Review by plasmabeam

"A true 1st Place finisher"

Last year, two hit GameCube games were released in the same week near the end of August. The two were Soul Calibur II and F-Zero GX. I had been wanting SC2 for a few months, and I reserved it and bought it on the day it came out. A friend of mine liked racing games, and he bought F-Zero GX. I went over his house later that week, and, of course, we played F-Zero and SC2. I couldn't get enough of F-Zero, and I ended up buying it the next day.

Graphics - 9/10
It's amazing how everything looks so good, even at the amazingly high speeds in this game. The machines look sleek and colorful during the races. I really liked how the machines look when you boost. You can even customize the machines with decals and other stuff. The character models are good, and everyone looks nicely detailed. There's even some cinema scenes in Story Mode.

The tracks are well designed and you can easily see where you're going on most tracks. The backgrounds are nice, especially in tracks like Mute City. You'll see plenty of buildings, if you take your eyes off the track. Some of the tracks are absolutely stunning. The Green Plant tracks take place in a forest, and you'll see trees and other plants everywhere.

Sound and Music - 8/10
The music in this game is average. You probably won't even care about it, because you'll be way too focused on the track and your competitors. Most of the music is upbeat and somewhat catchy. It fits the game nicely, but as I mentioned before, you'll be more worried about the action.

The sounds in this game are great. There's nothing more satisfying than the sound you hear, when you hit another machine to its doom. You'll also hit land mines that make sweet explosive sounds. If you run of of energy, your machine will explode, and make a nice explosive sound, also.

The voice acting in this game is decent at best. If you win a Gran Prix, your character will be interviewed, and he or she will talk. Most of the voices are all right. In Story Mode the characters talk even more, but their voices could've been better.

Story - 5/10
F-Zero GX actually has a Story Mode, unlike most racing games. There's even cool cinema scenes that tell the story. You play as Captain Falcon through nine levels, in which you must complete a certain objective. Although there isn't very much of a story, it's a nice thing to have. It keeps the game fresh, just in case you're tired of constantly doing Gran Prix mode. Story Mode is very difficult, too. Some missions take many times to get the hang of.

Controls - 9/10
The controls in GX are solid. Although the game may be too fast for some people, I think the controls are responsive and work well. You hold "A" to accelerate, "B" to brake, control stick left or right to turn, "Y" to use your booster, "Z" and "X" to attack other racers, and "L" or "R" to make sharper turns. All of those controls work almost perfectly, and after an hour or so of playing the game, you'll have mastered them.

Gameplay - 9/10
This game is FAST. I'm dead serious about that. If you blink, you might end up hitting a wall or falling to your doom. After a while you get used to the intense speed, and you'll be doing better.

The tracks are brilliantly designed with plenty of twists and turns along the way. You can also ride over these yellow pads that make you speed up. There's even points where you'll be gliding in mid-air. The tracks are full of danger, too. There's lava pits, land mines, and more. If you see your opponents riding along, you can attack them, and most likely kill them for the remainder of the race. That's what separates GX from most racing games. The fact that you can kill the guy, who's winning in the Gran Prix standings, makes the game so much more thrilling. If your opponent is way ahead of you in the standings, you might actually be more motivated to kill him, than focus on finishing in 1st place.

There are a good amount of modes in GX. There's Gran Prix, VS. Mode, Time Attack, Story Mode, and more. You'll be busy playing this game for a long time.

Replay Value - 10/10
There's a ton of racers to unlock in this game. Some you can simply buy with the tickets that you win, while others have specific ways of being unlocked. There's also more tracks to unlock. There's also a feature that allows you to creature your own machine with parts that you bought from the shop. There's lots of extra things, but the main parts of the game alone, will take a long time to complete.

Overall - 9/10
F-Zero GX puts Mario Kart: Double Dash to shame and takes the title fo GCN's best racer. It's a must have for fans of racing games. It's also a difficult game with a load of reasons to keep playing.

Reviewer's Rating:   4.5 - Outstanding

Originally Posted: 08/05/04

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