Rumor had it that the already amazing-looking Dinosaur Planet for N64 from last year's E3 was undergoing a system-spanning facelift and a change in franchise. Today at the Los Angeles Convention Center, Nintendojo confirmed that Rare's creative, original Dinosaur Planet franchise has been replaced with that of the Star Fox universe.
So what does that mean to you and me? Well, it means that we'll likely never see Sabre or Krystal again. It's too bad, because that host of characters showed a great deal of promise. However, the added graphical prowess of the Nintendo GameCube partially makes up for this abrupt alteration.
Check out this early sneak-peek video of Star Fox Adventures: Dinosaur Planet and keep it tuned to the Dojo for further updates from the Nintendo press conference and E3!
When we first posted the Star Fox demo reel Tuesday night, I thought we were witnessing the Game of Show. Smooth, articulate animation, endless draw distance, a badder McCloud--and amazing, amazing graphics. When I stepped up to the kiosk today, though, the reality jaded.
Star Fox Adventures isn't unattractive; but it does feel unfinished. As long as Rare has ostensibly had to port and polish this title from the N64 to the GameCube, I expected more.
The demo reel featured several selectable scenarios exhibiting the various gameplay modes and techniques from the game proper: a boss fight, a collecting routine, and the like. Only two or three of the listed scenarious were playable. (Perhaps the others can be unlocked by some intrepid gamer?)
The demo is pretty glitchy. There's considerable clipping and graphic oversights: when Fox encounters a new object, the game initiates a brief cutscene to explain how to utilize the new item. When I picked up a gemstone, the cutscene looked fine--except that Fox was staring down in awe at empty hands. No gemstone. When he picked up a mushroom with which to feed his triceritops sidekick, the mushroom clipped Fox's head--swallowing his skull.
The game is no doubt incomplete; these flaws are perhaps forgiveable. But what really failed to impress me was the gameplay. Like Miyamoto's showings, SFA features A-centric gameplay. But unlike Luigi and Pikmin, SFA is unintuitive and restrictive. A attacks and executes nearly every function; the C-stick opens a mini-menu in the screen corner to access special powers. And that, aside from camera controls, seems to be the extent of the controller functions.
I'm going to give Star Fox Adventures another try tomorrow. Perhaps familiarity will engender affection. I hope so. I don't want to lose my faith in Rare.
I met Ken Lobb at the show floor in front of Star Fox and he told me that you can expect the title to be absolutely huge. Approximately twice as big as Ocarina of Time. The reason for this is that the game has been in cycle since the N64 so for a launch title, it's had unbelievable amount of dev. time. Incredible.
Dinosaur Planet preview by Jeff Pearson, 2000:
Not much information is yet known about this mystery title of Rare, but from what we do know, it is going to change the aging N64 in a big way. Expect to see a full detailed update during E3 this year, but for now, enjoy what we already know about the gameÖ
What We Know:
Lead Character Info:
One a CloudRunner Princess, the other an Earthwalker Prince, they can dig holes, uncover secrets, retrieve objects, distract enemies and even play games. It seems that the liability of these creatures is that players will have to keep them well fed.
Well, what can I say really? Rareware is a truly amazing developing company and they have only increased their reputation with the addition of Dinosaur Planet to their roster. Dinosaur Planet looks and sounds like it is going to be an amazing game and you canít expect any less from Rareware.
word on the street
press release notes