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Developed by: Rare
Published by: Nintendo For: GameCube
Learning curve: 10 min.
Rated: T for Animated , Mild

Imagine playing a game where you get to be a little fox-man, who has a ship and a crew of other animal-people. You return to the Lylat System after an eight-year anniversary of the mighty Andross. Your friend Falco has left your crew, leaving you with a crew of only 6 total. However, while doing a routine patrol, you receive a distress signal from Dinosaur Planet. Some lame excuse or another is made to make the legendary Star Fox get out of his arwing for once, just to look around. This is when Krystal is introduced, a game character who kinda looks like a blue fox. Krystal is trying to save the planet from the evil General Scales, an imposing lizard guy who could bite anyone\'s dad in half, no matter who else\'s dad he\'s bigger than. Then imagine an army of evil dinosaurs called SharpClaw, a whole bunch of dinosaurs right out of Land Before Time, and a cool staff with magical powers. You have to use this staff to save all of the different dinosaur tribes from the tyrrany of General Scales and his Sharp Claw. Now, imagine it as if it were real. Yes. It\'s that good.

Graphics

Nothing short of beautiful. Fox\'s tail has individual hairs that react separately from the rest of his tail, the water effects will blow you away, every detail in the game is paid attention to. You know how in games, when the game goes to a movie, the movie generally looks a lot better than the actual game play? Um, ya, there is no difference. The game also supports progressive scanning, and if you don\'t know what that means, don\'t worry about it. Just know that it\'s cool. The constant changing from night to day to night is a little annoying, but when it does this, the colors of everything outside change accordingly. It truly is amazing. Shadows... particle effects... reflections... refractions... almost.....too.......much!!!!!

Game Play

You actually start out in control of Krystal, the foxy (forgive the pun) blue e from Cerinia, a planet which was doomed long ago. This is the first of not enough flying missions, but there are still quite a few. Krystal\'s magical staff is her sole weapon, but she is adept at using its powers. Of course, no matter how good with it she happens to be, she looses it like first thing, so don\'t be all excited. Then she gets imprisoned in this big crystal thingy, and soon after you get control of Fox as he finds the staff in the Thorn Tail Tribe\'s (anklosauri) village. Yay for you. Still, all great books and video games start out kinda slow. There are great puzzles in this, so stick with it if at first you get a little frustrated. Also, with Fox having the staff, you can do some really awesome combos. Like! you can jump up in the air, slash down, roll to the side avoiding a swing from the Sharp Claw you are fighting, stab him in the gut, twirl your staff, hitting him maybe 15 times, then finish him off with a charge of the staff and smack him in the face. There are others, too, and it doesn\'t take a lot of effort to pull off other ones. The characters are not flat, the plot intriguing, the visual glory invigorating, it is just an all-around fun game to play. Replay value is rather small, though. The ending is rather disappointing, too, however beautiful. I thought so anyway, but most people won\'t, especially Fox fans.

Control

About what you might expect for a 3rd person adventure, but the first person view has a surprisingly high sensitivity, although I would change the auto-centering. You might be able to, I\'m just too lazy t o try. Think about Zelda for 64 with a big staff instead of a sword. The C-buttons are your inventory, which you can set to the Y button for quick access. When you slowly walk up to a ledge, you fall and catch yourself by one hand, but if you run you can jump. The staff abilities are the funniest part of the game, and you can use all the really fun ones anytime in the game, but there are a few that are specific to certain kinds of puzzles. You also have a little Triceratops following you around the whole game, except towards the end and in the beginning. His name is tricky, and is the most annoying part of the game, however he is useful. You can tell Tricky to do things like dig, breathe fire, or find secrets. You can also hit him with your staff a lot, which is fun because he eventually spits fire at you. You can also get a ball to play catch with him, but ! it has no purpose but to have fun and change his color. If you\'re all into the aesthetics, ball away.

Sound

Ummmmmmmmm, it\'s good I guess. I\'m not really one for the sound of games, I usually listen to the radio instead while I\'m playing. The sound effects are good, and the music is very Nintendo, but it didn\'t make me turn down the FM. However, one cool thing is that the dinosaurs have their own language, which is explained in the book, and it is kinda cool to hear them speak it. The language is just a mixing up of the english alphabet. Still, it is cool.

Appropriate?

Totally family friendly I think. The only questionability I found that some MIGHT object too is : Krystal\'s clothes, use of magic, scary-ness of the RedEye Tribe (for younger viewers who couldn\'t handle Jurasic Park). That\'s seriously about it. The rating says fake or something, but I honestly don\'t remember any at all. Unless I missed something at the end.

Final Ratings

Game Play: B+ Sound: C Graphics: A+ Appropriateness: A- Control: A

Overall: 86%

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Christ Centered Gamer looks at video games from two view points. We analyze games on a secular level which will break down a game based on its graphics, sound, stability and overall gaming experience. If you’re concerned about the family friendliness of a game, we have a separate moral score which looks at violence, language, sexual content, occult references and other ethical issues.

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