is one of those games that I was always interested in but just never
got around to playing. I never saw it on the SNES, nor did I get
around to picking it up for the N64. But I wasnt going to let
myself miss it on the Game Boy Advance. Ive loved a tight racing
game ever since I plunked my first quarter into Pole Position, and a
space racer makes it that much more exciting. The buzz on the game was
generally pretty positive, and the screen shots looked great. I just
hoped that the game would live up to its promise of speed. F-Zero is
everything the box promises. Its a fast-paced space race that keeps
you on your toes.
been playing so many cart racer games lately that Ive forgotten
what its like to win or lose a game based on how well I corner. I
like games that take a little bit of skill and finesse. I never feel
like Im getting my moneys worth when Im able to master a race
game in one or two laps. The controls on F-Zero take some time, but
once youve got them down they feel tight and responsive. I also
appreciated the noticeable differences in the handling of different
vehicles. I hate it when they dress up the same car in different
colors. Choosing different racers makes for a different game.
tracks take work to learn, and you need to anticipate turns well in
advance to make the most of the race. Collision damage in the game
also ups the ante for racing the perfect race. Run into the curbs or
your opponents too much, and the game ends. This may sound funny, but
it felt good to be held accountable for sloppy driving. Too many games
let you get away with too much. In this age of first person shooters,
it is usually enough to be pointing your gun in the general direction
of the target. F-Zero doesnt let you get away with a casual run
around the track.
Not only is the gameplay first-rate,
but this is a great looking game to boot. Of course it doesnt compare with even last-gen systems, but I continue to be amazed at how
much this little GBA can put out. Lots of opponents with nicely
detailed tracks will keep you coming back for more. The detail in the
actual vehicles is really impressive; I particularly liked how racers
music and sound effects are more than serviceable. You wont be
humming to the soundtrack, but it wont annoy you either. There are
a lot of little touches in the game that add up to make it a really
entertaining experience like the inclusion of a battery back up and
the multiplayer capability. You can actually play up to four players
off of one cartridge. Even though I knew it was coming, Im still a
little blown away by the possibility. You only get one track and no
choice of vehicle, but if youre willing to use multiple cartridges
you get a little more variety and have the option of trading rankings.
Also, there are a ton of vehicles and
tracks to unlock. This game will keep you coming back again and again.
My only real complaint with the game is that one or two laps less per
track might have quickened the pace a little. These are good-sized
tracks, and some of the circuits seem to go on a little long.
is a must have for racing fans, and for under 30 bucks, youre not
going to do much better. Gone are the days when a handheld game meant
you could finish it on a Sunday drive to Grandmas. F-Zero is all
about speed that doesnt get over too soon.