Aka: StarFox - Genre: Flight, Shooter - Publisher: Nintendo - Release Year: 1993 - For: Super NES (SNES)
2 reviews from the community
Review of "Starwing (SNES)"
Continued Thanks to everyone who rates my reviews, they are all appreciated. May I take this time to apologise for the fishkeeping and terrible music reviews that are on their way!
Having always been a fan of retro gaming, it’s been good to see it receiving something of a comeback these days. After reading several other retro reviews it persuaded me to dig out my emulator folder and have a crack at some of the games I used to play in my childhood. One seminal piece of work was the old SNES classic Starwing.Now Starwing, otherwise known as Star Fox in other parts of the world was a truly groundbreaking game in many ways for Nintendo, in the same way that games such as Doom and Command and Conquer on their various platforms. The game was the first Nintendo release to feature 3-dimensional polygon graphics. A far cry from today’s’ inbuilt video and fancy CGI but a big moment in 1993 console gaming and as a result the game was released to much hype and fanfare, costing my parents a staggering £50 at the time.
The game is still available on the Internet, with various emulators available for the SNES, with ZSNES being my personal favourite. It plays in much the same way on either platform to be honest with the emulators on modern PC’s more than capable of keeping up. I for my sins, still have both the SNES and the game upstairs and the ROM on my PC for this game so I get the best of both worlds. I would advise playing on the emulator to be honest as this has a saved game feature which sadly wasn’t present on the SNES version and thus made the game both long and time consuming.Starwing was set in the Lylat star system and is a classic good vs. evil story. The good guys from the planet Corneria have banished a mad scientist Andross, hell bent on taking over, and he has sort refuge on the planet Venom. There he has raised a massive army to crush his former planet and help him take over the system. With no time to prepare any defences, the Cornerian’s have turned to a famous mercenary team Star Fox and the prototype ship the Arwing to take the fight back to the evil genius.
So onto the game itself and apart from the groundbreaking graphics, this game actually played quite well. The main screen had your ship in the foreground with shield and lives displayed in the corner. All the action unfolded in classic scrolling style in front of you, with the revolutionary new concept of boosters to fly forwards and backwards slightly to dodge incoming attacks and scenery in all 4 directions. Also making one of their first appearances was the concept of focused damage. If the fighter smacked into the ground or buildings wing first too many times, the wing would break off and with it make the craft very difficult to fly and reduce weapon capabilities. This was much more realistic than the old one shot and you’re dead action that we were used to at this time. You also had communications occasionally across the bottom of the screen from your teammates, usually requesting help as someone was shooting at them. If you chose to help them out you would gain extra points, whilst ignoring them could result in them being destroyed and no longer appearing in the rest of the game. It should be pointed out here that one of the let downs in this game was the interaction with your wing-men, possibly it was asking too much of the technology at the time, but apart from requesting help occasionally, they seemed to provide very little actual support, and seemed to mysteriously vanish whenever a major battle with a boss came around! Still, they did serve to give the impression of a squadron going into battle together and this limited interaction is better than none I suppose!Another major bonus of this game was that rather than choosing a difficulty setting at the start of the game, you had the choice of 3 different routes through the Lylat system, taking in asteroid fields, planets, moons and space stations. This was where the difficulty came in with certain routes being harder than the others, but did serve to bring much more longevity to the game with the extra levels to conquer, and trust me some where really REALLY difficult!
The graphics on Starwing were absolutely superb for 1993. Obviously by today’s standards they are awful with big blocky buildings and a series of flat triangles making up your fighter crafts, but at the time, the idea of a 3D world on a video game was staggering and frankly as I’ve said with many modern games, who cares what the graphics look like today, the most important things are enjoyment factor and gameplay – Starwing lacks neither of these things and thus is still a classic even today and I’ve really enjoyed whipping it back out and giving it another few hours play.Sound quality on this game was very much par for the early 90’s course. Lots of “midi” style beeps and repetitive mobile phone style ditties playing over and over. Of course the boss battles were pre-empted by some classic du,du,DUH sounds, but overall it was quite forgettable and even as a 12 year old when this first came out, I can remember playing on mute with the radio on! It doesn’t get any better on emulation with the sound quality being arguably slightly more ropey and annoying so I would definitely recommend have it on mute on the PC.
So to sum up Starwing, I would have to say that many games are lauded as classics, however for the sheer amount of innovation that this brought to the video game market this is one that truly deserves it. The superb gameplay and storyline that hooks you in make it one of the better offerings on the SNES and one of Nintendo’s best sellers. It spawned an N64 remake by the name of Lylat wars, which again broke barriers but didn’t quite live up to the promise of Starwing. The flaws in the game are the sound and judging the graphics by today’s standards, which is grossly unfair on the game. The only other issue was that there was no save game facility which made it one heck of a time commitment to get deep into the game and a major source of anger and annoyance if a stupid mistake led to your death a level from the end. All in all I would encourage any real gamers and especially retro gamers to do as I have done and give Starwing another airing – You won’t be disappointed.
Product Information : Starwing (SNES)
Manufacturer's product descriptionAka: StarFox - Genre: Flight, Shooter - Publisher: Nintendo - Release Year: 1993 - For: Super NES (SNES)
Release Year: 1993
Genre: Flight; Shooter
Platform: Super NES (SNES)
Listed on Ciao since: 19/01/2009