Futuristic racing. Fast and furious, but that's about it.

User Rating: 7.5 | F-Zero SNES
A nostalgic racer, one of the fastest, but does speed hold it up?


There is one (A racer with a story? Wow) that doesn't extend beyond the instruction manual; it talks about how Captain Falcon is a bounty hunter who works for money, and his arch-rival is Samurai Goroh, a big time thug and gangster go through a short series of events (Falcon turns in a few bounties and evades Goroh's attempts to kill him) that end up with Goroh signing up to race in the knight league races in F-Zero so he can take down the famous Captain Falcon, though he has to avoid expert racer Dr. Stuart and alien menace Piko (Who races more for making people crash then to actually race). The game itself has no story, just races.


A mere four, not a lot to choose from. Captain Falcon has the best handling and above average acceleration, but isn't very heavy and has low top speed. Dr. Stuart is light and accelerates fast, but has low top speed, low armor, gets bounced around easily, and doesn't steer very well. Piko has heavy armor to (Supposedly) withstand a lot of hits, as well as a good top speed, but his handling isn't great and his acceleration is worse. Samurai Goroh is the heaviest and the fastest, but has the worst handling and acceleration, plus is an ugly bright pink color. Almost everyone specializes in one or two things but loses in everything else, except for Dr. Stuart who specialized in one thing and loses out for the rest. There is no voice acting, or any other personalization of the characters besides their vehicles.


Fast. That's the biggest draw to F-Zero, the speed you can move (Especially with Goroh) along the track. There are at least 20 racing opponents, but since you automatically lose if you drop below 20th I don't know the exact number. Every race on the 15 courses has five laps where you drive around the course in an effort to reach the finish of lap 5 first.

There are two game modes: Grand Prix and Time Trial, plus an unlockable records mode once you beat either one. In Grand Prix mode you race all the other racers over the five courses in a league, choosing from Knight, Queen, and King, and choose one of the three difficulty settings. There isn't an actual winner in any race since the game proceeds as long as you meet all lap requirements (Be in a certain place or higher every lap, shrinks each lap), and you get no reward for placing first, just a record in the books if you finish fast. However you should still try to win since coming in fourth or lower on the last lap disqualifies you, and if you run out of lives (Which are lost by disqualification or crashing out) then the Grand Prix is over.

Besides trying to win you also have to worry about your armor, since every time you hit a wall or another racer you lose armor, and once it's gone you explode, and you automatically explode if you leave the course. And, that's it. Race fast, don't die, set records, place high. In time trial mode you can race on seven of the fifteen courses, five from knight league and one a piece from queen and king. You can race as one of the four racers either by yourself or against one of the other four (Including your chosen racer). This is the best mode to set records since there are no opponents to worry about, but you can only do less then half of the courses, which isn't that great. It's especially bad in the king league, since you are unable to practice the courses to make it easier, you're just tossed in and hope you win.


Hard. You can't finish in less then third and the opponents can, so they do your best to make sure you can't win. And the courses feature tight turns in some places that require an expert or a Captain Falcon user to escape without damage.


They fit the high speed sense in that a lot of them feature long straightaway stretches with breaks for tight corners that require a high amount of skill to navigate. There are 15 courses on about 8 different backgrounds (Supposedly different planets) and they really look the part, the city courses look crowded, the ocean course looks wet (And gets a little slippery), the windy courses tried to blow you into the wall, and the canyon course is a uniform dark red to show off the rock.


The above mentioned record book and an even harder difficulty. That's it, no new racers, no new time trial courses, nothing. The harder difficulty might be a spoiler except that it's not really that special.

Technical Details:

The graphics are a great 2-D and the sense of speed shows what the SNES is capable of. However you're supposed to be racing miles above the surface of planets, and the background looks as small as you'd expect, but when you crash off-course it looks like you hit the city even though it's miles beneath you. Is there an invisible barrier to protect the citizens? It's plausible, but shows a lack of attention to one detail. The music (I've heard it called Japanese rock but that's unconfirmed) is really fitting for the races, and adds to the sense of high-speed racing. The sound effects are good, and make you think you're actually bumping a racer. The explosions are a little bland though, more like a loud pop then a loud BOOM.


None. It's a racing game, but no multiplayer. That's really too bad.

Lasting Value:

Not much, you can race to try and beat your times but once that's done you'll go looking for another racer due to the lack of unlockables to hold your interest. But you'll come back every now and then just for the speed. Too bad you can't have a friend join.

Gameplay: 9/10
Graphics: 8/10
Sounds and Music: 9/10
Fun: 9/10
Replay Value: 4/10
Overall Score: 7.6/10

It could have used less CPU difficulty, since the average beginner won't be able to manage, and the lack of replay doesn't help it, but the sense of speed is high and the great racing once you're used to it makes the game a lot of fun for short bursts.