Format reviewed: Nintendo 64
Developer: Nintendo EAD
Submitted by: Steven Jackson
After the huge success of F-Zero for the SNES, Nintendo carried on the futuristic racing franchise in style with the N64 sequel F-Zero X.
F-Zero X as with it's predeccesor has the player racing a variety of grand-prix tournaments in order to unlock new tracks, cars and racers. While the formula is highly simplistic, the games themselves are not. The F-Zero series has gained a reputation as one of the most unforgiving and difficult racing game franchises ever made and this game expresses it all too well. You can be one minute riding high in first place. Then the next minute you can laging in seventh place with hardly any energy left, making you highly vulnerable to attacks from other racers. Added to this, the player needs to have lightning fast reflexes to be able to turn corners and dodge obsticles in you're way, making the game highly adrenaline filled and more importantly fun.
F-Zero X developed a lot since it's SNES prequel. The controls and vehicles were much more responsive, the music was of higher quality and multiplayer was implimented into the mix. However, F-Zero X has received one major criticism over the years and that is to do with the games graphics. To keep the action fast and furious, Nintendo had to keep the game at 60 frames per second meaning the graphics had to be considerably toned down for the sequel. If you want nice rendered graphic textures, you won't find any here.
Nevertheless, the whole point of F-Zero X is to be racing as fast as you can and with it being set in the future no one knows what it will look like, so if you're an optomist like me you won't find it such a big deal. To be honest that is the only criticism people can have with this brilliant racer. While it may be a big put-off to some people, to me it just adds to the whole atmosphere of the game and doesn't take away from the gameplay in anyway. I mean people play games for good gameplay don't they?
To conclude, F-Zero X is a fantastic N64 racer. Arguably the best game in the series and one of the best racers of all-time, it's tight controls, rock soundtrack and addictive gameplay make it a truely classic racer. While the graphics are not this games best feature, the sheer enjoyment and excitement you get racing alone (or with friends) makes up for it in everyway. Released for the Wii Virtual Console and priced at 1000 points it is an essential purchase for any racing game and F-Zero fan. And even if you want the original N64 cartridge, it is regularly available for cheap on E-Bay meaning everyone can give this classic futuristic racer a go.