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F-Zero GBA
Developer: Nintendo | Publisher: Nintendo | Genre: Racing | Players: 1-4
[27/03/2001: 00:00]
So, is Game Boy Advance all that it's cracked up to be? The Fastest Game Alive returns in stunning style to say that, yes, it very much is.
Graphics
The graphics are of SNES quality, at least.
Stunning. That's the only word to describe this.

Faster than a greased whippet and, indeed, pretty much anything around, F-Zero is a magical racing game. But then again, it always has been; the original SNES game served as the template for countless future racers, Wipeout included, and the N64-only F-Zero X is a masterpiece of track design, control and huge racing thrills. One of Nintendo's best-loved titles - and with a software roster like Nintendos, that's saying something - F-Zero on Game Boy Advance is truly something special.

First impressions, of course, are of the SNES original. Graphically, this is almost identical - which is to say that GBA is literally light years ahead of the Game Boy Color. However, despite the visual similarity, from what we've seen of F-Zero GBA, this is an all-new iteration. All-new tracks, all-new cars, and, of course, an utterly stunning link-up multiplayer option.

But first things first. F-Zero is, of course, a racing game, albeit one that's stupidly fast. And a racing game is nothing without decent handling; and the handling here is sublime. A and B are obviously brake and accelerate, and the D-Pad directs, but the all-new shoulder buttons are the icing on the cake here, being, as they are, air-brakes, and therefore handy for sliding around corners. Hit them both at the same time and you get a handy boost, too., but only after the first lap - every lap thereafter confers an extra speed-bonus. Nice. The end result is that, even though you're travelling at supersonic speeds, control is never an issue; your reactions and skill, however, are.

But aside from being a beautifully 'pure' game, F-Zero is a technical marvel. It moves so fast, and so smoothly, that you'd be forgiven for forgetting that you're playing it on a handheld console. This is equally as true for the stunning link-up game; it's as silken and speedy as the single-player game. And you only need one cart for four to play, too, although only one track and one car choice will be available. Simply amazing. And there's plenty of extras, too, including a fine Ghost mode, and the ever-addictive time-trial.

So there you have it. F-Zero is simply a must-have game for GBA, and should be top of your list when it hits the UK on June 22nd. It's the latest iteration of a classic game, and therefore simply unmissable. Once again Nintendo have proven their mastery of the medium we call videogames, and this time around in a cart half the size of an After Eight mint. Cracking.
Verdict: 92%


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92%
Shortcut
You'll find plenty of shortcuts in F-Zero.
Slide
The shoulder buttons help on those sharp corners.
Boost
Use the boost on the straights.
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