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F-Zero GX : Futuristic Mach-speed Racing!

Guest Author - James Shea

“F-Zero GX” is the successor to the F-Zero series, the other games of which were F-Zero for the Super Nintendo and F-Zero 64 for the Nintendo 64. It features a futuristic setting, cool machines and pilots, and things going really, really, really fast.


The game takes place in the 26th century (or later-it doesn’t really say). The focus of the game is this incredibly dangerous race called the F-Zero Grand Prix. Racers ride their custom-made machines around the courses, and it can be very dangerous. There was an accident four years before this current game that temporarily halted the races. People die quite a bit from hazards, crashing, and being bumped off course by rival racers. Of course, like any race, there are also great rewards, like fame, honor, and cash, which lure racers to the course in hopes of victory.

For the player, though, winning races gets tickets that give access to unlockable items, like racers and custom parts to build machines with. There is also a story mode for those who want meaning to the races. You can’t do only the story mode, though, because you get 15 tickets from winning them and you need 20 usually to buy the next part of the story. So you’ll have to compete in the Grand Prix, which is a series of 5 races. You get points depending on which place you come in. The competition is pretty tough, though, and getting bad on even one race can make you lose. You have a certain number of lives that you use to replay the races. Run out of lives, and you start the whole series over again.

There is a lot of variety in this game, with tons of racers (each with their own story) and tracks. The tracks range from casinos to deserts to cities. The speed of the machines (topping off at about 2000 km/h, exceeding the speed of sound) is incredible. There are also a few parts of the game that are shared with the Star Fox series of games. For example, the antigravity unit is called a “G-Diffuser System”, and in Star Fox 64, Falco, a pilot on the Star Fox team, complains he’s having trouble with his “G-Diffuser” in one of the levels. The most obvious thing, though, is the pilot James McCloud (which was the name of Fox McCloud’s dad), who wears a Star Fox-style uniform, has his hair spiked up in the same color of Fox’s fur, has a machine that was converted from a combat plane that looks like an Arwing (the Star Fox ship) and is the leader of a flight group called Galaxy Dog. If that doesn’t all add up, then something in the universe is broke. There are also some other interesting pilots. Mighty Gazelle was incapacitated in a crash and had his body replaced with a cyborg’s body. Octoman is an octopus-like creature that fights for his planet’s future. Silver Neelsen is 98 years old. The Skull is a pilot in the F-Zero races two hundred years before this game, and was brought back to life by black magic. It’s all so inventive and crazy that you just might go insane.

There are also quite a few new options in the game. You can buy parts with tickets to create your own F-Zero machine, and better parts give better attributes. You can draw your own emblem, similar to drawing patterns in Animal Crossing. You can read about the profile and history of the racers.
The control is sort of difficult. There are quite a few things you need to be able to do with the controls, like boosting, gliding across curves, and attacking other machines. It takes quite a bit of practice and good reflexes to be able to use the controls well.

The graphics are really good, and there are cut scenes in story mode to illustrate what’s going on. The in-game graphics are pretty impressive, with the background really helping to set the scene. There are giant sand worms on desert planets, and glowing neon in casino areas. It’s really incredible.
The sound, however, is even better. Each character has their theme music, ranging from rock music to quiet, easy listening music to techno. The background music also really helps to set the mood or the setting. If you don’t have a good sound system when you play this game, you’re missing out on a lot of good stuff.

This is a great game. However, it can be rather tough, and there’s no scalable difficulty. For people who enjoy a challenge, for people who love music, for people who love science fiction, and for people who also loved the Star Wars Podracer games, this is the game for you.

Buy F-Zero GX on Amazon!
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Content copyright © 2014 by James Shea. All rights reserved.
This content was written by James Shea. If you wish to use this content in any manner, you need written permission. Contact Lisa Shea for details.

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