Review by SuperPhillip

"Racing to the Xtreme... with an X!!"

Excitement aside, F-Zero X originally debuted on the Nintendo 64 in 1998, and with it brought a maelstrom of racers, tracks, and speed. Not satisfied with just having three other racers competing against you like the original F-Zero for the SNES, EAD ramped up the number to twenty-nine other pilots. The aim of F-Zero is that you are competing in a galactic competition against other pilots each with their own back stories and ambitions. Unfortunately unless you have the old N64 instruction manual you won't have a clue who the hell the people you're racing truly are background-wise. However, since you're obviously reading this from the luxury of the internet, you can look up that info if you so aspire. Each pilot has his or her own craft which has its own stats: Boost, Grip, and Body. Boost is how far the craft will accelerate when the boost button is hit. Grip is how well your craft will a handle a turn. Body is how strong the craft is against attacks and hitting walls or traps.

The main mode of F-Zero X is the Grand Prix. There are three starting cups to begin with: Jack, Queen, and King and two unlockable: Joker and X. X is the coolest as you'll race on randomized tracks. Nonetheless, each cup is a six race event where you'll race against 29 other pilots aiming to earn the most points by placing high in each of the six races. The tracks aren't your standard fare from the original. These tracks loop, bend, roll, and flip in blistering fast 3-D. The game is speedy, but if you've played F-Zero GX this won't be anything you won't be able to handle. You can choose to race cleanly, or use your vehicle's spin move to smash into other racers trying to destroy their crafts-- disqualifying them from the current race. This tactic may not seem fair, but it's almost a necessity in later difficulties. Hey, you can even try to do your best Billy Joel impression by slamming into the walls and wrecking your vehicle! However, if you lose all of your craft's health either by using your craft's boost feature (which is enabled on the second lap of each race) or by obtaining enough damage you'll lose a ship. Lose all of your ships and it's game over.

In addition to the main Grand Prix mode you can play with three other friends or CPUs in Versus mode, take aim for a great time in Time Trial mode, unleash your inner road rage (c'mon, you know you wanted to flick off that hick in the "Save the whales, harpoon a fat chick" T-shirt who cut you off the other day on route 3) on Death Race where you cycle on a small race track trying to eliminate all pilots in the fastest time, and there's the mandatory Records screen to check your best times and scores.

There are some graphical problems such as pop-up in some tracks. I also wish that Nintendo would have given us the Japan-only F-Zero X Expansion Pack along with this title, but maybe-- and this is stretching it-- they'll release it later on in the year or so. Yeah, fat chance I know. Regardless, F-Zero X is a great racer for those with and without friends. However, don't expect this title to eclipse the better F-Zero GX. To put it simply, F-Zero X is better than the original F-Zero, but not as good as its younger brother, F-Zero GX. That notwithstanding though, if you have 1000 Wii points, need a good racer that will last you a while, pick this title up. You certainly will not regret it unless you're Billy Joel angry at my one joke.

The Recap:

Story: F-Zero is an intergalactic racing competition to see who will claim the title of the greatest racer in the galaxy. Are you up to the challenge?

Graphics: From far away the crafts are not detailed at all and are somewhat hard to distinguish from each other, but when zoomed in there's some shiny little buggers to gawk at. Tracks and the surroundings are pretty nice for the time as well.

Gameplay: This game was speedy at the time, but it's not so blazingly fast as it once seemed to be. The racing is tight and feels good, and most importantly the game is fun.

Sound: A rocking soundtrack which I liked and still like very much. By the way if you get a chance listen to the F-Zero X Guitar Arrange soundtrack. Very cool stuff there.

Replay Value: The various cups and difficulties are great to lengthen your play time, and multiplayer only further helps this.

Overall: 8/10 - A solid game for $10.00. Sure, I got the original N64 version new at Best Buy for $15.00 way back when, but it's still better than $60.00 USD, now, isn't it?


Reviewer's Score: 8/10 | Originally Posted: 07/23/07


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