F-Zero X © 1998 Nintendo.
A worthy successor to the 16-bit classic, F-Zero X is one of the fastest racers ever. If you were one of the weenies who got queasy from playing the original F-Zero, wait until you play F-Zero X!
Part of the reason F-Zero X screams so loud is the game's constant 60 frames per second frame rate. Even with 30 hover cars on the screen, there was nary a sign of slow-down. Four player split screen was perhaps the most playable multi-player race ever, again with no sign of frame rate droppage (but, there are no drone cars in the four player race). Suspended high above an abstract representation of a planet's surface, the tracks twist, turn and roll into infinity with no fogging effects necessary to obscure pop-up.
Like in the original F-Zero, the edges of the tracks are rigged to damage your vehicle if you run into them, encouraging you to run as clean a race as possible. Speed boosters are situated at strategic locations around the track. You'll also be able to get a speed boost by pressing the B Button once you've completed a lap, but at the cost of some of your shield energy. The R and Z Buttons cause your car to corner more sharply and drift through turns. Overall, the play control feels natural and gives you very precise control over your car, which is good when one mis-steer could send you off the edge of the track into oblivion.
Players can choose from 30 different hover car racers, including updated representations of the Blue Falcon and other vehicles from the original F-Zero. Each car does have significantly different handling characteristics. Some feel lightweight and agile, others are heavy and ponderous, but it's possible to win with any of them. While it might seem that a faster car would always be best, the heavier cars are armored and better able to withstand the damage inducing side rails of the courses. On some of the more treacherous and twisting courses, it's possible to win simply by being the last hover car floating.
F-Zero X allows you to adjust the camera view in small increments, and in real-time, during the race. You can swivel the camera around to see behind your car, or raise it up to get an aerial view of the race. It's also possible to zoom in on your car, where you'll notice that it is composed of mainly flat shaded polygons -- simple but effective. Some may comment on the lack of detail in F-Zero X's vehicles and backgrounds, but when things are going by at 1,000 km/h, you don't have a chance to notice a few pixels of detail anyway.
Besides the new vehicles, tracks and characters, F-Zero X also provides a strong incentive to replay the game. To earn the right to drive all 30 vehicles and view all of the tracks, you need to prove yourself by performing well in each of the various circuit modes. You won't find weapons to attack other cars, or power-ups beyond the speed boosting arrows on the track. What you will find is one of the fastest racing games ever.