F-Zero: Maximum Velocity - GBA

Also known as: F-Zero Advance

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Viewed: 2D Third-person, over the shoulder Genre:
Arcade origin:No
Developer: Nintendo Soft. Co.: Nintendo
Publishers: Nintendo (US/GB/JP)
Released: 11 May 2001 (US)
22 Jun 2001 (GB)
Unknown (JP)
Ratings: 3+, ESRB Everyone
Connectivity: Link Cable


The extremely popular and well-loved SNES game F-Zero is now officially portable. The GameBoy Advance is more powerful than Nintendo’s 16-bit home console and F-Zero is proof of it, which is amazing considering the size of the Advance. Anyone who remembers the 16-bit days when gameplay was king will know what a classic game F-Zero was. It was one of the very first games available for the Super Famicom and it demonstrated the SNES’s mode 7 pseudo 3D graphics. Mode 7 scaled a stretched 2D sprite as the background image and rotated it to give an impression of speed and 3D. Mode 7 on a handheld, ultra fast gameplay, classy tunes? This is F-Zero Advance.

F-Zero is remarkably similar in terms of graphics to the original but Nintendo were not happy to do a straightforward conversion of the SNES incarnation. New to the series are brand new tracks, drivers and cars. The aim of the game is simple, come first in the race for pride and to unlock new tracks. The Pawn challenge is relatively slow and easy, but if you make it to the King challenge, well, the name says it all. After you complete one lap, a turbo boost becomes available. This can be used to trim your lap times, dart into the lead at the end of the race or make a ridiculously hard shortcut. There are jumps scattered around the circuits and if you time your boost and angle well enough you can leapfrog whole sections of the track. Knowing where these are will help you to victory.

One of the coolest features of F-Zero Advance is its multi-player mode. You can link-up four Advances using the link lead and then race against three of your friends. Best of all you only need one cartridge for all four GBA’s. This is a sensible approach because if your friends like the multi-player mode they will be more likely to buy the game for themselves, if only to secretly practice for next time you link up. Overall, F-Zero Advance is a top game and an ideal launch title.