Rare, the video game developer that has been the innovative brains behind Nintendo games like GoldenEye 007 and Perfect Dark, has sadly been pulled from under the feet of Nintendo after being bought out by Microsoft. Fortunately for Nintendo, Rare didn't go without leaving behind one last testament to its ability to design a game with both stunning visuals and substance, Starfox Adventures.
The plot is simple enough. Krystal, the foxy (pun intended) damsel in distress, is captured by General Scales while trying to find the source of a distress signal on Planet Dynamo. Fox McCleod, the hero of the previous game Starfox, is sent to save the planet and the girl. On Planet Dynamo he finds Krystal's dropped staff, which proves to be the panacea to nearly all of McCleod's problems and obstacles. Whether it be super villains that need to be taught a lesson, rocks that need to be wedged out of the way or out-of-reach door switches that need to be activated, Krystal's magic staff proves to be the answer. Along Fox's adventure, McCleod also picks up a sidekick—the perpetually happy rhinoceros, Prince Tricky. Tricky proves to be helpful with his knowledge of Planet Dynamo and his obnoxiously-optimistic determination, and with the help of Planet Dynamo locals and the rest of the Starfox gang from his ship, McCleod has everything he needs to take on all that stands in the way of Planet Dynamo's freedom and Krystal's survival.
What really makes the game exciting is all the variation of game play as the adventure allows players to explore and make some of their own decisions. Also, occasional side missions and puzzles bring an added element of excitement as the player rides hovercrafts and dragons, and other assorted vehicles, in order to combat evil.
The selling point for Starfox Adventures, however, is its visual design. Never has a GameCube game shown such careful attention to detail and textures of its varying environments. Specifically, the animation of the fur on Fox and water in small ponds is shocking. The environments are meticulously-designed, and details such as changing weather and time of day (or night) make any seasoned gamer fully appreciative of the effort that went into Starfox's design.
Many of Starfox Adventures' problems are small, but nonetheless irking. For one, whenever McCloud picks up a new item, this dinky cutscene plays with Fox triumphantly raising the object over his head—I've never seen anyone get so excited about a key. After five or so times this becomes obnoxious. After 20, you wanna throw nearby objects at the screen. On the same note, there is no jump button. McCleod automatically jumps from one ledge to another just by pressing forward, but the player has no control of when he jumps in any other circumstances. To me, this is perplexing. Years of video game development have clearly established the necessity of a jump button in maintaining the player's sanity. Without a jump button, different items and flying villains can be sometimes just out of reach or impossible to get to. This is representative of the game's simplistic controls, such as with fighting. Using Krystal's staff to battle bad guys is so simple that most could fight blindfolded. Even so, McCleod's fighting moves are, for lack of a better word, cool with his various twists, turns and flips. And that, in a word, aptly sums up the sheer greatness that comprises Starfox Adventur
Alex Piazza. Alex Piazza is a junior page editor for Silver Chips, one of the better newspapers of the world. While participating in the CAP program, he also plays for the varsity soccer team and plays in an out-of-school band, playing an eclectic mix of styles. Alex … More »