F-Zero: Maximum Velocity
Game Info
GameBoy Advance
Official Website
ESRB Rating
The Good

• Great sense of speed
• Superb graphics and sound

The Bad

• It can be frustrating
• You may get hopelessly addicted


Back in the day, when futuristic racers were almost nonexistent, Nintendo decided to bring us the one game that started it all: F-Zero. It was loved for it's blazingly fast fun and (at the time) mind-blowing visuals. This sequel helps fit the need for a second helping of fun. Despite your assumptions, this just isn't a port of the old classic - it has new vehicles and cleverly designed courses.

The story, like the first one, isn't the most important aspect of the game. There are no cut scenes or other rivalries or anything in the entire game. There is a little section of the manual that tells just why these people are racing. Surprisingly, it doesn't make sense, but I'll let the manual explain what it's about:

"Captain Falcon, Dr. Stewart...It's been a quarter of a century since they piloted their way to fame as F-Zero racers, and as time has passed, their days of glory have faded into something resembling legend. The extreme danger involved in F-Zero has caused for some to call for an end to these races, but now a new generation of pilots has emerged and is looking to continue writing the sport's history. It is a timeless quest for victory, fame, and fortune."

But this game isn't about story. It's all about fast and furious gameplay in the palm of your hand. The great sense of speed as your zipping down the track is downright exhilarating. Speaking of tracks, there are lots of them. At the beginning, there are three different circuits to choose from, Pawn, Knight, and Bishop. Each with there 5 tracks keep the challenge on high and are creatively done. There are also 3 difficulty settings, not including the unlockable, and almost impossible master setting.

Along these tracks are multiple objects you have to dodge and some different terrain that you have to use different driving styles to get through. For example, on the snowy levels, you can't keep your finger jammed on the acceleration button and expect to get out of it a winner. Instead you have to press the A button repeatedly while on the snow-filled levels. All the variety keeps the fun fresh, and will keep you coming back for more.

The graphical flare of the original is back, and gives the game a great sense of speed, something that a lot of racing titles, even nowadays, fail to do. I noticed the graphics aren't as fruitfully colored and bright as the original. This is mostly due to the dark screen of the Gameboy Advance, which has made a few games virtually unplayable. Luckily, that isn't the case for this title. The music also keeps you pumped when your playing the game, and isn't hard to listen to.

When it comes down to the best GBA racer, this title is at the top of the heap. Honestly though, this title doesn't have much competition, and is worth the moolah you have to throw at it. I just hope you won't get as hopelessly addicted to it as I did. Seriously, It's a good game.

- - Grandlethal

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