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Star Fox Adventure (GameCube)

Ethan Einhorn

I’ve never been a big fan of Rare’s adventure games. Donkey Kong 64, Jet Force Gemini and Banjo Kazooie all bored me to tears, and truth be told, I expected Star Fox Adventures to be just more of the same.

What a pleasure it is to be wrong sometimes. This title plays like a direct descendant of The Legend of Zelda: The Ocarina of Time; it’s a fun, fast-paced adventure, packed to the brim with interesting puzzles and exciting action sequences. Fox’s moves mirror Link’s exactly—right down to the auto jumping and the enemy lock-on system. Rare won’t win any points for originality, but hey, if you’re gonna steal, why not take from the best?

Everything clicks in Star Fox Adventures. The camera is smooth and responsive, the play control is easy to get a grip on, and the objectives are challenging without being too frustrating. Fox’s tasks are always clearly laid out and easy to understand. If you get lost, you can even hit the Start button to talk to Fox’s old pal Slippy, and he’ll let you know where to go next. Cool, eh?

Pretty graphics are nothing special these days, but the visuals in this game really deserve to be highlighted. I haven’t been so awed by eye candy since Resident Evil hit the GameCube last spring. Lush grass, rippling water and convincing particle effects like rain and snow make Dinosaur Planet almost feel real.

You’ll traverse this giant land mass using all sorts of nifty transportation devices. Fox gets to fly his Arwing ship, coast on a hovercraft and ride on the back of a wooly mammoth. The vehicle sections play out as self-contained mini-games, and they spike the flow of the adventure sequences nicely.

Speaking of flow: This is the kind of game that you’ll start playing when you get home from work or school, and in the blink of an eye, it’ll be 2 a.m. You just won’t want to put it down. And even if, say, you opt to play Star Fox Adventures full throttle over your holiday break, you’ll still be on it for a long time; the average player will take about 40 hours to make it to the end.

All said, this game takes me one step closer to calling the Nintendo GameCube my favorite video game system.

FACT FILE

Publisher: Nintendo

Players: 1

Release: Available Now

Genre: Adventure

Website: www.starfox.com

ESRB: E

PROs and CONs

(+) Fun puzzles

(+) Tight gameplay

(+) Gorgeous graphics

(+) Long play-time

(-) Not enough Arwing stuff

(-) Lame characters

(-) Where’s Falco?

CONTROL

If you’ve played the last few Zelda games, you’ve played this. They control exactly the same—which is a good thing.

IMPACT

Looks like we have a new action hero on our hands. From here on in, Fox will no longer be limited to sitting in a cockpit.

LIFESPAN

This game gives you plenty of bang for your buck. It’ll keep you going for weeks—and that’s if you play it every day.

EXTRAS

Star Fox Adventures doesn’t have any over-the-top extras, but when a game is this good and this long, it doesn’t need stuff like that.

NOW RATED: A

Forget Donkey Kong Country or Banjo Kazooie—Star Fox Adventures is Rare’s real character-driven masterpiece. If you own a GameCube, you gotta buy it.

Copyright © 2002 Ziff Davis Media Inc. All Rights Reserved. Originally appearing in Game Now.





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