as
Fox in this game, you really get a sense of realism; that's what I'm looking for in a great game
and this has it!
When I edited this review in late 2007, I dropped the score for the graphics by one point, making
it 9.9 from the previous perfect score of 10.0. Having played this game several times through
since its release, I just can't forgive that some of the cutscenes, while gorgeous, don't push the
graphics to the level of perfection. Mainly, I am referring to some of the animations that they did.
So while I no longer call the graphics perfect, I would still call them above excellent, and still
some of the best I've seen, and this is years later.
Replay

There are many extras like the Arwing levels. Despite the not so good control, they can actually become somewhat fun,
and of course it's fun to try to beat your score. You can also try and see how fast you can complete both of the LightFoot
tests. I don't think any multiplayer modes would have helped because the Arwing levels are short and the minor thrill of
those levels wouldn't change with more players. The same goes with the main part of the game. Since most adventure
games don't have multiplayer modes, this didn't need one either.
As for how long the game lasts, the first time around is about 20 hours. I was surprised by myself to beat it in only 19
hours. Once you beat the game completely, the only thing the game will let you do is play the final boss battle, so you
might as well erase it and try beating the game again faster. Also there are eight cheat tokens that you'll want to find and
since four of them contain messages that you can only read once, you may want to play the game again just to get those
four tokens and read the mysterious messages again. There are also many more secrets such as the LightFoot Village.
After completing the two tests and exiting the village, you can try to go back inside by figuring out the puzzle to open the
gate and you'll find even more stuff in there. Of course once you know how to do this stuff, the game can get repetitive
and you'll find that the only reason you'd want to play this again is just for fun, but I don't want to make that sound
negative. This game is fun enough that you may want to play this game several times through. Like Zelda and Mario
games, that's what makes adventure games worth buying.
Design

Star Fox Adventures follows along the line of the Zelda series in how the game's design was developed. This is because the
producer of the Zelda games (Shigeru Miyamoto) was also a producer for Star Fox Adventures. For Wind Waker fans, this
is a step down. Rareware had the right idea about the amount of places, but there really are no definite dungeons.
Gathering the four SpellStones in their four locations are sort of like dungeons, but much smaller and easier. The Force
Point Temples are similar, but you revisit each temple once again, instead of visiting an entirely new temple, so that
doesn't quite cut it when it comes to innovation. It almost feels like the game is comprised of several mini-dungeons. They
are nicely made, but because of the difficulty and the somewhat weird feel to them, players may be turned off. And
throwing in the flying levels in the Arwing doesn't help. They are poorly made compared to Star Fox 64 and are definitely
paced incorrectly.
This game was made mainly for the adventure portion, so if you get past the bad Arwing levels, you'll find an engaging
game with lots of tasks and goals. The Arwing levels were mainly added to give players a little something extra, and the
whole purpose on the game wasn't to create a Star Fox sequel, but rather take on a new type of gaming that Shigeru
Miyamoto has done with the Zelda series. Over the years of this game being out, I frequently hear complaints that it
wasn't a true Star Fox game. That wasn't the purpose of the game. It makes me think the real reason for the Arwing
levels is to say that it has some element of that in the game. Rare made the game to be adventure and Zelda-like. This
game doesn't compare to Zelda in that area, either. That's not to say this isn't worth playing. It's a solid adventure game,
much better than your average third-party release. In fact, now with the lowered price of $20, I'd highly recommend
buying this.
Scores
Sound

8.9
Control

7.5
Graphics

9.9
Replay

8.0
Design

8.6
8.6
Final Words

Despite some of the downs, many adventurers will enjoy this game, and they'll get past the fact that this isn't really an
addition to the rail-shooter genre or the franchise as much as it is a full-fledged adventure. Ironically, Nintendo still
acknowledges this as part of the Star Fox series, as Krystal (introduced in this game) plays a major role in Star Fox:
Assault, and as much part of the franchise as the other characters now. Though many say this game is short, it really isn't.
Metroid Prime only took me about five hours longer to beat it 100% than this the first time around. It will seem short
because you'll want to beat this fast, and the difficulty isn't too hard. The plot is fairly well thought out although you'll
want to play this twice to understand some parts of it (There's no option to replay cutscenes). Rareware did a great job
sprucing everything up before the release. All in all, this is a great game, and I recommend it to anyone who wants to try
something new in the adventure genre.
The picture on the right
represents the staff at Nintendo
Reviews. This is the only review
with a second picture because
this was our first review!