It’s provided endless amounts of fun, and it’s still alive on Switch
Star Fox 64 is 25 years old now. Originally released on April 27, 1997, in Japan, the Nintendo 64 classic lives on in various ways, from the 3DS to the Switch. And you know what? It deserves a special shoutout.
Nearly 25 years ago (when it came out in the US on June 30, 1997), Star Fox 64 blasted its way into my friend’s living room. We were immediately taken by it, and beat it in one sitting. From then on we’d comb through it, trying to find ways to break off on different story paths and discover new levels. We didn’t play anything else for a week. The characters, which were already endearing in the original SNES edition, were expanded upon and cemented into the Nintendo pantheon right then and there.
Beyond that initial rush, Star Fox 64 became a staple in nearly every household that had it. Four-player split-screen was still a mind-blowing feature at the time: and given how little local play is emphasized in modern releases (instead opting to push people to online ecosystems to partake in), everything has come full circle, in the sense that it’s still impressive. Star Fox 64 was easy to grasp, but had a high skill ceiling when it came to evasive maneuvers; which made it a no-brainer pick-up-and-play game for so many friend and family groups.
Although Nintendo “forgets” about certain classic franchises often, at the very least, they aren’t above dipping into the Star Fox 64 well whenever possible. Plenty of Star Fox 64 3D copies are out in the wild for when the eShop is shut off, and for now, it’s alive and well as part of the Nintendo Switch Online Expansion Pack. It deserves that legacy.