I’ve been a fan of the SNES since I first got my hands on one in 1993. I grew up playing classic games like Super Mario World, TMNT: Turtles in Time, Donkey Kong Country 2, Chrono Trigger, The Legend of Zelda: A Link To The Past, etc.
The countless hours of fun that I spent obsessing over these Super Nintendo games shaped my childhood and to some degree shaped the man that I would become.
That is to say, all these years later these games are still relevant and, I love to read about these series grow. I learn about their development and participate in discussions about which of these early games went on to influence the later generations of games.
In that regard, I recently came upon a forum thread with people discussing which games on the SNES lineup were overrated. A lot of great and valid points were brought up in that discussion; however, one particular opinion caused a great deal of surprise and chagrin because it could not be further in my own opinion.
The poster, whose opinions are highly respected by the majority of forum members, posited that 1993’s Star Fox is an overrated game!
Could one of my all-time favorite Super Nintendo games, really be as overrated as this intelligent and eloquent person was making it out to be?
Is Star Fox an overrated game?
The Star Fox franchise has been one of my all-time favorite game franchises since I played that first game.
I’ll never forget the first time the Arwing took flight right into a fully 3D world, or did my first barrel roll, or dropped my first nova bomb or the first time I beat back Andross!
However, some of the points brought up by the forum poster have a ring of truth. For example, the story is very barebones, and even though the plot hints at a larger world, the result is very basic. I’ve heard it described as Space Furries Go Pew Pew!
The game’s short length is another strong critique against it. The original Star Fox for the SNES had a particular feature that I absolutely loved as a child: The game has 3 different routes that you can pick after each level, and each route provides a different level with a different degree of difficulty.
In theory, this increases the game’s replayability and overall length. However, in practice, all of the levels are relatively short, which means the overall length of the game is modest, even if following the hardest difficulty path.
Another aspect that is often lauded but which may be overrated is the game’s graphical look. According to our poster, the game’s graphics have not aged well, but this is a hill on which I plan to die.
It’s not that the graphics in Star Fox are dated, it’s that they are timeless! In fact, when the game was launched, the graphics were revolutionary. Star Fox was the first game accelerated 3D game on a home console. The graphics were so demanding that the game required a special Super FX chip added to every cartridge in order to help the console process the frenetic action on the screen.
So, is Star Fox overrated?
Not at all. Star Fox was a revolutionary moment in gaming history. While not perfect, every argument against the hype that surrounds this game can be attributed to personal taste.
The thrills that this game was able to provide gamers when it hit home consoles are as exciting today as they were 30 years ago.