Life in the Fast Lane
Back at the Super Nintendo's launch, a new IP named F-Zero debuted, and it took racing to new speeds and to a futuristic setting. The F-Zero franchise is now one of the most wanted series that fans want Nintendo to return to, and for good reason. Its fast, futuristic racing on tracks that loop, spin, twist, twirl, and rise to the heavens has made many gamers' hearts race. However, all things must start with a beginning, and before the fully 3D versions of F-Zero X and F-Zero GX came to be, the F-Zero series started out with flat track design. That notwithstanding, the original F-Zero was still a technological marvel, being one of the first Super Nintendo games to use Mode 7 graphics to create the illusion of 3D. See why the beginning of the F-Zero franchise on the SNES is still worth a look with this review.
F-Zero is a racing game that takes place on futuristic courses suspended in the air. Of course, the technical limits of the Super Nintendo made it impossible for the tracks to actually look like they were high above the ground, but you work with what you've got. The aim of F-Zero is to compete in several cups, each containing five races each. Unlike Super Mario Kart, you don't earn points for winning races that tally up to make you the overall winner after all five races have been completed. Instead, the goal of F-Zero is to stay qualified and not retire.
|Captain Falcon shows us his moves.|
Then there's the worry about your vehicle. Of the four playable vehicles in the game (yes, a small number compared to what would be available in F-Zero X and F-Zero GX), each handles differently and comes with its own stats. For instance, the Blue Falcon serves as the well rounded type while the Fire Stingray is a brute that has the highest max speed but the worst acceleration.
This section of track brings a whole new
meaning to the term "snaking."
There are three leagues in F-Zero, sporting five races each, adding up to fifteen tracks total. The leagues range from easy like the Knight League to the King League which is the hardest of the three. Tracks are oftentimes windy, offering some brutal curves that will put your racing prowess (or lack thereof) to the test. Some tracks contain jumps, some contain mines, and some have patches of track that are harmful to run over. The track design is quite good in F-Zero, and it provides a nice challenge to the player.
Whether dawn, day or dusk, the F-Zero
racing league speeds on.
The controls in F-Zero feel quite nice. Of course, I have no reference as to what cars that hover above a track handle like, but I imagine F-Zero's machines handle just fine. You can tap the accelerator to more gently careen around corners, you can use the super jet to get a burst of speed (once per lap), and you can use the shoulder buttons to shift your vehicles weight for better handling.
White Land is one of the more
impressive tracks in F-Zero.
F-Zero is a magnificent showcase of the Super Nintendo's power. The Mode 7 visuals allow for 3D-like tracks that still impress to this day. The frame-rate is super smooth, only further contributing to the awesome sense of speed F-Zero provides. The soundtrack features some very catchy tunes like Mute City and Silence, which continue to amaze my ears.
The speed of F-Zero is helped by
the absolutely fluid frame-rate.
[SPC Says: 8.0/10]