Review by ice beam

"My favorite racing game"

It is a shame really, So many people tend to ignore this fantastic racer for Mario Kart 64. F-Zero has always been Nintendo's other racing series. It has always been left behind in the dust by many people for Mario Kart. F-Zero X was the N64 F-Zero. I had always liked Mario Kart, but this game is way better. Plus, since it is in 3-D, it allowed them to expand upon track design. I will explain that later in the review.

I must say that the only flaw in F-Zero X are the graphics. I'm not asking for Gamecube-esque graphics, but I thought the could do just a little bit better. There is hardly any backgrounds, just sky and some 2-D objects in the background. But one advantage of the graphics is that it can show up to 30 vehicles on the screen at one time.

When you start off the game, you will be greeted with a strange rock/guitar theme with a comic book picture of F-Zero in the background. It was just a strange thing to me that I had to put it down in this review.

First off, you can choose between 30 racers in this game. That's right. Thirty. That is a lot compared to Mario Kart's eight. Each machine has four categories, Body, Boost, Grip, and Weight. Each of these categories (excluding weight) are rated from A to E, with A being excellent and E being terrible. Let me use an example. The Crazy Bear has an A for body, a B for boost, and an E for grip. That means it can take a ton of damage, can get a kick out of boosting, but slides around a lot. Each vehicle has different ratings, meaning anyone can find the vehicle that is right for them.

One thing radically different from the original and this game is the boosting. In the original F-Zero, you got to boost after you finished a lap. In this game, you can boost whenever you want after the first lap. But don't think you can just boost recklessly. Every time you boost, you will drain some of your vehicles energy. If you run out of energy, your car will crash and burn (literally). That means you only need to boost in places that others slow down or when you need to catch up. In the tracks are purple "pit stops." When you run through these, it will heal your energy. These are usually placed before the finish line.

One thing I have always liked about F-Zero is that is skill-based only. If you mess up, it is your fault. Nothing like in Mario Kart, where your opponent gets advantage of you by hitting you with an item. But don't think that doesn't mean there aren't obstacles all over the courses though. By pressing Z or R twice, you can perform a ramming attack, which you can use to knock your opponents against a wall or off the track. You can also perform a spin attack to knock at many opponents.

This game has twenty-four tracks to race on. All of the tracks are well-designed, they are not too long, but not too short either. Now that F-Zero is in 3-D, the tracks could be created to their full potential. Gone are racing on on flat 2-D courses, now we can race on loops, pipes, mirrored roads, upside down areas, half-pipes, corkscrews, and even cylinders! Each of the twenty-four tracks has its own theme. You will be racing on a cylinder first, them the next course be racing on a wavy track. I personally like this. This is true futuristic racing.

A great unlockable for this game is the X cup. The X cup has a ton of random tracks. It will never show what track you will race on, you must see for yourself. Everything is randomly generated, the track design, obstacles, background, everything! I don't think I have ever seen two of the X cup tracks that look exactly alike.

I'm not big on multiplayer. F-Zero X has it, but it is just like any other multiplayer.

The music in this game is very intense and fast-paced. I always felt that a fast game (going at 860 kilometer per hour) needed fast paced music. Plus there are remixes of two tunes from the original F-Zero.

Another worthy addition is the Death race. In this, you are put on a completely straight path, and you must destroy all of the other vehicles to complete it. But sometimes you can mess up and fall of the tracks yourself.

This is one of the greatest racing games ever! I love everything about this game. It is definitely one of the best games on the N64. It is way better than any Mario Kart, Ridge Racer, or Gran Turismo game. While the graphics are sorely lacking, I can ignore that since the game is so fun to play. This is a must have for the N64.

Final Score = 9.6 out of 10

Fun Fact: The first course of the Joker Cup will be very familiar to Mario Kart 64 fans.

Reviewer's Rating:   5.0 - Flawless

Originally Posted: 02/26/07

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