Review by Rasmiel

"Warning: Not For Normal Driving Game Players"

After going through some time of depression caused by cursed F-Zero: GP Legend (GBA), I have decided to give Nintendo/Saga one more chance to get me interested again. F-Zero GX, is the solution. If you thought the movie, "2Fast 2Furious" was great, wait until you play this. Get your money ready and get dressed to go out, because you will go to your local video game store and purchace this game.

Graphics: 10
Ah, a HUGE improvement from F-Zero 64. The racing machines have carefully been polygoned and detailed, and effects are as beautiful as ever. You can see flame works when you slide along wall, you can see plasma overwhelming your machine when you use boost. Heck, you can even see dirt rising when going through one.

Getting matters back to the Machines, THEY ARE SO DETAILED! You can even see little scratches on them! Better yet, pilots can actually be seen, and guess what? They are even moving inside! Whoever said GameCube falls behind PS2 and XBox!?

Furthermore, tracks are also a lot more detailed. You can see little ads, statues, clowns and so on while you race around. Everything is so well detailed, there isn't a thing you can miss.

There are also lot of animated footages, and they are seen like movies; characters moving every parts of their body, including fingers and eyes. It'll get you thinking, "Wait, did I pay for this movie?". If you have a Wide Plasma Screen TV, you are in for some serious fast and furious action.

Music/Sound: 9
I was kind of disappointed with music. They are remix versions of old theme songs. Like Mute City theme, which is used as F-Zero main theme as well, starts with disco music, and then slowly sounds more like the original theme. I've expected music like the one used in Super Smash Brothers Melee, now that was hot. Most music still fit their respective tracks. Yes, each tracks have their own theme song, and they just match so perfectly. It'll get you on rhythm.

Sound effects are very nice. Like graphics, they are well recorded. You can hear a charging sound when an opponent is right behind you, and is about to boost his way past you. It goes "WhhhhhhoooooooooooSSSSSSSHHHHH", and you'd probably go, "Oh, you are so dead" and boost your way up to him once again and side attack his backside off the track, giving nice sound of plasma/spark/crash mix.

Gameplay: 10
First, let me tell you this: THIS IS HARD. No, it's not like Mario Kart or mid-core racing games like F-1 or Gotham Racing for other console for that matter. Computer AIs are actually smart and fair. They know when you pass them, which leads them to use boost to get the lead once again. They even try to block your way, which can cause some serious falling.

Difficulties are all hard. Even the Novice level is hard for a lot of players. Even now, I can only get 1st place in the Standard level. This can cause some serious mental problems for slow paced racing game players. With machines speeding through in average speed of 1000MPH, stages with insane angles and insanely delightened AIs, this will give you the real meaning behind the word, "Racing".

Likewise, all camera angles are useful in someway. There are about 7 different views. It includes the Inside-Machine view (I couldn't mention the appropriate word), which obviously gives you the pilot's eye view. It can let you experience what it's like to drive a F-Zero Machine. Try messing with the feature, as you will find the best view fit to give you an advantage.

Controls can be disturbing for some new comers to the F-Zero series. There are several moves to master, but it wouldn't take you long, at least not more than 24hours to master them. You will see that the game gets easier once you get hang of the control. If you don't like them though, the game allows you to change the settings, to make it the way you like it.

There are several Modes, including Grand Prix, Practice, Customize, VS. Battle, Story, Time Attack, and bonuses including Replay and Pilot Profiles. In Grand Prix, you get to choose from three different ranks, from Ruby to Sapphire to Emerald, and couple more to be unlocked soon in the game. Practice lets you customize settings and polish your skills at any tracks. Customize lets you buy more racers, and you can even make your own character and machine, as well as his emblem! How deep is that for a racing game? VS. Battle lets you race with your friends, Story takes you through the plot of F-Zero using Captain Falcon, Time Attack gives you an opportunity to race for the best record existing, or beat the best record of yours by playing with the ghost, representing your last time record. Replay lets you view...the replays you saved after each races. Finally, Pilot Profiles gives you the Bios of characters and machines you've unlocked, and each of them have their own theme songs.

Going further in detail about Story mode, since I think it is the best mode of F-Zero GX. Like I mentioned above, the story mode uses Captain Falcon to tell you the plot of F-Zero. You have a nice animated footages. It's like watching a movie; Characters moving, talking, racing, drinking. You'd have to buy the additional episodes first though. Once you complete one, you get another unlocked, which is available for purchase in the shop. Don't worry, you get the Prologue and Episode 1 for free. :) But man, who would have though Black Shadow had such a...wimpy voice? o.O'

By now, you are probably wondering about the Shop system of this game. You basically earn tickets, not for going over speed but for winning Grand Prix and a story episode. They are used as money in order to buy machines and custom parts.

Replay Value: 10
The Replay Value of this game is endless. You have so many things to unlock, and you have so many chances to go beyond your highest skill of racing.

Buy or Rent?
Buy now. Buy or else, Captain Falcon will knock on your door and Falcon Punch you right into your local video game store. Well not really, but seriously, there is no need to rent; I'm positive you will love it.

Final Comment
Whoever says GameCube has too many baby-ish games, they surely have no idea what this console and its games are capable of. Comparing with this future racing game, other racing games look like tiny beans rolling on roads. GameCube's capabilities represent the Infinity.

Reviewer's Rating:   4.5 - Outstanding

Originally Posted: 08/22/04

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