We get hands-on with the playable E3 demo of Nintendo's fastest Game Boy Advance title to date.
In addition to the time we spent playing the story mode in F-Zero GP Legend ahead of E3, today saw us getting hands-on with the game's grand prix mode. The grand prix races place you in a field of 30 craft, although it's worth noting that we never saw more than three other craft onscreen at any one time during our brief time with the game.
The grand prix mode lacked the narrative and anime-style interludes of the story mode, but it did give us the option to choose our craft based on statistics for body, boost, and grip. We could then further customize it ahead of each race via a sliding bar shifting its handling emphasis between acceleration and top speed. The circuits we raced on were exactly what you'll be expecting if you've ever played an F-Zero title before. There are plenty of opportunities to boost your speed, jump, take shortcuts, and, of course, damage your craft by slamming into the sides at speeds unthinkable in anything but a futuristic racer.
The control setup was identical to that found in F-Zero: Maximum Velocity, except that the shoulder buttons, in addition to being used for leaning into corners and activating your speed boost, could also be double-tapped to perform "side-attack" maneuvers against opponents. When activated, the side-attack move briefly surrounded our craft with a shield and moved us sharply in the direction corresponding to the shoulder button we'd double-tapped. We didn't succeed in damaging any other craft with it, though, and so we have no idea how effective it might be. We'll bring you more information on F-Zero GP Legend as soon as it becomes available.