Friday, 13 February 2009

F-Zero (SNES)

I know that, over time, some names are going to pop up here that astonish people. I expect that F-Zero will be one of them.

No, I'd never played F-Zero before this week. As I've said before, my SNES ownership only came courtesy of an unwanted swap deal, and I never grew to love the thing. Not having owned a NES either meant I didn't have any particular leanings towards Nintendo (and you can imagine some of the games I haven't played on that system that will cause dismay to some... hello, Zelda).

Anyway, F-Zero cropped up as part of a competition that my mate Alan runs, and so arose the opportunity to play it for the first time. My only prior experience was F-Zero GX on the Gamecube, which I'd only really briefly played on an in-store console, so it was nice to have the opportunity to play this properly, especially as I love racing games.

So, gloves on and strapped into the chair, I settled in for some extended play. First of all, I found F-Zero pleasingly quick. A racer never works without a true sensation of speed... no problems on that score. For the competition, everybody is playing on Practice and racing solo against the clock. Playing it that way is actually great fun, and a good way of learning the tracks for the racing to come.

In the game proper, this will be essential. The AI opponents are nasty little buggers, and are happy to put you into the fence if you try and pass them. It's a weird sensation... one moment, you're going at nearly 500 km/h, the next, you're bouncing sideways and out of control, wrestling furiously to get back into the game.

With a good number of tracks to race on, cups to win and track records to break (possibly the par that appeals most to me), I can see that F-Zero is going to keep me occupied well beyond the scope of this challenge.

This is renowned as a classic racer, and that's obviously with good reason. With the likes of Wipeout not even a blueprint in the garage at this time, F-Zero was one of the first futuristic racers to really make a name for itself. We're still waiting for a Wii version... maybe Nintendo are trying to come up with a futuristic controller to do justice to the game?


  1. I, too, had never played F-Zero (well... I still haven't). But F-Zero GX... man, there's a tough one to love.

    Don't get me wrong - it's absolutely glorious, and after buying it (on the basis of Rodent's one-picture review) I was far from disappointed... the sense of speed, as Chris demonstrates, is sensational. But in terms of satisfying my OCD tendencies... well, she's a harsh mistress ;)

  2. F-Zero GX looks sensational. I read a lot about it being a bit on the harsh side, and I think it put me off playing it. Maybe I'll buy it for my Wii...

  3. Oh, absolutely (on both counts). It's one of the most attractive looking racers ever I reckon, rivaled only by Quantum Redshift on the original Xbox (not much of a Wipeout fan myself ;)

    The later cups & skill levels are as hard as nails, though - I only managed to clear Master Cup using a custom vehicle. Buggered if I know how I'm going to succeed in stock vehicles, as my OCD dictates I must do... :}