The great thing about Nintendo is that they have a keen sense of what games I want to play. I’m talking about me personally here, not my generation at large or anything like that. Nintendo, for the most part, makes games that I want to play.

“F-Zero GX” is no exception. Ever since I saw the demo, I was floored by how “exactly what I wanted out of a game” this was. It’s like a typical racing game, but instead of cars, you control an ultra-fast hover-car. When I say ultra-fast, I mean so fast that the speed is measured in kilometers, and since I don’t know metric, I get to assume we are bordering on the speed of light here.

In case you weren’t able to tell yet, this is a positive review. However, that doesn’t mean I don’t have complaints.

Complaint 1 – I am not good at this game. Some games, I’m pretty good at. Other games, I get better with practice. Most games, however, I can’t play to save my life. This is turning out to be one of those games. I play a lot, and usually come in last place. This should make my experience less enjoyable, however, it hasn’t really deterred me from playing, and so it is a relatively minor complaint.

Complaint 2 – There are a million cars to choose from. OK, so this isn’t a complaint, so much as a really good feature of the game, but it is a bit intimidating to choose from thirty possible cars that differ from each other in ridiculously miniscule ways. Intimidation aside, more choice is nice. And in case there weren’t enough cars for you, you can build and customize your own.

Complaint 3 – The game has distractingly good graphics. Eighty percent of the time that I came in last, it’s because I was distracted by how great this game looks. Well, that and my relative inability to steer a high-speed hover-racecar well. My point is that the graphics are really good, and sometimes I forget to drive the car.

Complaint 4 – The memory card does not allow you to transfer game data. In “F-Zero” you need to unlock things like different racetracks and new cars. So if you play it with a bunch of your friends, only one of you has the memory card with all the unlocked features on it. Some games let you copy that data onto different memory cards, but F-Zero doesn’t. This is only really a problem because I’m not good enough to unlock the features on my own.

Really, the only negative things I have to say about the game is that I’m not particularly good at it – but I won’t hold that against Nintendo.

However, a number of things about this game are truly amazing. It has four-player simultaneous play as well as challenging single-player modes. It takes advantage of the capabilities of the Gamecube while still honoring the original game concept, which is something many sequels fail at but which Nintendo has been doing quite well recently.

The game’s simple concept of really fast cars plus great graphics works well, and the new features that have been added – for instance the ability to attack other cars and tweak your car’s settings – add to the enjoyability of the game.

After all the building up I did of this game over the summer, waiting for it to come out, I have to say that it hasn’t disappointed me in the least.

Powell can be reached at

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