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North America

F-Zero: Maximum Velocity

by David Trammell - June 11, 2001, 4:26 pm EDT

Fast, difficult, slippery and FUN!

I can't say I'm the biggest F Zero X fan in the world. The N64 incarnation of the series had a completely different style of control that didn't work for me. Still, the loops were nice and the music was awesome.

That said, I am very glad to see F Zero: Maximum Velocity return to its mode-7 roots. Provided you choose the correct car (Crystal or Violet) the game plays much like its SNES prequel. That means that you can now turn as hard as you want and your car won't spin out. You can crash into walls to "bounce" back onto the track and continue racing. All the technique that made you good at F Zero will make you good here, for the most part. Unless you choose the Fire Ball or the Wind Walker. Those cars are like driving ice on butter. I just can't keep them off the walls. The turbo boosts don't drain your energy as in F Zero X, and you get one new one per completed lap (press L and R together to activate them).

So far, my only complaint is that the music doesn't seem quite as good to me as what I've heard in previous F Zero games, although the sound quality is very good. I'll have to experience more of the game first. Also, the game can be a bit difficult if you're not paying attention; even on beginner mode.

Finally a word on GBAs mode 7 style graphics. It looks really tight actually. In the old SNES version, everything looked really pixelated while the GBA version manages to look lightly filtered. The cars which are scaling sprites look top notch and the blown up screen shots don't really do the portable screen justice. Did I mention that the city beneath you is made of a separate "layer". You can see it rotate at a different rate when you turn corners and the effect is awesome.

As it stands, if you like classic F Zero, then this game is a must have title with twenty (?) new tracks and eight new cars, it should keep you busy for a while. If you've never experienced F Zero, then this is as good a time as any!

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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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