GBAtemp Recommends #70: The Star Fox 20th Anniversary Special

Discussion in 'GBAtemp & Scene News' started by Hadrian, Feb 22, 2013.

  1. Hadrian

    Hadrian Better than Craigslist

    Former Staff
    Oct 12, 2004
    Welcome to the 70th issue of the GBAtemp Recommends Revival Project! This project is a weekly feature where we share our favourite games. The titles we recommend may be "old school" games, a piece of Homebrew, sleeper hits, or just stone cold classic but one thing's for certain, we think they are fantastic and deserve your attention!

    An extra edition this week as this week marks the 20th Anniversary of...​
    Star Fox
    It all began when Argonaut Software were working with Nintendo and had a little prototype game running on the NES called NESGlider, which to them was kinda like a spiritual successor to their own Starglider series which was released on a variety of 8/16-bit home computers.​
    NESGlider then moved onto the Super Nintendo but Argonaut felt that they could only go as far as possible graphically and suggested to Nintendo that using a dedicated 3D chip in a cartridge would achieve much better and impressive results. Nintendo agreed and let them go on to hire chip developers to develop the SuperFX chip! The game then went on to become Nintendo's first ever 3D polygon game Star Fox..or Starwing for us none US/Japanese gamers!​
    Star Fox was more of a arcade 3rd person on rails shooter than Starglider, although some levels then went into first person mode. Nintendo EAD took over with most of the game design. Katsuya Eguchi (who previously worked on Super Mario 3, Super Mario World and then later Wave Race & Animal Crossing) was the director and Shigeru Miyamoto was acting as a producer and also chipping in with ideas such as making the characters animals. Argonaut's own Dylan Cuthbert was still the main lead programmer.​
    The game was pretty much a straight up shoot-em-up, albeit in a different perspective and with more advanced gameplay mechanics. You pick the first stage you wish to play, first is easy, second medium and third hard. These stages go on to form their own particular set of stages throughout the Lylat system although the first and last stage are the same but with minor changes to coincide with the difficulty chosen. Was was different to other popular shooters at the time was that you saw physical damage on the Arwing, so if you clip a breaks and also affects how you move and operate the weapons.​
    Graphically it was astounding for the time and was one of the few titles that showed the future of 3D gaming...even if it was mainly on rails the engine certainly had the chops for it to be free roaming. While the framerate has dated the looks, I feel that the overall graphical design and style would still look really damn good today in a retro kind of way. I'd love to see Nintendo make something with this style in HD. The sound was magnificent, composer Hajime Hirasawa created some fantastic music with the SNES hardware and some of the tunes are amongst some of the best in Nintendo's excellent history. It really helped set up fantastic sci-fi atmosphere within the game and it made the intro to the game unforgettable. The sound effects were also pretty damn excellent complimenting the gameplay and looks. The voice samples were fantastic and you know it's a shame that the characters talk properly now! I much preferred the garbled chatter to the horrible voice acting they have now. Overall everything sound and graphic related that was squeezed into this title was brilliant.​
    Overall this was a fantastic title, it was different to anything that Nintendo's competitors could offer and is still regarded as a classic today. It went on to spawn a sequel Star Fox 2 which went even more advanced with gameplay but sadly that was cancelled (although Dylan Cuthbert states that it was actually finished) with Nintendo felt that it would look dated with the upcoming N64 on the horizon. A ROM of that game was leaked and homebrewers have been able to debug it into something very playable but damn I wish Nintendo released it for the Gameboy Advance!​
    Two years later the next Star Fox, Star Fox 64 (Lylat Wars over here) was released and also pretty damn fantastic showcasing some great graphics for the N64. StarFox 64 was the last proper title in the series. Rare went on to turn their N64 Zelda clone, Dinosaur Planet into StarFox Adventures for the Gamecube. It was actually pretty great in parts but had some extremely dull parts that dragged it down especially the beginning. Then Namco did Star Fox Assault, also for the Gamecube. It was also good but it wasn't really Star Fox to a lot of us with the on foot sections stopping it from being a better title.​
    The last "new" title in the series was Star Fox Command for the DS, this was actually developed by Q-Games which was founded by Dylan Cutherbert. The game featured elements taken from Star Fox 2 such as emphasis on more open gameplay. It was also featuring more strategy gameplay and it was also the first game in the series that featured online gameplay. Again it was a good game wasn't Star Fox. The series skipped the Wii altogether, there was talks of one being in development but we never saw anything of it at all. Maybe it was the fact that "core" titles that weren't Mario or Zelda weren't selling anymore and maybe due to lacklustre sales of Command.​
    Star Fox 64 was ported to the 3DS and was a fantastic and for me improved version of a classic. It looked amazing though they could have done so so much more with online features, like you know... implementing some. Outside of main entries, the characters have been a main staple in the three Smash Bros titles featuring not only Fox but also Falco Lombardi in the first two games and Wolf in Brawl. Sadly that is all the new game appearances we've had.​
    The series is kinda in a state of limbo at the moment.​
    Star Fox 64 3D was used by Nintendo to see if fans wanted new games and it didn't sell amazingly well. Thing is we do, just not ports albeit great ones. Nintendo didn't even feature it in Nintendoland along with it's other staple titles (though they did miss Kirby too btw) but apparently Metroid Blast actually started off as a Star Fox game! There are rumours of course that Retro Studio's are making a Wii U title (remember the crossover with Metroid? *shudder*) and lots of developers such as PlatinumGames have stated that they would love to make a Star Fox title but until something is official we won't know. The series is still hugely popular with fans, it's among some of the most well known videogame memes and is one of the most wanted titles people want to see announced, shit even put Star Fox 2 in a finish state on the eShop/Virtual Console just give us something new that feels like Star Fox Nintendo! The series is still so popular that Google have introduced a permanent Easter Egg when you type "do a barrel roll" into the search box!​
    Oh, by the way when you do a barrel roll in the're actually doing a Aileron roll. Only in Star Fox Assault can you ever do a proper one:​
    Genre: On-rails arcade shooter
    Released: February 21st 1993 (Japan)
    Developer: Nintendo EAD / Argonaut
    Published by: Nintendo
    Directed By: Katsuya Eguchi
    Released For: Super Nintendo

