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VIDEO GAME REVIEW

Around the Track Again

Game Boy Advance ‘F Zero’ Is as Fast as Ever

By Chad Serrant

Staff Writer

F Zero: Maximum Velocity

Made for Gameboy Advance

Published by Nintendo

$39.99

In the early SNES days, there was a racing game called F-Zero. Using the rotation of the SNES, F-Zero simulated driving from an over-the-shoulder perspective. It was a wonderful pseudo-3D effect. And there was a great racing game behind it, too.

F Zero: Maximum Velocity is the reincarnation of the SNES version. It has different courses, and the game physics are slightly readjusted. All in all, this is a very decent racing game that shows what the Game Boy Advance can do.

This is a racing game, and you have one mission: get to the finish line before everyone else does. You have five laps to do so, and if you’re not ahead of a certain ranking after each lap, you lose. Of course, you can also lose if your car explodes. Oh yes. This game takes place in the future, where humanity gains violent tendencies. Running into walls causes damage, and there are in-road hazards that can damage your vehicle.

The driving is simple. The A button accelerates, the B button brakes, the top buttons can slide your vehicle and hitting them simultaneously will use a turbo boost. The entire key to turning is tapping the accelerator. You can handle any turn by tapping A at the right time. With this skill, you can easily cruise past Beginner level. Standard and Expert levels will require more racing skill. You will have to memorize the tracks and know the best way through them to succeed. When you do survive, you will get five more courses to endure.

This game is capable of multiplayer mayhem, as well. If your friends only have one game, you can still play. But be warned: this is a very limited feature. You cannot choose a vehicle to race, and your choice of courses is very limited. When I tried this feature, my friend and I could only play on one course. If your friends have their own copies, then you can play on many more courses and you can choose many more cars to play with.

The graphics are on par with the SNES version, since it is using a similar technique. The thing is, you aren’t moving. The racetrack is being rotated and moved underneath your car. It’s a wonderful technique that gives an illusion of depth. The cars have more animation, so they are more fluid when they turn and slide. But nothing too spectacular.

The sound is a slight improvement over the SNES version. The music is new. It is fast-paced enough to keep you on your toes. The sounds of cars, boosts, and explosions sound the same, though.

F Zero: Maximum Velocity is a great racing game. But anyone who has played the SNES version may want to avoid it. It’s nothing really new. You’ve done it already.