As I write this, I'm listening to an MP3 from the "cancelled" N64 version of Dinosaur Planet, and although I'm a bit speechless at the switch in licenses, I'm sure everything is going to be alright with Rare at the helm.
I think I was one of the most vocally angry people on our staff when the Star Fox Adventures rumors came out. I was really excited about Dino Planet and I thought the Star Fox license would cheapen it. Looking back, I'm really not sure why. The license obviously gives Rare a lot more to work with in terms of story telling, though I'm not sure if the Star Fox license is strong enough to make a huge difference in future sales (afterall, it would have been a Rare game either way).
I was originally very interested in the game, but with the switch to Star Fox Adventures, I practically ignored it at E3, only logging about two minutes with it on the first day. It wasn't until the last 30 minutes of the show that I realized that it was basically the only GameCube game I hadn't spent any time with. A quickly rushed over to that part of Nintendo's booth and stepped into a line.
The first thing I noticed that I somehow missed before, was that this game really is a lot like Zelda in terms of gameplay. I thought it didn't have Z-targeting at first, but I finally found it on the Y button and it works very well with the huge A button. However, it seems that the newly moved B button wasn't taken into account as it is very difficult to hit while holding the Y button for targeting. I expect this setup to be reconfigured as the controller changes. Other difference from Zelda are that auto jumping seems to be replaced with auto hanging. If you walk off of a cliff that is too high, you automatically grab the ledge. If it's a short fall, you just walk off. Perhaps they just haven't done jumping animations yet. Finally, the C-stick brings up an menu of sorts that allows you to select "magic" which do many things such as firing projectiles, firing more projectiles and transforming you into an enemy for stealth purposes (the special FX for this looked awesome).
Graphically, the game looks like a work in progress to some extent, and geometric complexity will probably increase, as well as special effects. The show floor demo of this game was a bit limited, but judging by what we knew of the cancelled N64 version, we can expect this game to be an epic adventure with a fully voiced plot and excellent music and level design capped off by the Rare polish we know so well. The game is currently scheduled for the November 5th launch.