By Sam Coles:
One of the most neglected franchises in Nintendo’s library in recent years is the F-Zero series, it has been over ten years since we got an instalment with the last one being released on the GameCube in the form of F-Zero GX. This game was a fantastic follow up of F-Zero X on the N64 and ironically it was made by Nintendo’s old sparring partner Sega and they definitely know how to make high speed racing games if you look at their past works.
F-Zero GX has several different modes such as a story, the classic grand prix and a time trial mode, unfortunately they got rid of the death race mode from F-Zero X where you had to kill 29 racers in one sitting. The story is where you’ll get the most of the meaty challenge and I will say this clearly that this is ridiculously hard I am not joking story mode will kick you in the nether regions with its difficulty. I have never played a racing game that is this hard maybe Wipeout comes close but nothing like this game with the tight corners, intense speeds and obstacles that almost come out of nowhere. To this day I haven’t managed to complete the story with how hard it is.
Grand Prix mode is where you’ll be spending most of your time unlocking new vehicles, parts for custom vehicles and new cups by earning tickets when you win events. This is great as each difficulty caters to each type of gamer so if you want a chilled out session then select novice. However once you select intermediate or above this is when the game doesn’t pull any punches, the A.I becomes extremely aggressive and they will try and run you off the road I have died multiple times playing it on expert because other racers have ran me off the road, you have to be on your toes on expert.
As I said earlier you can customise vehicles from existing ones by adding new decals on them or you can start from scratch. I must admit it is really good that they gave us the option to do this but I only played around with it a hand full of times as I made some weird and ugly machines, but it’s nice they added that feature.
Controls are perfect what can I say they are super tight and responsive, what they did they took the frame work from the previous game and tweaked it to perfection I don’t think I had a single hitch with these controls they are that good.
The presentation still holds up considering the game is well over ten years old with excellent detail on all the F-Zero machines and the tracks look absolutely stunning from fan favourites such as Mute City and Big Blue to neon lit Casino Palace. This game also runs at a buttery smooth 60 frames per second I don’t think the framerate ever drops which is impressive with 30 racers on screen. The soundtrack is fantastic with a fusion of some metal and electronica it blends perfectly with high and intense speeds of each track and each musical piece is thematically appropriate for each course.
F-Zero GX is a fantastic game and I don’t know why Nintendo hasn’t done anything with the series for over 10 years I think with the Switch out it’s a good time to bring the series back. This game is going up in price and I don’t know why as it is not rare, but the lowest I’ve seen it in retro stores is £30 so pick it up while you can.