591: F-Zero series

This is where you'll find threads specific to the games we'll be covering in our current volume of podcasts
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591: F-Zero series

Post by JaySevenZero »

Here's where you can contribute your thoughts and opinions for F-Zero series for potential inclusion in the forthcoming podcast.

A friendly reminder that where the feedback for the podcast is concerned, we love it - but keeping it brief is appreciated. We do want to include a breadth of opinions where appropriate, but no-one wants a discussion podcast that’s mostly reading out essays. Better to save yourself time and cut to the chase if you can.
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Re: 591: F-Zero series

Post by Buskalilly »

I bloody love F-Zero games.

I first encountered the series on GBA. Playing Maximum Velocity via link cable with my mate Rich for hours one night, commenting on how exciting close games were, was when I first realised that a good contest was fun whether you won or lost.

I dabbled a little with the original on Wii Virtual Console or more recently on the Switch Online. It's fun and frantic and fast.

F-Zero X on Wii VC got a lot of play when we should have been doing something more useful back in Sixth Form. The speed, the madness of some of the tracks, the cheesy voices and music; perfect fodder for some kids slightly too young to drink booze, slightly too awkward to chase girls and slightly too hyped up on sugar to actually study. More recently I tried playing with a friend on the other side of the planet and even with the sound utterly garbled the fun of the race was undeniable.

And then there's F-Zero GX.
The visuals? Sublime.
The speed? Mind-melting.
The control? So precise!
It got plenty of multiplayer sessions but the real joy was when my good friend Muss, after finally giving into my goading and playing through Dark Souls, challenged me to beat Mission Mode. Its one of the hardest gaming feats I ever undertook, but pulling it off felt glorious. It's a crime this hasn't at the very least been given a lick of paint and an HD release with online multiplayer.

Oh, I've also had a couple of chances to play AX. There's a map on google of where machines can be found, and I hiked twenty kilometres across Tokyo to play one at the start of 2019. F-Zero GX, essentially, but played with a wheel/ joystick thing while sat in a moving cockpit. Incredible! I also played one in Sapporo but the boost button was busted so it was literally impossible to maintain a lead after the first lap. I ain't got boost power!
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Re: 591: F-Zero series

Post by Iain[Ian]Ianson »

Have only given any meaningful time to the original SNES game, and Maximum Velocity on the GBA.

They’re both excellent. The vibe in the first one is so delightfully garish and colourful.

The amount of face-button tapping that’s needed (especially on Maximum Velocity) I think has caused me some genuine long-term nerve damage.

I also love the way you can play quite riskily by bouncing off walls to cheese certain corners, hoping you’ll get your sliver of life back on the next lap. Heart in mouth stuff.
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Re: 591: F-Zero series

Post by NoMoreSpearows »

In my mind, there are two types of F-ZERO games.

On the one hand, you have titles like the Super NES original and Maximum Velocity. These are ones where victory is handled primarily through expert handling of your vehicle and knowledge of the course layout. Even when you're in first place you aren't guaranteed to win, since NPC vehicles are peppered throughout to make you swivel out of the way just enough to make you either fall behind or hit a game-ending obstacle.

The second, and more popular, are those such as X and GX where you're more likely to win by being the last vehicle on the track. With fewer stage boundaries, a lot more characters, and benefits provided for making as many drivers retire as possible, it feels less like a race than a destruction derby. Sure, you can win through the same methods that would work in the other half of the series, but doing so is an exercise in futility once you start aiming for the harder cups and higher difficulties.

Suffice to say, I prefer the former category. I like that F-ZERO has created an identity with the destructive side of things, but I find a lot more satisfaction from learning the layout of the tracks rather than them being elaborate playgrounds where I'm meant to memorize where and when to shove someone into the abyss more than anything. Credit where it's due, attempts have been made to combine the two, namely GP Legend and the Japan-exclusive Climax, but I feel like the perfect blend still hasn't been found yet. Perhaps that would be the key to the series getting its oft-requested new installment; when that happens, I'm looking forward to getting boost power once again.
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