Star Fox 64 3D is unquestionably one of the best games currently available for the Nintendo 3DS. Its mechanics hold up wonderfully, and the game has never looked better. Still, as pointed out by our own Riley Little in Game Rant’s Star Fox 64 3D review, the game’s ad hoc multiplayer is no substitute for a proper online multiplayer mode.

Why would Nintendo, who has vowed to improve online with Wii U and 3DS, omit such an obvious, potentially fun feature from one of its few Fall tent-pole releases? Would you believe “costs”?

Nintendo’s Yusuke Amano addressed Star Fox 64 3D‘s absent online mode head on in a recent interview with the Official Nintendo Magazine UK. His answers are, by turns, blunt and revealing.

“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.”

Yes, you read that right. Nintendo, one of the largest, most successful game developers and publishers the world has ever seen, is claiming that online play was left out of Star Fox 64 3D because they couldn’t afford to include it. What are we going to hear next, that the game was rushed out the door?

“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.”

So, short development time, plus stingy Nintendo, equals no online play for Star Fox 64 3D. Too bad it’s the gamers who end up suffering in this scenario.

I don’t claim to know the first thing about Nintendo’s network infrastructure, but I do know that a full priced 3DS game ($39.99 MSP) ought to have as many features as a $.99 game I can buy on my phone. And yet, nearly every game I play on my old iPhone (none of them published by companies anywhere near Nintendo’s size) has some sort of online mode. I have to believe that if start-up mobile developers can make it work, so can Nintendo. Then again, we know how Nintendo feels about garage developers.

Still, 3DS owners do have Mario Kart 7 to look forward to, and that game does include online matches. But then, of course it does, because in 2011, how could it not? Online play has been the standard in games for years, including on Nintendo’s own Wii and DS. Its omission in Star Fox 64 3D is a failing of that product, and a mistake that it would prove wise not to repeat in the upcoming Kid Icarus: Uprising.

What do you think: would you rather Star Fox 64 3D had been delayed so that online play could be included, or are you happy with the finished product? Should the game have been less expensive?

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Source: Official Nintendo Magazine UK