It's like I don't even know you anymore! :(Originally Posted by TomChick
Anyone with me on this? I guess the earlier F-Zero games were cool because we didn't have racers like Wipeout and Splashdown to show us that playing a racing game in a fantastical setting doesn't have to be a punishing experience.
But I simply cannot abide the unforgiving learning curve in this goddamn infuriating piece of junk. I guess if I were training for some sort of CPL Cyberathletic World Competition for Ten Million Dollars US, I'd appreciate F-Zero GX's tough love. But as a guy who just wants to sit in front of my TV and have fun (yeah, there, I said it, so what?), this just isn't for me.
I need to unwind with some Mario Golf.
It's like I don't even know you anymore! :(Originally Posted by TomChick
This, from the guy who absolutely loved the repeat-a-race orienteering of Midnight Club 2?Originally Posted by TomChick
Which modes are you playing?
I haven't played very much yet, but I found that the first three cups in the Grand Prix on Novice were about right, does it get significantly worse after that?
Oh and have you tried Story mode, the first two or so that I did were pretty fun.
I must say since the pos that was WipEout Fusion, I haven't been overly excited about any futuristic racers, but I was enjoying myself a lot last night with F-Zero.
Well, so far I've just been doing a helluva lot of practice on the tracks just to become familiar with them. I'm really, really, really, really, really glad that the practice option is in there. As I said before, I totally suck at racing games despite the fact that I find many of them fun to play. What surprised me with this one is the fact that I actually managed to win the first story mode game on my first try. WOO-HOO!!
So, Tom, at what point exactly did you find the difficulty ramp up to near impossible levels?
I've played through all three Grand Prix on novice, although I can't finish the last one. I've fiddled with the first two on Normal and can't make much headway at that setting.
I absolutely hate the Story mode. I've gotten to the third chapter after struggling with the second chapter about twenty times. I just about snapped my Gamecube controller in half out of frustration. I only won when the stupid AI car seemed to get stuck behind a rock. Now I've got to contend with the annoying jump plates that you have to use to cut corners. I want my tickets back.
One of the things I hate is how easy it is to slip or get knocked off the track and completely end a race. This is especially true if you're being aggressive with the other racers. I appreciate having high stakes, but it would still be plenty hard if Grand Prix races had restores, like you can do in multiplayer. As far as I can tell, the AI isn't rubberbanding, so it seems the delay of a restore would be plenty of penalty for falling off the track.
I also hate how you can't save between races in a Grand Prix. I have to play through all five tracks, three laps each, without saving, in one sitting?
I haven't tried the car-building, since I blew all my goddamn tickets paying for the Story chapters. Maybe building a custom car makes it easier? Somehow, I doubt it. This really is a game with an utterly screwed difficulty level. I can't imagine recommending it to anyone who isn't a glutton for hardcore precision racing tedium.
Not having any trouble here except a little with story mode. Tom, have you looked at the manual? Do you understand all the slides you can use? How about practice or time trials? Did you figure out a good line around each track you're having trouble with?
This is the sim racing version of a futuristic racing game and it rocks hard. I've seen it referred to on GAF as "Hot Neon Sex" and that's about right. It's so fast that you simply must learn the tracks inside and out and be aware of your opponents at all times.
I really don't think the difficulty is screwed up at all. If anything, it's right where it should be. Games have been way too easy for far too long.
I am a Lover of Manuals. I read my manuals, and when I read them, I read all of them. I know things other people do not know because I read manuals. It is a lost art and I am one the Last Manual Readers on Earth. So, yes, I have read the manual.Tom, have you looked at the manual?
Except for those stupid character bios that constitute the last third of the F-Zero GX manual.
I do like the controls and it's not that I'm having trouble negotiating the tracks. I have Mad Skillz when it comes to using the drift to whip around a pair of close ninety degree corners. I even lean forward in straightaways. I should be rewarded for my finesse.Do you understand all the slides you can use?
I suck, however, at trying to fight the other cars. So generally, I don't bother them. I consider myself a laissez-faire racer.
Again, it's not so much that I don't know the tracks. I'm not the kind of guy who expects to win a race the first time I play it. But tell me the third chapter of the Story mode isn't the most aggravating gag course you've ever had to run eight hundred times before you could finish it. C'mon, I dare you. Tell me.How about practice or time trials?
Some of the tracks actually have the line painted, which is helpful.Did you figure out a good line around each track you're having trouble with?
