Happy Valentine’s Day Everyone!
Alright so let’s talk before this game was ever even considered for Gamecube release. Originally, ‘Starfox Adventures’ was ‘Dinosaur Planet,’ and it wasn’t even a Starfox game! Even more, it was slated for a Nintendo 64 release.
As you can see, a lot of things went into consideration, and a lot of things changed over the process of development. With that artwork alone, you can relate and note that some of the side-characters stayed. The Sharpclaw, the Lightfoot Tribe, and the heroine’s pterodactyl transportation. Which leads me into probably the biggest swap. Krystal as we all know her now, was actually depicted as a feline and the heroine counterpart to Sabre, (who became Fox) for the N64 title. There was no Fox McCloud or his ridiculous crew. After scrapping the idea that it would be a Nintendo 64 release and realizing the fact that Sabre had a pretty recognizable resemblance to Fox McCloud, production of the Gamecube title “Starfox Adventures: Dinosaur Planet” began to take shape. Drop the ‘Dinosaur Planet’ surname, turn Krystal into a canine and make her useless for 95% of the game and you have our game that we all know and love today!
As a last ditch effort for Rareware in 2002, they managed to create a pretty damn good adventure game out of a franchise that was more-or-less an AIR-ONLY staple. Who remembers player versus player combat of Starfox 64? Wasn’t it fucking amazing? That’s what we all love about this franchise, ever since the original polygon-exploding simulator. The gameplay was so keyed-in and tuned perfectly for the respective systems. So what happened with Adventures? What made them think that a game where you spend maybe 5% of your time MAX in the Arwing? Sure, the time that you were in your Arwing blasting away asteroids and flying through rings felt nostalgic. It felt like replaying an old memory straight from your childhood. However, I see nothing wrong for wanting to branch out, explore and test new things if you are a developer. Especially if this was your last release before you bit the dust. Yup, that’s right. Rareware was done for good after this release. The same people that brought you Goldeneye and Donkey Kong. Done. So again I ask you; Why not? What could it possibly hurt? Let me tell ya there’s some haters out there, but to me, they managed to pull it off pretty damn well.
The first thing you will notice is how similar to Ocarina of Time it is. The user interface, the movement, even the way your character overreacts to finding a new object by levitating it between their hands as it rotates slowly and smiling like they’re throwing out sympathy for a friend who just told a bad joke. It’s all so familiar the more you play and honestly it even helps if you’ve played Ocarina of Time before, it’s that similar.
Okay so to start off, you play as Krystal investigating a distress signal she received from the planet, Sauria. It’s kind of muddy as far as story goes with Krystal. They never really tell you who she is or what she’s doing beyond trying to find her parent’s murderers and why her home planet of Cerinia was destroyed. Regardless, she answers the distress signal and lands on a pirate ship of sorts with a giant disembodied dinosaur head roaring away on the front of it. After walking around and finding a key, she encounters General Scales, who seems to be the main antagonist at this point. Easy way to tell? He pulls off the whole standing-in-the-fire-like-a-boss thing that our favorite emo boy Sephiroth does. That pretty much sealed the deal for me at least. Anyways, after telling Krystal that she made a grave mistake, he pretty much freaking man-handles her and picks her up by the throat with one hand, (his other is a claw anyways) chucking her off the side of the airship. LO AND BEHOLD Krystal’s pterodactyl buddy is there to save the day off-screen and Krystal gets her final word in before turning tail (pardon the pun) and heading to Krazoa Palace.
Also, I’ll just say this now. If you’ve gotten this far, congratulations! If you’ve gotten this far and understand what they are saying without subtitles then you need to go outsideyou must’ve read the game’s instruction booklet. The native characters of the game (Dinosaurs, and Krystal herself) speak Saurian. It’s a language created by the developers to basically make the immersion process much more believable. I mean, if you were to go to a completely alien planet, you wouldn’t expect them to speak any Earth language would you? The pronunciations and flow of the language is actually pretty believable and is a very nice addition to the overall game.
