F-Zero is a racing game set in the future, and instead of wheeled vehicles, they drive hovercars in an intergalactic Grand Prix. O and these hovercars can reach speeds exceeding 500 km/h, so there’s that too. I feel like they used km/h just to make it seem faster, as if 300mp/h wasnt high enough. It's either that or everyone who made this game is some communist asshole who hates america and its awesome Imperial measurements . There are 4 characters with different stats per vehicle, though It's incredibly annoying that stats aren't shown when you move over the vehicle. You have to press the button to select the vehicle to see its stats, then press B and go to another and select it again to compare, I can never remember which stats go to which. Who cares, if you play as anyone other than Captain Falcon then you suck.
The game has a pretty standard racing setup with laps and tight turns, but also throws in hazards, like ice, magnets, landmines etc to fuck you up. Of course like all video games, no computer player is ever affected by these hazards, just you. There are also some boost strips and jump ramps, which help mix things up (which the computer always gets spot on). You get a little life bar, which can be refilled on “pit” strip usually near the start of the track.
There are no options for this game, and only two game modes (there is the records option which lets you see your times). It is always 5 laps, and you can only choose Grand Prix or Practice mode. Grand Prix mode has 3 leagues, each with 5 tracks, for a total of 15, that’s pretty damn good. However, the Practice mode only lets you play 7 out of the 15 tracks, da fuck? I guess those other 8 tracks you don’t need to practice on…….and 5 of the 7 are the first 5 tracks. Those are the easiest! I don't need to practice on those I need to practice on the hard ones. Each lap you have to complete in a higher place than before, its gets to you have to be in 3rd place on the last lap. There is no point to this, why not just make it so that if you finish lower than 3rd then you have to try again. If I get 5th on the 4th lap I have to restart. I can fucking win that, at least give me the chance.
In addition to all the crap on the tracks to mess you up, there are about an infinite number of "stock" cars racing as well. It is insane, they are all driven by asian women, and just go all over the place in the most irregular patterns. I swear they were put in the game to do one thing, hit you and make you crash. Something is wonky about how my hovercar reacts when I hit another one. If I hit it from behind I go to the left or right, but if another car hits me from behind I somehow go backwards 90 percent of the time, it makes no damn sense. I do like how the rudders on the ships are animated, it’s a small touch but it really makes the game feel polished. The sound is just pure snes greatness. It perfectly encapsulates the futuristic setting, and helps put you into this world of intergalactic hovercar races.
Road Rash II is a racing game, except it goes Spinal Tap style and turns it up to 11. Instead of those silly cars, you race some killer motorcycles while punching your way through the competition. There are an array of weapons such as bats and chains, but nothing beats dishing out the beatings with your bare hands. Punching a driver in the face then tail swiping him into a tree is just plain awesome. The “tracks” supposedly take place all around the US, from Alaska to Vermont, but all of them are just two-lane roads that twist and turn. Essentially this game boils down everything that is America: illegal street racing, fist fights, and roads, oh and split screen. Yah baby, time for some two player racing with a side dish of smackdowns. Besides splitscreen there is also Mano a Mano, where you select your bike, weapon, and track and go one on one.
The music in this game is classic genesis. The Genesis seems to put a “twang” sound on music tracks, which makes them sound like Slash shreeding his guitar. Some cases it doesn’t work well, but in Road Rash II it really just goes well with game. Rock is a great accompaniment to anything where people are going fast and/or punching the hell out of each other. Don’t believe me? Go watch any movie ever.
Anyway, as you race you collect money, and use it to purchase new bikes and what not. The high end bikes even of nitrous, so you can do a little boost for yourself if you fall off your bike and need to catch up, which happens all the time. There are cars driving on both lanes, intersections where cars drive across, rocks and trees and all manner of shit that wants to make you crash, let alone the other drivers trying to kick your ass. When you crash your bike it takes damage and you fly off, then you have to run back to it. This normally isn’t too long to run, but the game wants to fuck you up as much as it can. I once hit a vehicle at the crest of a hill and flew about 200 feet in front of my bike. It took me a full 30 seconds to run back to my bike and get on, god damn ridiculous.
Other than being tossed a million feet from my bike, my other complaint is just the tracks themselves. They really drag on too long, they are just endless roads that take a few turns, but not like normal racing games where there are 360 degree turns. This makes it pretty boring if you get to a stretch where there are no other racers for 400 feet in both directions. When you beat all 5 tracks you get to the next “level” and the tracks are even longer, with the opponents harder. There is a fairly short password system so you don’t have to lose all the bikes when you shut the game off. It is a little disappointing that it still uses passwords, even Zelda had a save feature jesus.
Wow, this is a lot harder than I thought it would be. Road Rash II annoys me because its tracks go on forever, and I always fly off my bike, which if I am at the very end of the race it can invalidate the entire past 10 minutes. The music for both is great, and everything controls fine, but F-Zero really disappoints on a couple of levels. It has no options and only one real mode, while Road Rash II has not only single player but split screen as well, as well as multiple game options. F-Zero your stuck with the same 4 vehicles the entire time which is just lame, can't customize or nothing. . F-Zero may have more tracks and more variation between them, but nothing beats driving through America getting in fist fights and getting a chain to Simon Belmont some fools.
WINNER: AMERICA (GENESIS)