But fuck this, I'm going back to Midnight Club II.
I would laugh, but I haven't got F Zero yet. I can't imagine not being able to nail a racing game on novice mode after grokking the tracks, but we'll see.
Aren't there some cheat codes on F Zero to... ah, assist the elderly gamer? Don't hang your head in shame, Tom. Just think of it as your first box of Depends.
I have a feeling that this game will live forever because of this. Racing fanatics will talk about F Zero Gx the way D&D fanatics talk about Tomb of Horrors. You watch.
The word of mouth about how hard this is is keeping me away too. This is one of the games I bought my Cube for and now I probably won't end up getting it until it hits the bargain bins. It's really dissapointing to me. :(
I've been warming up to the game myself, but as someone that burned through Midnight Club 2 and really enjoyed it, this is one evil, evil game.
I think my biggest problem is that it rarely feels as if you are ever making progress in the game. F Zero X felt somewhat similar there. Hell the only time I really feel I am playing well is after successfully taking out a rival car mid race due to a lucky hit with that spin dash or bump. Granted after like 4 hours of play I do feel I am getting the hang of being a wreckless racer, but this is not my preferred way of approaching F Zero either, I almost feel forced to kill the competition simply to make headway because skillful driving doens't seem to take you very far on its own.
There is little sense of progress through these courses as the flock of cars simply tend to stick so tightly together that either you fly in formation with them, or hang outside be it taking up the rear or a dramatic lead (wherein the most basic slipup drops you down a dozen spots?) It's like Nascar was thrown into a VCR and the Fast forward button was glued down. To be fair there aren't many racers out there that ever reward you for navigating a course less than perfectly, the original F Zero actually forced you to make progress in the standings or else you won't be able to compete in Lap 3, but back then facing the competition didin't mean wading through the flock of seagulls hoping to bump your opponents around like pinballs.
I'm trying to love the game, I really want to as it controls so fluidly the courses are for the most part extremely fun to run through, and I'm actually looking very forward to buying and building parts to making my own uber-ride. (Though like Tom mentioned, this will have to wait because some jagoff felt Story mode wasn't irritating enough on its own, it should also be damn expensive.) I just don't feel the game is playing on fair terms here.
Thankfully there is some Soul Calibur 2 around to keep my wits about.
C'mon...even if you don't do well in single player, they don't have all the tracks locked up for multiplayer. You can have a blast with the game with friends without ever tackling the single player stuff.
I haven't done much fighting, Tom. I'm only starting to use some of the "moves" for that. I'm more concerned with going as fast as possible at all times without hitting anything. That's the key. Also, don't give up on a series if you get a bad finish. You can win the Cups without winning all the races. I only won three races and finished ok in the other two to take the first Cup on Standard difficulty.
I don't agree with the five races thing either since races last about 2 minutes at the most. You play for ten minutes and you've already run five races or more! It's crazy. I kept looking at the clock last night wondering how I was racing so much in such a short amount of time. Then I noticed how fast 3 laps goes by...
Story mode is tough. I'll give you that. But I really don't mind. It's good to finally get a challenging racing game that doesn't need multiplayer to make it that way. When combined with the eye-popping visuals that just never. slow. down., it's an experience like no other on consoles. The music is great too. Alternately amazing and cheesily amazing at different times. It's also an incredible blend of Sega and Nintendo smarts. You can see both companies in the game. Great stuff.
The people bitching about F-Zero GX's review scores (which were purportedly lowered due to the game's obscene difficulty curve) crack me up. WHERE THE HELL WERE YOU FOLKS WHEN I WAS ARGUING FOR HOSHIGAMI AND THE SHITTY SCORES IT GOT FOR THE SAME REASON??
Oh, that's right, Hoshigami wasn't made by Nintendo, and its difficulty was actually a MYTH.
There's good difficult and there's bad difficult. I haven't played F-Zero GX beyond the demo, so I wouldn't know which it is, but I don't really like the implication that difficulty is good by default.
I tend to feel there's difficulty through 'challenge' (play well and success is guaranteed) and then there is just frustration(playing well doesn't necessarily guarantee success).
F Zero obviously has a perverse manner of challenge. It truly demands a lot from the gamer, especially motivation. It's the kind of game where you tend to gamble on the law of averages a bit too much. Yes, if I sit and replay this event or course enough damn times eventually I'll nail it!
