Much like its predecessor had done for the SNES, Star Fox 64 showcased the N64’s technical prowess, and went that little bit further by being the first game to support the N64 Rumble Pak.
Known as Lylat Wars in Europe and Australia, Star Fox 64 puts you into the cockpit of Fox McCloud’s Arwing as you battle across the Lylat system against the evil Andross. As the leader of the Star Fox team, a mercenary band of anthropomorphised animals, your primary goal is to shoot down as many enemies as possible before facing a boss in each level.
The game’s development can be traced back to Star Fox 2, an unreleased SNES sequel to the first Star Fox game. This sequel was almost finished before Nintendo decided to scrap it in favour of developing a more advanced game to showcase the N64.
As a result, Star Fox 64 has a number of features originally destined for Star Fox 2, including a multiplayer mode and the full-3D All-Range mode, which enables you to move your ship freely in an open environment.
Star Fox 64 stood out from other games on the N64 because of its cinematic quality. While pretty basic now, the game’s cutscenes and full voiceover added a level of immersion that was uncommon at the time.
The whole experience is augmented further by the inclusion of Rumble Pak support. Star Fox 64 was the first N64 game to support the peripheral, and the game’s successful usage of it contributed towards making rumble functionality in game controllers the standard feature that it is today.
Since it first released in 1997, Star Fox 64 has been re-released on Nintendo’s Wii and Wii U consoles in 2007 and 2016 (2017 in North America). In 2011, a Nintendo 3DS remake was released, featuring enhanced visuals and auto-stereoscopic 3D support (although rumble was omitted).