Nintendo 3DS: Star Fox 64 3D Review

Star Fox 64 3D sees the triumphant return of Fox McCloud, Peppy Hare, Slippy Toad and Falco Lombardi who are all set on saving the Lylat System from the evil Andross. The game originally came out on the Nintendo 64 in 1997 and has retained everything that made it such a great game back then, with the added bonus of revamped visuals and spectacular 3D effects.

How does the game look now?

The first thing you’ll notice when you play Star Fox 64 3D is just how beautifully sharp and crisp everything looks now. Gone is the traditional blur of the Nintendo 64 version and in its place is a game that really shows off the 3DS’ visuals. Laser blasts fly past in 3D and considering how much content can be on the screen at the same time the frame rate holds up well.

Does the game perform well by today’s standards?

Yes, it most definitely does. This game still feels as fresh as it did back in 1997 which is a sterling testament to how well crafted Star Fox 64 3D actually is. Obviously the pin sharp visuals really help to bring this franchise to 2011. There are a few people moaning about remakes coming to the Nintendo 3DS but if they’re of this calibre then I think it’s perfectly fine.

Any faults?

Star Fox 64 isn’t known to be the longest game ever created. One route from start to finish could be done within an hour but this doesn’t matter. The reason it doesn’t matter is because you’ll have so much fun playing through the stages that you’ll neglect to notice. Another small gripe would be the size of enemy ships on the Nintendo 3DS’ screen but it’s something you’ll eventually become accustomed to.

Closing comments

If you’ve never played Star Fox 64 on the Nintendo 64 then you owe it to yourself to play this classic. If you have played it then you’ll know just how good this game is. As I’ve mentioned already it isn’t the longest game ever but it’s perfectly suited to the Nintendo 3DS. This game proudly stands alongside Ocarina of Time 3D as one of the best games on the system. Buy it!



    1. Yes, it does lack online multiplayer but you’ve got to look at the overall quality of the game. I believe Star Fox 64 is one of the best Nintendo titles created and I still believe this. I was going to go for an 8 but I thought it truly deserved a 9.

    2. I don’t understand why such trivial details mean the grade should be lower.

      As far as I’m concerned, online play is just a bonus and can only improve a game’s grade instead of lowering it just because of it.

      1. Online for this type of game is not trivial. It’s important and can be and is a deal breaker, at least for me. I’m not the only one who thinks this.

        1. Well, it isn’t for me. Star Fox isn’t exactly the franchise I look forward to to play with friends anyway. I save that for series like Smash Brothers and Mario Party.

          For example, I’ve lost count of how many times I’ve beaten Star Fox: Assault since it’s so short as well and yet it’s still fun to play just by myself.

      2. I think online multiplayer is just a missed chance here. Come on, the entire faces thing? You can just look around the room in local multiplayer, you don’t really need it… But for online multiplayer it would’ve been so awesome :D
        Not a deal breaker, but would’ve definitely been a nice addition.

    3. The original starfox 64 didn’t have online multiplayer but that was still a great game. Having a specific function isn’t what makes a good game. A good game is judged on what it has, not what it hasn’t.

      1. Good point Kevin. I’m not saying lacking online should lower the score of the game, or make it a worse game overall; but there’s really no excuse! Nintendo has stated that they acknowledge that their previous online attempt was lacking and so they’ll really focus on that aspect and make it better. Well, this is not a good sign. Many people want it. And some people, like me, don’t know any friends who own a 3DS or StarFox 3D

        1. “I’m not saying lacking online should lower the score of the game, or make it a worse game overall”

          Yet… you said that you lowered the score here BECAUSE of no multiplayer… so I’m confused.

          In my opinion, I agree with previous comments, where the online multiplayer is just an added bonus. Most games, I play simply for the single player, the multiplayer is just extra.

    4. Who cares? Online multiplayer shouldn’t even be in the rating because reviews review what the game is, not what it hasn’t got.

      1. That’s not necessarily true. If the game is lacking something that it should have, then the score should reflect that. In fact, a review of a score should take into account both what a game has and what it doesn’t. What the game does right and what it does wrong. At least a complete and unbiased review anyway.

    1. To be fair, OoT isn’t on the level of Star Fox 64. OoT is just an over hyped game. A Link to the Past is even better than OoT.

      1. What your saying seems like a matter of taste rather than quality. Just because you do or don’t enjoy something doesn’t mean it’s any better or worse.

        1. It means its any better or worse for him, our oppinions are the ones that matters, we’re the gamers after all

          Nothing to say about the OoT and LttP, just wanted to clarify that

      2. I wouldn’t agree that OoT is over-hyped, but nostalgia does go a long way for many people, though I would agree that Link to the Past was a better Zelda game.

