Review by Gruel

"F-Zero is back!"

The Game

Back in 1991, the Super Nintendo launched to enormous success, one of it's first title was F-Zero, a futuristic racer which uses the Super Nintendo's Mode 7 capabilities to it's advantage to pull off stunning camera rotation, which gave you a sense of 3-D game play(and it was an influence on other futuristic racing games such as Wipeout and Aerogauge). Now, 7 years later in 1998, F-Zero is back, this time in true 3-D. Will the game live up to the excitement of the original? Let's get onto the review and find out.

Graphics

There's a nice variety of cars, I mean machines in this game. Each one vary different from the others, and on the car select screen you can choose the color for your machine too. But the bad thing about the machine models is that they are too small, and even though beautifully detailed and really great looking, they're so small that cars off some of the crappy N64 racers like Multi Racing Championship and Off Road Challenge look superb compared to these.

Another thing is the race tracks. For designs there are tunnels, pipes, and regular race ways. I love the way the tunnel looks, and how you can race upside down on it, but most of the courses show no variation. Just different colors. Plus it seems the tracks loose some detail in multi player modes, and only look great when viewed in single player races. I can't believe all the info they managed to put on screen in the single player races like portraits of the top 8 racers, your speed, your position, and your shield! But overall, I'd have to say that graphics are the weakest part of the game.

Sound

You got a pretty nice heavy metal background music. And even though it sounds pretty generic, it suits the futuristic theme of the game well. Sound effects are simple, but fit the game nicely, like the speed burst sounds the way they should and you really know when you're crashing into the wall. There is use of voice, the announcer is kinda cool, you can understand just about everything he's trying to say like ''You got Boost Power'' and ''You're going the wrong way!'' but some things he says gets muffled like during the pre race countdown, he says, ''3, 2, 1'' but the go sound like he's screaming ''Ahhhhh'' and when ever your car retires(blows up or falls off course) I couldn't make out what he was trying to say at all, but it somewhat sounded like, ''Oh, no you got second team!''

Game play

This seems just like your average futuristic racer. The controls are easy to respond too, and steering is easy to do with the control stick. There's little yellow arrows scattered throughout some of the tracks and by riding over them you get a speed boost. And by holding Z and pressing the R button twice, or vice versa, you get to do these spin attacks and they damage your opponents shield, the shield also gradually decreases if you hit the side railing of the course, but when you race in a certain pink shoulder of the track it refills your shield. After the 2nd lap you gain the right to boost, a temporarily speed burst, but it takes off some of your shield.

For some of the game modes there's a practice race, where you go against the computer on any course and race it forever until you decide to quit, then there's Time Attack, which is just basically a time trial for any course. Then there's the GP Race where's there is several cups to race from on a different level of difficulty, once you beat the cup, you unlock some more machines. There's around 30-40 machines in the game. Then there's this very new type of mode called the Death Race, where you just race on one very short, straight course and your object is to take out all other 24 machines your racing against as fast as possible.

And finally there's multi player mode, where up to 4 players can play at once in Vs. racing. The game keeps tally of which players wins the most rounds. And what's really fun is, if you're racing with 3 or 4 players and you retire before the other racers finish, you have the option of doing a slot game over and over, and if you get 3 matching slots, either a certain machine, or all of them lose half or all there shield! However, I don't think the multi player mode is as fun to play as in Mario Kart 64, because all there is just Vs. mode. I wish you can have at least 2 players compete in the GP race like in Mario Kart, and it really would've been cool if 2 or more could play in the Death Race. But the Vs. racing is fun by it's self, and with all the options(slots, against 2 or 1 computer machines if you're playing with 2 or 3 people), make multi player just a little bit fun to play.

Replay Value

Like I said before, multi player isn't the greatest, even when you have 4 people over, but it's fun for a little while to play in Vs. mode, but I actually think the single player games are way better than the multi player mode, because GP race is fun to do because of unlocking all the machines, you'll be spending hours in Time Attack to get your fastest times, and there's also many courses to race from, I think there's about 30. And the Death Race mode is just a blast to play! But both modes kept me playing this game for a while.

In Brief

+: Lots of tracks, lots of racers to choose from, and the Death Race is a blast!

-: The graphics are a little bit disappointing, and the same goes for the multi player mode.

The Final Ratings Rundown

Graphics: 7.2
Sound: 7.6
Game play: 7.8
Replay Value: 7.3

Overall: 7.4

Rounded to fit GameFAQs score: 7

Final Analysis

If you loved the first F-Zero on the Super Nintendo, then you won't be disappointed with this one. And even though the multi player games aren't the greatest to play, at least they're there! It'd be a tough decision if I were to tell you to get either this or Wipeout 64, both are great games, but a slightly like this game better, and if you're fans of either series, you should at least take a look at this title.


Reviewer's Score: 7/10 | Originally Posted: 05/16/00, Updated 05/16/00


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