Review by Psycho Penguin

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

Overrated to the Max

F-Zero is one of the best racing games ever created, and it still provides hours of fun nowadays. So, it was pretty much a no brainer for Nintendo to re-release the game on Game Boy Advance, since they were going to port over several old SNES games. However, just like their rather crappy port of Super Mario Advance, F-Zero: Maximum Velocity is just not that good. It's better than the awful Super Mario Advance, but that is really not saying much. Maximum Velocity is a Maximum Disappointment, and there is absolutely no excuse for the piss poor job Nintendo did with the ports of these games.

I want my money back. This game cheated me out of several hours which could have been spent playing a much better game. The race course designs are average, but there's a major flaw here. This is not F Zero. The race courses do not allow for high speeds, since you need to turn so damn much. Therefore, if you try to go at a high speed, you will end up crashing into the wall, since you can't really break as quickly as you would like to. Since you have a power meter, you will soon end up burning out.

What was the reason for this? Did Nintendo really think that F Zero needed all these sharp turns? Yes, it does require the game player to develop more of a strategy if they want to complete the race in a decent time. However, F Zero has never really been about strategy, it's always been about fast speeds and hyperactive vehicles. You don't really get any cool vehicles, as the vehicle select screen you get when you start up the game indicates. F Zero had some of the coolest vehicles in the history of racing, but Maximum Velocity has some cheap ripoffs that still go mighty fast, but as I already mentioned, going fast isn't going to get you anywhere.

Even though the game encourages you to use a certain amount of strategy, it still goes mighty fast. If you take your eyes off the action for one second, chances are you will crash, and lose valuable seconds. The opponents start to get tougher as you advance in stages, but some of them are just a little too tough. We're talking 'severe gravity law defying'' good here. Regardless, the game did go mighty fast, and that was good, but it didn't mesh too well with the shoddy course designs, so F Zero completely strikes out here.

Graphically, Maximum Velocity looks a lot like the original, but it has some improvements, like nicer details in the course designs. Sadly, the game goes so fast you might miss on some of the finer details. For instance, there is ice on the road, which looks really awesome, but chances are you won't ever notice exactly how awesome it looks. The game uses the same Mode 7 graphical design like the original did, and the result is one of the better looking racing games out there. Also, the fact that the graphics are pretty bright is definitely a good thing, considering some of the games on GBA are really dark, like Castlevania.

Some of the music in F Zero: MV is really good, but some of it is really crappy, as well. It's definitely hit and miss here. For instance, the first stage has some really good music that fits the feeling perfectly, but the second course has awful music that really made me want to turn the volume off. The sound effects are solid, you get all the typical racing game fare, like engines, explosions, crashes, etc. Most of the sound effects sound really good, and there is no real reason to complain here.

Due to the high amount of unlockable secrets, like new vehicles and areas, etc., the game has a little bit more replay value than the average game. However, it is quite un-fun for the most part, which takes away a lot of the momentum that the secrets gave the replay value. So, there is a decent amount of replay value if you can get over how bad the game really is. However, some people will just not be able to see past the awful course design, and say ''forget the secrets, I got GT3 to play!'' Oh well.

For all the things that F Zero MV fails to do, it definitely is a decent challenge. The earlier race courses alone will give you some difficulty, as it will take you some time to master the various twists and turns that the course provides. Due to the power meter, not only will you have to worry about outracing your opponents, you also need to worry about crashing and burning too many times. Therefore, the game becomes quite a challenge, especially when your opponents suddenly decide to go after you.

F Zero: Maximum Velocity is the definition of a game that tries to be too innovative for its own good. Rather than keep the classic formula that made F Zero such a classic, they decided to tweak the format and add a new racing style. The problem is they left in the fast paced frenetic style of F Zero, so the two formats really don't clash well at all. The game has good points, but the main flaw will keep it from eliteness in the long wrong. F Zero MV is an average game, which makes it an extreme disappointment. It's a rental at best.

Good Points
-The graphics are extremely impressive.
-Control in the game is slick and solid.
-Some of the race courses are designed very nicely.
-Lots of secrets definitely increases the replay value.

Not So Good Points
-The combination of strategic race course designs and fast paced action, to be blunt, crashes and burns.
-It may be a little too challenging at times.
-The vehicles are not cool at all.
-Some of the music is awful.

I Run Down The Game.. Psycho Penguin Style!
Storyline - Not Available
Graphics - 8.7/10
Music - 4.2/10
Sound Effects - 5.6/10
Control - 7.2/10
Gameplay - 4.8/10
Replay Value - Average
Challenge - Average
Is This Game Worth A Purchase? - Maybe a rental.
Overall - 5.1/10

The Bottom Line
F Zero: MV is a barely average game, which makes it simply unbearable for F Zero fans like me. Combine this hack job with the awful Super Mario Advance, and the first two SNES ports on GBA need to be forgotten about quickly, since they suck so bad.

Rating:   2.5 - Playable

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