Starwing (Super Nintendo) Review

By Mike Mason 09.03.2006 12

Review for Starwing on Super Nintendo

In 1993, gaming was once again revolutionised by Nintendo. With the SNES battling against Sega's Mega Drive (and losing to it in some regions), something had to be done, something to prove to everybody that the SNES was far more capable than people had given it credit for. With this thought, Starwing flew from the development offices of Argonaut and Nintendo and landed firmly into the hearts and minds of gamers.

Starwing's style is instantly recognisable. It was the first game to use the Super FX chip, an early 3D accelerator that allowed the SNES to produce the distinctive graphics shown in Starwing. Three dimensional models were rare in gaming then, and so the polygonal nature of the game both shocked and awed people, making it one anticipated game - and deservedly so, too. Not content with dragging these superb visuals out of the SNES, Nintendo managed to chuck some talking animals wearing spacesuits in as well. Now we're talking.

Essentially, the game is a shoot 'em up with a 3D perspective, wherein you fly into the screen. You control the craft, the Arwing, by using the D-pad to move, the face buttons to use the weapons, brakes and thrust and the shoulder buttons to barrel roll; that is, to rotate the ship 90 degrees clockwise or anti-clockwise so that it is on its side, allowing you slip through narrow gaps more easily. The game moves along at a constant speed, but if you feel like being a bit cocky or more cautious, you can speed up or slow down with the use of the boost and brake buttons respectively (albeit only temporarily). Enemies in the form of other spaceships zoom at you for your shooting pleasure, while robots roam the land and fire up at you, all practically begging to be eliminated by your high powered laser attacks or bombs.

Screenshot for Starwing on Super Nintendo

You will often find one-hit kill scenarios in shooters around the time of Starwing's release, but it went against the norm and instead using an energy metre; the Arwing's shield, if you will. This no doubt saved many gamers' SNES' from being uprooted and sent to do some flying of its own, as unless you're a practiced expert you may be clipping into things quite often. Many times your wings can scrape against objects unless you do a quick roll, and with time parts may fall off, impairing your flying and ability to grab the power ups which litter the ground after the destruction of enemies.

Rather than being a linear experience, players can choose where to go in the game and forge their own paths, with choices of levels being given after each stage so the player can proceed in any way they want. The only levels that are always included are the first and last, those being Corneria (Fox's homeland) and Venom, where you meet the crew's archenemy, Andross (who enjoys looking like a giant orangutan head). By adding this, the developers effectively allowed players to select their own difficulty as they progressed through the game and gives it a lot of replayability

Screenshot for Starwing on Super Nintendo

The Starwing crew are an unusual bunch. Consisting of leader Fox McCloud, his right hand man Falco, mentor Peppy Hare and the childish/irritating (delete as applicable) Slippy Toad, they were called Starfox everywhere except for Europe (as was the game), where Nintendo ran into some copyright issues and were forced to change the name. You took control of Fox McCloud and flew in a squad with these loyal team members, with each one giving you advice, aiding you and screaming for help. If we're honest, they're not Nintendo's most endearing of characters (it is believed that they were perhaps put in only at Nintendo's request to make it a bit different to other shooters), but it certainly wouldn't be the same game without them. Every so often pre-scripted moments appear, wherein the members of your crew will require help and fly into your path. You're required to either help them shoot the enemy down, or get them off your companion's tail; if you don't (or if you accidentally shoot them down), one of your allies goes bye-bye.

Screenshot for Starwing on Super Nintendo

Somehow the graphics still manage to impress despite looking nothing near as good as anything released now. The characters involved, as said earlier, are not the best that Nintendo have ever designed by a long shot, but in this game world they are the perfect compliment to the action, spouting out useful (and useless) advice accompanied by gibberish sounds and a pop up communication box. As you fly your spaceship you truly feel a part of the action. These are the signs of a very special game, and this is what Starwing is. Unsurprisingly, it's still regarded very highly in the gaming world, and this remains the general consensus here at Cubed3. Long live Starwing.

Screenshot for Starwing on Super Nintendo

Cubed3 Rating

9/10
Rated 9 out of 10

Exceptional - Gold Award

Rated 9 out of 10

This is why the Starwing/Star Fox series is looked upon so fondly. Even now it would be fully possible to pick up and enjoy this game as though it were only just released, which cannot be said for a huge amount of retro games. The series has diverted to include platforming more recently, but the flying is where it's at

Developer

Argonaut

Publisher

Nintendo

Genre

Shooter

Players

1

C3 Score

Rated $score out of 10  9/10

Reader Score

Rated $score out of 10  9/10 (10 Votes)

European release date Out now   North America release date Out now   Japan release date Out now   Australian release date Out now   

Comments

yea i love this game its great, defently deseves a 9

I love this game, though it is certainly not without faults.

At the time of release it was fantastic but if you play it now it's almost impossible because it moves so slowly. It's very difficult to really coordinate your attacks with your movements because you could never quite tell where you were going to end up after a manouver!

I'll stick to Lylat Wars.

Oi! Slippy rules! Don't diss! :-D

I love the StarFox series, I went back to play StarFox Assault after playing Lylat Wars again, which I'd have to say is one of my fave games.

I'm ashamed to say I've never played this (or at least I did before I was old enough to remember it), but I DID have it on SNES, before it broke (sniff)

I need this game, I'll be getting it from Virtual Console.

Twitter | C3 Writer/Moderator | Backloggery

Yay! Never owned a SNES, but played this game all the time at my cousins' when I was like 8! Great "retro feelings" (TM JB:P)

lol, I see what you mean about the annoying teammates, particularly the "Stay in formation!" yelled at you by Peppy every 2 seconds! (Peppy FTW, by the way:P my little cousin Oli has a stuffed bunny named after him:D)

Great slice of retro pie there!

Piiiiii...ka.....SUEEEEEEE!

When we got this game yonks and yonks ago, I really didn't like it. Couldn't get into it at all. The teammates were so annoying and the gameplay was just...ugh... not one of my favs I'm afraid...

Co-founder of the PDSLB - Pink DS Lite Buddies Fraz: Cheerios are made from fairy orgasms.

My mum bought this for me and got halfway down the stairs in the shop when the person behind the till came running after her shouting 'You've only got an empty box!' :lol: My, how honest of them...those were the days! Smilie

Adam Riley [ Operations Director :: Senior Editor :: Cubed3 Limited ]
Word of Adam | Voice123 Profile | AdamC3 on Twitter

Somehow the graphics still manage impress despite looking nothing near as good as anything released now.

LOL.

Never actually played the game, but will definitely download it on Revolution.

oh yes, i remembered that game! Remember losing all the time, though and getting my brother to do the levels that I couldn't do :(

For future reviews do you think there is a chance you could put the north american title in like parathasis. Because I didn't realize this was Starfox until just now haha.

Gods in His Heaven. Alls right in the World.

That's what I did with Seiken Densetsu 3 (Secret of Mana 2)...even though it never made it to the US, it helped people know what it was! :Smilie

Adam Riley [ Operations Director :: Senior Editor :: Cubed3 Limited ]
Word of Adam | Voice123 Profile | AdamC3 on Twitter

Definatly a 10, not nine

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