Okay, true believers, it’s time to face the brutal, hard facts– there will be no F-Zero game on Wii. Sorry. It’s not happening. Some of you are undoubtedly more broken up about this than others. I mean, even if we can’t really race, we can still FALCOOOOOOONNNNN PUNCH!!!! our foes in Super Smash Bros. Brawl, yes? So what’s the big deal, really?
Yeah, right. Any true Power Player knows that F-Zero is one of the hardest of hardcore Nintendo franchises. Seeing it go away would be a tragedy, especially when we haven’t even see it leap to the modern generation yet. Seriously, did you realize the last new F-Zero game was on Game Boy Advance? I shudder at the thought. Anyway, let’s take a look at what our next F-Zero entry will be like. We’ll check out both the things we likely will and won’t see.
What We Probably Won’t See
An Open World Game: Nintendo isn’t fond of sandbox games in general, so I would already say that an open world F-Zero is pretty unlikely. Plus, F-Zero doesn’t really lend itself to the structure of an open-world racing game. Most games of that genre take place in a big city or on an island somewhere, whereas the F-Zero tracks are on multiple different planets.
An Exhaustive Story: F-Zero: GP Legend had a detailed story, more so than any other of its predecessors, but it was unusual in the fact that it was based specifically on the F-Zero anime and therefore adhered to its non-canon ridiculousness. I would fully expect some form of story, but no more so than we got in F-Zero GX. Also, I want six interview questions instead of three!
A Console Version: Sorry, fans, but I don’t see Nintendo throwing money at a hi-def console version of F-Zero, as fantastic as it might be. It might also be confusing using the screen-controller for one player while everyone else uses a Wii Remote or Classic Controller. A 3DS version seems far more realistic, it would still look at least as good as F-Zero GX and would look fantastic in 3D.
What We Probably Will See
Online Play: Whichever F-Zero comes next (fingers crossed), there’ll almost certainly be online racing involved. I don’t think it’ll be the extent of the online open world mentioned in the above section, but we’ll definitely have online racing in the new game. With 3DS-specific codes, it’ll be far less painful than before, too.
More Modes: I’d for sure expect us to see more modes this time around. Not just regular Grand Prix, Story, and Time Trial, I want to see Death Race make a comeback, and maybe the randomly-generated tracks like in F-Zero X. I also think we’ll be able to customize our cars more, or, barring that, an original car that can be completely built up from scratch.
30-Plus Characters: I would fully expect all 30 characters from the last F-Zero game to return, complete with their somewhat fleshed-out backstories, and I would enjoy a few new characters as well. With 35-40 characters, one would also expect to have that many players in an online race, if that’s possible with the hardware. Of course, it may not be, but one can hope.
User-Created Content: Much like the customizable racer mentioned earlier, I would kind of expect to see a track editor make an appearance in the newest F-Zero, and have full sharing capabilities like the custom levels in the Mario vs. Donkey Kong series of games. The level editor in Super Smash Bros. Brawl is a good start, but we need something a little more in-depth with more options, meaning assets from practically every track in the game.
All that being said, there isn’t a new F-Zero game on the horizon and with E3 2011 still fresh in our memories, that really would have been the time to have one announced. Hopefully, we’ll see Nintendo man up and show us a new build in the coming months. I know we’ll be keeping our fingers crossed here.
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Issue 54: Pass the Bottle