- Platform: GameCube
- ESRB Rating: Teen
- Media: Video Game
- Item Quantity: 1
F-Zero GX is hardcore. This is no joke... if you don't believe me, read other reviews on Amazon, or critics reviews elsewhere. It is the hardest game I have played in the current generation, which in general has seen difficulty decline over the previous generation of consoles. As games have become more mainstream, developers have been making them easier in order to entice people that may have avoided playing games in the past because they thought they were too hard. Nintendo itself is guilty of this. "The Legend of Zelda: The Wind Waker" was significanty less difficult than its Nintendo 64 counterparts. So was "Super Mario Sunshine." That being said, with the possible exception of "Metroid Prime," "F-Zero GX" is the purest form of vintage game difficulty available on GameCube. I really think that farming this franchise out to SEGA was the best possible choice. SEGA has a hardcore reputation for building frantic, visually stunning games with higher than average difficulty. Unfortunately for Sega, the hardcore percentage of the market used to be dominant, but as the industry grew, hardcore gamers now make up a relatively small portion of the overall gaming community.
If you like difficult games, or even think you might like to give one a try, "F-Zero GX" is an excellent choice. The graphics are absoulutely stunning all around. The play control is so tight, the player will never question that when a mistake is made, it was her/his fault. You will never blame the game because the control is flawless. Difficulty varies... and gets significantly tougher as gameplay progresses throughout. The game actually encourages lots of practice. Practice will help players increase their skills. The game is very fun and has extremely high replay value.
"F-Zero GX" is a masterpiece collaboration of Nintendo and Sega. This may be going out on a limb, but I enjoyed it more than any GameCube game of 2003, including "Mario Kart: Double Dash" for GameCube and "Burnout 2: Point of Impact Developers Cut" for Xbox, both of which are fabulous racing games too.
Bottom Line: If you like the "F-Zero franchise", racing games, arcade style games that you can play for a few minutes or several hours, or are looking for something a little less "kiddie" than other games for current consoles, look no farther than "F-Zero GX." A harcore gamers dream come true.
I can say now that Nintendo has produced an amazingly fun, fast-paced arcade racing title, certainly the best game of its type currently available. There is a huge variety of fantastically detailed tracks, 30 cars to unlock, and a challenging story mode to complete as you progress. The graphics are astoundingly detailed, especially considering there are often dozens of cars careening around (and off) the track at any given time. The game supports Progressive Scan (480p) if you have a TV that can display it.
The gameplay comes at you fast and furious, as the quicker cars regularly cruise in excess of 1200 km/h (about 900mph, or mach 1.5), and the game does an excellent job of conveying the sensation of speed. There is a new system of turbo boosters that allows you to get a boost of speed at any time after the completion of the first lap -- but using the turbo drains your vehicle's energy, risking a crash if you smack into too many walls or other cars. The tracks are brilliantly laid out (at least the ones I've seen -- I haven't unlocked all the hidden ones yet), ranging from a mobius strip cutting through a lush jungle, to a twisty road winding around crumbling egyptian-style ruins, to flat-out racetracks encircling floating casinos. Fans of the series will be happy to see a few classic tracks like Mute City rebuilt for the new game. The designs make excellent use of your car's ability to stick magnetically to the track surface -- many of them look more like rollercoasters than racetracks. One particularly memorable one has you racing on the outside of a giant set of metal pipes, while a raging pool of lava below sends gouts of flame leaping over the track.
However, the game is *extremely* challenging, particularly the story mode missions. This is sort of unusual: I expect the upper levels of the racing mode to be insanely hard, but normally you use a story mode to ease people into the game and *not* to make them pull their hair out! The first mission is a nice, easy introduction to the game, and then the second is ridiculously hard -- and the next few aren't much easier. In another strange move, you have to unlock the story mode chapters by earning "tickets", either by playing the racing mode or by getting good enough times in the Time Trial mode (you also get tickets by beating each story mission, but not enough to unlock the next one by itself :/). The same tickets are used to buy extra cars and parts to customize your vehicles -- which is annoying, since it means you have to choose between playing the story mode and unlocking new cars and parts to use in the GP (until you get good enough to tackle the higher difficulty settings, where the rewards are more plentiful.)
An interesting feature is that you can take a memory card from your GCN and plug it into the upcoming "F-ZERO AX" arcade machine, which will allow you to use your custom cars in the arcade, as well as unlocking various new tracks, cars, and upgrade parts when you return home (you can also unlock them by beating all the hidden tracks in the GCN version on the highest difficulty setting, but as you can imagine, that's quite difficult.) If one of them shows up anywhere near me, I'll be sure to give it a shot and report back. Several games have tried things like this in the past, but without too much success (at least in the states, where good video arcades are a dying breed).
In short, F-ZERO GX is a fast, challenging futuristic racing game that gets a strong recommendation for all racing and F-ZERO fans. However, be warned that it can be quite frustrating at points -- don't get this for anyone with a short attention span.
I loved Pod Racer with its super-fast racing and great landscapes. While the landscapes in F-Zero GX aren't quite as fascinating in that Star Wars sort of way, they are definitely varied and interesting. You get giant worms leaping in the sandy desert and blinking neon in the casino.
Where in Pod Racer you had in essence a land speeder that could sometimes do jumps, in F-Zero GX you have a magnetic ship. Which means that you can in essence do any twist and turn the track can do - including spirals, loop-the-loops and MUCH more. It's like a super high speed roller coaster, and you can do the jumps too!
You can work your way through 20 different courses and unlock 30 different pilots. You can customize your ship as you go in many different ways. The multiplayer gameplay is tons of fun and we've spent many hours enjoying that. Best of all, if you have a real life arcade near you with F-Zero in it, bring along your memory card! You can fly your own custom-designed spaceship IN THE ARCADE complete with surround-sound and shaking seat!!
An amazing achievement that is great for single play, multi-play and arcade play. A must-have for any racing fan.