        Star Fox 64 3D was not fun at all when I played it at Comic-Con, but that’s just me.

      1. i wouldnt consider a huge in depth be ultimetly boring as you say…reviews…proper reviews..are in depth…unlike this one that doesnt really tell us anything new…i dont look forward to clicking on this site for a review of super mario 3d land…if all it will consist of is a few sentences of obviousness…more effort into posting a proper review…or learning how to would be a smart idea

        1. Looking forward…to reading…your review… that’s full of… unnecessary…ellipses…you asshat…

        1. Who’s to say he can’t have an opinion? Just as long as he doesn’t vent his criticism as much as he has here.

  1. although its good they remade it, plus added the multiplayer feature and all. i still feel the star fox series needs a BRAND new game thats to its roots.

      1. @Dystus: This. If you like Star Fox, then you’ll already know to buy this game.
        Saying, “I WANT THE OLD STARFOX BUT NEW” Only sounds like haters parroting old complaints from generations ago. That stuff gets ignored by developers and media alike.
        Buy Starfox Assault if you want traditional Star Fox, buy SF643D if you liked SF64, buy SF Adventures if you want them to branch out into new territory. You tell them what to develop by voting with your dollars, not with your meaningless hatred and negativity.

        1. Nintendo has stated that the Star Fox series will be determined based on the sales of this title. It’s possible they could abandon the series completely unless this sells well. So if you want a new Star Fox game, buy this one.

            1. actually, when told by an intervewer that he would like to see a brand-new Starfox game on the Wii U, Miyamoto stated “me too”
              and that means there is obviously already one in the works. think about it: the last 3 games in the series have been admittingly dissapointing, and Starfox has lost a lot of it’s fanbase. If they just made another brand new starfox, it wouldn’t have as many fans anymore and wouldn’t do as well. BUT, if Nintendo re-releases the best game in the series a year or so before the new one comes out, Starfox will have regained many of it’s fans along with newcomers who want more. it’s simple marketing and business, and in my opinion, Nintendo did this one right.

    1. Star Fox 64 3D is a short game, which is part of its appeal. Star Fox 64 was never meant to be an epic game that takes 40 hours to get through It’s good that it’s short because:

      a) there’re 15 levels, and only 7 are played on a single play through. You need to beat the game at least 3 times to truly beat it. If you’ve never played before, it’d take probably 6 hours to beat, but that’ll be via the easier levels. As you play more, you’ll get better, but you’ll also visit harder levels. It’ll be fresh for a fair while.

      b) The draw of the game is the high score. I’ve beaten the original dozens upon dozens of times trying to get that extra kill and raise my score.

      Just buy it, it’s awesome

  2. I never played or heard about this game, but from what I’ve from the review, I think it should be a great game. Maybe I’ll try it.

  3. this game is indeed awesome but for me, i wouldn’t give it a 9, its more to a 7.5~8
    why? because it lacks of online multiplayer and doesnt have too many extras, but the motion sensor is super awesome tho~
    but overall, Starfox 64 is a really great game, I played the 64 version and this one is just awesome. It may not be as awesome as Zelda OoT, but buying this game is worth it.

    1. Generally reviews are not based off what was never intended to be in the game, but of the game as a whole. If Halo didn’t have Online it wouldn’t have got a worse score, but because it included that it got near perfect scores.
      So, I think it would get a 10 if it included those extras as it is already a great game on its own.
      But that is more of a general consensus on reviews, not the same as a consumer review.

  4. I can’t wait to play this.

    A lot of people say that online multiplayer is necessary, personally, i don’t mind it, especially after all the trouble i have with Starfox Command Wi-Fi.

    Good review, keep the good job

  5. Pshht. I’d buy the game just because Falco’s in it. Haha, not really, but I’m really hoping that we’ll finally be able to play as Falco in the Wii U Starfox game. If you’re wondering about what I just said, look above at my response to vito16’s comment. That’ll explain this.

  6. sickr your making it harder for me to stay away from this game lol i stil have the n64 so i dont really need it but it is a great game,

  7. I like this game but I am kind of worried because if the game is so short how can it be that enjoyable? Also why does everyone care about multiplayer? I think its more of an extra then a nesseciary element. I mean would you think something like super mario 3d land needs multiplayer online?No.

    1. Allow me to answer your questions.

      StarFox 64 is not a super long, indepth-game. It wasn’t meant to be one. What this game has going for it is replay value. There are many different paths to take in the game to reach secret levels and different challenges, and it’s fun to try and figure them out. It’s also not a super easy game, it can be somewhat difficult for beginners.

