Retro Review: Star Fox Adventures 2: Krystal In Action (GCN)

I had blocked this game from my mind completely, but ZapR2k has written a wonderful review for Star Fox Adventures 2: Krystal In Action and all the memories have come flooding back. We’re honoured to present this guest review for such an overlooked game, please enjoy.

The original SFA was perfect for the GameCube crowd. It had everything Nintendo gamers had always cared for in Nintendo games: great graphics, endless collecting, poor-man’s-Zelda combat controls, annoying talking animals, tacked-on Star Fox branding, and more. It made perfect sense to pop a sequel out in 2004 while the world was moving on to the twin snakes of sales juggernauts that were Metroid Prime 2 and Pikmin 2. Never doubt, my friends, that Nintendo knows what it’s doing.

rememberfox

Case in point: SFA 2’s story, one of their best ones yet. In the intro cutscene, Fox is barrel rollin’ through space with his Arwing crew Peppy, Slippy, and Falco, when BAM! he is suddenly deposed by the furry femme fatale Krystal, who wants to take on Lord Andross and earn all the glory for herself and all womankind, or something… at least I think that’s what she said at the beginning. I tend to tune out her type if you know what I’m saying.

For those who haven’t “played” a “video game” ever before, fear not. The first level as in any Nintendo game doubles as a training mission. I highly approve of this game design, which assumes the player has awoken from the year 2000 B.C. and has just been handed a controller down through the passageways of King Tut’s tomb, and is also unable to read an instruction manual. A for lasers, B for bombs. Yes, thank you, I got it. Now that I have awoken from my four-thousand-year slumber, where is my Siamese cat? Kitty, kitty…?

The game really picks up once Krystal takes charge. Of course, she proceeds to immediately crash land on Dinosaur Planet Market where NPCs sell weapons, items, armor, fur shampoo, etc. This is also the point where the extremely true-to-life night/day cycle comes into play. Every minute in real life is like a day in the game. Unfortunately the heightened realism means every 30 minutes Krystal is incapacitated for 5-7 minutes and you have to control the other characters for awhile. Walk around politely on eggshells if you know what’s best for you.

starwhatkrystal

I guess I should be thankful for yet another Zelda clone, but if you ask me, it follows the formula a little too closely; it winds its way, yet again, through the 5 temples of tired video game clichés: forest, sky, earth, wind, fire, and other annoying ‘70s bands. In classic Rare© form, you have to collect all 100 dino statues before you can get to the boss room; then when you beat him, he coats your dino statues with bronze, and you have to take them to an NPC living in a hole in the ground, who will then coat them with silver, then you take them to the guardian of the next temple, who will then coat them with gold and let you enter. Here’s where it gets annoying. In the second temple you have to find 200 to get to the boss room, which is increased by a hundred in each of the remaining temples. By the time you get to the final boss, Krystal has become an extreme hoarder who has to enter her house through a side window. Oh, it gets worse: in a shocking plot twist (spoiler alert) Peppy is killed when an avalanche of collectibles buries him alive in Krystal’s living room! I freely admit, when she grabs his hand through the rubble and whispers, “Use the boost to get through,” and then his hand goes limp, a tear rolled down my cheek.

Once all temples are cleared, Andross is unleashed to go full-on-Doshin on the poor inhabitants of Dinosaur Planet. The final boss is (spoiler alert) an epic fight with his final form, an annoying, stuttering virtual reality head with funny hair that can only be defeated by chucking dinosaur statues out the Arwing window at his weak points. In the final cutscene, Krystal is devastated that she had to give up all the little collectibles she spent so much time finding, buying, and arranging on her shelf. It’s a shame Nintendo never got around to reusing this game’s ideas. 5/5 stars.

3 thoughts on “Retro Review: Star Fox Adventures 2: Krystal In Action (GCN)”

  1. I’m disappointed this review left out the GBA connectivity feature, which allowed you to download the fan favorite minigame “Slippy’s Slip-up” to your GBA. In this minigame you control everyone’s favorite mechanic as he frantically avoids incoming fire from enemy ships. Earning a high score unlocks new collectables to collect in the game which will be recorded in the game’s Collectapedia and earns you Collectrophies which do nothing aside from earning you bragging rights (later, after purchasing Rare, Microsoft would use it as a basis for the Gamerscore system on Xbox).

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