    If you enjoyed this week's edition of GBAtemp Recommends! please leave a comment in the thread. This helps us monitor feedback and ensures we keep posting these articles in the future. This feature is now moving to Thursdays and the next edition will move away from Nintendo seeing we've just had a month of titles on their platforms. :P

    If you would also like to write a GBAtemp Recommends! article, let me know.
    431unknown likes this.
  2. urbanman2004

    urbanman2004 GBAtemp Regular

    Jan 10, 2013
    United States
    I know I should be ashamed of myself for not playing the SNES original, although I have played and beat StarFox 64 on my original N64 when it came out if that counts. I think I might play it tonight on my PC.
  3. joelv6

    joelv6 Neku

    Jan 24, 2013
    United States
    I like this pic haha the world makes sense again haha

    I believe that it counts because you played it back in the day, in my opinion.
  4. mysticwaterfall

    mysticwaterfall Streamforce Supreme Commander

    Aug 11, 2008
    United States
    Right behind you
    The graphics for this totally blew my mind in 1993 when I was in 8th grade. It was like playing the future. Hasn't really aged well, but back then it was quite astounding.
  5. Bladexdsl

    Bladexdsl ZOMG my's over 9000!!!

    Nov 17, 2008
    do a barrel roll!!
  6. Depravo


    Global Moderator
    GBAtemp Patron
    Depravo is a Patron of GBAtemp and is helping us stay independent!

    Our Patreon
    Oct 13, 2008
    20 years! Now I feel so very old.
  7. DaggerV

    DaggerV Archmagi of the Emerald Moon

    Dec 3, 2009
    United States
    By the gods! I hadn't realized the age of this game haha. Rented the poop out of this game way back when before I finally bought it.

    Great game still yet.
  8. Another World

    Another World Emulate the Planet!

