Nintendo Consoles

Nintendo Consoles

Sunday, July 28, 2013

Playground Series 1: Most Underrated Gamecube Game

I welcome you all to my first post in the Playground Series! The details regarding my next series of posts can be found in my last post, so if you're confused about what I am doing for a little bit, please scroll down to check it. But then scroll up because this next review is simply out of this world.

Funny story about this next game- literally, I think the entire world is split 50-50 about this title. For every one of my friends who claimed to love this game, another one claimed to hate it. Furthermore, everyone seems to have played it when they were "little" and they ALL got stuck early in the game and retired it to the shelf of forgotten games. Amateurs, I say, as they've all missed a classic gaming experience due to the ignorance of youth. I wanted to get you guys excited about my next series, so I start with this first title:

Starfox Adventures

Yes. I am perfectly aware of how people feel about this game, as I have already stated. Some people love it, and others hate it. To me, the reason why the audience is so divided when it comes to this game is quite obvious, but before I get to that, I must reveal a dark fact about this game, and before I get to THAT, I will talk to the non-video gamers for a second-
When it comes to Starfox Adventures, all you need to know is that you run around as a humanoid fox, named Fox, and you help dinosaurs thwart the attempts that antagonist General Scales makes at taking over the universe. In past Starfox games, Fox, and his team of fighter pilots, shot the shit out of things in their badass fighter space-jets and it was fucking cool. Has anyone ever told you to "DO A BARREL ROLL"? They were referencing Starfox, and don't tell me they weren't.

So Starfox 64, for the Nintendo 64, featured fighter-planes, and Starfox Adventures for the Gamecube featured nagging dinosaurs. Why are these games so different? Because Starfox Adventures was never meant to be a Starfox game. THAT'S RIGHT. Originally, the protagonist of a game called Dinosaur Planet was supposed to be a humanoid fox who coincidentally resembled Fox McCloud, but was a different fox altogether. Nintendo caught an earful of this concept and stepped in basically saying if any humanoid foxes are going to be in a video game, they're going to be Fox McCloud. So a quick rethinking of the game's concept put Fox McCloud as the protagonist of Dinosaur Planet, and thus, we have Starfox Adventures - A very atypical Starfox game.

This is where the audience splits. The fans of Starfox 64 could not find it in their hearts to replace
Arwings with Dinosaurs, a Blaster with a magical Staff, and a team of trusty fighter pilots with dinosaurs. To be honest, fair enough, as this is a HUGE transition. But those who could get over the overhaul (and buy a copy of Starfox Assault to ease out of their withdrawal) were exposed to an entirely new and beautiful adventure of Starfox. Absolutely this game is no traditional Starfox game, but is it a bad game? No. It is just different than what most players wanted and expected.
This game is rarely seen on any list of best video games, whether that list is on Gamespot or in someone's heart. I suspect that the reason for this exclusion is because this game is rarely seen for what it actually is- a Legend of Zelda game.

This game does not in anyway really feel like a Starfox game. That is basically the thesis statement of this review. But it is important to understand that the differences between Starfox Adventures and Starfox 64 ultimately become the similarities between Starfox Adventures and every single Legend of Zelda game of all time. Legend of Zelda? Like that game that is pretty much considered to be one of the greatest video game franchises of all time? Yes. Yes, like THAT game. So how is it possible for a game like Starfox Adventures to be bad, when it is exactly like Legend of Zelda, which stands as an amazing game? The answer: It's NOT possible. For those dumbfounded by my claims, here are some similarities between the two:
-During the first play-through of both Starfox Adventures (and we'll say Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time), you are rarely 100% sure of where to go next. Figuring out where your next objective is to be completed is never impossible, but is usually challenging.
-Both games feature non-linear gameplay with a linear story. (Ocarina of Time is a bad example of this, but shut up.)
-Both games feature dungeon-like sections, where the player is forced to navigate through long strings puzzles and enemies in order to reach the end and collect some kind of item or complete some kind of goal.
-Items and upgrades are obtained and necessary in order to progress forward through the game.
-Both games feature an NPC who assists you through the game.
-The combat systems of both games, from attacking to defending, are nearly identical.
-The combat systems of both games (fighting in general) is necessary to use to the same extent.
-Both games sport similar difficulties.
-Both games sport similar lengths and replay value.

Honestly, I can't believe that no one ever told me about this before. Both my brother and I have agreed that this game plays like all Legend of Zelda games, and that that became obvious after about 15% into the game. Upon having this epiphany, we each found playing the game to be much easier and enjoyable. Being that my brother and I are both avid Zelda fans, realizing that we were playing a closet Legend of Zelda game gave us a better idea of what clues to look for, and which items and weapons to use while navigating each level. It is my inference that says typical Starfox fans will find themselves unprepared for the challenge of this game, but experienced Zelda fans will be perfectly equipped to tackle and enjoy Starfox Adventures.

I feel simply that this game is underrated because most of the gamers who played this game turned out to be disappointed Starfox 64 fans. Fans of the Metroid and Legend of Zelda series would undoubtedly receive this game better. All in all, if you love Starfox, don't play this game. If you love Zelda, you don't want to miss this one.

I realize this post was more of a discussion rather than a review, but if you must know, I'd give this game a 9/10.
-9.0 points are achieved by this game's general difficulty, tight controls, non-repetitive gameplay, length, and of course, how fun it is.
-1.0 points are lost because at times, the soundtrack can be weak, some of the puzzles can be a little too annoying, and there is a severe underdevelopment of the characters.

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