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Review: FZero Maximum Velocity (GBA)

Sunday, June 24, 2001

F-Zero: Maximum Velocity
2001 Nintendo

F-Zero: Maximum Velocity marks the series 3rd official installment, and the first time the franchise has graced a handheld system. The game takes several years after F-Zero X, 20 years to be exact; the descendants of famous F-Zero pilots like Captain Falcon and Samurai Goroh are now the superstars of the F-Zero circuit.

Features

  • Completely original sequel based on the F-Zero franchise
  • Link cable support for four players (multi-cartridge and single-cartridge modes)
  • More than 20 original tracks
  • New vehicles
  • Only for Game Boy Advance


Anthony: I found the game to be fundamentally good. Nearly everything good about the original F-Zero with some improvements and tweaks can be found in this title. However, after playing F-Zero X, it is very hard to take such a step back with the Game Boy Advance version. While Maximum Velocity is a solid all-around title, and the second-best incarnation of the series, it doesnt grab you as well as the original did 10 years ago, nor does it demand your attention like the flashy N64 version. I enjoyed the new vehicles and tracks, but I was let down by the rather bland soundtrack. Outside of a few catchy tunes, this is definitely a stain on what I consider a franchise known for its excellent soundtracks. Some very welcome improvements are the actual physics engine, and well-balanced artificial intelligence, all inspired by the N64 counterpart. These two additions are the two most differentiating attributes in F-Zero: Maximum Velocity as a single player game, significantly boosting the difficulty and need to master the tracks in comparison to the SNES version. The greatest feature is by far the multiplayer mode. Having 4 Game Boy Advances link up, provides for some of the most time consuming multiplayer mayhem. Nothing beats the feeling of trash talking and turbo boosting past a cocky opponent, nudging him and sending him into the electric barriers. Ultimately, F-Zero: Maximum Velocity is another great sequel from Nintendo. Not only does it succeed in recreating everything the series did well in the past, it also builds and improves on them. If the single player game isn't enough to warrant a purchase, make sure you at least give the game a spin in multiplayer, which is enough to win over any avid game fan.

Jason: The F-Zero franchise is one that is held high by Nintendo. The brethren of F-Zero: Maximum Velocity really raised the bar in terms of originality and addictive sense of speed. With a great feeling of relief, I can truly say that Maximum Velocity is a worthy sequel to the previous incarnations of the series. Once again, Nintendo achieved a great balance between visuals, play control, game mechanics, and especially fun. Also, The Game Boy Advances high resolution, wide screen, and processing power really make this a game that would not have been possible on the earlier models in the Game Boy family. However, being the finicky gamer that I am, I will of course find some flaws even in a Nintendo- developed game. One thing that hampers the game for some is the learning curve. While not especially difficult for F-Zero veterans to pick up, newer players might find the game to be unresponsive in terms of controls. Consequently, they spend their times in the electric barriers for the first couple hours. The sliding really takes some time to get used to even if you are familiar with other F-Zeros sliding scheme. With that said though, once you can get over that hurdle you will be seeing yourself at the finish line with opponents in your dust.

If you have are a fan of the F-Zero franchise then I suggest picking it up. If you have never played an F-Zero game before, then perhaps give it a try and see what you think. In either case, this game is just jam packed with high-impact fun.

Brent: F-Zero: Maximum Velocity is a serious Game Boy Advance title with a serious sense of speed. The graphics are a little bit on the light side, but everything blazes by at a fast, smooth pace. I was disappointed at the lack of a classic F-Zero soundtrack, but I guess Nintendo can't be blamed for trying out some new tunes, though I don't think the music is even up to par with past F-Zero titles. With that said, the computer-controlled cars are very difficult to beat and the tracks are designed with a great amount of difficulty. One mistake and you can go from first to last place. One wrong boost and your car could go flying off the track or crashing into a wall. Unlike F-Zero X (for the most part,) players will need to brake or release the accelerator around turns, adding a bit of an extra challenge. The only flaw present in Maximum Velocity is that it tries to be a console game when it's a handheld game. Five laps per course is just way too many for this to be portable. Simply allowing players to customize laps or save between races would have fixed this little burden in an otherwise classic F-Zero game.

N-Sider Review Staff