Pretty much every gamer these days knows who Captain Falcon is. Whether it be from Falcon Punching your best friend in Super Smash Bros. or maybe even the F-Zero anime, you’ve heard his name before. But have you ever actually played his game? Most of the people that I’ve asked hadn’t ever played F-Zero. I can only shake my head and weep for my friends around the world that have never played this gem of a game, but I suppose they don’t really know what they’re missing out on do they?F-Zero for the SNES came out right around the time when the SNES was launched. As a launch title, it actually did fairly well and, surprisingly, still holds up today. Playing the game today is one of the most refreshing experiences I’ve had with video games lately. F-Zero runs smoothly and fast, the controls are tight but you always feel like you could crash and burn at any time; a perfect sense of anticipation for a racing game.
Graphically speaking the game isn’t anything too outrageous, given that it is a SNES title, but for the time I think it stands apart from the Super Marios and Super Metroids. Besides the fact that F-Zero is a racing game and is inherently different than most of the other titles out there, it stands out even next to Super Mario Kart. The use of Mode 7 was pretty prominent among SNES games but F-Zero really capitalized the mode with pretty much every aspect of its game, from the tracks and everything on them and even the vehicles, something that Super Mario Kart hadn’t done. Because of the use of Mode 7, the game does feel very fast. It’s one of the fastest games I’ve ever played; the good Captain may even give Sonic a run for his money.
One unique thing about F-Zero is that you can actually die, a feature that wasn’t very frequently seen in racing games. Even in recent generations, you don’t really die in racing games, your car could become damaged or something along those lines and you may be penalized on your time but for the most part your car would just kind of disappear and start to reappear brand new again. In F-Zero you can actually explode and instantly lose the race. Some of the tracks have jump bars in them and should you jump off the map you will find yourself launching to your doom as you careen toward the ground and violently explode. “You Lost” dawns your screen in vibrant pink and you’re forced to either give up or start the race over again.
Speaking of the vibrant pink that “You Lost” appears in, F-Zero in general makes use of a lot of popping, vibrant colors. This is actually something that I’ve noticed is pretty standard in retro games. The more of them I play, the more I realize that games used to be bright, fun and quirky. Games now take themselves a little too seriously and are too often shrouded in heavy earth pallets and burdened with realism. Every week that I get to play these awesome Retro Games is a treat and I’m glad I got to test my mettle in F-Zero.
Keep your engines revved for the games we have in store for you next week, as I’m sure you’ll love them!
I’m ChristianCoal, thanks for reading everyone!