Precision and finesse only seems to go so far, if I can manage to keep playing for a week or two from now moreso than a single evening, I'll see if that sort of thing changes.
And that's the problem for me. Working full time and going to school part time, dosen't leave the kind of time needed to do well at these kind of games. When I was 15, I didn't mind spending an entire day mastering a single track but I just don't have the patience or the time anymore.Originally Posted by BDGE
Before F-Zero GX had any movies or pictures out, and when it was announced Amusement Vision (you're surprised this game is hard and you've played Super Monkey Ball? :wink: Nah, it probably has more to do that you thought the difficulty would be more fun.) Where was my thought? *lunges out the window and catches it onto furiously, forcing it back into his head as it kicks and screams* There now, yes, when it was announced AV was doing the game, I kind of had a quandary. I really didn't know which play style I prefered. The 2D, SNES and GBA F-Zero's or the F-Zero X-style. Now I know prefer the 2D type.
Its not that I don't like the F-Zero X-style, far from it. I really enjoyed F-Zero X, but actually, difficulty is something I feel was improved in GX. Because despite all the amazingly unbelievable twists and corkscrew design of X I didn't really much intensity, mostly because the entire game wasn't very challenging. I really like how much detail Sega put into all the tracks as well, now they feel well and truly NUTS! With all the stuff you're racing by...it can feel like your inside a techno kaleidoscope.
But even with that, I still think something falls short in the intensity factor. In the SNES (and the SFC update) F-Zero and Maximum Velocity, the emphasis is more on traps and enforcing your position. You can't kill enemy racers, at least not with any precision, so that's all moot. There's a vicious and downright cruel energy I feel that fueled the original F-Zero when you crashed, the close-up, the pull-away, the sharp turn-around, with the words "YOU LOSE" prominently displayed against the screen. It kind of felt like the game was saying, "YOU LOSER." I think the carnival, rollercoaster trackstyle of X and GX takes away from the stark, more minimal presentation of the 2D games. When you lose, it doesn't seem to fit as well into the theme. Its like F-Zero mixed with Sonic, and I think the deliberately evil tone of the originals fit in better, it gave the game a kind of demonic intensity, whereas this feels more like you're falling out of your seatbelt at Space Mountain in Disneyland.
I also like techno midi much better than...butt rock, is it? Still, I feel its important that the difficulty fit the tone and atmosphere of the game as closely as it can. That's one reason I think Working Designs is so damn stupid, as Lunars are much easier to enjoy in their light-hearted, lackadaisical way, without a stupidly hard boss to refight over and over, or overpowed regular enemies. Smash Brothers is another good example, the higher difficulty modes and challenges can be extremely challenging, but the context is hilarious. People screaming as they get flung back with extreme whiplash, cartoon-style whams and blams like Looney Tunes gone videogame crazy, and twinkling out in the distance like Team Rocket when Satoshi and friends prevail once again, or when you hit the screen in front. When you die on some of those really frustrating challenges, it seems like Looney Tune Law.
But getting back to F-Zero GX, actually the Story Mode is my favorite part and I really wish the entire game had been centered more around it, as I enjoy it more than any of the other parts. I didn't really have any trouble with the main Grand Prix mode until the third difficulty level. But this may be because I mastered the arcade version before I started playing GX and so had nearly all of the unlockables relatively early in the game. That one AX car that's so good for modding, I guess, could really help out.
Anyway, it looks like you've given up on the game, but if you're still interested, I recommend choosing cars that shore up your greatest weakness and almost nothing else. If its falling off tracks, get a really good grip car to the exclusion of all else, from your discussion, it really doesn't like its cornering, but same idea there, if its losing energy and blowing up, get a really tough car and just improve in your other areas until you can drop the handicap. That's how I've played both X and GX/AX.
Again, don't get me wrong, I think GX is great stuff, but I really would have preferred bringing the more trap and track-danger oriented nature of the 2D games into 3D, and I think this is why I enjoy the Story Mode more. Maybe there's a reason why that doesn't work, because maybe in 3D you expect the game to go even faster than you do in 2D and so for visual acuity you need to drop that play style because no one will ever be fast react to it, I'm not a developer, but if its a question of that, I'd rather have a lower speed and more of that style of play. It would also be lovely to have the squeaky sterile, Space Harrier-style planeworld of minimalistic beauty that it is in the 2D games transferred to a 3D style as well. But that's more my own dream that what the developer's intended, and when what they've done is still lots of fun, I can't complain too much.
