Title: F-Zero X
Posted: July 24, 2006 (12:05 PM)
[I thought I'd try something different here. I'll post this review eventually, but, for the moment, I'll just post it here and soak up comments.]
F-Zero X has all the makings of a lackluster effort. It doesn’t have any missiles or mines like other futuristic racers, so ramming is the only way to attack. You can’t change paint jobs and there’s aren’t any custom parts to buy; cars can be adjusted for a higher max speed or quicker acceleration, but that’s the only customization option. The graphics are low even by the N64’s level, and most of the tracks are too bright, too colorful and too pink for their own good. Aside from the standard Grand Prix and Time Trial, it only has one mode to boast, the Death Race. Racing around a loop, knocking other cars into oblivion and being the last one intact. It’s glorified Roller Derby. All that, and the announcer speaks like he’s underwater.
F-Zero X only has two things going for it: Its speed and the music that accompanies it.
Here, the speed of sound is slow; even the bulkiest car can easily hit 1,000 km/h, and the intensity matches. Reflexes are crucial, more so than any other racing game. It only takes a second to get bumped off the road and get knocked out of the race. Start turning into a curve one moment too late and you could go from leading the pack to scraping at the back. Twenty-nine racers vie for position, and every last one can and will do whatever’s necessary. They’ll team up, boost, bump, and use the same tactics you use.
It’s a chaotic dance. Every racer has unique AI; it’s subtle, but there. They form their own rivalries as the Grand Prix drags on; there’s always one or two racers fighting for your spot in the rank, singling you out above all others. This wouldn’t be such a problem if you respawned after crashes, but you don’t; die and you start the race over, die five times and you start the season over. It’s an unforgiving system pushed by unforgiving opponents, and the tracks themselves are even less accommodating. Racing inside pipes, with no way to tell up from down. Racing outside pipes, where all it takes is a strong nudge to blow you away. Hairpin turns may have rails to keep you from falling or they may not. Some tracks are meant for pure speed, other tracks require a more methodical approach; knocking enemies out of position instead of simply taking it. You have a one lap to figure out what it takes. At best.
It’s insanity, and the soundtrack is a perfect complement. High-strung guitar wailing may be irritating (to me), but it fits the mood. The speed rises with the beats, the drums kick, the notes ascend, the music sounds like it could crash at any moment…just like the races. It’s the final tug that pulls you into the F-Zero X experience, that makes every race a thrill. The louder, the better.
I’d take this game over anything that’s out today. Not to say that the current market has a problem; games like Burnout and Outreach excel in every area. But the bulk of racing’s beauty comes with the speed, the impulses, and the passion; with these, F-Zero X has no equal. It is the fastest.
Posted: July 24, 2006 (01:16 PM)
F-Zero X is awful.
Posted: July 24, 2006 (01:24 PM)
I just can't win...>_<
That said, what do you think of the review?
Posted: July 24, 2006 (01:33 PM)
F-Zero X is awesome... or at least it was last time I played it several years ago.
Posted: July 24, 2006 (01:46 PM)
This review didn't make any sense to me but maybe that's because my head feels like someone smashed a brick over it.
Posted: July 24, 2006 (02:51 PM)
Posted: July 24, 2006 (07:20 PM)
I loved F-Zero X but I don't think your review really captured the rush that comes when everything fits together and the game is at its best. It doesn't sound like a defense of the game and it doesn't sound like a bash. I think your tone needs to veer more sharply in an obvious direction, because right now this sounds like a 5 or 6 kind of game.
Posted: July 24, 2006 (10:14 PM)
the track designs on FZero X are just sick. FZero GX is tame compared to X. X puts more emphasize on eliminating your rivals so having the ability to spin attack was a cool addition to the series. the sense of speed is still tops and the music is awesome like you mentioned.
Posted: July 24, 2006 (11:58 PM)
I keep on hearing that GX made X obsolete -- but after playing GX I still think X is MUCH better.
Posted: July 25, 2006 (07:42 AM)
After playing F-Zero X I consider all the other F-Zeros obsolete. Also the Wipeout games.
Posted: July 25, 2006 (11:35 AM)
I disagree. The first two Wipeout games are what F-Zero wishes it could be.
Redshift beats them both, though!
Posted: July 25, 2006 (12:24 PM)
Wipeout always annoyed me. Too...I dunno...dark for my tastes.
Posted: August 01, 2006 (08:55 PM)
In a rare twist, I enjoyed the Gamecube version of F-zero best of them all. It's insane speed and dizzying visuals are just awesome.