If you've ever played Star Fox 64 on the Nintendo 64, you've played Vanark. The game mechanics are the same, much of the level design is the same, and even the ship you pilot looks similar. Unfortunately, Vanark has little of the gameplay value of the vastly superior N64 title.
For those of you unfamiliar with the game Vanark's designers stole most of their ideas from, here's the scoop. You use the analog pad to fly from a behind-the-ship perspective, following a preset path through various environments while shooting down enemies.
The real problem with this game is its length--or lack thereof. We loaded the game up, and less than three hours later we were staring at the end credits. Star Fox 64 was also short, but it offered multiple paths and loads of secrets that kept players coming back again and again. Unfortunately, once Vanark was finished there was no compelling reason to go back.
If you've read this far (and are still interested in this game), here's a summary of the plot. Some 200 years from now we humans practically destroy ourselves and have to move to Mars because the Earth is kaput. An alien race gets upset at the remaining earthlings because of our self-destructive tendencies and starts throwing rocks at us and calling us names. The names we can deal with, but the rocks happen to be humongous asteroids capable of turning our new homeland into space dust. You, of course, must put an end to all this bickering by strapping into a spaceship and wiping out the aliens.
Since PlayStation owners don't have the option of playing the superior Star Fox on this system, we reluctantly recommend this title. However, the lack of depth and originality here is ultimately disappointing. --T. Byrl Baker
- Good graphics
- Enormous, detailed enemies
- Very little slowdown
- Too easy
- Too short
- Little variety and few secrets
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