Review by bruplex

Reviewed: 02/13/00 | Updated: 02/13/00

Racing in Mode-7!

Mode-7 refers to the SNES'S ability to rotate objects, which was quite revolutionary at the time! F-Zero was one of the first games to use this feature and THE first to use it in a racing format. It was released at the same time as the launch of the SNES itself.
In F-Zero, you can choose between four different hover-craft vehicles, each with certain advnatages and disadvantages. For example, the GOLDEN FOX accelerates quickly and turns on a dime but has a slow Max Speed while the FIRE STINGRAY has slow acceleration but a high max speed and doesn't lose a lot of velocity around turns. All the ships are capable of using one speed booster per lap. There are a lot of tracks to race on and different leagues of difficulty to progress through. The final track, the FIRE FIELD is a great challenge at the hardest level.
Finally, a great feature of this game is the ability to save and record your best times. This gives the game tremendous replay value, something Nintendo modified for the N64 version.

Graphics=8.5 The tracks move along quickly without slowdown while having nice looking backgrounds. The craft that you control have a nice futuristic look though the drone cars all look the same with different markings. The panning when you finish the final track is a nice touch.

Sound=8.7 These racing songs became instant classics on the SNES. Most of them have that ''intense'' feel to them, the highlight being the music that accompanies FIREFIELD, the last track in the game. The revving engine sounds and CLANK of hard contact are improved from the normal 8-bit standard.

PlayControl=9.2 It differed from ship to ship, but the way the controller corresponded with the movement of the ship took advantage of many buttons, including the top buttons where you rest your index fingers. This was a first for most of us! For the beginner, the red craft was the easiest to control while the more advanced user could score records using the yellow and blue ships. A very smooth game overall.

Storyline=6.0 Nintendo prepackaged some story about the F-Zero racing league, but it didn't really matter! There were little bios on each of the four drivers: Dr. Light, Captain Falcon, Pico, and Samurai Gorah. There were done in a comic book style, that later carried over to the N-64 version. The bottom line is to race your little heart out!

Challenge=8.8 On normal and easy modes, this game was not overly hard but crank up the difficulty and you have yourself a nice challenge on your hands! The better you get, the better the racers get! You know you are on a hard level when Drone cars are coming in first and second!

Overall=8.8 This is a very good racer for the SNES. Besides being a fun and fast racer with great replay value, F-Zero was a showcase for the new capabilities of the SNES. The graphical ability to twist the track with ease was the main ''show-off'' feature and Nintendo pulled it off.
My favorite feature of F-Zero is trying to break the speed records for each track, something that, for whatever reason, is not as fun on the N-64 version.
*NOTE=If you need help replacing your SNES batteries, check out my article on NES games ( this applies for SNES GAMES as well)

*BRU'S MUST GET OMETER*=9 If you like racing games that keep stats, check it out!

Rating:   4.5 - Outstanding

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