Review by Writer

"One of Nintendo's finest products"

With the Game Boy Advance just about a month away from release and F-Zero Maximum Velocity being a launch title along side the system, I thought it would be a good idea go back and play one of the greatest classics on the SNES that inspired that up coming game, the original F-Zero.

F-Zero was one of the earlier SNES that featured racing in the 26th century. The cars have no wheels, sport flashy, futuristic designs, and can reach speeds of over 400 km/h. The game gives you four cars to choose from each with varying pros and cons. Captain Falcon's racer is a well balanced ride that is great for beginners while Dr. Stewart's machine has a very loose grip and may take patience to control. F-Zero features some of the best mode-7 style racing on the SNES with very well designed tracks that are capable of giving even the advanced gamer a run for his/her money. You have an energy bar at the top right corner of the screen that remains full until you take damage. Your machine can take damage from colliding with other cars, bumping the the sides of the complex tracks, driving over damaged roads, or hitting the magnetic rails. Once your machine has taken maximum damage it will explode and you'll have to start the race over. Fortunately, each track has a pit stop for you to replenish your energy, albeit some cars regenerate faster than others.

Visually, F-Zero is a very impressive looking game, even by todays standards. The tracks are marvelous, the cars look cool, and the backgrounds, while not very detailed, look nice.

If you fall behind the pack you're given the chance to catch up or take the lead buy using your super jet turbos. Indicated by an ''S'' in the lower right corner of the screen, you can carry up to three super jet turbos. However, you will only gain access to these after you complete a lap. For every lap completed, you're given a super jet turbo. Simple, isn't it?

Like any good racing game the real joy comes from the racing itself and that is where F-Zero brilliantly shines. The game has three leagues, Knight, Queen and King and as you progress through the game, the tracks become more difficult. You're given three classes to choose from with a hidden one to unlock. The tracks are fun to race on, sporting intricate turns, split path ways, gaps that will need to be jumped across-your adeptness will be needed to perform well on the tracks. The tracks have names like Mute City, Port Town, Big Blue and Death Wind, a track that looks easy to navigate, but is made difficult by some nasty winds. Some tracks even have ramps that aren't just for the purpose of catching some air. You'll also use these ramps to decide how much air you attain. If you press and hold up on the control pad, you'll aim the nose of your machine down and you won't get much air at all. However, if you press and hold down on the control pad, you'll aim the nose of the machine upward and you'll catch some serious air. You'll need to pull off the later to clear the huge gaps that are laid within certain tracks.

F-Zero has a great set of controls that will keep you on the road. Using the B button for the gas and the Y button for the brakes, you can also use the L and R buttons to help with your cornering, L for left turns, R for right turns.

The musical score in F-Zero is one of the best you'll hear on the SNES, if not one of the best video game soundtracks ever. Some of my favorite songs are the Mute City and Sand Ocean themes. The songs are so good that at times I've paused the game during a race just to listen to them. Each song is perfect for every track and you'll really enjoy listening to them.

When it's all said and done, F-Zero is a great game. One of the best that Nintendo has ever made. This game should be in every SNES owners library.

Reviewer's Rating:   4.0 - Great

Originally Posted: 05/12/01, Updated 05/12/01

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