Review by ADSLMikey

"Still classic, still fast, still worth your money...."

Due to the hype surrounding the imminent release of the Gamecube release of F-Zero GX, it sparked a feeling in me that i once held familiar, that feeling being the unbelievable rush that an old game called F-Zero had once provided me with...

Having dug out my old F-Zero cart and turning on my SNES, i was greeted with a famililar screen, i smiled remembering the times i had spent with this game since it was first introduced by Nintendo, way back when $39.99 seemed a cheap price for a game which had less than 600kbs of data on a small chip.

Front End:

The front end of F-Zero is very pleasing, showing the race track in the background and the familiar F-Zero logo in big capitals, there are three options to choose from; GRAND PRIX, TIME TRIAL and RECORDS, choosing GP brings up a cool screen showing the stats of the cars and their sprites rotate 360 so you can see the vehicle you are about to choose, all in all a very polished front end and the most catchy intro music for a racing title ive ever heard.

Playability:

Very gripping, and exhilarating... F-Zero for the SNES still provides the adrenaline boost that it always has, maybe the times, hardware and gaming crowd have changed but F-Zero is still a damn fine racer, the shoulder button power-slides are still cool to do, the turbo button still feels like a turbo should, and the jumps are just as crazy to do as they ever were, you still gasp with relief as you just manage to scrape yourself over a gap with about 5% power left. Plenty of shortcuts litter the tracks, with chances to cut up to 50% time off your laps for the clever and daring racers, and dodging the flashing bomb cars is always a nerve jangling experience.

Sound:

I can't really complain, because in the era of Digital Sound, EAX hardware and Surround Sound speaker setups, a little cartridge chip still providing a catchy theme tune and great race themes is an amazing feat, the music sounds as fresh as it did before and the sound effects (although slightly muffled) are adequate enough to provide a sense of 'being there' in the action. Quite a surprising thing.

Graphics:

The graphics have always been the upstanding thing about F-Zero games, and this one is no exception, back in the day they were groundbreaking and now, so many years later, they still seem quite an acheivement. The track whips along at an alarming rate, and the attention to detail on the vehicles is very good, from all the little go-fast stripes to the jet burners roaring away when you hit the turbo button, everything about F-Zero screams 'attention to detail'. Nintendo did an amazing job at managing to hit a steady 30fps at all times on such a low-end piece of technology, and the Mode-7 programming still stands up well alongside 32-bit incarnations of F-Zero, such as the GBA version. A phenomenal achievement.

Overall:

If you want a racing game with unbelieveable graphics, a thumping soundtrack, and more options than you can shake a stick at... Wait for F-Zero GX! If you cant wait that long and need a fix of F-Zero NOW, then you could do a lot worse than check out your local Gamestop and pick up an old pre-owned copy of F-Zero from the bargain bin. Even if you already have this game sitting in your basement somewhere, just dig it out and play it, i guarantee it will be the best couple of hours you have spent this week.


Reviewer's Score: 9/10 | Originally Posted: 07/30/03, Updated 07/30/03


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