Review by Psycho Penguin

Reviewed: 11/10/00 | Updated: 07/16/01

Fun, fantastic, and futuristic racer from Nintendo

F-Zero is a futuristic racing game made by Nintendo for the Super NES in 1992. Featuring hover cars as opposed to normal cars, the game featured several unique game play elements not seen before in a racing game. This led to a huge fan base, and one of the first SNES classics was born. F-Zero is a fun racing game, and is one of my favorite racing games of all time. And it is almost as good as my favorite Super Nintendo racing game, Top Gear. It really is a blast to play.

As some of you may already know from some of the other reviews I have done, I have never really been a huge fan of racing games. Sure, I enjoy playing them, and I still like a lot of them. But the simple fact is that I would name a list of my favorite genres, and the racing game genre would not be anywhere close to the top. I still do enjoy a lot of racing games, however, it is just not one of my favorite genres. I am certainly not biased against any racing games, that is for sure.

The game itself is so much fun to play, and I really enjoyed playing it. I had heard a lot about this game from some of my friends and I really did not believe all of the hype at first. I mean, how good could the game really be? It seemed fun to play, and I certainly was not saying that it was a horrible game, but I was just wondering how good the game really was. So, one day I went over to Blockbuster and bought the game for a mere 4 dollars. I was sure the game would be worth the investment, and it turned out to be that and so much more. My friends were right. F-Zero rocks!

Yeah, the graphics are pretty cool. The view is just like Super Mario Kart, where you race heading upwards. The background areas are very nicely done, and the car designs are pretty nice. Sometimes the graphics look a little TOO plain, but overall the graphics are very good. I really liked the variety of graphics that the game provided. The stage designs were awesome. The variety of racing stage designs was very appreciated by myself, because I was not expecting there to be a nice variety, so I was pleasantly surprised.

What do I mean when I say there is a variety of racing stage designs? Well, there are a lot of stages in the game, and each one of them has a different look to them. The game still retains the Mode 7 look with the flat surface throughout the game, but otherwise the graphics are very solid. I really like how the game would go from a stage featuring purple lights to a stage with a sunset in the background. The variety of stage designs in the game is truly an awesome thing.

So far in the game I like almost every music track played. The music has a hip beat to it that fits perfect with the futuristic theme that the game is trying to get across. I really enjoyed listening to the music in the game, and I would purchase a soundtrack of the game if I could. The music is fantastic in terms of the fact that it fits the feeling of the game perfectly. The whole feeling of the game is that of a futuristic environment, so the music should have sounded futuristic. And what do you know, the music does sound futuristic! It really was awesome music in an awesome game.

The sound effects are wonderful, as well. I really liked most of the sound effects in the game, although some of them sounded a lot like you would expect. At least there was not so much of that annoying engine sound as I would have expected, but the other sound effects are pretty cool. I like how the race starts, the sound effects there are pretty well done. And the other sound effects in the game are pretty good, as well. I really was not disappointed by the sound effects in the game, and isn’t that really all I could have hoped for?

The control is good, but sometimes I get very frustrated when trying to make a sharp turn. I end up sometimes not making the turn completely and smashing right into the wall!! That is one of the most frustrating elements of the entire game, the fact that these turns are very difficult to pull off. One of the most difficult things about the entire game is the fact that you have to choose the control scheme that is right for you. It takes a while to get used to the controls, but thankfully you have a selection of four different control schemes, just in case you do not like the default control scheme the game provides.

F-Zero, plain and simple, is one of my favorite racing games of all time. The game tries so many things new, and most of them work perfectly. The end result of this is one of the most innovative racing games to ever come out, bar none. The simple fact remains that this is only my third favorite racing game on the Super Nintendo, as I preferred Super Mario Kart and Top Gear more. This does not make this a bad game, it just means I enjoyed other racing games more. The game is like a basic racing game, but there are a few unique game play elements that have never been seen before in a racing game.

One, you have a power meter which is like a life meter. It runs out, you got a Game Over on your hands. I really liked this new element to the game, because it was rather innovative and added a certain degree of excitement to the races. Imagine driving down the highway and having to worry about your power meter. It would definitely add an element of excitement to your car ride, that is for sure. Also, the game is a futuristic racing game so you are using a special kind of hover car instead of your normal car. You may not think that this makes much of a difference, but in its own special way it does.

As in most other racing games, you do have a selection of a few different modes. The modes are your average racing game fare. You get the standard one player and two player races, plus some other modes. You can go to the options screen, check out some of the cars, or go to the actual Racing Mode. The Racing Mode has you going through a variety of different stages in order to complete the game. I would advise using the Exhibition mode for practice before attempting to complete the actual racing mode. Otherwise, you will probably end up as a dead duck.

I don’t play this game as much as I used to, but when I first got it I could barely put it down. And I seriously do mean that, this game was so much fun for me to play at first. I soon got tired of the same old game play that the game provided. But quite frankly I get bored by games rather easily, so the fact that I got bored by this game after a while is not a crack on the game or its replay value. In fact, I would still play this game from time to time today if I still owned it. Sadly, though, I no longer own this game, so I couldn’t play it even if I wanted to.

The challenge level of the game is average, I would advise cranking the difficulty level up in order to make this game a reasonable challenge. The actual game itself is pretty challenging, as the turns can be quite difficult to make. That is one of the two things that makes this game so challenging. One, some of the turns in the game are next to impossible to make correctly, so you will end up crashing at each one of these turns almost every time. Secondly, you have to get used to the control, which will take a little bit of time. And finally, the power meter adds a whole new level of challenge to the game.

If you're a fan of racing games, you can ill afford to miss this classic SNES racer. How does it stand compared to other racers? Overall, its my third favorite racer. I prefer Top Gear and R4, but this game is cool as well. This game is very fun to play, and it certainly has a lot going for it. The graphics are awesome, the music is solid, the sound effects are much better than I expected, everything about the game is impressive. Sure, it does have some flaws, and it loses its luster after a while. But that does not take away from the fact that this is one of the best racing games on the Super Nintendo.

Good Points
-The graphics in the game are rather impressive.
-The music and sound effects in the game are great.
-I liked the whole futuristic feel of the game.
-The innovations that this game provides makes this a must play game.

Not So Good Points
-The replay value is not as high as I expected.
-The reason for this is because the game loses its luster after a while.
-The control does take a while to get used to.
-The game is very challenging in certain aspects and not challenging enough in others.

I Run Down the Ratings….. DaLadiesMan style!
Storyline – Not Available
Graphics – 9.2/10
Music – 9.3/10
Sound Effects – 9.8/10
Control – 9.2/10
Gameplay – 9.1/10
Replay Value – Average
Challenge – Average
Worth a Purchase? – Yeah.
Overall – 9.2/10

The Last Line: This is really a great game, and it must be played in order to see how innovative racing games can be if the developer really tries to make an innovative one.

Rating:   4.5 - Outstanding

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