F-Zero Review-Futuristic Racing at its Best
The year is 1990 and Nintendo’s latest home console, the Super Nintendo Entertainment System, was booming with new IP’s and sequels to beloved franchises from the NES era. F-Zero, one of these new Nintendo IP’s, developed by the now legendary Nintendo EAD and overlooked by Shigeru Miyamoto, father of most things Nintendo, showcased the power of the SNES with fast-paced racing that looked like nothing else at the time.
As many other racers, F-Zero’s plotline is nearly non-existant, well in the first entry of the beloved series at least. However, there is one and this plot line grew as the series went on by having feuds between racers. 1990’s F-Zero focused on four pilots trying to be the best racer in a far out future on Earth. The F-Zero grand prix began as a means to entertain the wealthy and then evolved into much more. Not much else is known about the events on the first entry but even the initial plot isn’t necessary when the game you’re holding onto is easily one of the best of all time.
As a side note, yes, this game stars everyone’s favorite falcon punching bounty hunter Captain Falcon. C. Falcon takes up 25% of the roster that this game offers. The Blue Falcon, Golden Fox, Wild Goose, and the Fire Stringray make up the full roster of machines you can pilot. All machines handle completely different with different max speeds and accelerations. Test driving these fast-paced machines is a must to find your ideal vehicle you wish to compete within the three leagues (each consist of 5 courses) in 3 different difficulties (one extra unlockable). Despite lacking too many courses and any way to play with a friend, the game’s replayability is miraculously high. Over two decades old and the game still holds up well enough to pick and play from time to time.
Having access to different difficulties ups the ante on how long you will play of this remarkable game as the game is extremely difficult, even on the easiest difficulty. If you’re one to enjoy punishing difficulties, you will not be dissapointed as I failed miserably multiple times only on the second grand prix; however, practicing said courses over and over led to eventual victory. One shouldn’t be surprised on such high difficulty as the series is known to have high difficulty curves with rubber banding AI that will make a simple mistake your eventual doom.
This doom does not come at a loss, as the outstanding soundtrack helps make replaying courses a joyous event. Listening to tracks like White Land and Fire Field make the bone crushing difficulty not seem so bad as you get to spend more time with timeless tracks that even today are remixed into the latest Super Smash Bros. entries. Shout out to Big Blue and Mute City too despite those courses being rather simple.
Having a fun fast paced game with an amazing soundtrack at the launch of a new home console was to show the power of the SNES. Instead of having a glorified piece of tech demo we received one of the best racing games of all time, if not the best. F-Zero seems to be an IP that comes and goes, but no matter how long the next iteration takes to be developed, we will always have the original and sequels to replay as much as we like. F-Zero is an amazing game and we need more of this on current generation consoles. Now only if Nintendo would listen to their fans and give us a new iteration of this timeless classic.