The official site for the Japanese version of the upcoming 3DS version of Star Fox 64, titled simply Star Fox 64 3D, is now online. You can view the site at the following URL:
Some things worth mentioning:
- The site pays several homages to the actual boot up of the N64 version, including the all caps “STARFOX” title graphic and theme song.
- The video on the home page reveals a dramatically overhauled introductory cinema. All of the character models have seen significant polygonal enhancements. The shots of the docking bay and of the actual Arwings themselves also reveal sharper graphics and increased levels of geometry.
- The official Japanese release date is July 14, 2011. The US release date will likely follow in September or October, although it has not been confirmed.
To be honest, I first dismissed this game as little more than a cash in on the most successful (and most easy to port) entry in the Star Fox franchise. However, the intro cinema reveals that Nintendo has, in fact, bumped up the geometry in this game a fair amount. It’s definitely pushing more polygons than before, although I can’t really tell from the thumbnail-sized video if the shaders and lighting have been enhanced very much — until we see some video of Aquas I’ll remain skeptical on that front.
Overall, though, I must say that hearing the music and seeing the new intro has, for the first time, built up an incentive within me to go out and buy this game… and a 3DS as well. I have seen a 3DS and played with it for a short time, and while I found the 3D to be an interesting and fun new addition to the DS platform, I did notice significant visual degradation from my brain having to interpret the 3D image. The limited viewing angles also hurt the device, resulting in a feeling that, personally, made it seem as if I were peering through a polarized lens into another space. A cool feeling, in some ways, but also one that made me wish to turn off the 3D effect and enjoy the crisp, bright graphics in a non-altered state.
This is definitely a device that is going to be divisive as well as limiting (as a left-handed person, playing Kid Icarus at this moment appears that it will be next to impossible to do without difficulty), but also one that should bring about some incredible and unique gaming moments. I can’t say that I plan on buying a 3DS any time in the near future, particularly when I know a lower price and a redesign will be inevitable, but I can say that Star Fox could help to push me closer to making that decision. How about you?