    Former Staff
    Jan 3, 2008
    From Where???
    there are some cool hardware mods out there that aim to raise the framerate by overclocking the chip.

    i put countless hours into starfox, and oddly, it's one game i have never gone back to play. perhaps i should boot it up and see if i still enjoy it as much as i remember.

    -another world
    DaggerV likes this.
  9. zerofalcon

    zerofalcon GBAtemp Advanced Fan

    Mar 14, 2009
    Somewhere close to my NES
    One of my favorite games of the 16-bit era!
    I still have connected my SNES just to play Star Fox the way it should be (SNES emulators tend to run a little faster FX chip games). Happy 20th anniversary!
  10. Bladexdsl

    Bladexdsl ZOMG my's over 9000!!!

    Nov 17, 2008
    overclocking a snes cart?! :wtf:
  11. Jayro

    Jayro MediCat USB and Mini Windows 10 Developer

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    Our Patreon
    Jul 23, 2012
    United States
    Octo Canyon
    When people say "Starfox", this is the game I think about. Not that corny N64 game that everyone has over-hyped. This game is 10 x better in my opinion, and actually provides a challenge.
  12. Eerpow

    Eerpow *swoosh*

    Sep 14, 2009
    At the very least Nintendo should make a SNES Star Fox 3D classics release for the 3DS to commemorate this, 60fps and 3D which actually would help with gameplay should really do this game a favor considering how it has aged.
  13. mechagouki

    mechagouki Kill 'em all...

    Nov 20, 2008
    Toronto, ON
    I loved the original BITD, it's still the best in the series in my mind. The N64 game is fun, but much too easy compared to the SNES. I just this week discovered that using my DSTwo I can use AR codes to allow SNES like controls on the DS game, so I might spend a little more time on that - hated the touch screen control.
  14. Coto

    Coto GBAtemp Addict

    Jun 4, 2010
    This is one of the best games I've enjoyed through my whole life, and...

    Level 3 Route
    screenshot taken from wii (snes9xgx, I have had played starfox from there) no savestates used, but a simple gamecube controller.

    this shows how much I love this game, the N64 remake was another masterpiece too.
  15. dj4uk6cjm

    dj4uk6cjm GBAtemp Fan

    Nov 23, 2012
    United States
    Starfox and starfox64 were beast back in the day [​IMG] I hope/wish nintendo would do a new starfox game soon, it would look awesome on the wii u! [​IMG]
  16. TobiasAmaranth

    TobiasAmaranth GBAtemp Fan

    Feb 6, 2009
    United States
    YayMii and Maxternal like this.
  17. beatsbydresale
    This message by beatsbydresale has been removed from public view by TwinRetro, Feb 25, 2013.
    Feb 25, 2013
  18. The Real Jdbye

    The Real Jdbye Always Remember 30/07/08

    GBAtemp Patron
    The Real Jdbye is a Patron of GBAtemp and is helping us stay independent!

    Our Patreon
    Mar 17, 2010
    I love that image with the dog in the costume. This was a fun game though I never got to play it on an actual SNES.
  19. SuzieJoeBob

    SuzieJoeBob NOT a New Member

    GBAtemp Patron
    SuzieJoeBob is a Patron of GBAtemp and is helping us stay independent!

    Our Patreon
    Dec 20, 2008
    United States
    Wow. This is only time that I actually own the "GBAtemp Recommends" game!!! I used to play Super Mario RPG, Donkey Kong Country, and Super Offroad: The Baja every day. I still play them though; not on the SNS-101 I own, but on my PSP (now on my Vita) because of the portability.
  20. Bladexdsl

    Bladexdsl ZOMG my's over 9000!!!

    Nov 17, 2008
    that's a fox :P
  21. esmith13

    esmith13 GBAtemp Regular

    Aug 19, 2006
    United States
    South Jersey
    Surprised no one mentioned this modern game mod that pays tribute to StarFox in a big way...

    It requires you own FreeSpace to play it but it looks absolutely amazing...