Review by n fan

"F-Zero X is certainly a futuristic racer of high quality."

The first F-Zero game appeared on the SNES, simply known as F-Zero. A fast and good-looking game (by SNES-standards) it was, and the N64 incarnation is no different. But be warned, this isn't any duff driving game with the cars max speed is a puny 200 miles per hour. The ships you are racing here are resembling to space-ships and are capable of very high speed (and I mean high), the tracks are similar to rollercoasters in design, and there is no doubt that F-Zero X is set in a distant future, where dirty tricks are allowed and the expression ''fair play'' is an insult. But is it any good? Oh yes, and here it will be explained why.

Graphics: While F-Zero X is not quite as good-looking as, say, Star Wars Episode I Racer, it is still far from being ugly. The only problem with its looks is the lack of details, but when you see how smooth it runs, it doesn't seem as such a huge sacrifice. The game is capable of having lots of ships on the screen at the same time, while moving at extreme speed, without any slow-down at all. It is also colorful, and there is only a little fog and pop-ups. Nice.

Sound/Music: In my opinion most future racers have a pretty lousy sound-track, but in F-Zero X I surprisingly found myself turning the volume up to listen to its music. There are a lot of different tunes here as well. The engine noise of the ships sounds alright enough (even though it is a bit weak), and the other sound-effects do their job well too. Surprisingly good stuff.

Gameplay: The most important part of any game is the gameplay, and I'm pleased to tell that F-Zero X does not fail here either. The control takes only a short time of getting used to before it feels second-nature, and steering all the different ships will then be a piece of cake. The numerous tracks are very well designed, and the variation among them is truly great. There are several different modes in here, with the normal championship mode (called GP mode here) as the main meat, where you have to compete with other drivers for victory. The difficulty-level starts out easy, but before long it is getting quite challenging. There is also the time-trail mode were you're trying to beat your own best-time. In addition to that there is the death race, were the goal is to destroy the other drivers as quickly as possible, and there is of course a multiplayer-mode, which is great fun to play. The speed of the game, the exciting tracks and the cool ships all make F-Zero X a dream to play.

Lastability/Replayability: There are just so many different tracks and ships available here (some which have to be unlocked) that it takes quite some time just getting to try them all out. The time-trail mode is certainly very addictive, and you can easily spend hours just trying to shave seconds off your best time at one track. The multiplayer also adds hours of entertainment in F-Zero X's favor. Make no mistake, this is one racer that will last, and keep you coming back for a quick race a long time after you have mastered it. Certainly not a game that will gather dust after the first week, that's for sure.

Pros and Cons:

VERY fast
Good control
Smooth, colorful graphics
Great music
Tons of ships
Tons of tracks
Great track-design
Addictive, long-lasting time-trail
Enjoyable multiplayer

Not very detailed graphics
No weapons available

To rent or to buy?

If you are still playing the N64 and a fan of futuristic racers, this is a game that definitely deserves to be in your collection. Even if you are normally not a fan of futuristic racing-games, however, you should at least try it out to see if you like this one any better than its stable-mates. Not only does it look and sound good, it is also brilliant entertainment and long-lasting. Maybe the best racing game on the N64, this is highly recommended to all speed-freaks around the world.

Overall: 9/10

Reviewer's Rating:   4.5 - Outstanding

Originally Posted: 02/24/03, Updated 02/25/03

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