Review by Bkstunt_31

"What if we could race in the future?"

F-Zero is a fast-paced racing game for your Super Nintendo, and despite the fact that I have never played it until recently, here's my rather outdated impression of it:

Story: 7/10

Set far into the future, mankind has come into contact with many alien beings and intergalactic commerce is commonplace. Lazy businessman (as the manual calls them) have decided on a new form of entertainment by creating magnetic courses on which hovercraft-like vehicles can race around similar to the old F-1 races.

Most of the story is derived directly from the manual, as there is virtually no incorporation of it into the game. Once you start playing, you basically have to pick a car (one of four primary drivers as outlined in the manual), pick a class (difficulty), and than race. There isn't any dialog before, during, or after a race either. Oh well, I guess the game play will be a little better.

Game play: 6/10

Well, maybe not. Admittedly, F-Zero is fairly impressive if you consider that it was one of the first Super Nintendo games released, although time has definitely had it's effect on it. Racing will feel familiar to anyone with some experience, as you twist and turn along the increasingly curvy tracks, sometimes needing to avoid obstacles and trying to stay on track. Going off track or running into something will deplete your shield, and once your shield is gone you will blow up! Thankfully, there is a "pit stop" section that you can drive through to recharge your shield which you will most certainly need if your shield is low. Each race is five laps around the track and you have to continually place within a certain position to stay in the race. There are also special speed boosts once you finish your first lap. Other than working on taking the turns the best way possible (by using the shoulder buttons to "lean" into the turns) and avoiding track obstacles on the harder levels, that's all there really is to the game play. Once you master the tracks, all you really have left is to up the difficulty of the game (and it can get HARD on the later levels).

I wasn't very impressed by the game, really, as I personally have way more fun with Mario Kart. F-Zero does make you feel like you're going faster, but it just doesn't have the same fun factor. One of the biggest disappointments in the game comes from it having no multi-player, which is a major bummer.

Graphics: 7/10

The graphics were spectacular for their time, making great use of mode seven and presenting the fasted looking racing ever. Each car that you can choose from has its own design, which is only mildly impressive since there are only four to choose from. The other non-playable cars all look the same: a rather bland salmon color... yuck. The tracks themselves look pretty much the same with some added colors and a day/night thing going on (think rad racer). At the higher levels there are considerably more road hazards to avoid, so you'll get to see the "blown up" animation for sure! The game was technically impressive but still manages to be fairly average with how much content it reuses.

Music / Sound effects: 8/10

I actually really enjoyed the music in F-Zero, getting to hear the theme of "Big Blue" was one of my highlights. These are, for the most part, well thought out and catchy little themes, although they do feel far too rushed (to go with the game play, no doubt). The sound effects are fairly standard for a racing game, I did like the "healing" sound you get when you're recharging your shields. Surprisingly, the music is one of the highlights of the game.

Re-playability: 7/10

The re-playability is a tad higher than most games due to the nature of racing games. The lack of multi-player really puts a hurting on the game. You can try out different cars as well as try out different difficulties, and there is a practice mode as well.

Overall: 7/10

Overall, F-Zero is a fairly generic racing experience. Personally, for Super Nintendo racing, I would stick to Mario Kart as it's tracks are more varied and it is just plain funner. I believe F-Zero hasn't come to it's prime yet. Have fun and keep playing!

Reviewer's Rating:   3.5 - Good

Originally Posted: 02/17/09

Game Release: F-Zero (US, 08/13/91)

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