Back in 2002 Star Fox Adventures was released for the Nintendo Gamecube by Rare, when Rare was with Nintendo. This was a great title with great graphics and sound, but just lacked originality. When Star Fox was launched for the N64, that was the kind of gameplay everyone was expecting out of this game, not the Zelda like feel to it, as it came to a complete shock to most gamers. It’s almost like Rare wanted to add on a totally new adventure on to the series instead of continuing on with the storyline they had with the N64. Namco now is involved and Star Fox Assault features the same basic gameplay of the N64, which continuing on the franchise the way it is supposed to be.
Half of the game is ground based, while the other is in the air. While the ground based action is fun, nothing is more fun then flying in the air and shooting down enemy territory. The fun part about being on the ground of course is Fox being equipped with a Missile Launcher or other type of weapon, shooting down aircraft from below. While on the ground Fox can enter Tanks, and perform classic moves from the original game for the N64. In Star Fox Assault, the action is always going on, so there are no boring parts about the game. For every piece of action there is an animation to go along with it.
Gameplay is similar to Star Fox for the N64, so gamers will enjoy that again. The only problem with Star Fox Assault is the objectives Namco created for the game. I got kind of bored of destroying terminals, etc. I want to destroy android like machines, and kill off enemies as objectives, not covert into a secret base and disable enemy connections. Also… Namco could have made there vehicles a little faster. When in a tank getting in and out is pretty slow, and can make for a sloppy death so be cautious about that. I also realized the aiming part of the game is a little of too. When using a grenade launcher or any weapon the aiming feels to be weak and half of the time you miss your target. Overall I was a little disappointed with the gameplay pat of the game but it still has it’s pros about it. The flying in the game is flawless, while the action might be a little slow here and there still makes for a Star Fox type game.
The sound is a rich part of Star Fox Assault. You might even recognize a few of the tunes from the old Star Fox. While this might be the best part about the game, it still could be a little better. I don’t think Namco used the Gamecube’s power to the fullest when developing this game. When you listen closely you can tell the background music wasn’t as complete as it should be. Maybe it is the way the tunes go, but they should have just added extra backup to the music, so it didn’t overlay and repeat itself, or make itself so obvious.
While this has a more N64 feel to it, it doesn’t complete the franchise. The N64 version was one of a kind, although pretty short, it had enough action in it to please the gamer. Most of the action in the N64 version was flying, so we have to get used to the ground based action. Star Fox Assault only features 10 levels which is a disappointment. I think they should of added 20 or more levels, since the N64 version of Star Fox only featured about this many levels. The medals feature returns in this game, so that will bring the feeling of the N64 days back to the Gamecube.
Overall Star Fox Assault was slightly below the totem pole in being a classic Star Fox Game, but Namco did there best, or a little below there best on making this as classic as it could be. It feels more like a Star Fox game then Star Fox Adventures, so that is definitely a plus. I just wonder what it would of been like if Rare developed this title.