Star Fox (SNES) - Retro Game Review. The Super Nintendo's Greatest Achievement?
Blog post by: Gemma @ Juicy Game Reviews / TheGebs24
Star Fox or rather Starwing in Europe made a huge impact on Super Nintendo players back on release in 1993. Personally I remember being flawed by the 3D rotation combined with fast paced gameplay, ultra kick ass sounds and with incredible 3D visuals; Star Fox was like no other game from that time. Do you remember the first time you saw the 4 ships blitz down the tunnel to the sound of the overarching alarm? Then the camera switched to the outside of the tunnel on to Corneria and we were off doing barrel rolls like never before.
At the time the graphics looked incredible thanks to the Super-FX Chip; technology that was designed by Jez San’s Team; Argonaut. The Super- FX chip allowed 3D rotation and stretching of sprites and polygons. It was hailed a success by Nintendo so much so that a handful of Super Nintendo Games went on to utilise the technology such as Stunt Race FX and Super Mario World 2: Yoshi’s Island (Yoshi’s Island used a slightly more advanced version of the Super FX chip). Only a total of eight Snes Games used the chip. Arguably that is not a lot considering the size of the Super Nintendo Game library.
I often wonder if Star Fox would have been as great of a game if the Super FX chip was not included. Would it have been possible at all? I don’t believe it would. The graphics in Starfox perform well thanks to the Super FX chip even by 2018 standards. Starfox has not aged that badly. With the fast paced gameplay, explosions, rockets and enemies the frame rate seems reasonably consistent.
Right at the start of the game, Star Fox is frantic! Back in the day I remember having trouble trying to keep an eye on my team’s Starships when they got in to trouble. More often than not I’d be navigating through various flying objects, falling pillars and rockets in order to rescue Falco, Slippy and Peppy from peril! At times when I revisit Star Fox I realise that I had never quite mastered the art of saving my team as they always incurred damage.
Star Fox alternates between first and third person view. Right in the to second level we clamber inside to the cockpit view. A whole new challenge ensues with this. The physics seem a lot more sensitive when in first person mode compared to third. Personally I felt Star Fox opened up a lot more in the second level. Blasting through asteroids (amongst a ton of enemies) really made me feel engrossed in first person mode.
No matter which route you take on the map in Star Fox; there are four levels to beat in order to each reach the final stage: Venom. Once at Venom we face Andross. Back tracking slightly, the four previous levels contain sturdy boss battles of their own. As a kid I could never beat the third level. Sad times ultimately but looking back I realise at just how tricky Star Fox was. Having gotten my hands on a SNES Mini and played the legit release of Star Fox 2 I firmly believe Star Fox 2 to be a much less challenging experience.
There’s no doubt that Star Fox is a fast paced game. At times it may seem like a little too fast. For me this adds to the challenge at being able to navigate through and around the enemies whilst trying to stay alive.
Luckily there is more than one choice of which path to take on the map. With three alternate routes to take Star Fox has plenty of replay value. Additionally there are two secret levels can be accessed by early on in the game. Gameranx explains how this is done:
This was the secret we were all aware as kids but the second secret level; Out of This Dimension is accessible slightly later in the game. Again here is how to access it as explained by Gameranx:
So yeah Star Fox has a lot of replay value and even if you don't manage to wangle your way in to the secret levels there are still the three main routes to take; to reach the final boss.
Star Fox is a pinnacle game; not just for the 16bit ear of gaming but for the entire gaming world. Paving the way for a fresh new look in to the 3D graphical abilities of the Super Nintendo and ensuring that Star Fox as a series will forever be a talking point amongst gamers. Has any other Star Fox game had a stronger impact than the original? I'd say "no" but time and time again I find myself yearning to dive in to a Star Fox adventure. What a great series.
Blog post by: Gemma @ Juicy Game Reviews / TheGebs24
I remember this game so well and like you I was just floored by the graphics at the time.
Juicy Game Reviews
I guess we are becoming wiser; not old ;)
Link to the past 20-30 hours? Nonsense. Even on your first playthrough not knowing where anything is MIGHT take 8-10 hours if you're really taking your time. The game can be beat in 3-4 hours with all collectibles and you don't need to be some masterful speed runner to manage that. I was doing it as a kid and I'm not very good at video games. It's an amazing game but I often see it described like it's some sort of mega epic when it's something most average people could clear in an afternoon or two.
I'm searching for a super nintendo beat'em'up style game, that I never seen since my childhood. It featured big buffed guys, and you could beat wending machines, to give you canned drink, that you could drink (seemingly the character was pressing the can against his forehead as he drank) and gain lifebar back. Anyone remembers.
I do agree that all these games are the best for the snes,I would however put final fantasy 3 in the top five and replace Mario Kart putting it in the #6 spot instead and moving the others down,the reason I say this is cause final fantasy 3 was the best rpg on the snes in my opinion, I liked it just a bit more than chrono trigger,now as for a link to the past I do agree 100% that it should be in the #1 spot for lots of reasons, it was amazing,its a shame most kids today haven't played one of the greatest adventure game of all time,great job this list guys,you finally put out a top 10 I agree with
Cool list. Before you started I thought to myself Link to the Past would be at the top of my personal list, but wasn't sure if others would agree. When you got to number 5 and I still hadn't seen Link, I was sure it had to be number one. When you said Blackthorne I was like WHAAAT!!???? lol Despite your telling us in the intro that it hadn't made the list. Made me laugh out loud. Loved the vid. Thought the choices were great, the commentary was funny and the attention given to each game was just the right length. Awesome job! Some of my favs that didn't make the list .
Leave a Reply.
Retro Game Reviews. Mega Drive, Super Nintendo, Sega Dreamcast and more
Latest YouTube Videos:
Video Game Stores: