Fox McCloud and his band of mammalian minstrels step out of their polygonal spaceships and take to the ground in “Starfox Adventures,” the latest installment in the “Starfox” franchise.

Paul Wong
Courtesy of Nintendo

Originally slated for release on the Nintendo 64, “Starfox Adventures” began as a 3D platformer called “Dinosaur Planet.” When Nintendo realized the imminent demise of its system, it delayed the game, threw in the “Starfox” trademark and revamped the presentation of the game to make use of the more powerful GameCube.

The first thing gamers will notice is the lack of flying missions, which have been thrown aside for “Mario” style 3D gameplay. Fox uses items he comes across to complete mindless missions such as opening doors rather than skillfully flying his Arwing. “Starfox Adventures” really isn’t a “Starfox” game at all. Later in the game there are a few levels where Fox becomes the pilot once more, bringing the game back to its more traditional roots. Nevertheless, these moments are few and far between, leaving gamers in a dull some state of redundant gameplay.

“Starfox Adventures” is not without its merits. The graphics are certainly impressive, from the colorfully detailed characters to the lavishly expansive landscapes of Dinosaur Planet. But what gamers are left with is an essentially hollow gaming experience that borrows more from “Super Mario 64” than its “Starfox” predecessors.

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