Tom Chick said:
Same here! Its a pity they don't seem to take as much as care with them as they used and they aren't as fun to read, but I still get a lot of reading the manuals. I really liked reading the Arcanum manual, for instance, it felt like some rich butler guy was explaining how to play a game. "And now we daintily press the enter button with our left index finger like so!" He he. I also liked the Fallout, Disgaea, Ico and Shadow Hearts manuals, Dragon Quest manuals always rock without fail too. It used to really piss me off in the US when you rented a game and it came with no manual. In a way, its a good thing that's not an option here.I am a Lover of Manuals. I read my manuals, and when I read them, I read all of them. I know things other people do not know because I read manuals. It is a lost art and I am one the Last Manual Readers on Earth. So, yes, I have read the manual.
About manuals, you are lucky. I am a big fan of them too (anyone here remember Syndicate one?, found really amazing) But at my country, tendence is to rip original manuals, put only the installation stuff with some basic info, translate it terribly bad, and erase any type of art that could make it interesting to see.
Fortunately, importing let me keep seeing great manuals, like Vampire: The Masquerade, or Venus & Braves ones (IMO).
And for F-Zero... I have an interview with Toshihiro Nagoshi in a few weeks, would be nice to hear his vision about the issue.
YAY! Gaijin to Ronin is here! ^_^ I'm probably the wrong person to say this, since I'm still a newbie too, but welcome!
You get to interview Toshihiro Nagoshi? Neats! It still says Spain, so I'm assuming you're doing it over the the internet? How often do you get to do stuff with prestigious people like him? You're very lucky, you know that, don't you?
About manuals, yeah, I lot of PC game manufacturers do that to us over here too. I was so indignant when I heard about Microsoft's World Collection. So they can't be bothered to bring over interesting games like Morrowind and KOTOR, can they? Despite the fact that they could foster that niche market into something and work from there? Or even give us Burnout 2 and Midnight Club 2, since they could be quite popular over here if given the appropriate attention? And they're going to show us how much they care by not even translating the games the worthless games they chose and just giving us cheap Japanese instructions? And they somehow think this will earn them their respect? And not only that, some of the games they've chosen are already available on the PS2, IN JAPANESE! And they choose American football to concentrate on? What the hell?
I sympathize with the way it was in the past, with Japanese companies giving games bad translations and refusing to translate games for sometimes petty reasons and some of Nintendo's and Sony's ridiculous standards. But at least they were smaller companies which in many cases couldn't afford to translate all that much and have it be viable, or had to work with the difficulty of fitting English translations in a cartridge. This is Microsoft, billion-kajillion dollar Microsoft, who can spend on monstrously huge advertising campaigns which annoy people by suffocating them with green Xes rather than endear the brand, but they can't pump up an impressive localization program so XBox can find its own corner and expand from there? I'm telling you, the number of sites that focus on Western games increases each day, the potential for Western RPGs to experience a resurgence in popularity like when Dungeon Master and Wizardry were tearing up the charts is always there. The number of players who are interested in playing games with stylistic and worldview differences that make for a huge departure from many Japanese games gets larger and larger. Its not much for world-quaking numbers, but its a start and gets your machine a positive identity. But when Sony can even do that better than you can, it doesn't look good. I bet you anything Fable and Psychonauts will never see the light of day here.
Its getting to the point where they're making it so I'm never going to buy an Xbox simply out of spite toward their retarded ideas about appealing to us. I mean you get the idea that Gates thinks Japanese people are absolutely braindead or something. Its worse than kicking someone in the nuts and then saying, "Well, I didn't kick you as hard as I could." I'm never going to forget the whole Project Midway thing, but you'd think they'd at least try to rise above that.
Sorry for the off-topic rant, but your comment about lazy translation attitudes just stirred up all those thoughts.
I'll tell you where I was. I was right here, where I've always been, with no clue what a Hoshigami is. Is it something Yoshi can eat? Can he live in it?Originally Posted by Doug Erickson
Dave and Kitsune, it's interesting hearing your perspectives in F-Zero GX, which reminds me that I should point out F-Zero fans will probably love the game. It seems like a faithful follow-up to the strengths of the series and it should please fans to no end. But this level of difficulty and precision is simply not for me any more than a hardcore NASCAR or Formula One game is not for me.
I'm going back to futzing around with the motorcycles in Midnight Club II, which feel much easier to drive now that my reflexes have been frayed/sharpened by F-Zero GX.
