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F-Zero: Maximum Velocity (Game Boy Advance) artwork

F-Zero: Maximum Velocity (Game Boy Advance) review


"And because of the fact that there are NO other elements incorporated into the game except straight racing (and this isn't even realistic, folks), the game gets incredibly boring. I don't want to make it sound as if there is no fun whatsoever in this game; it's just that after a while, it can get rather dull."



Introduction:

I must admit, I wasn't a big fan of F-Zero on the SNES, and I wasn't
expecting much from this game. After playing it, I was impressed by the
game's incredible sense of speed and it's eye-pleasing visuals, but
after playing for a longer duration, I noticed that the game definitely
has it's share of flaws.

Graphics:

The graphics are probably the most noticeable feature of this F-Zero
installment on GBA. The game uses the almost-3D Mode7 engine, like many
other GBA and SNES titles. It works well, creating a pseudo-3D
environment which makes the game more realistic and immersive. However, up
till GBA's launch, Mode7 had only really been ''tested'' on SNES, and games
like Starfox and the original F-Zero on SNES really didn't show some of
the cool tricks that can be done with this somewhat advanced 2D engine.

Rather than just having simple sprites, in an undetailed, rather bland
environment, like in Mario Kart for SNES, F-Zero: Maximum Velocity adds
a lot of detail to the background, while making the sprites more nicely
animated. On top of all this, the game runs at a great framerate, and
does have an almost realistic feeling of speed incoporated into it.
Graphically, F-Zero: MV is a step ahead of most SNES games, particularly
the original F-Zero. I was quite pleased with the visuals, even if
they're maybe not quite as flashy as those of other GBA launch titles.

Gameplay:

Sadly, F-Zero seems to fall short in this category. The first five
minutes are great, and then it only goes downhill from there. As soon as
I started playing, I noticed that the game was going to require a
learning curve. It wasn't really that the game was so challenging, just
that it controlled differently to other racers I've played. The control
seemed ''looser'' than other games in the genre, which I suppose would
make sense, because, after all, I was controlling a hovercar of some sort.

Anyway, the main objective of the game is to race ''cars'', which is
pretty much where the problem comes in. Obviously, being prompted to race
in a racing game isn't such a rare concept, but after about 5 or 10
minutes, you'll start to notice how incredibly similar all the tracks,
turns, and cars are in the game. Sure, all of your crafts control
slightly differently, and they look different too, but the game doesn't have
as much depth as I would've hoped. Change in track-layout is apparent,
but the landscape and overall look of the road and environment itself
is nearly identical.

All I'm trying to say is, F-Zero works, to a degree, but it seems like
the developers may have needed an extra hand with their creativity,
because after playing more than about 2 races, the game just goes to hell.
And because of the fact that there are NO other elements incorporated
into the game except straight racing (and this isn't even realistic,
folks), the game gets incredibly boring. I don't want to make it sound as
if there is no fun whatsoever in this game; it's just that after a
while, it can get rather dull.

That said, the gameplay isn't really THAT bad. I know I made it sound
bad, but I've heard much praise about this game, and it's all just a
matter of opinion. I'm just looking for something more...

Sound:

I honestly don't really notice the sound when I play. The only sound I
hear is the sound of my car blowing up when I crash against the walls
(which is very annoying, I might add.) The effects are quite good, with
the sounds of roaring engines, etc... But they're still not excellent.

Control:

F-Zero has good control, for the most part. Learning how to drive in
this game doesn't take too long, and when it does, you'll become the
master in no time. The only real problem I saw was having to use the L
and R buttons. They're hard to get at, and in a racing game, where
you'll be using the d-pad to concentrate on steering, it's a real pain in
the ass to have to worry about those two, awkward top buttons. Then
again, that's not really the developers' fault... It's Nintendo's. That
aside, controls are good.

Conclusion:

F-Zero isn't a bad game. It has good graphics, and it's fun in small
doses. I just wish the developers had thought a little more about
repetition, because their game has a LOT of it. Feel free to buy this game,
just don't expect too much. I've heard others say great things about
it, and maybe you'd like it too, but when it comes to me, I like my
racing games to be unique, fun, and full of variety. F-Zero doesn't have
these traits as strongly as I would've hoped.

Rating: 6.0/10

ender's avatar
Staff review by James Gordon (Date unavailable)

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