Review by hunkypunky

Reviewed: 07/02/01 | Updated: 07/16/01

Pretty Close to Amazing

F-Zero Maximum Velocity is the modern incarnation of the F-1 races of old. Hotshot pilots control futuristic F-Zero Machines, which hover above the earth using opposing-gravity devices, around specially constructed courses throughout the galaxy. It’s a wonder that a first generation Game Boy Advance Game could be so terrific. The game is simply amazing from game play to sound.
The back of the box reads as following: All galactic speed limits are about to be broken! F-zero Maximum Velocity has arrived, and the future of racing has never looked so sweet.
Well are the speeds really so high? Are the graphics really this great? Is it just a copy of the SNES version? Is this another chapter in racing history, or should this go to the dump? All your questions are going to be answered in this review.

Game Play: First, get this straight; the game is not a copy of the SNES version. I don’t care what you’ve heard, it just isn’t. It has different hovercraft, and different courses. The game play may not be the best part of the game, but it is good nonetheless. The controls are simple. A is go. B is brake. L and R separately lean into turns. L and R at the same time boost. But it’s really much more than this. You can and should tap A to perform a boost turn, which gives you a sharper turn. You have to avoid track obstacles such as mines, lava, walls, or even other racers!
The game can be fairly easy to EXTREMELY hard. There are different levels of game play you can choose such as different series, or different difficulty levels. The simple Pawn courses, which normally have low obstacles and not too difficult turns, or the twisty Bishop courses, which have mines, sharp U turns, and ice. The easy racing of beginner, where you can cruise pretty easily or expert in which the other racers have appeared to lost their ability to drive and are constantly slamming you into walls. If you make a mistake, it’s likely that you won’t be able to get back in the race. Sometimes you’ll have to deal with simply not being able to control your car if you chose one with less than average handling.
There are many different cars to race to suit different driving styles. If you like good acceleration you can choose the Wind Walker, or if you like good top speed you can take the Fireball.
The game is extremely fun, with the exception of when it gets so frustrating when you crash on the last lap, you want to slam your game boy into the wall (which I have done before.) But eventually you overcome everything and it will become fun again as you unlock various cars and get better times.
The game play overall gets an 8/10 with frustration taking off 2 points.

Story:
The story isn’t the best, and there is no story in the video game itself so if you want one you need to read the instruction manual, but it’s still really good for a racing game and gets the job done. It goes like this. Captain Falcon, Dr. Stewart… It’s been a quarter of a century since they piloted their way to fame as F-Zero races, and as time has passed their days of glory have faded into something resembling legend. The extreme danger involved in F- Zero has caused some to call for an end to these races, but now a new generation of pilots has emerged and is looking to continue writing the sport’s history. It is a timeless quest for victory, fame, and fortune. Mankind had settled into a period of relative calm following its great leap into space. Among those recovering from the initial space race frenzy were the powerful merchants of the day. They had learned through experience that, while the far reaches of space offered incredible trading opportunities, the enormous distances also opened them up to the ravages of piracy. They realized that they couldn’t afford the cost of being constantly robbed, so they settled into simply regulating and defending their existing territories. Their conservative business practices put a lot of high-priced space pilots out of work, and so there came a rise in the number of daring men and women looking to get rich quick the only way left to them…as F-Zero pilots.
The Story is pretty good, is original, and I think deserves a 10/10

Graphics:
The graphics are merely average in game, with the exception of other hovercraft, which are a little blurry, even when right beside you. (Average for GBA…they’re great compared to GBC) but when you select your vehicle, the hovercraft rotate in a beautiful 3D form, looking almost like it was on an N64. This shows the incredible power of the GBA and I can’t wait to see how future games look.
Sound:
Classic F-Zero sound. In other words, terrific music that sounds like it was coming from a CD or maybe your favorite radio station. But when you look to see where it’s coming from, it’s coming from the tiny speaker of your GBA! But don’t go thinking its Dolby Digital Surround. We don’t have that on portables…yet!

Graphics/Sound are both great. But other cars can be blurry, or when you have slammed your GBA into a wall (because of this game) so I have to give it a 9/10

Replayability:
Two words: A Lot. To beat the game on all levels, with all cars, or to even UNLOCK all the cars and courses is an amazing feat. You don’t have to do this but if you try the game will be in your GBA for at least 20-30 hours. When or if you do this, there are sites where you can compete times. You can try to beat your own times. You could play multiplayer with a friend. Even if your friend doesn’t have this game, but has a GBA because you only need one gamepak! The game has the one of the highest replay values of all the launch games (a little short of chu chu rocket with it’s 2600 puzzles) and can be played all the time without getting bored.

Replayability: Amazing. 10/10

Innovation: Nothing new. But it’s ok because it doesn’t matter when everything else is so good. 5/10

Buy or Rent: BUY! The game is so great, and has so many things to do, that if you rented it, you couldn’t even do half of the things! Plus, it’s portable so you can race on the go!

The game is fun for the first couple hours. And is fun the next 50 hours too. You’ll feel rewarded when you complete a series, and to do so involves a lot of strategy. You don’t have to be an incredible racing fan, to like this game. To put it simply, it’ll become a classic which people will always treasure. You can almost feel the speed in the game. I only got this game myself because they were out of Mario. But I’m happy that they were out and I’m sure you’ll be happy when you get this game too!

Rating:   4.5 - Outstanding

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