Star Fox 64 3D

Oddly enough, 2011 could be the year of Nintendo 64, at least when it comes to 3DS. Nintendo plans to release The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time 3D on June 19 in the U.S., and the following month, Japan will receive Star Fox 64 3D July 24. Like Zelda, this beloved classic was ported to 3DS with the system's best features in mind, so expect to not only see updated graphics, but also slick 3D effects that'll give the beloved title a new sense of depth and excitement.

Star Fox 64 is a third person shooter that chronicles the exploits of the Star Fox team, consisting of franchise hero Fox McCloud, Falco Lombardi, Slippy Toad and Peppy Hare. Together, they launch an attack against an evil scientist named Andross in a desperate attempt to save the Lylat System.

For the most part, you'll pilot Fox's Arwing fighter ship through hostile territory, dodging lasers and falling debris while unloading laser fire and smart bombs on a variety of enemies. You also have the option of upgrading the laser cannon to pack a much bigger punch.

Of course, you'll need more than weapons to survive. Flying through shield rings imbues the Arwing with an extra layer of protection, and the vehicle can boost, brake and perform a U-turn. Master those functions, and you'll improve the odds of making it out alive.

Even better, you won't go it alone. Fox's wingmen offer a modest level of protection, but also serve important functions. Slippy, for instance, will scan bosses to identify weak points, while Falco uncovers different routes. Peppy, meanwhile, offers advice, including his trademark phrase, "do a barrel roll!" That's why it's in your best interest to keep them around. If their vehicles take considerable damage, they'll retreat to the mother ship (the Great Fox) for repairs, and won't return for the duration of the level.

Although you'll maneuver the Arwing most of the time, the game also has two additional vehicles. First up is the Landmaster tank, which pops up in two levels. Although it lacks the Arwing's maneuverability, it makes up for this with an option to hover for brief periods and boost.

Next up is The Blue Marine, a sub packing twin lasers and an infinite supply of torpedoes that lock on to enemies. Unfortunately, it only appears on the water planet, Aquas.

Now with the 3DS, you can expect to use the Circle pad to control these vehicles, while the d-pad covers the special moves; tap down to do a U-turn. Performing a barrel roll is as simple as pressing R, while X, A, B and Y let you boost, fire lasers, brake and unleash a Nova Bomb, respectively.

All of this sounds great, but we're more curious about the unannounced features Nintendo mentioned. Keep in mind that the original Star Fox 64 has four person offline multiplayer, and we expect it to return in the 3DS update, but with Wi-Fi support. Cross your fingers for online play.

You can also bet that the game will use StreetPass in some fashion. How it'll work, though, remains to be seen.

On that note, Nintendo will reveal these secrets and more in the next couple of months, including the U.S. release date. For now, check out the impressive screens and put Star Fox 64 3D on your must have list.