Star Fox has been dormant for more than a few years now, and to make matters worse, the last few iterations in the series were less than thrilling. So for anyone fearing that a new Star Fox would once against soil the memory of the great early entries in the series, worry no more: Fox McCloud's 3DS debut is a remake of the Nintendo 64 classic. We got a chance to play a bit of this well-aged treasure today, and the nostalgic tingle combined with the new 3D visuals left us eager for more dogfighting.
The most important aspect of this game isn't the 3D effect, though that was pretty cool. Instead, it's the slide pad. This is a lot more comfortable than the analog nub on the PSP, which is a good thing when you need pin-point control in a fast-paced shooter. It took a little while to get used to, but by the time we got to the end of the level, we were gunning down airships with no problem. The gameplay holds up remarkably well for a 17-year-old game. It was still fun to save Slippy when he was chased by angry planes and to weave underneath falling pillars.
The visuals are what really leapt out, though. Literally. The space shooters have been dormant for a few years now, but the effect of rushing into the screen with enemies screaming toward you makes us think this fancy new system could squeeze new life into the genre. It wasn't necessarily easier to figure out how far away objects were, but it did make everything feel more lifelike, giving more impact to the explosions and crashes happening all around you.
This is a welcome return for a beloved franchise. The 3D visuals make everything old feel new again, but the gameplay holds up surprisingly well all these years later. Keep checking out GameSpot for more updates on Star Fox in 3D.