Things We’d Like to See From a New F-Zero

All the reasons why we need a new F-Zero, and how it can be successful.

By Bradly Halestorm. Posted 11/12/2012 14:30 Comment on this     ShareThis

So this leads me to the third feature that a new F-Zero would need in order to be long lasting: online multiplayer. Like many Nintendo titles, F-Zero thrives on its competitive nature. It’s a racing game, which, aside from fighters, is like the single most competitive genre of games out there; therefore, F-Zero and online play makes a whole lot of sense. Just picture thirty-person races– “chaotic and oh-so-satisfying” is the phrase that comes to mind to aptly describe that experience. Better still, add in stat-tracking, a team-formation system (clans, essentially), easily accessible online leaderboards for both individual pilots and teams, replays, time trials, leagues, and obligatory downloadable content, and you’ve got a fully featured racer, rivaling the best out there. Throw in some good, old-fashioned local multiplayer with the capability to use split-screen either on the television or divided using a TV and the GamePad, and fans would go bonkers with joy.

While on the topic of the GamePad, I’d also really enjoy different play styles. Let me use whichever controller best suits my gaming habits; Wii Remote, GamePad, Pro Controller, Classic Controller are all viable control options, so let me decide which device allows me to be the best pilot I can be. GamePad functionality could also add to the package by displaying the course, current positions of racers on the track, as well as Grand Prix overall standings. If nothing else, this would make the F-Zero experience feel all the more inclusive.

F-Zero 2

Next on the list, the courses; give me a course editor and creator, and moreover, let me upload it for my friends to download. There’s nothing more empowering than being given developer tools to take a game I love and make whatever my heart desires. It not only is a fun feature, but it, yet again, increases the activity of players and longevity of the game on the whole. Also, dynamic courses would be an excellent way to keep players on their toes, detracting from the importance of memorization of the past games, and adding in the need for adaptability and quick reflexes. It would be great to see courses change mid-race, similar to Sonic & All-Stars Racing Transformed, which will often change up the course depending on which lap players are on in the race.

If we’re talking about ways to improve F-Zero, we should start talking about ushering the series into the era of high-definition gaming by way of Wii U. F-Zero has never experienced HD, and we the fans have never experienced F-Zero in high-def glory. The truth is, though, this is a game that would benefit more from beautiful graphics than maybe any other Nintendo franchise. F-Zero’s aesthetic is one that is electric, vibrant, and colorful as all get out. There are neon hues breaking through the skies above, fluorescent machines whizzing by at lightening-like velocities, and bombastic set-pieces that capture the eye without mercy. Take all of that, amplify it with high-definition, and suddenly you take a gorgeous racer, and make it even more gorgeous. I want to see pilots trading paint, and I want to see said traded paint for the remainder of my race, or even campaign. I want to see damage, even if it’s subtle, and I want to observe clarity in the backgrounds and stages only attainable by HD. Tack on a Gran Turismo 5-inspired photo mode to view each of those intricately beautiful F-Zero Machines while you’re at it.

F-Zero machines

While we’re on the topic of appearances, give us completely new courses and F-Zero machines. While there’s an established group of pilots from all the previous games, I’d love to see a slew of fresh faces in my rear-view, crossing the finish line. We haven’t seen a host of new pilots since the SNES installment, so something on Wii U would be the ideal way to introduce new blood. Just be sure to go above and beyond and provide us with a long list of competitors from which to choose. The more the merrier is my motto. Sometimes bigger is better, and that seems particularly true when talking about racing games and their subsequent cars.

Ideally, I’d love to have Amusement Vision yet again man the helm for the next F-Zero, but considering it’s now defunct, that’s probably not going to happen. In its stead, though, I would gladly take Sega’s AM2 team, Sumo Digital– best known for its underrated but truly fantastic Sonic & All Stars Racing franchise– or even the guys responsible for New Super Mario Bros. 2, since they appear to be a competent, though newer team. If Nintendo wants to keep the series in-house, but isn’t ready to utilize its top resources for a new entry in the series, it would make sense to hand it down to those guys.

In the end, a new F-Zero would certainly have a place in the gaming industry today. It would make even more of an impact if it catered to the multiplayer crowd. Online, friend communication, teams to create and invite said friends to, statistic tracking– it would create a full-bodied experience. But F-Zero also requires a solid single player mode, as truly introduced by GX’s story mode. Give us more of that, but refine it and provide us even more lore to sink our teeth into. F-Zero’s world is interesting, let us explore it more. The point to all of this is sometimes “more of the same” is a good thing. The phrase, “if it’s not broke, don’t fix it” comes to mind, and I think it certainly is applicable in the gaming world, but only once a few conditions have been met.


For starters, developers can get away with more of the same if significant time has been put between each installment’s release. With regards to F-Zero, we’re talking a ten year gap. That’s huge. Another condition that must be met is the franchise has to be established and well-liked by a loyal following. You can mark F-Zero down for that one, as it’s one of Nintendo’s most prized and well-known racers. And lastly, for a game to be more of the same, and for people to be okay with that, what you finally release has to be a polished, well-rounded, fully-featured experience. If any of the previous games, especially GX, are an indication of that, then I think the next entry is a surefire winner. In truth, Nintendo needs F-Zero if for nothing else than to offset its one and only other popular racing franchise, Mario Kart. The market is untapped on Nintendo systems; why not fill it with one of the best arcade racers around? Moreover, arcade racing games in general seem to be a genre of the past, yet one that folks still wholly enjoy. So to me, Miyamoto was wrong: the industry does need F-Zero, and it needs it more than we may realize.

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