F-Zero GX (GameCube) Preview

By Ross Morley 06.01.2003 2

We recently received news that F-Zero has been delayed in Japan, but the main game is pretty much finished. The extra time that will be put into it due to the delay will be spent adding a few bonus touches here and there, so we should expect the finished product to be very polished indeed. And from the movies we've seen, it certainly looks very, very neat...

As ever F-Zero is set in futuristic environments, and whether the tracks be located in industrial sectors, blazing cities or unstable atmospheres, you can be sure that the GameCube version will impress graphically, and design wise. The circuits will require you to be on full alert the whole time to watch out for bends in the track, boosts and the attacks of other racers.

The circuits seem to be very varied and so each has it's own unique features. Port Town, for instance, has many gravity defying jumps and ramps, which is a complete contrast to the tubes you will race through in the Green Plant setting. Visually too, each has a different atmosphere and mood to it. Aeropolis looks distinctly commercial while the Green Plant circuit creates an atmosphere of peace, with sunlight breaking through gaps in the canopy above the winding track and transparent tubes. In fact, no two tracks can really be related to each other in any way, as even the weather differs drastically between two locations. Atmospheric effects look absolutely stunning, not least the electrical bolts striking the power rods on the energy plant style track.

Screenshot for F-Zero GX on GameCube

The track layout also looks to be something special. Sections of the track loop around each other and another point on the road will be visible from wherever you may be. You'll sometimes have little idea of which way up you are, and the only way to regain your bearings will be to look at the angle of structures around the track. Many tracks have been made partially transparent in order for you to be able to get a look at what's underneath you, and realise just how high up you are.

Thirty drivers are due to participate in the F-Zero championships, although Nintendo has released the names of just seven of them. Captain Falcon, Dr. Stewart, Pico and Samurai Goroh will be instantly recognisable to fans of the series, whilst Princia Ramode, Pheonix and QQQ are the three newcomers that have been announced.

Screenshot for F-Zero GX on GameCube

The ships all have that futuristic look about them, and each vehicle is quite different to the most of the others in terms of statistics. Ships are marked on the quality of their body, boost and grip.

Boosts come in the form of Boost Pads and Nitro Bursts. Both work in a similar fashion, although they are obtained differently and last for different amounts of time. Boost Pads appear on the track and are clearly visible due to the large yellow symbols hovering above them. They give you a short burst of speed which lasts for around three seconds. Nitro Burts are claimed after you complete a lap, and last for up to five seconds. Along with collisions, attacks and possibly even mines, these bursts of speed will see your ships shields suffering under the pressure.

Screenshot for F-Zero GX on GameCube

Anyone who's seen a movie of this game will have an idea of how ridiculously fast it is. Your reactions will have to be on hyper mode if you are to survive and get through each race. The ships seem to handle very sweetly, and there appear to be no framerate issues despite the sheer speed whitnessed in the game.

Screenshot for F-Zero GX on GameCube

Final Thoughts

The next generation technology has allowed Amusement Vision to come up with what should be the best game in the series. It looks amazing, it's incredibly fast and it looks like great fun and a good challenge

Developer

Amusement Vision

Publisher

Nintendo

Genre

Driving

Players

4

C3 Score

Rated $score out of 10  9/10

Reader Score

Rated $score out of 10  9/10 (28 Votes)

European release date Out now   North America release date Out now   Japan release date Out now   Australian release date Out now   

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