Review by Earthshaker
"Not for the new-generation of gamers."
DISCLAIMER: If you have read my Mario Kart 64 review or ANY of my reviews for that matter- they were posted years ago. My opinions have since changed ever-so-slightly.
Why the tagline? I've noticed for the most part, most of the new generation of gamers (roughly ages 12 to 16) are the most impatient folk I've ever talked to on the Internet. If they can't complete a task in the first one or two tries, they'll go into an absolute FIT, rant and rave on a message board, then rant and rave some more when they complete it on the third about how EASY it was.
That said, F-Zero GX is not for this type of people.
If you do not have any sense of patience whatsoever, do not buy under any circumstances. Amusement Vision is by no means responsible for the controller-sized dent in the wall.
That's correct, boys and girls. F-Zero is HARD. Not ''Oh my GOD this is freaking IMPOSSIBLE how can ANYONE put up with this?!'' hard, but it skirts the border. You WILL fail repeatedly. If you do not become attuned to the finer nuances of the controls, you WILL lose. Simple as that.
THE GIST/OBJECTIVE OF THE GAME.
-Pick a mode.
Customize mode will lead you to the garage, where you can create your own car, an emblem editor where you can create emblems for your car, or the F-Zero shop where you can purchase new riders/parts/story mode chapters.
Story Mode's function is rather obvious.
Replay Mode will allow you to look at any replays of races you have saved.
Pilot Profile mode lets you look up the background information on all unlocked pilots (hail Dr. Stewart's music!)
Vs. Battle begins a multiplayer game.
Time Attack mode sets you in a race against the clock on the course of your choice.
Practice does the same thing, only records are not recorded, you will return to the course if you break down or go flying, etc. You can also choose for computer opponents to join you in this mode to practice your smashy-smashy skills.
-Pick a pilot/machine.
In Grand Prix, Vs. Battle, Time Attack, and Practice modes, you will be prompted to do this. Machines all have varying statistics, like weight, Boost power, grip, and body strength with ratings from A (the best) to E (the worst.) Likewise, the pilot inside the machine will add to its weight, which only comes into play when creating a customized car (since standard cars are only driven by their own pilots.)
-Set your car's balance/color.
Moving the control stick to the left will gear your car more towards acceleration and decrease the maximum speed, while moving it to the right will improve it's top speed but likewise make acceleration suffer. Pressing the shoulder buttons switch the car and driver among four different color schemes. For a particularly perverted example, you can make Jody Summer become a blonde bikini babe!
-Race! (Also the Gameplay/Controls category.) 10/10
Try not to die. Easier said than done. Hehheh.
Moving the control stick right or left will turn you in the respective directions. Moving it up or down while airborne will tilt the nose downward/upward, changing your speed and hang time.
Pressing the right and left shoulder buttons will boost your car to their respective directions. Pressing BOTH at once will cause your car to drift, a technique necessary to master to dominate some of the later (and almost constant) 90-degree turns.
A is your gas. Lay off it in the heavy curves, would you? Thanks.
B is your brake. Gee, who'dathunkit? Don't forget about this oft overlooked button, it can save your life on some of the more difficult courses.
Z and X are the ''fun'' buttons. Steer into a rival car and hit one of these buttons to perform a spin or a ram attack. It's a risky move, because you will lose ranks in the race, but you might off opponents. As an added bonus, if you destroy an opponent with these attacks, you will gain a bit of energy. If you retire five in a single race, you gain a continue for one of those unfortunate incidents where you fly off the course in first place (IT *WILL* HAPPEN.)
Y is your booster. Boosting can't be used until the second lap of a race, and it decreases energy at a rapid rate. It's a quick way to get ahead of the competition though, so make sure you don't overlook it!
Mind your energy- drive over a pit area (rainbow-coloured area on the course) if you're running low. Tip: It's also a great time to boost without much penalty, when you're on a pit area! Tip 2: try NOT to destroy rivals when you're both on the pit area, allright?
Therein lies the bulk of the game. It's INCREDIBLY fast and difficult, but the gameplay reward is to die for. Tracks may make no logical sense (yes! I've got it, let's race on the outside of a pipe over a bed of molten lava! No, you won't fall in. Gravity'll be suspended while you race, so do your thing!) Fortunately, it's a video game, so that point doesn't matter! Go hog wild defying gravity while you race upside-down from your other opponents! Just... watch out for that ledge. *Fizzle*
This is my first racing game on a ''next-gen'' console, but even compared to some of my other Gamecube games, the attention to detail on this game is superb. Spouts of fire on the Fire Field, lightning crackling on the aptly named ''Lightning'' course, giant wormlike creatures jumping out of the sand in Sand Ocean, and hydroelectric generators and waterfalls on Big Blue... it's breathtaking. The only time it suffers is if you suffer a particularly nasty crash when the view may become a little funky. For instance, I was being too aggressive in an underwater tunnel in Big Blue, and the physics went screwy... I got rammed into two walls and then flew up to explode on the top of the tunnel. It was a very odd graphical glitch. Understandable, though. The effort to pay attention to EVERY LITTLE DETAIL on a course would likely delay this game as long as Soul Calibur II.
An excellent soundtrack. The music while racing is almost purely techno/electronica, and becomes even more pulse-pounding on the final lap. In addition, each pilot has their own music you can listen to while viewing their profile, from the Japanese-influenced rock-style music of Samurai Goroh (complete with ''Yooooooh!!'' and sword slice sounds,) to Jody Summer's ambience and calm guitar sounds, to the MIGHTY TRANCE-NESS OF DR. STEWART'S THEME! Er. Yeah. I like his music, so what?
As for sound EFFECTS, just all the standard stuff here. Engine revving, lightning flashes, fire whooshes, big explosions when you crash... they're all accurate. It's not as if you smote some opponent with a Side Attack and heard ''MoooooOOOOO!!!''
I wouldn't be able to tell you much of the story, as I'm kind of stuck early on in it myself. Basically, you take on the role of Captain Falcon and train for the Grand Prix, banter with a rival in Red Canyon, try to win an impossible race in costume, etc.
Still, a story in a racing game is a refreshing change of pace, and some of the objectives are bizarre yet fun, like a ''Speed''-styled race where you can't fall below a certain km/h rate or the Blue Falcon explodes.
Completing the Grand Prix or the ultra-difficult Story Mode chapters will net you tickets, which you can use to buy new racers, machine parts, or chapters for the story mode.
Also, if you place first in a cup, you get an interview with F-Zero TV, where you get to choose one of several questions to ask the pilot. (Two of the novice-class questions aren't questions, but eh..) The answers are very brief, but you'll still want to play through the tracks again to place in first solely to hear some of the responses.
So, should you Buy or Rent it?
As with most games, you should always rent it first, see if it's your style. (Good luck finding it at Blockbuster for the next month or so, though.) If the difficulty frustrates you beyond belief, then mooch a friend's copy every so often should you feel the need to play. If you absolutely revel in the challenge and the eye candy, however, buy it, you fool!
...Well, it's your decision. But do what you will with it.
Overall score: A perfect 10!
Reviewer's Rating: 5.0 - Flawless
Originally Posted: 08/28/03
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