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North America

F-Zero: Maximum Velocity

by Billy Berghammer - March 22, 2001, 8:36 pm EST

Blazing quick futuristic racing is what F-Zero is all about, and it's heading for a GBA near you. Check out Billy's first impressions of the Japanese import!

I can just remember seeing the first screen shot of F-Zero Advance in a press package we got at Space World. I played a little of the SNES version, but I totally loved the N64 incarnation. When it came down to choosing the games I wanted to import, F-Zero easily made the list.

F-Zero Advance plays almost identical to its SNES counterpart. It’s an entirely new game, but more of the same fast Futuristic racing you’ve grown to love. If you’ve seen movies of this title you know how fast it is. It’s no lie….you’re flying through these tracks.

Out of all the games I’ve played on the GBA, F-Zero Advance for me was the hardest to adjust to the controls. It took me a couple races to get used to everything. The default control scheme is A-Thrust, B-Break, R-Right bank, L-Left Bank, L+R- Boost. I think part of the problem was that I wasn’t used to the controls, and the other part was that I wasn’t comfortable with some of the vehicles. Once I got used to everything I was blazing through the tracks.

As far as all the options I could figure out, there are 3 cups: Pawn, Knight, and Bishop. You can race these at 3 different difficulty settings: Beginner, Standard, and Hard. I’m betting there’s an expert mode hidden in here somewhere as well. There are 4 vehicles to choose from in the beginning, and I haven’t unlocked any new ones as of yet. All cups are available immediately at any difficulty level, but I suggest starting at the beginning and working your way up. Don’t forget, there’s 14 other racers on the track that are trying to race past you or blow you up!

There really isn't a whole lot of Japanese in this game. Some of the menu's are in Japanese and some aren't. Overall I'd say this title is probably 80% in English! Not bad!

Graphically F-Zero is pretty basic. If you’ve seen the Mode 7 graphics that the SNES version used, you’re pretty much in the same ballpark. I would say it does look better than the SNES version. Not that the more basic graphics turn me off at all, because when you’re going that fast you’re really not looking at the scenery. But overall the backgrounds are okay. Nothing too flashy, but I’ll sacrifice beauty for more of that blazing speed.

The music would fall into the same genre as the past F-Zero games. Kind of a futuristic techno-ish rock blend, which suits the title just fine. Just put on the headphones and enjoy. The sound effects are excellent, and the stereo separation really helps you know when and spatially where another racer is closing in on you.

F-Zero Advance is another superb GBA launch game. There are plenty of racers due to hit the GBA, but right out of the gates F-Zero is a winner.

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Genre Racing
Developer NDcube
Players1 - 4

Worldwide Releases

na: F-Zero: Maximum Velocity
Release Jun 10, 2001
jpn: F-Zero
Release Mar 21, 2001
eu: F-Zero: Maximum Velocity
Release Jun 22, 2001
aus: F-Zero: Maximum Velocity
Release Jun 22, 2001
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