"It may be old but its still one of the best."

It is unfortunate that the best system ever lacks in the racing game genre, but luckily a few gems like F-Zero helped to ensure that even a poorly represented genre could still shine with quality over quantity. Today I am giving the original F-Zero a review.

GAMEPLAY:
F-Zero is a futuristic racing game in which you take control of one of four selectable vehicles and compete in a series of races against other computer controlled drivers. Depending on the place you finish you get a certain number of points (the higher the ranking the more points you get) and if you have the most points at the end of the tournament you win. The four selectable vehicles have slightly different stats which give them individual advantages in some areas but weaknesses in others (ex: high top speed but poor control, good control but low top speed, average overall but not particularly strong or weak in one area) allowing players to select according to their personal tastes. There are plenty of race tracks in this game but fortunately they are all well designed with plenty of twists and turns to keep the game exciting and with very few slowdowns your racer keeps on going fast and furiously. As usual Nintendo lives up to their excellent reputation and delivers a game with good play control and some innovation. One such innovation was the use of the top mounted L and R buttons on the Super NES controller to perform sharp turns, a feature that was previously not used in console games but has since become a standard for nearly all games in this genre.

STORY:
There isn't much of a story to the game except that it takes place in the future and each vehicle has their own unique driver. Of course like action games story is not an overly important aspect to most racers.

AUDIO/VIDEO:
The music in the game ranges from great to just plain annoying. While some tunes are quite good (memorable even) most are average at best with a few lousy ones as well. This game was one of if not the first game to showcase the Super NES's Mode 7 scaling effects in it's graphics and despite the age of the game the Mode 7 effects still look very impressive even today. The graphical part of the game is good and certainly very impressive for the time.

REPLAY ABILITY:
There are multiple vehicles to experiment with, lots of different tournaments to compete in, multiple difficulty settings, and a time trial mode to keep you playing for a while. In fact if you are like me you may still have fun playing it every once and a while even after you have beaten all of these extras because of the high fun factor.

TO BUY OR RENT?:
Go ahead and add this game to your Super NES collection its a good solid title despite its age (a Super NES launch title from 1991) and along with Super Mario Kart does a great job of representing a fairly sparse genre of the Super NES. This game is usually inexpensive to purchase and luckily thanks to a re-release around 1996 is not as hard to find as some of the other early Super NES titles.


Reviewer's Score: 9/10 | Originally Posted: 10/11/01, Updated 10/11/01


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