Reviewed on Game Cube

Star Fox Adventures

Reviewed By: Jon Cook
VOLUNTEER GUEST REVIEWER
GAME TECH INFO

Computer Platform: Game Cube (Nintendo)
Produced by: Nintendo/Rare
Price Range: $41-50
Learning curve time: 1-30 min.
Age level: Children (Older)
ESRB Rating: T (Teen)

Genre: Action/adventure
Christian Rating: 5 of 5
   (some objectionable elements)
Gameplay: 4 of 5
   (good)
Violence: 3 of 5
   (mild)
Adult Content: 4 of 5
   (barely present)

Star Fox Adventures.  Illustration copyrighted.
Back in the days of the N64, UK-developer Rare announced a game called Dinosaur Planet for that same system. It was anticipated by many gamers, especially those who were fans of Rare's other action/adventure type games such as Banjo Kazooie, Jet Force Jemini, Donkey Kong 64 and others in it's long history of making games for Nintendo. It supposedly starred two warriors, Sabre and Krystal, both of whom looked similar to cats. But alas, Dinosaur Planet was never to be released. It's release kept getting delayed until finally it dropped off of release lists altogether. Nothing more was really thought of it until around the time of the Gamecube's launch. Evidently, Shigeru Miyamoto and other top Nintendo figures had taken a look at the buggy, unfinished game and noticed how close the main character Sabre resembled Fox Mccloud. It was pretty intriguing when Nintendo announced that the game was going to be put in the Star Fox universe and released for the next-gen system Ga mecube. However, when Microsoft bought out Rare, Star Fox Adventures became both the first and last (at least for now) Rare game released on the Gamecube. Well finally after another series of annoying delays it did finally get released. So how's it add up? Well I will cover each of the five main points of interest: Story, Gameplay, Graphics, Sound, and Christian Rating.

Story

The game's story is decent enough for this kind of game. These type of games aren't exactly known for their story anyway.

Star Fox Adventures takes place eight years after the Star Fox team, led by Fox Mccloud and containing members Falco Lombardi, Slippy Toad, and Peppy Hare, defeated the evil scientist Andross. However, times have since drastically changed and as of late Falco has gone off on a solo career, Slippy traded his pilot wings for a place in Weapons R & D, and Peppy retired to become navigator and general advisor. Fox and co. were just drifting through space waiting for their next big mission when General Pepper's hologram popped up and sent Fox on a mission to a place called Dinosaur Planet…

As it turns out, an evil tyrant General Scales was terrorizing the planet's population and had stolen the four Spellstones that kept the world in balance. When a female fox named Krystal went to investigate she ends up in trouble herself. Can Fox stop Scales and rescue Krystal in time?

Star Fox Adventures.  Illustration copyrighted.
Gameplay
You have two basic goals over the course of the game. Retrieve the four Spellstones General Scales stole so the planet doesn't blow up and collect the six Krazoa Spirits to free Krystal from her prison. To get each Spirit you will have to find the spirit's shrine and undergo its test. To accomplish your two goals, you have two tools to aid you. The first is the magical staff Krystal accidentally dropped onto Dinosaur Planet. Once Fox finds the staff he can not only wield it like a martial-arts master but also accomplish various tasks with it and cast spells as well. Apparently, General Pepper made him leave behind his standard blaster weapon, which is rather unfortunate for die-hard Star Fox fans. But then, this game wasn't supposed to be a Star Fox game originally anyway. The game uses an Auto-Lock On system, which is basically copied from the one in The Legend Of Zelda: Ocarina of Time. This isn't really a bad thing though as combat is fairly efficient. By pressing A and using the Control Stick at the same time you can execute combos that can defeat the enemy faster. However, because there are only a couple different combos, combat will get a little repetitive after a while. Well, actually it can get very repetitive.
Star Fox Adventures.  Illustration copyrighted.
You can also press X to dodge and R to defend using your staff, the latter which will make you basically invulnerable to attacks as long as you hold the button down. So as you can see, combat is really simplistic and easy to do. The second “tool”, if that's the right word to use, is your trusty sidekick Prince Tricky. Prince Tricky is a young Earthwalker (read: Triceritops) who you end up rescuing from General Scales' goons. He has various “commands” you can have him do, like digging up items in the ground or breathing fire to melt ice. One of his commands “Play” doesn't have a practical use in the game but is something cute you can do. He will throw a ball your direction. You can then pick the ball back up and throw it back at him. He will run to go fetch it and then the process repeats. The last thing to mention about the prince is that for whatever reason Rare decided to give him a very smart-alecky voice and personality. While this didn't really bother me it will annoy some people. There is fairly brief Star Fox shooting sequences when you have to travel to places that broke off from the main planet but it's meant more as a teaser for old Star Fox fans than anything else.
And finally, the game is rather short. While modern action/adventure games like this (the main quest of them at least) aren't usually very long, this game is one of those 'beat it and leave it' games. There's only one thing that could even be considered a side-quest and that's so small and easy it's hardly even worth mentioning.

Graphics and Sound
The graphics are good, no doubt about that. Not as impressive as Metroid Prime perhaps, but still good. Fox's and Krystal's fur looks realistic and the level design is very well done. There weren't any real noticeable glitches or bugs either, which is rather fortunate considering the game got delayed from release for quite a while. It's easy to just stand and watch a thunderstorm and other weather effects for several minutes. It looks that real. I am continually amazed at how fast graphics technology is improving.
There isn't really a lot to say about the sound. The music is good although not anything really memorable. The voice acting is good enough although as I mentioned earlier some people will get annoyed at Prince Tricky's smart aleck voice.

Christian Rating

There are two things that Christians need to be aware of concerning potentially offensive content:

1. The game has a very mystical feel to it. The Krazoa Spirits are very ghost-like in appearance. When Fox collects one, it gets absorbed into his body, he floats into the air for a moment and his eyes glow slightly blue. That can definitely make Christians uncomfortable. The magic staff also can accomplish magical effects like shooting fire and ice.

2. The female fox Krystal wears nothing more than a bikini top and a loincloth. Fox is obviously attracted to her. In the scene where he first sees Krystal in her prison, he stands staring for several minutes.

There is one more thing I need to mention. If you look on the back of the box you'll notice the ESRB rated it Teen for 'Animated Blood' and 'Mild Violence.' The Mild Violence I can understand. The Animated Blood however is quite another story. It unfortunately seems to be one of those cases where the ESRB goofed up. I am pretty clueless about that rating. Enemies flash red when you hit them and there's a brief appearance of what I will call "red gas"(for lack of a better phrase) when you hit them but none of that would be seriously taken for blood by any gamer or non-gamer. There is a brief scene at the beginning where General Scales grabs Krystal, drags her across the deck of his airship, and throws her overboard(she's rescued by a dinosaur, fortunately) but that's about as intense as it ever gets.

Conclusion
Other Gamecube games such as Super Mario Sunshine and Metroid Prime are better games. However, if you are looking for a good action/adventure game for the Gamecube(and especially if you like dinosaurs) you should check this game out. The game is a pretty fun effort on the part of Rare although somewhat on the short side. The heavy mystical themes will make some Christians uneasy however. To be on the safe side, Christians might want to give this game a rent first.


Year of Release—2002



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Disclaimer: The opinions expressed in this Christian Spotlight review are those of the reviewer (both ratings and recommendations), and do not necessarily reflect the opinions of Films for Christ or the Christian Answers Network.

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