Star Fox 64 3D lacks online multiplayer due to cost, time

Star Fox 64 3D has received a fairly warm reception, but one common complaint is the lack of online multiplayer. As it turns out, cost and time constraints got in the way of including the feature, which Nintendo's Yusuke Amano thinks would need some revision to make it a proper online experience.

"Personally, I play a lot of online [first-person shooter] games," Amano told Official Nintendo Magazine. "This leads me to think that just making multiplayer parts of existing games playable online isn't enough to create a satisfying experience for users. The popular online games work in lots of things, so they play well online--and if we wanted to satisfy everyone who bought the game, the costs required for including online support would be vast."

Amano also cited time constraints, stressing that the team wanted to create a proper 3D experience to show off the capabilities of the system. "For this project what we needed to do was use Star Fox to provide users with a game that shows the appeal of Nintendo 3DS as quickly as possible," he said. "We put a lot of effort into the graphics, and if we had included online support then we couldn't have reached this level in the time allowed."

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The time allowed may have been short, since the port was a volley in getting quality games out for the 3DS. Nintendo has admitted that lack of software carries the brunt of blame for the system's sluggish sales, so granting extra time for online play probably wasn't in the cards.

But, the development team did at least experiment with online play, and Amano says those tests included new features to boot. "Working on the multiplayer part was a nice, satisfying challenge, and if I get the chance to work on another Star Fox title, I would definitely consider an online multiplayer mode."

While Nintendo's ports have been well-received, the 3DS user base seems to be getting hungry for new games from the company. They'll have to wait a little longer, though, as Super Mario 3D Land is coming on November 13, followed by Mario Kart 7 on December 4.