Review by Joon

"Not for casual racers"

Recently, I decided I would import a few Gamecube titles. My knowledge of Japanese is limited so I decided that I should stick with simpler games. I picked up a couple racing and fighting games, one of which was F-Zero GX.

I had heard all the hype about how great this game was going to be. A game made by Sega in collaboration with Nintendo, it sounded great! The demo movies showed that eye candy abounded and the races were definitely fast. I never much liked racing games outside of Mario Kart, but I had to give F-Zero GX a try.

I happily ordered my Freeloader so that I could play my new games. After a few races of Kirby's Air Ride, I thought I'd give F-Zero GX a try. My friend is a fan of F-Zero and wanted to play against me. After selecting racers and track, we were ready to go. We chose a basic course first so that we could ease into it. After the first race, my friend had come out the victor. We were both pleased with the graphics and speed of the game. In those respects, it certainly lived up to expectations. However, the race itself was pretty boring. We figured we should try a harder track in order to get a better feel for the game. Once we had gone through all the available tracks, we felt the same. Yes, it was fast and pretty, but no amount of loops or jumps made it any fun.

For the races to be much fun, I thought we would need more racers. So, I started to play single mode. To my surprise, there was actually a story that was told through cinematic cut scenes. The cinemas, like the game itself were gorgeous but lacked any substance. I don't expect a story from a racing game, let alone a good one. Sure enough, this game held up to my expectations in that department. After a cinema that would make anyone's eyes roll, you begin your first race. It turns out that I had selected the wrong single player mode. There was no swarm of drivers around me. So, after a few races, I decided I would try to find the single player mode that does have a bunch of computer racers. Without much difficulty, I stumbled upon it. No cinemas this time, but it did have the giant groups of other racers that are synonymous with F-Zero. After a few more visually impressive races, I had won! Yet, I still wasn’t having any fun. I decided I should step up the difficulty. Once I had upped the difficulty I decided to play a little more single player. The computer wasn’t a challenge at all before. Now? The computer proceeded to beat me into the ground without a bit of mercy. I could barely squeak by a few more races on the advanced difficulty, but it got too hard too fast. Even when it got harder, I still wasn’t entertained.

Like I said before, I'm not a big fan of racing games. So, if you're like me and not very interested in racing games, don't expect F-Zero GX to change your opinion any time soon. If you enjoy futuristic racers, F-Zero GX may very well be just what you're looking for. It's definitely not for casual racers. I will give credit where credit is due though. The game is very fast and looks great. The link arcade link system sounds interesting and the customizable cars are a nice touch. In the end, however, these features aren't enough to make up for the serious lack of the most important one: fun.

Reviewer's Rating:   2.5 - Playable

Originally Posted: 08/28/03, Updated 08/29/03

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