Review by YSF

"A High-Speed Futuristic Hovercraft Racing!!!"

Introduction

F-Zero was one of the first-generation games to demonstrate the power of the Super Nintendo- its originality in game design and the use of powerful mode 7 effects are undeniable. Nothing like F-Zero has ever hit the streets before. [I mean, in 1991, when the Super Nintendo was launched.] With that, there's no doubt that F-Zero is one of the best Super Nintendo games.

Gameplay

F-Zero is a high-speed futuristic hovercraft racing with mode 7 tracks and three separate racing leagues. In F-Zero, there are a total of four different hovercrafts, each with distinct handling characteristics. For example, Golden Fox has very good acceleration but doesn't have very high max speed while a Fire Stingray has a higher max speed, but with a slower acceleration. Each hovercraft also gets a chance to boost up your speed per lap of the race.

The artificial intelligence or Al is truly excellent. The computer-controlled racers are really tenacious. And, the challenge also varies differently, ranging from the easiest to the hardest. The final track, also known as Fire Field, is definitely one of the most difficult tracks i have ever encountered in the game. A variety of obstacles like turning along a curve road, pits etc furthur enriches the challenge.

Graphics

The graphics may look really dull and old when compared to modern racing games like Ridge Racer and Gran Turismo. And, it may hurt the eyes too... I do admit that F-Zero is not the best racing game on the Super Nintendo graphically... but don't forget that the game was made in 1991. The backgrounds are generally quite detailed with very well designed hovercrafts. The graphics do nearly get on par with Super Mario Kart, thanks to the powerful mode 7 effects.

Music and Sound

The music and sound effects are generally quite good. The tunes do fit the futuristic atmosphere well. Without a doubt, the sound effects are definitely much better than those 8-bit games. All the clanking sounds etc that are produced when cars contact into one another can be easily heard. So far, i don't really have any complaint about the music and the sound effects.

Control

F-Zero also has an amazingly tight control system. Do you know this? F-Zero was the first Super Nintendo game to really make good use of the top L and R buttons on the SNES controller. The controls, without a doubt, are definitely responsive and intuitive. The hovercraft performances are also realistic. The handling is totally different for each hovercraft. For example, the red hovercraft, in my opinion, is the easiest to handle for beginners. Furthermore, the game plays nearly flawlessly, without any single slowdown.

What's Cool About It???

Perhaps, the greatest fun is to break speed record. And, also, who can forget the post-race camerawork- the first for console racing games. However, the only downside is that F-Zero does not support multiplayer. Anyway, this is no big deal, considering that multiplayer isn't really that popular among racing games in those days. [Anyway, F-Zero 64 will fix that problem.]

Conclusion

Need i say anymore? F-Zero is easily one of the best Super Nintendo games. No racing fans should really miss it. So, what are you doing now? Go and grab a copy if you have not done so. If not, download the rom from the internet.

Do you know?

According to EGM issue #100, it says that two updates to F-Zero have been released exclusively for Nintendo's satellite service Satellaview in Japan only. This includes adding new tracks, new crafts, as well as enhanced graphics and multiplayer mode to the game.

Graphics : 9.0/10.0
Concept : 10.0/10.0
Control : 9.0/10.0
Music : 8.5/10.0
Sound : 8.5/10.0
Gameplay : 9.5/10.0
Replay : 9.0/10.0
Challenge : 9.0/10.0
Overall : 9.0/10.0


Reviewer's Score: 9/10 | Originally Posted: 06/14/00, Updated 12/16/02


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