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F-Zero X – N64

F-Zero X – N64

468px-Fzerobox3Platform: Nintendo 64

Developer: Nintendo

Publisher: Nintendo

Release Date (NA): October 26, 1998

Genre: Racing

Nerd Rating: 8 out of 10

Is it just me or is this game (and the original) pretty much a forgotten game? F-Zero X doesn’t really pop up in people’s heads when they think about the Nintendo 64 and isn’t really included in its legacy, although it should be. Let’s talk about why this game should be REMEMBERED!

Long gone are the Mode 7 graphics of the Super Nintendo fame, and here we now see the full power of the Nintendo 64. F-Zero was a revolutionary “3 dimensional” game for the SNES and saw substantial success. F-Zero X, however, is a fully 3D polygonal game that is miles and miles ahead of its precursor. Nintendo deserves high praise for their comic-book style futuristic battle racer on the wild and fast Nintendo 64 home console!

F-Zero X is a futuristic racing game with comic-book themed menu pages and seemingly endless choices! There are multiple game modes (similar to any racing game out there) that use the same tracks but with different rules. The racing modes are: Grand Prix Race,forgotten-fzerox-game Time Attack, Death Race, Versus Battle, and Practice. These are your standard run-of-the-mill racing options and in that sense, there is nothing unique about these options. The unique factor is based in the gameplay itself. In F-Zero X, you choose one of 30 pilots (with their respective hovercars) and then battle the other 29 racers for 1st place from start to finish all while trying to stay alive. The original F-Zero only had 4 hovercars to choose from, so this is a huge leap for the series.

What makes F-Zero X so unique is the sense of speed, intergalactic scenery, and myriad of options! It STILL amazes me how fast the frame-rate is with 30 vehicles racing at the same time! In order to make-up for this increased cart-space usage Nintendo used on the incredibly high frame rate, they were forced to sacrifice some of the graphical abilities, vehicle and track details, and more. While the animated details are certainly not too deep (notice the simple-looking textures on the vehicles), I think they make up for it tenfold with the fast-paced gameplay and exceptionally detailed focus on controls!

fpzero xWhen you first start playing, you’ll be in awe at how fast your hovercar is moving. Most games just slap a miles per hour in the corner of the screen somewhere, but does it ever feel like you’re going that fast?! Racers in F-Zero X can get up to 1,500 kph (that is almost 1,000 miles per hour) and this is perfectly showcased as sharp turns, signs, and other objects will approach and pass you in the blink of an eye! It sounds like it would be impossible to handle, right?! Not at all though. They compensate for the high speed by providing the racer with sharp breaking abilities and the use of more dynamic turning capabilities. It’s truly an art how near-perfect the racing mechanics are! The dynamic steering is made possible with the near-flawless joystick integration and the use of the R and Z buttons for near precision hairline turning.

There are 30 racers to choose from, including the frontman himself, Captain Falcon! Each hovercar has its own unique characteristics and performance abilities that affect how it handles on the track. After choosing a racer, you can adjust the balance between acceleration and speed. The more acceleration you choose, the less top speed you will have and vice versa. These options allow a more experienced racer to choose the vehicle attributes that fit most appropriately based on the track they are racing. Each race track is distinctively outstanding! There are loops, tunnels, tubes, sharp turns, large jumps, and more. In some cases, you actually race on the outside of the tube instead of inside. N64_F-Zero_XThis is a new element in racing (at the time it was) and really adds something special to the varied futuristic intergalactic world in which we have thrust ourselves!

To keep the racers from driving too recklessly and forcing them to actually focus on maneuverability, they have brought back the energy bar from the original F-Zero. The energy bar serves 2 purposes: 1. It’s a health meter that decreases as you get hit, hit others, or run into walls. and 2. It serves as a power-boost for your vehicle (which is activated after the first lap). There is a fine line one must walk when using the powerboost, as it decreases your energy bar, and will lead to certain destruction if overused! Each track has 1 or 2 powerstrips that replenish your depleted energy, and being familiar with the tracks has great advantages! One can burn through almost their entire energy bar if they time it right and land on the powerstrips right as the E light turns on (metaphorical Empty light, that is).

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F-Zero X reminds me of Wipeout 64, as does the game. But it is very unique. Wipeout 64 does not provide nearly as many options and the sense of speed can’t even touch F-Zero X. So, maybe you’re at the store and it’s Wipeout 64 vs F-Zero X in your head… ss_fzx_mreadWhat do you choose? F-Zero X is going to give you a less strong graphical game but with tighter game controls, more varied track layout/scenery, and many more options. Wipeout 64 is going to give you a much better graphical experience, a full arsenal of weapons at your disposal, and a great sense of a futuristic world. Both games are similar in ways and unique in other ways. The decision is yours to make, and I’m entirely torn! Get both!

Overall, F-Zero X is as deep a racing game as they come. With a multitude of race tracks, hovercars, and game modes, you will find yourself immersed in a high-speed racing battle for 1st place! Getting first place is no easy feat, either. You have to accurately balance your speed and acceleration THEN you have to beat out 29 racers to the finish line! And with each race lasting anywhere from 1 minute and 20 seconds to 2 minutes, it all happens pretty quick! So make your decisions wisely and remember that your reflexes will only get better as you get more experienced! This game can be found on Amazon for around $10 (September 2013) and I feel it’s a fair price. It could/should probably cost a little less considering its “Nintendo Player’s Choice” status. Regardless, it’s a good pick-up. Enjoy.

Oh, and how can we forget the metal guitar themed menu music?!

Reviewed by NerdBerry

fzero x

Written by Nerdberry


What’s up yall? David “Nerdberry” here! I am the founder of Nerd Bacon and the current co-owner (and CEO) along with partner David “theWatchman!” I hail from North Carolina, hence my love for all things pork! Oh, you’re not familiar with NC? Well I’m not 100% sure, but I am pretty confident that NC and VA lead the nation in pork production. I could be wrong, but even if I am, I still love bacon!

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