F-Zero X

F-Zero X

released on Jul 14, 1998

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F-Zero X

released on Jul 14, 1998

It's you against 29 other machines competing for the title of F-Zero X Champion. You're racing at speeds of over 1,000 km/h high above the atmosphere. Your competition comes from every corner of the galaxy and won't shed a tear at the thought of smashing you off the track. With four-player simultaneous gameplay and the Rumble Pak accessory, you have the fastest racing game on the N64 system!

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I never played on the N64 but I had it on Wii virtual console. GX is my preferred F-Zero game.

If THIS is the future of racing, I... better get a licence.

"You got boost power!" full B mash 2nd lap goess pshhhhhhhhhhhh

Debate ably the best F Zero game up there with GX. It may have been buggier, uglier and jankier. But the hardware limitations allowed for a lot of freedom so you can go about completing tracks in your own way after getting used to the controls. So seeing how better you can get on tracks is cool. The music is perfect for the vibe when you're traveling at over thousands of km/h.

I remember reading in magazines around the time of the release of F-Zero X that Nintendo had made the decision to bin off the idea of texturing the vehicles to ensure that the game ran at a rock solid 60FPS. I didn't really know what this meant other than it had something to do with SPEED and essentially, the development team behind F-Zero X were willing to do whatever it took to create their vision of an unbelievably fast, smooth racing game. It made the speed seem important - crucial, even - before I had even played it.

Thirty (!) different F-Zero pilots and machines are available to choose from, once unlocked, with each having a different feeling of weight and handling model, so not only can you belt along at ridiculous speeds but find the vehicle that allows you to stay completely in control while you're doing it.

That's the core of F-Zero X. The ability to fly around twisting, turning 3D tracks at great speed but retain total control while you do it. There's no rubberbanding, no weapons or catch-up mechanics to throw a random element into the proceedings. There's no space for luck in F-Zero X, only skill. The one extra thing that can influence a race is the ability to boost, which drains your health and there's nothing stopping you boosting to the point where even grazing another vehicle or wall will cause you to explode. Health can be regained by driving over specific parts of the track on each lap, but driving over these causes a slight, but crucial, reduction in speed. Pure risk/reward at its best.

For my money, this is where it edges out Mario Kart as Nintendo's finest racing game. I never feel cheated when I lose a race in F-Zero X. An extremely confident video game.

Not the prettiest game by a mile, but oh boy it plays extremely well, and with an amazing soundtrack to boot. The game's focus on speed over graphics make this still one of the best aged games of its era.