Review by FeyZan

Reviewed: 11/01/99 | Updated: 11/01/99

yeah, yeah, faster, faster!!!!

When the original F-Zero came out on the SNES, it was unique in the sense of providing ultra fast racing tracks and a featuristic environment (these trends were to be later improved on by WIPEOUT and the awesome WIPEOUT XL); for me F-Zero was the ultimate racer alongside TOP GEAR 2 (i never cared for Super Mario Kart ... ). Now that i have played the n64 rendition of the game, how does it compare (especially after experiencing games like WIPEOUT XL and 64)??. Very well i may add......

Graphics: 7/10:- Ok, so all of you may have seen the screenshots and yes, it doesnt look all that hot...barren track detail, low poly count on the cars, and fog infested tracks (although not as severe as TUROK). Nintendo say that its for keeping the framerate up, but i am sure that the n64 could handle 2 times more detail AND keep the framerate at 60....anyway, although it doesnt look as good as WIPEOUT 64 or even Xl for that matter, the tracks are indigeniously designed...they swirl, curl and twist at such high speeds that , as IGN64 claims, you really do forget how barren looking they are!! Plus, the graphics frontend is a bit strange, with cheap menus with a weird handdrawn look to them. Although the graphics deserved a 5 or a 6, the track design pumps it up to a 7!!

Sound: 8/10 :- Streamed rock music pumps out on every level....some are remixes of the old SNES stages like 'Mute City' or BIG BLUE...they all sound good, especially BIG BLUE, but the sad thing is that the tracks are in mono!! Sound effects are good, but nothing extra ordinary, with some echo effects in tunnels; they are in stereo, so you do get an idea of the positioning of your opponents. The music is a refreshing change from the techno themes being shoved into every other racer nowadays, and it really does sound quite appropriate, matching the fierce competition onscreen during the multiplayer modes....

Gameplay: 9/10 :- This is where it all comes together...the single player game is good enough, with lots of tracks to race on with varying cup levels....the analog stick provides slick precision, although i did find the couple of attacking (dashing?) moves in the game a bit awkward to pull off; these moves are supposed to knock your opponent off the track, but i never got around to using them well. Anyway, the multiplayer mode is really something....all 4 screens update at 60fps, and although there are no computer controlled opponents, you can race on all the tracks and they all look as good as the 1player versions!! Whereas WIPEOUT 64 and other similar multiplayer race games have to sacrifice detail, F-ZERO X looks exactly the same!! er...ok, the detail level wasnt all that hot in the first place, but it still is a valid point!! Plus, there are lots of multiplayer options to tinker with like a random track generator and a slot machine game for the player who loses on early in the race (the player can come up with devious things like zero energy for the rest of the players or road obstacles!!)...both options are excellent and really show that the multiplayer aspect of the game was well designed!! However, at times i did feel like as if F-Zero X lacked a few things like...firepower!! after investing so much time playing the WIPEOUT series, i almost got used to searching for bombs and lock-on laser icons on the would have been cool blasting the hell out of an opponent while racing at extreme speeds on a swirling borderless corkscrew track...but alas, we have to make do by the silly spin moves. Still top class gameplay by any standards!!

Bottomline: 9/10 :- I was pissed off at the basic graphics, but the speed, excitement and gameplay won me over. Suggestions for the sequel? Add 40% more detail, maintain framerate at 60fps, and add that would kick ass!! Miyamotos' vision is truly exemplary!! only he can get away with average graphics and still convince graphic tarts like me to play his games.....

Rating:   4.5 - Outstanding

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