- Original release year: 2003
- Consoles: GameCube
The F-Zero franchise is one of those franchises fans actually wish Nintendo would milk, but unfortunately, for whatever reason, they largely ignore. There was no F-Zero game on the Wii and there was no F-Zero game on the Wii U. Now, granted, F-Zero GX on the GameCube was literally perfection and I have no idea how they could legitimately improve on it in a substantial way, but fuck it, just give us more of the same, Nintendo. Just give us an HD remaster, with online multiplayer. Fans like me would throw all kinds of money at it.
So yeah, needless to say, I am a fan of F-Zero, but it really was this entry in the long-running series that I really enjoyed. I actually remember the day I bought it quite well. I was in town with one of my good buddies, hoping to pick up a new GameCube game. I believe (although I could be wrong) the game I was hoping to pick up was XIII, but because I didn’t keep up to date with video game news and wasn’t an avid reader of the interwebz, I wasn’t aware there had been a short notice delay. So, instead I browsed the GameCube games looking for something else to buy, because my God, if I went into town with the intention of buying a new game, then I’m fucking buying a goddamn new game. My friend saw F-Zero GX on the shelf and asked me why I didn’t buy that instead of the delayed XIII. I thought to myself “well, I did enjoy F-Zero on the SNES and N64, but I really don’t know if I’m that crazy for it”. Regardless, I did decide to buy the game and give it a go and thank God I did, because I sure as hell did get crazy for the game.
With the long, unnecessary introduction out of the way, let’s finally talk about the game. So F-Zero GX, like all its predecessors, is an insane, hyper, super fast, futuristic racer, much like the Wipeout series. This particular game in the series was actually developed by Sega and supervised and published by Nintendo. So essentially, you get an idea why it’s so fucking good. Not only do you have Nintendo on board ensuring it matches the high quality fans of the series expect, but you also have Sega bringing some fresh ideas in.
The game is insane. I remember going back to my friend’s house after we’d finished in town and loading up the game. They let me play by myself first, whilst we all watched in awe at how amazing the game looks and plays. 30 racers all battle it out in the most insane tracks ever seen. I remember the first race I did – I think I came 12th or something crappy, but it was impressive stuff. Brutally difficult, but impressive. I personally loved how hard the game was. Nothing beats the moment you finally master racing through ‘Big Blue’ at 220mph, gliding round loops, perfectly landing jumps and outpacing all your competition.
F-Zero GX requires an immense amount of memorisation. There’s absolutely no way you can be successful at this game, without replaying tracks over and over again, until you can literally play blind folded. You feel like an absolute god too, when you finally get that good, when you can travel at full speed and perfectly move ’round every twist and turn thrown your way and avoid every obstacle you find in your way.
The great thing about F-Zero GX, is beneath the shiny, exciting exterior, there is also a surprising amount of depth and gameplay options to be found. There’s the Arcadey Grand Prix mode, with different cups that increase in difficulty. There’s additional unlockable cups too, to keep you playing. There’s loads of different racers and characters to choose from, with plenty to unlock. There’s also a full blown story/mission mode, which is insanely difficult. Finally, you can fully customise and create your own racer, with options to tweak all of the settings.
Overall, F-Zero GX is one of the best futuristic, fast racing games I have ever played. Whilst the core gameplay isn’t that revolutionary, the large number of customisation modes, large number of fantastic tracks and cinematic storylines, make this a brilliant game.