F-Zero X Review

For Nintendo 64

Rating: Average
   After waiting this long for Nintendo to finally finish F-Zero X, I was 
expecting much, much more than what I got.  The original F-Zero for the 
Super Nintendo is considered by many to be among the best racing games of 
all time, but the sequel is just more of the same.  This is unacceptable in
a day and age when people can play such innovative racing games as Gran 
    The game grants you unlimited turbos in every lap except the first, but
your energy meter shrinks every time you use a turbo.  Couple this with 
bumping into walls or being slammed into by another vehicle, and you might 
not have enough energy left over to use your turbos very often.  However, 
you can recharge your energy meter by driving through pink recharge 
stations on the sides of the track (there are usually one or two recharge 
areas per track).  If your energy is running low and there's no recharge 
station coming up anytime soon, you might have to race extremely slowly or 
risk having to retire from the race.  The whole energy/turbo/recharging 
system adds some strategy elements to what would otherwise be a completely 
mindless racing game.
   The first thing you'll notice about the game (after the very... uh, 
cartridge-quality menu music) is that it's very fast.  The vehicles move 
across the tracks at blinding speeds, and all the while the control holds 
up nicely, there is hardly any background pop-up, and there is no slowdown 
to speak of.  However, this raw speed comes at a price: the graphics suck.
The game's many courses feature plenty of variety in design, but they all 
look pretty much the same.  The vehicles are blocky and extremely generic, 
which kills any replay value that might arise from trying to collect all 
the vehicles.  Sure, the game is fast, but I would say that Wipeout XL 
still delivers a greater sensation of speed, and F-Zero X looks like it 
belongs on the Super Nintendo.  As a side note, the game's ending is like 
Mario Kart 64's in that it seems like it was thrown in at the last second 
without much effort.  And while the four-player split-screen mode is nice, 
Mario Kart is still the best choice for multi-player racing mayhem on your
   The field of 30 vehicles makes for some competitive races, but there are
some serious issues regarding the game's balance that should have been 
worked out before the game was released.  Normally it's not too hard to 
finish first in most of the races in a given circuit.  However, on certain 
courses, it is way too easy to go flying off the side of the track to your 
death.  Also, while your vehicle slows down and suffers lots of damage from
bumping into walls, the computer racers often keep going close to full 
speed after a nasty collision.  It seems as though Nintendo has 
artificially boosted the difficulty level because the game be way too easy 
to beat without these issues regarding the game's balance.
   F-Zero X is just another mediocre racing game.  There is nothing to make
is stand out over the original F-Zero, and it certainly doesn't stand out 
over the hordes of racing games flooding the market.

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