      And for multiplayer, I don’t feel online multiplayer is necessary for this game, but it would have been a nice perk. The original StarFox 64 had regular multiplayer, so it’s natural to assume the remake would have online. And finally, there’s a reason games like OoT and Super Mario 3D Land don’t have multiplayer. They are single player. StarFox 64 is not necessarily single player. It is mostly singleplayer, but the single player mode REVOLVES around teamwork. The other two games stated do not.other games do not.

  8. I absolutely LOVED Star Fox 64. It is easily in my top ten games ever. That being said, I can’t wait to play the 3D remake (and I can’t even see 3D!).
    I totally agree with your comments about the length: it is short, but each stage is just flawless and a blast to play.

  9. boy, september 9 just can’t come fast enough. Though the game is short, that’s part of the draw of it. Doesn’t bother me, but hey, I grew up with it so I might be a bit biased. To me, every stage is fun to just play through and it’s all pretty memorable. Plus you can really always challenge yourself to get a better score each time you play through it.

  10. i belive it has online multiplayer, which utilises the 3DS’s inner camera so you can view the opposing players reactioins

  11. Wow! I’m getting it this Friday! It’s disappointing about the lack of online because Star fox command was good online until no one goes on it anymore.

    I’ve played the last 3 star fox games and Im a fan. N gamer rated this 82 or 84 in the recent mag which was featuring Star fox 64.

    Nintendo really needs to reboot the Star fox series after messing up the endings of Command. Lets hope a star fox reboot is coming to Wii U soon!

  12. Overall Score: 3/5

    The Pros:
    Nice graphics overhaul
    Excellent gameplay
    Diverse levels

    The Cons:
    Multiplayer is local only
    Gyroscopic controls are clunky

    Nintendo continues their retro roller coaster ride on the 3DS with their revamp of Star Fox 64. Much like the recent 3DS version of the Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time, this is essentially a straightforward port of the classic game with improved textures and, obviously, 3D visuals. So, if you loved it on the 64, this will bring back wave after wave of nostalgic joy.

    To the Stars! And Beyond!
    If you’re new to the world of Star Fox, the game is a space ship shooter centered around the elite Star Fox team. This four-member team of star fighters is lead by Fox McCloud, the devil-may-care son of the previous leader of the team, who fights against the evil and megalomaniacal Andross, a rogue scientist bent on domination. To this noble end, the team must brave open space, asteroid fields, and a variety of harsh planetary environments. Fox and his anthropomorphic team of animal pilots must even venture into the sea at one point to root out Andross and his endless army of mechanical menaces.
    The story is silly and the dialogue is frequently painfully bad, but Star Fox remains an engaging and fun third-person shooter. There are 15 levels, though you’ll only have to get through seven in the race to confront Andross. Each level plays out exactly the same, so memorization is key to earning medals (and the harder difficulty-level setting), and experienced players will be able to get through the game in about an hour. Despite that, the option to find hidden power ups, secret entrances to new levels, and earn challenging medals gives Star Fox 64 3D an amazing amount of replay value.

    Classically Made New
    Each level is amazingly different than the previous, which adds a lot to the appeal of the adventure. The revamped graphics certainly don’t hurt. Star Fox 64 might be 14-years old, but Nintendo has done a good job of making the visuals stand out. The colors are bright, the graphics are sharp, the visual effects are frequently impressive, and the 3D adds a great sense of depth

    Admittedly, the simplistic polygonal nature of the old N64’s graphic engine is still very noticeable. While the game looks far better on the 3DS, everything is still made of simple geometric shapes. Levels alternate between linear, forward-scrolling sections and free-roaming parts where Fox and company can move where ever they like within a confined area. The latter is mostly used for boss battles and specific dog-fighting sequences.
    Controls will instantly feel familiar to fans of the original game. New to the 3DS is the inclusion of gyroscopic controls, but this method is just too imprecise to be useful. Also, gyroscopic movements make the 3D visuals nearly impossible to see. With standard analog stick controls, however, Fox’s Arwing fighter handles just fine.

    It’s Retro
    New to the 3DS version is the four-way multiplayer, which works well and is surprisingly entertaining. Unfortunately, multiplayer is local-only, but only requires one cartridge to play. Other than that, Star Fox 64 3D is essentially the exact same game it was 14 years ago. This is still a good game with plenty of entertainment value, and the visual overhaul is nice. Yet, at $40, Star Fox still seems rather over-priced, especially considering you can buy it for a quarter of that on the Wii.

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