Lylat Wars (Nintendo 64)
Posted by Guest Writer on Mon, 13 Feb 2012.
The original Star Fox game for the Super Nintendo was a hit for Nintendo, and was the 8th bestselling game on the console with sales of over 4 million copies, Work started on the sequel in response to huge demand by fans, and almost a decade later the game was close to completion and images were leaking onto to the internet. However the game was suddenly dropped, which was surprising and seemed a bit of a waste… until it became clear that the a new console - the Nintendo 64 - was just round the corner. Consequently all the development work was moved to the new platform, and went into making what would become one of the best games of all time. Lylat Wars (or Star Fox 64 as some may know it) is a true gaming classic that has really stood the test of time and I still regard it as one of the best games out there.
Lylat Wars is comprised of three main modes. The story sees you flying through various worlds completing missions and shooting down the many minions of Andros's Army, and Training mode allows you to get to grips with the basics of flying and air combat in the Arwing, one of three vehicles (including a tank and a submarine) featured in the game.
There is also a four player multiplayer mode consisting of three different matches playable on two different maps - 'Corneria' and 'Sector Z'. The first match type is a point match where a score limit is preset and the first player to reach this score by shooting down the other players is the winner. Then you have a battle royale in which the last player standing wins, and a time trial in which the winner is the person who shoots down the most targets within the time limit. The multiplayer mode is good for killing time with friends but the possibilities are exhausted quite quickly. The main story is what makes this game what it is.
To start the story you receive a very brief recap over what's been happening in the Lylat System; Andros, an evil maniacal scientist, was exiled to the barren planned Venom after trying to take over the system and has now returned to invade once again. General Pepper, responsible for dealing with the threat, calls on a team of mercenaries - enter Star Fox.
A map of the Lylat system acts as the mission select screen; you begin on the planet of Corneria on the left and journey across the system battling your way through seven of the fifteen planets in order to reach Venom and battle Andros himself. The planets along the bottom are the easier levels; the middle medium and the top row are the more difficult ones. On almost every level there are two ways to finish, through 'Completing' or 'Accomplishing' the mission objectives; this will often mean completing a secret objective to take you to the harder next mission, but with an option to carry on along the original course. On every mission there is a secret score that if reached will gain you a medal on that planet; earning a medal on Venom unlocks the Land Master tank for use in multiplayer, and achieving a medal on every world unlocks Expert mode which add extra enemies and inflicts greater damage than before,. This mode, as the name suggests, is pretty darn tough but is needed to get up to the real high scores.
Throughout the entirety of the game you get a full voice cast from your team mates Peppy, Falco and the infamous Slippy (who you generally wish would just be quiet) whose job seems to be pointing you in the direction of some more bad guys, and therefore more points. Having a full voice cast may not seem like much now but back then it made the game something truly special. In addition we were being treated to fantastic looking words, varied enemies and enjoyable boss fights as well as music from Koji Kondo - the creator of the Mario and Zelda soundtracks among others.
This game was an excellent feat for the Nintendo 64, and also ground-breaking in being the first game for the system to come bundled with the Rumble pack. If you by any chance still own a Nintendo 64 and don't have a copy, I highly recommend tracking one down and believe it should be in every ones retro collection. If not, a remake has been made for the Wii and is available for download on the Nintendo shop with updated graphics, but I still prefer playing the N64 version simply due to the controller. iIf you can give Lylat Wars a go on either console, I'm sure you won't regret it.
And last but not least we must have a special honourable mention to Peppy Hare telling us to: 'Do a barrel roll!' Rock on Peppy!
Review by Brandon