Greetings, I am the Son of Andross (not really). In the rundown to Star Fox Zero, we administrators will write own own unbiased reviews on the Star Fox main games. This review will concentrate on my personal thoughts on: Star Fox Adventures (was going to be called Star Fox Adventures: Dinosaur Planet, but Nintendo Official Magazine UK was mislead back then).
In contrast to the other games, the setting of the game is Dinosaur Planet (renamed Sauria in Assault), where a civil war has erupted between the inhabitant dinosaurs. The power-fueled-by-fear dictator General Scales has torn the planet apart by taking away the four SpellStones that restrain the flow of dark matter that continually force the world apart and create a new world which his tribe will rule as masters. The fact that Scales was never successful before questions if he is acting alone in this catastrophic calamity.
Star Fox are hired by General Pepper to investigate and return the planet back to normal, for a much needed pay check, given the state of the Arwings, Great Fox and ROB64. Fox ventures down on his own to adventure around the world, meeting and helping the inhabitants, learning special powers for a magic staff he finds and collecting items that may help his quest to restore the shattered world. Fox learns the story of General Scales and the planetary plight from the Queen EarthWalker and then gets joined in his travels by Prince Tricky, who wants to join Star Fox.
Fox also finds out returning the SpellStones isn't enough because the six Krazoa Spirits have been imprisoned in protective shrines until a right heart can return them back to Krazoa Palace. He finds out that a vixen named Krystal started his quest but was unable to compete it after getting imprisoned by an unseen enemy. Fox decides to try and save Krystal too after bringing the six Krazoa Spirits to the Krazoa Palace. This whole quest backfires when the true villain of the game is revealed to be Andross, re-eneacting the familiar Andross boss battles from the original games, but this time Falco eventually appears to rejoin the team and helps Fox save the day which allows Star Fox to get their much needed pay check and are joined by Krystal.
Unlike the original games, Adventures has Fox exploring the Dinosaur Planet on the ground, running, jumping, swimming and without any weapons, being armed with just a magic staff and assisted by Prince Tricky instead of his Star Fox team who are up on the Great Fox; Peppy now relaying map data, Slippy offering advice and General Pepper giving mission status. This takes up most of the game, due to being an adaptation of Rare's Dinosaur Planet, something that drew mixed reviews.
The various items that you'll find can be used to solve puzzles, interact with the environment, trade with locals or not very helpful at all. Scarabs are the local currency on Dinosaur Planet and can be found in random or convenient places to buy useful or useless items in the ThornTail Store (the only store in the game). The most important items are the four SpellStones hidden on the four floating space islands which must be taken back to the Dinosaur Planet's Force Point Temples after beating the bosses. Another crucial plot element is the six Krazoa Spirits which must be taken out of their shrines and released back to the Krazoa Palace.
Since the game is adapted from Rare's Dinosaur Planet, there are no weapons like the ones used in Assault, Krystal's magic Staff is used to fight and defend from the dangerous villains and monsters and also interact with the surroundings like lifting rocks, knocking thing out of trees, turning on switches and opening boxes, etc. Magic caves are hidden all over the world which must be found to grant new powers for greater feats.
Prince Tricky is your sidekick who wants to help you, but you'll need to feed him is fair share of mushrooms so that he'll be able to do whatever you need. Tricky will learn to breath fire to light camps, melt ice and burn baddies, dig up hidden treasures and stay put on switches. Buying back his Pixar-ish ball will allow you to play fetch and may even change his color.
Like the original games, you are sometimes required to fly through 3D Corridor Mode driven space flights, shooting down targets and collecting the right amount of Gold Rings to reach the destination in one piece. Most of the time your Arwing is grounded, waiting for you to leave the planet to fly back and forth between the floating islands and finally to bring down one particular boss.
Like Star Fox 64, the game's characters are fully voice acted that lend to the atmosphere and setting. The vocals are performed by Rare's employees, I give them credit for the imaginative Dino language that gets used until Star Fox enter the scene, I can't imagine it's easy. The characters fall into The Land Before Time scenario where there's dinosaurs that talk and there's ones that don't, and all use charming naming systems for each species like EarthWalker, SharpClaw, ThornTail, SnowHorn, CloudRunner, RedEye etc. None of the main Star Fox games reused the same cast again until Star Fox 64 3D and Zero.
Nothing exciting really, but collecting the Cheat Tokens will unlock the option to read the subtitles in Dino language, replay the credits, music test and messages for the player to speculate over what they refer to.
I like this game, I've never hated it in my life. It does seem kinda easy, except for certain moments like the irritating Test of Fear or the Lightfoot Test of strength. Replay value is limited and will require beating the story in one go without the option to replay mini games, bosses, cinema, unlike Banjo-Tooie.
Somethings are never explained in the game: like how Andross survived his death in Star Fox 64, why Krystal's cries of agony are in Dino language when Fox should hear them in normal talk (the line were recorded in english but not even used), what happened to Krystal's personal quest to learn about her parent's deaths and homeworld's disaster, how Fox knows who Krystal is without being told her name, Fox having the Staff on him after the final boss when Krystal takes it back from him, etc. I guess Rare didn't have much time to complete this game after they were set to become part of Microsoft.
The chances of a rerelease are pretty slim, so play it through a pre 2010 Wii or GCN.