After reaching Krazoa Palace, you are faced with your first foes and challenges. Again, if you’ve played Zelda: OoT you’ll know how this game works already. Aside from historic similarities, you get to offer yourself as a challenger and a rightful transportation device for things called “Krazoa Spirits.” It’s pretty easy to tell when you have a Krazoa Spirit as your eyes will glow purple. After absorbing said spirits, you are to offer them to the Temple. It’s not clear why yet, but after doing so with Krystal, she is catapulted a pretty damn far distance and right into a solid piece of…. crystal.
Wow, who the fuck didn’t see that coming.
Cut scene and you’re finally with the good ol’ crew (minus Falco) in the Great Fox. Gen. Pepper comes in with a transmission explaining that a nearby planet has had some recent trouble with keeping itself together and that Fox should check it out. The crew accepts with the promise of money and heads to Dinosaur Planet.
Disembarking his Arwing, Fox sets foot on Dinosaur Planet and his adventure begins!
One of the first things you’ll say to yourself when you step onto Thorntail Hollow is, “Am I playing a Gamecube game?”
The graphics of this game are second-to-none. The styling and scenery are gorgeously rendered and quite frankly, breathtaking. Some of the character models are a little lackluster, but it’s so easily overlooked when it’s being dominated by lush landscape and mind-blowing horizons, from the Gamecube. From this point on there was not a single moment where I went, “Graphics aren’t up to par.” Seriously, I looked at screens from the original Halo: Combat Evolved and put it next to Starfox Adventures and I honestly thought Starfox looked much much better. The colors are bright when they need to be, and dark at just the right moments. Characters stand out and, let’s face it, half of the game is watching Fox’s reactions. His reactions to every situation feels real. So real it’s almost creepy. His snide comments and arrogant attitude mix fairly well with his more hero-like composure. That’s not to say that it will make you hate Fox as a character, his personality is almost there for comedic relief apart from the annoying asshole that is his little Dino friend, Tricky.
Sticking to the element of RPG that Zelda: OoT had, the controls are intuitive and easy to pick up on. The only thing I wish they changed was the God-forsaken shopkeep shaman dino voodoo…. whatever the fuck that thing is. His voice is nails on a chalkboard. That’s all I have to say about him. I digress, that has nothing to do with controls anyways. I found a couple of times where climbing onto a ledge was difficult because Fox just didn’t want to grab it, and a few more times where the camera angle really fucked with my controls. Had a lot of troubles with the camera specifically in the Cloudrunner Fortress. Other than those nit-picky instances I can’t complain too much about something that is generally well rounded.
the biggest gripe I have about this game is General Scales. Or really, the lack thereof. He establishes himself as this ultimate badass incarnate dude right from the get-go and…. Is never really heard from a whole lot afterwards. At least not until the end, and let me tell ya I had never been so underwhelmed and let down so badly as I anticipated this huge hero vs. villain fight to the death and was given nothing. NOTHING. I’ll try not to spoil everything for those who want to play this game, but just, don’t assume anything. Just don’t. Save yourself the let down.
Overall, I really do love this game. I would love it even more if the end were completely revamped and pieced around General Scales, but alas it’s just a dream. I’d recommend you pick it up for Gamecube if you can find it because it really is worth a playthrough, if only once. It’s kind of a hats-off to Rareware as this was the last game they ever created. Show ‘em a little respect and try to enjoy what I enjoyed a decade ago on our favorite little purple cube.
Happy gaming everyone!
-My Little Mega Man / EnigmaSyndrome
I don’t care how awful this game is I am laughing the hardest I have ever laughed in my life.
Flame Mammoth perfect run progression outtakes!
Armored Armadillo perfect run! Audio went wonky so I edited in music from the album “Roots” by Danimal Cannon!
Here it is people. The death of Video Games.
I’m Han Solo, I’m Han Solo.
:S This makes me want to kill myself a little
the taste of vomit in my mouth is just that bad
It’s better than The Old Republic at least.
This is so bad I can’t stop laughing.