Review by WainioTheMaster

Reviewed: 07/15/01 | Updated: 07/15/01

Finally, the F-Zero series returns and this time, it's better than ever for the Advance.

Back in the day, a game called F-Zero was introduced to the Super Nintendo when the system was in its earliest days. The game gave racing games a makeover, having high-speed races for your life through a 3-D looking environment. Back then the game was called revolutionary and that it was. Several years later after a somewhat disappointing remake for the N64, the series found a new home on the Gameboy Advance. Dubbed as F-Zero: Maximum Velocity, the game promised the same design and feel of the SNES version that was stormed through consoles earlier. And thanks to the GBA’s Mode 7 ability, the same basic designs could be redone in its portable state. The game boasts over 20 all-new tracks with varying dangers and obstacles. But just mastering the tracks won’t save your neck. The game also has an incredibly difficult AI. To complete this game this time around, you ‘re gonna have to be good. Real good. And if going against the computer wasn’t enough you can hook up the Game Link cable for an awesome multiplayer experience. The game also takes advantage of the GBA’s ability to temporarily download game data. This means four players could experience the thrills even though only one person actually has the game. Though, in this Single-Pak Mode, you can only chose one track, one car, and there’s no music. But don’t worry, if everyone has the game you can chose from all the stuff you’ve unlocked so far. Another thing that adds to this game by a lot, is how it saves your top ten fastest times for every course which adds to the replay value severely. With all that and a bag of chips, this is one of the best racing games for the Gameboy Advance yet.

The game looks great and the graphics are definitely smooth. The frame-rate starts fast and stays fast even when you have three other friends hooked up for the ride. The background’s display also adds to the experience. Instead of having something plain and unoriginal, the background is hand-drawn and used to show objects like buildings in a faraway distance. The car designs and 3-D appearance give a great outlook. Not too shabby. The only thing that bothers me is the lack of detail in the actual track. 95% of it is just white nothingness and could have been improved. But in a way it helps when you’re racing and get lost in an oil pit.

SOUND: 7/10
Sure there’s the “vrooming” of the engine and maybe an occasional beeping noise but the game doesn’t have much when it comes to sound effects. Now in the music department, it’s a whole different story. I found a lot of the track themes quite catchy and easy to listen to especially while wearing headphones.

There’s the basic “A to accelerate” and “B to brake” scheme but unless you master the skills of making sharp turns, you’ll crash and burn early in the game. If you tap A rapidly during a turn, it’ll be a lot sharper and you won’t lose speed. You’ll also have to use the L and R buttons for making the tightest turns. And not to forget the boost, heh heh. Every time you pass “Start” you get a boost ability. You can see how many you have in the bottom-left corner. If you press L and R at the same time, you’ll blast into speeds far superior to your standard ability.

Overall the game is a blast playing. It’s great fun racing whether against computer controlled or human players. Track obstacles like ramps, dash plates, oil pits, mines, and skids add a lot to the gameplay. Plus, the idea of the energy bar (how much life you have) is great. Maximum Velocity includes so many secret tracks, cars, and modes it’ll take you a long, long time to complete. And when everything’s done you can go back and set the best dang records anyone’s ever seen.

For racing fans, this game is a must. It features a lot of depth and will keep you busy for while. Be sure to rent one or pay the small amount to buy it for such a great game.

Rating:   4.0 - Great

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