This started off as an Instagram post, but as I started talking about how much I love F-Zero, I realized I had enough to say about it to make a short blog post. And since my blog has been lacking in posts recently, I figured I’d better write a little.
I got in on the ground floor with this series, looking forward to its release in the days leading up to the launch of the Super Famicom. When the SFC came out, there was a small local game rental shop that imported one with all the available launch games, so I got to play F-Zero right away. So when the SNES was released in the US, and I bought it on the launch day with my 16-year-old-fast-food-job money, I also bought F-Zero, already being a fan. And I played it until I finished every track in the Grand Prix in first place.
Over the years, I’ve stuck with the series, having picked up every new installment on the N64, Gamecube, and Game Boy Advance. Understandably, being in the US, I didn’t have access to BS F-Zero 2 for the Satellaview satellite broadcast add-on for the SFC, or the F-Zero X expansion pack for the N64DD. Through the magic of emulation, I can now play the Satellaview semi-sequel, but not having a 64DD, I don’t have much use to acquire the FZX title for it.
Unfortunately, I was unaware of the release of F-Zero Climax on the GBA in Japan, which was supposed to have been released in the US in 2004 but got canned. Current prices in that title are a little steep for what, I’m reading, is a less than stellar entry in the series. But for completion’s sake, I would like to have it (as well as the 64DD title).
I have, however, had the chance to play the hard-to-find F-Zero AX arcade title. It was in 2006 in Seattle, and I have photographic evidence thereunto:
The series hasn’t been super consistent, as I find GX a little too chaotic, moving crazy fast and the controls a little too loosey-goosey. I’m also not a huge fan of Maximum Velocity, the first of the two GBA titles, with some unforgiving track design and stiff controls, almost the opposite of GX.
I revisited the original a few months ago after not having played it for years, and was amused to find much of my muscle memory intact for many of the tracks.
X was a fun, well-balanced entry, that put the polygon power of the N64 to great use, and also featured a rad death metal soundtrack.
That leaves GP Legend, which is an offshoot of the animated series of the same name (which I’ve actually never seen), but is a fun, well-balanced game that brings back the original cars, characters and environments, and adds a story mode. I like this one but haven’t spent enough time with it to fully absorb it.
I hope there’s another F-Zero in the future, what with Captain Falcon having stayed an active member of Nintendo’s character roster though consistent appearances in the Smash Brothers series. You would think the 3DS would be an ideal platform for a new F-Zero game — I really don’t understand why they haven’t gone there! I feel like they haven’t created the ultimate F-Zero game quite yet, but you can bet I’ll be there when they do!