F-Zero review - Super Nintendo

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F-Zero box artIn the year 2560, the greatest racing competition is the F-Zero championship. Pilots from all over the galaxy risk their lives as they battle for first place in their dazzling hovercrafts. The unforgettable racing game of the Super Nintendo.

Taking full advantage of the famous "Mode 7" special effect, F-Zero redefined the notion of speed in racing games. The numerous tracks were filled with deadly traps and some of the best players would always find new techniques to improve their lap records in practice Mode. F-Zero also featured one of the most famous soundtracks in the history of video games.

What the Mean Machines staff thought


" If you've got a Super Famicom, F-Zero is one of the first games you can buy for it. Although it only takes you a week or so to complete the game, it's the taking part that's so enjoyable. Whizzing around the amazing 3D landscapes (there'll never, ever be anything to touch this graphically on the Amiga or Megadrive) is made all the more enjoyable because the handling of your car is so realistic. Ignite a turbo on a corner and you'll spend the next few seconds spanging aimlessly around the track, desperately attempting to regain control. It's simply so good to play that you'll be coming back months later for another go (I know, because I bought the game when it first came out and I'm still playing it!). F-Zero must be the definitive console racing game, and I look forward to the inevitable sequel! "

" Using a similar 3D routine to Pilotwings, F-Zero is simply the most impressive racing game I've ever encountered. For a start, it's stunning to look at, with gorgeous, silky-smooth landscapes whizzing by at incredible speeds. It also plays perfectly - the way the craft 'feels' and responds to your joypad movements is utterly perfect. Misjudge a corner at high speed and you skitter all over the track, and much finger twitching is required to save yourself from severe energy drain. Adding to the on-the-edge high speed thrills are the computer opponents, who cut you up and give you a truly challenging race - on later levels they're really hard to beat. If it's high speed thrills 'n' spills you're after, put this at the top of your shopping list. "


Overall Score90%

Retrospective comments


Prior to F-Zero, silky-smooth scaling and rotation effects were the sole preserve of arcade releases. I recall seeing F-Zero in action on an import Super Famicom at my local import store, KC's Consoles. I was quite simply blown away. It made my Megadrive feel very underpowered! When the official SNES hardware release date came around, I quickly forced my parents to snap up a console and F-Zero. The rest is history. The game dropped the jaws of all my Amiga-owning chums, and thankfully had gameplay to back up those gorgeous, ground-breaking visuals. Although the game could be completed in a matter of weeks, the real challenge lay in bettering your own lap times, which quickly turned into something of an obsession. A special mention must also go to the music, which is excellent throughout. Nintendo have tried to update the formula several times over the past few years (even going to the extreme of enlisting Sega's help for the Gamecube version), with different degrees of success, but to me the original will always be the best.

Richy Girth - 04 Dec 2008, 12:27 GMT

This will always have a special place in my heart.
It is the game that opened the door for the software that followed it, and was there to close it again turning the lights out as the console left.
I still play this version of F-Zero to this day.
Its work of art like status secured by the test of time (like 16 years worth so far).
Its graphics and sound wrap around the gameplay like the finest bread on a perfect sandwich.
The music is an acid-jazz excersion into the netherworld of smokey chilledness that soothes you as much as it does excite you.
The graphics, while basic flit by at enough speed that the motion creates an air of fluidity about them.

The playabilty of this demon is where it is truely at though, and the addiction to better personal times should be recognised and treated at the Priory.

My favorite racing track is 'Big Blue'. Something so beautiful about the graphics on that level, as well as the ice and perfect feeling corners.

I haven't gotten round to playing other versions or any subsequent sequels, and while I have this version to play I wont being losing sleep in the menatime.

As essential to a SNES collection as the oroginal Star Wars trilogy is to DVD collections.

Dan - 24 Feb 2009, 17:08 GMT

Great game no doubt..... BUT.......it reallly used to do my head in that no matter how quickly I went round the track my nearest opponent was always the same distance behind me, meaning 1 slip up and i was bummed, hard. It wasn't a particularly hard game, but this gave the game a limited feel and, as fun as it was, it's depth weren't the deepest.

mitzibishi - 22 Jul 2009, 03:10 GMT

wow. Afterburner 90%, Wrestlewars 88%, Pilotwings 90%, F-Zero 90%. guess the inconsistencies

captainfalcon - 05 Jul 2011, 17:59 GMT

When i first saw this game , i had to own it.
Nothing at the time was like it. Speed and smooth gameplay and original racing concept. Jumps, boost power , wind , magnetic side rails. energy bar health and recharge pit lane. Great ideas and well before there time. Always wanted a sequel with two player split screen but never happened. Still a great game though.

YawnBoyPest1957 - 23 May 2015, 10:54 GMT

Perfect control, easy to pick up, difficult to master. Deep. Vastly ahead of everything that preceeded outside of the arcades, and matched up just fine against the super scalers. Superior single player racing thrill to Mariokart, and a bit prettier to boot. Overly advantaged, obnoxiously aggrgessive rival A.I. on higher difficulties, and the lack of multiplayer and a tuning/upgrade feature are all that prevent this from being the clear cut best 16bit racer.

Mean Machines Issue 9 - June 1991
Driving Game Super Nintendo
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