Review by Shenmue Fan

Reviewed: 06/26/01 | Updated: 06/26/01

One of the best portable racers EVER!

GameBoy Advance.One of the most anticipated handhelds ever?Probably.F-Zero:Maximum Velocity.The most anticipated GBA game?For me,DEFINITELY!After playing the N64 version,I was amazed by the sheer speed and smoothness of it all and when it was announced for the GBA,I was extremely excited but also a bit unsure if Nintendo could transfer everything that made the original SNES version and the N64 game a hit.How wrong I was to worry!

Gameplay : The aim of F-Zero is to finish within the top 3 at the end of each race while making sure you stay within a set number of cars during the other laps.For example,at the end of the first lap,you must be in the top 10.At the end of the second lap you must be in the top 7 and so on.The actual track design is amazing.They are all crafted superbly and each one is dotted with things like mines,oil spills and icy floors which can either help or hinder you.The controls can be a bit difficult to learn right away meaning novices won't really be able to pick up and play this quite as quickly as other racers like Ridge Racer.The basic controls are simple;A to accelerate and B to brake but then you have to do loads of other things like tap the A button while getting around corners and hold the L or R buttons if you're taking a sharp turn or going through a chicane.Luckily there is a tutorial which you can access in the game which helps you become accustomed to the controls a lot quicker. 8.5/10

Graphics : Playing F-Zero and viewing it's stunning visuals for the first time will totally blow you away!The cars are beautifully created from 3D models and little features like parts of the vehicle flapping in the wind when you race really show the hard work Nintendo have put into the animation of the cars.The tracks are very nice as well.Lots of things on them like mines and the moving elevators are good touches.When you crash or fly off the track (which will happen early on!) then the screen will flash once then show your burning wreckage which used to be a car and the smoke coming off from them looks really realistic.The backgrounds are nothing special but do the job.The only real complaint I have with the graphics is that when you are racing,the area next to the track which is supposed to be miles below you,looks like it is right next to you!You soon get used to this though so it won't really bother you later on. 9/10

Sound : The sound in F-Zero is pretty good I think.The music on most of the tracks is very fast and pacey which fits the style of the game.It features electric guitars and drums but these can only really be appreciated when you wear headphones.My favourite tune on F-Zero is the Cloud Carpet one which is really cool and catchy!However,all the tunes suit the individual tracks very nicely.The composers have obviously put a lot of effort in this department.The sound effects are not as good as the music but I like the boost sound and when you explode as well.However,the sound in F-Zero is generally excellent so I am going to give it 9/10

Replayability : In my opinion,this is one of F-Zero's strongest points basically because there are just so many secrets to discover and things to unlock.F-Zero is an extremely fun game anyway but the addition of everything else just makes you want to play it even more!You can complete the different series on different difficultys and doing this in a certain way will allow you access to a new mode or car.You'll definitely want to unlock all the cars as they are all so different and unique in their own way.Multiplayer is very fun espescially in 4 player mode.You can even use one cartridge to play a four player game as long as you have 3 other friends with GBA's.This is a cool feature but the options are very limited.Luckily there is the multi-cartridge option allowing you and your mates more control over what car you choose among other things.The multiplayer mode will definitely lengthen your interest in F-Zero.9/10

Overall : F-Zero is one of the most impressive,if not the most impressive,portable games I have ever played.Everything about it is so amazing and it is also very addictive once you get the hang of it.A definitive game for any speed junkie with a GBA!

Rating:   4.5 - Outstanding

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