F-Zero is one of the few racing games to stand the test of time.

User Rating: 7.5 | F-Zero SNES
As avid a Super Nintendo fan as I am, I never did get around to playing the original F-Zero. In fact, the only game I had ever played in the series was F-Zero GX for the Gamecube. When I was browsing the Super Nintendo list on Virtual Console, I noticed F-Zero was available so I decided to download it. Although, I thought I wouldn’t appreciate this version as much as because I had played a far more updated version before, I was still impressed and had a good deal of fun playing the original F-Zero.

Although this may be considered a Wii review, I will rate it by both Super Nintendo and Wii standards and I will start with the graphics. The graphics look a little bit less than what Gameboy Advance can do and looks great for one of the first Super Nintendo release games with cool, almost three dimensional graphics. The frame rate moves smoothly the entire way through, but most of the courses will look similar in the screenshots people see but once they play them they will notice a few differences, such as backgrounds and level layout. Overall, the graphics looked great on the SNES and maintain sharp, thanks to a good frame rate.

There are around 15 courses in this game, making it on the long side for a Super Nintendo game. There are two modes, Grand Prix, and Practice along with a records menu. In practice you can choose from seven courses and race one opponent, so it’s more like a one-on-one race than a practice mode but it is still welcome. In Grand Prix, as in Practice, there are four vehicles to choose from, each with different stats. There are 3 leagues available at the start in Grand Prix that you can race in and you can adjust the difficulty as well. The game is pretty tough for a racing game when put at the highest difficulty but it still welcomes newcomers when put on a beginner difficulty.

One thing to be said about all F-Zero games is how well they control. I used a Gamecube controller to control this, (sorry, I do not have a Classic Controller, so this part of the review will be based on playing with the Gamecube controller, the core game is exactly the same, but I don’t know if there are any control differences between the Gamecube and the Classic controllers) and I was able to use both the Analog stick and the D-Pad to control. Classic gamers will probably argue that it is easier to control with the D-Pad but I actually found control to be just as precise, if not more when using the analog stick. You can hold down the B button to accelerate, and the A or X buttons to brake. You can drift with the R button.

In F-Zero you are not only trying to race your opponents, but you are also trying to stay alive. You vehicle has a power meter and if that meter runs out, than it’s over and you’ve lost the race. Every time you hit a wall, or another vehicle, etc. you will lose a little bit of power. This makes the game get a lot tougher in the later stages with more twists and turns so be prepared. There are also little obstacles and gimmicks, some may help and others will not.

The sound in F-Zero is again, great for its time but aging as the years go by. The sound effects may have been something for its time, and it still may sound pretty good if on a handheld such as the Gameboy Advance, but it is not exactly the clearest sounding game you’ve played in recent times. The music, however, has made its way into later games. In fact, you’ll probably recognize it from future F-Zero releases and even in games like the Super Smash Brothers series. The music is really good and memorable, and sounded especially good for its time. Now, you’ll probably remember it for being so good back than and where you heard it in other games that you won’t bother to compare it to games these days with clearer music.

The replay value in F-Zero is pretty good but one thing really hurts it and that is the lack of multiplayer. The Super Nintendo had two controller ports, so why didn’t Nintendo make such a worthy game having two player support, multiplayer? That, I do not know, but we’ve seen it in later installments and it’s all so good. At least there is plenty to do and this game never really does get old. Hopefully, we’ll see an online F-Zero in the future of the Wii.

Overall, F-Zero is a prime example of a game that has stood the test of time. The graphics provide us with nostalgia feeling, the gameplay holds up well, as does the music. It’s definitely worth the 800 Wii points that it costs.