Video Asks: What Makes Star Fox So Brilliant?

Illustration for article titled Video Asks: What Makes Star Fox So Brilliant?

It's all about adventure—specifically, about a game's ability to put players in an adventure, making them feel like they're influencing a whole fictional world with their actions. Which is something that wasn't particularly common in shoot-em-ups from the early nineties.

In his newest video, Really Freakin' Clever argues that Star Fox for the SNES achieves this sense of adventure with excellent level design, and by making the player actually feel something by telling its story through its gameplay. Take a look:

Top image courtesy of Doctor-G@DeviantArt.

Star Fox [Really Freakin' Clever@YouTube]

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Oh, you kids with your toys. I grew up on the best damn console known to man. PC.

Wing Commander, Janes ATF, Jetfighter 2, simulators for everything from the latest aircraft (at the time F22 Raptor) to Janes 688i (submarine simulator). I flew choppers (Longbow) and bombers (B52 Megafortress) and even a gunboat (Gunboat River Combat Simulator). Joystick controls, naturally.

Then of course, we had Mechwarrior 2 mercenaries, which made the SNES mechwarrior look like a laughing stock.

And oh yeah, Outwars, a game where you had a jetpack and took on aliens, gliding around kicking butt.

/I know, I'm just messing. Starfox looked amazing in Nintendo Power as a kid, and I never had an SNES :-( But still, I just don't get it. I've played every version after the fact and it just lacks any real charm. The controls suck. The characters are annoying. The gameplay... eh.