Review by CamusTheDark
"Best racing game I have ever played"
What can I say? Well there is a bit. F-Zero was a series that started on the SNES. It was pretty simple then. 4 playable racers, about 15 or so race tracks, and Grand Prix and Time Attack modes. F-Zero GX is the most recent addition (Actually a somewhat old game now while I write this review, but it's still the most recent) to the series. The series has gained quite a few more features since it's days on the SNES. I'll break it down in to 7 parts.....
Well let's start with the eye-candy. F-Zero GX has quite good graphics, and is a fine example of what the Gamecube is really capable of. The graphics are in no way an eye-sore when you are racing, and many of the different race tracks each have their own graphics, and all of them look great (A fine example is the final tracks from the AX and Diamond cups). Even the menu graphics are nice to look at.
Next graphics section is the high-res story cut scenes. All of these are rather realistic looking and well done, the way the capes of some pilots flow, the translucent effects, the explosions. Not to much to say on this subject, it's just good.
The only flaw I ever noticed, was that when on the race track, the pilots inside the machines look a little "blocky" like what you would see on the N64. However you will almost never see this because of the speed and distance you are traveling, you can really only see it if you pay close attention to video replays.
Section 2, the sound. I believe when playing games, that sound and music should be considered separate, so this section will only cover the sound effects and such.
Well I found the overall sound to be excellent. Nearly every sound you hear is well done, how each racer's machine makes a different engine "hum" the explosions, collisions, everything, it is very well done and all the sounds are very fitting for what they are for.
All the music in F-Zero GX is well done. It has a very smooth sound, and doesn't sound repetitive when it loops. Each course type (Ocean, City, Desert, etc.) has it's own music, all of which are good in my opinion. In addition to that, each of those types also has a final lap theme, which is similar to the theme they use, except it has a more tense sound to it.
In addition to that, each pilot has their own theme song, some of which contain lyrics. While music is one of those things people always disagree on, I think I can say that, even if you don't care for a particular theme (There are a few I don't care for myself), it is in no way "Bad quality".
Controls in this game are beautiful. The absolute best controls I have ever had in a racing game. The controls are very sensitive, so you are capable of precise steering in addition to other things. Each machine is built a little differently, and each has it's own control "feel", you can't just jump from one in to another and automatically be the best with it, it will take a little getting used to.
What I love about this game, is the fact that, if you screw up, it's your own fault, not the controls (Unless your actual Gamecube controller is screwed up).
In the game there is a story mode in which you attempt to complete specific missions (Such as winning a drag race, beating the clock, destroy enemy racers, stay above a certain speed, etc.). Probably the lowest part of the game is the story. However that is in no way bad. Considering they were given a racing game, and had to turn it in to some epic story, I think it came out pretty well overall. It really isn't too bad, I think my only issue with it, was that it was a little cheesy that the survival of the universe comes down to winning a race. Otherwise there isn't anything wrong with it in my opinion.
In addition to the story mode, each character (About 40) was given each of their own little bios, which was a nice touch in my opinion.
Difficulty & Game Play 10/10
Oh boy, this is one of the very few games that has gotten me to swear at my television. I can assure you, unless you are some F-Zero prodigy, you will not be defeating all the hard modes in one sitting. All I can say about the difficulty... It's like getting hit by a FALCONE PAWNCH! (I couldn't resist) Well, that was about the difficulty, but the game play and difficulty go together in this game.
When playing story mode, you are given a chapter on easy mode (Which can still be rather tough depending on the mission). Once beaten, you will unlock medium (And the next chapter will also become available in the shop). Once beaten on medium, you will unlock the hard mode version for that mission. Hard mode is brutal, it will take many tries to beat it I can assure you. Even the first "Captain Falcon Trains" mission is extraordinarily hard.
Various challenges include, but are not limited to, beating nearly impossible to beat timers, beating AI racers that are immune to losing energy and have an unfair advantage over you, beating a *staff ghost* (Info on that later), as well as other difficult missions.
Your reward for beating a mission on hard, is unlocking a secret AX racer (From the arcade game F-Zero AX), as well as a good sum of tickets which are used to buy machines, custom machine parts, new music, staff ghosts, among other things.
Well before I mentioned the staff ghosts. If story mode on the hardest difficulty wasn't enough for you, well this should then satisfy your hunger for punishment. Staff ghosts are the ghost race from one of the games creators, it is a racer that as a certain set path (The one the game creator used) and are a ghost, so you can't attack or smash in to them. There is a staff ghost for every course (About 25 not counting story mode exclusive tracks) each of which has a very difficult time to beat. These ghosts can be activated on time attack mode, so if you want a record other then your own to beat... here you go.
Now the main mode, Grand Prix. This mode can be difficult in it's own right, there are 4 difficulties with "Master" being the hardest. In this mode, the enemy AI will not cheat like in some of the story mode missions though, so this may be considered a little easier to beat. The Grand Prix mode has 5 cups, each of which has 5 tracks to race on (Except the last, which has 6, but when racing in Grand Prix mode, you only race on the 1st 5, and the last one is only available in time attack and multi-player). So you can chose your difficulty as well as the cup you wish to play on. For getting 1st place in the overall Grand Prix in master mode, you will unlock a short, and usually amusing, video for the character you beat it on (Not applicable when using a custom machine).
There is also a practice mode that will let you pick any course, number of AIs, number of laps, among other things, so if you fell like doing a race, but not bothering to do a full Grand Prix, well this is for you.
In addition to all that, you have the F-Zero garage. In this, using a very wide variety (Well, once you unlock them all) of parts, you are allowed to create your own racer. When creating your own, you need to balance out a variety of stats. Do you want an extremely fast and durable, but hard to maneuver machine? Or do you want a slower fragile machine capable of extreme maneuvering? There are of course other ways to make your machine, but that was a few examples.
Well, we now reach are last main playing mode... Multi-player. I am not sure if the Gamecube supported online multi-player for this or not, but if you got some friends that are interested and are over your house, you have the option of playing with them.
Well what can I say? There are a lot of play modes, and even when you clear them, there is still plenty of more to do, such as unlocking everything (And there is a lot), to beating every mode on every difficulty, to beating all the staff ghosts (I unlocked everything personally, but I have yet to beat all the staff ghosts). Or perhaps you just want to do a Grand Prix or two. Either way, there will be stuff to come back to.
In the end. F-Zero is a great game. If you are not a fan of racing games, you probably may not like it too much, and the difficulty may just drive you insane. If you like racing games, this is a must have. They really need to make a Wii F-Zero.....
Buy or Rent? Buy, I'm not sure what places still sell this (The game is a few years old now), but if you find one, buy it. I do not regret in any way buying this game. Only rent if you are not a racing game fan.
10x2 (Gameplay is the most important aspect of any game and is worth double in my opinion)
Average and overall score: 10/10
Reviewer's Score: 10/10 | Originally Posted: 10/21/09
Game Release: F-Zero GX (US, 08/26/03)
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