Evidently you've played a little more than I have, of almost all the modes. Does it count that most of my enjoyment of the game is the stupid satisfaction I get from feeling like I'm on a roller coaster? I consider myself an intelligent gamer, but when it comes to racing games and sometimes shooters, I just like to go fast and/or blow things up. Sometimes. ...that may explain why I played CS for so long.Originally Posted by TomChick
This was my biggest problem so far, I'd be doing fine but playing a little risky and then I'd forget about that weird drop after that last turn and blammo. I felt like they should have committed to either being about reflexes or memorization as it's a little frustrating to have to flip back and forth between the two. (Writing that sentence I feel like I'm saying the opposite of what I would say were I playing a game that did that).Originally Posted by TomChick
Some of them yes, but have you played Ikaruga, Contra: Shattered Soldier, or Shinobi? I certainly don't mind a game that is tough (certain Splinter Cell levels come to mind) but I can't tolerate games that are hard because they're buggy (Dead to Rights Xbox) or because hard is their gimmick (C:SS). I'm not saying F-Zero is the latter, I just wouldn't mind a balance (easy for me to say) :)Originally Posted by Dave Long
As for manuals, I stopped reading them when I started being the one who was driving in the car on the way home from the game store. Not reading manuals is a bad bad habit. Sure they're not always 100% correct, or in Tomb Raider:AOD's case made for what seems to be an entirely different game, but I've spent tedious hours trying to figure out something that manual readers were already aware of.
I've played all three. Bought the import Ikaruga for Dreamcast when it first launched. Those are three games near the top of my list from this generation because of their no holds barred difficulty. You feel like you really did something when you finish a level or pull off a fancy move. It's great stuff.
Part of the reason I think a lot of folks get bored with games so fast these days and are always looking for the next big thing is because the games don't challenge them. They're either rolling through stuff that's too easy and getting bored with it or they keep playing the easy game until they hit some sort of actual challenge and then quitting without finishing. Many developers interpret that to mean games should be easier. I disagree. They should be easier to learn but hard to master. F-Zero GX is the definition of this philosophy of game design. Anyone can pick it up and blast through Novice races and even some of the Normal level Cups. But if you want to be good...really good...you're going to have to practice. Since it looks so good and plays so well, I don't see why that's a bad thing.
There's also that "games=movies" business which is a bunch of hooey and is to blame for a lot of the easy games we get these days. If games=movies, then games must feature less meaningful interactivity because the story is all important and more crucial to the design than the actual player interactions. For me, and I suspect some others, that's garbage. Give me the tools and drop me in your game and let ME write the story. I can tell you stories of playing F-Zero GX and they're all infinitely more entertaining than any "story mode" will ever be, even in this game.
I couldn't disagree more, Dave. 'Looks so good' I'll give you (it's nice to see natural terrain like trees in a game this fast). But 'plays so well'? No way. It demands a dry and ungodly precise combination of reflexes, rote memorization, and repetition. I'd say F-Zero GX is the very definition of bad gameplay.F-Zero GX is the definition of this philosophy of game design. Anyone can pick it up and blast through Novice races and even some of the Normal level Cups. But if you want to be good...really good...you're going to have to practice. Since it looks so good and plays so well, I don't see why that's a bad thing.
I think most of us appreciate the fine line between games being too easy and too hard. But an even more important part of the equation is that games also need to be *gratifying*. Tony Hawk, for instance, has a long shallow learning curve with room for new players, middling players, and s00per hardcore DUDE! players. And it offers a sense of accomplishment to *all* of them.
F-Zero GX, as BDGE pointed out, doesn't do this. A casual and even middling player like myself quickly gets stuck without tickets and with no recourse but to keep playing the Novice circuits over and over because the fucking Story mode is a royal pain in the goddamn ass and there's no way in hell I'm going to make any progress if I notch up the difficulty a level.
I'm with Drunkagain: I'm too old and have too many other things to do to put in the sort of practice that F-Zero GX demands of me. Fuck it. Where's that Mario Golf disc?
Gotta agree with Tom on general principles. From what he and others have said, Sega must have screwed up the Novice setting. There's no excuse for denying access to gamers with moderate racing skills unless they replay the same run 15 times or more.
I'm probably going to love F Zero, though. It's my type of zen.
I totally appreciate that satisfaction, I just think my breaking point is before yours. In Dead to Rights (Xbox I must clarify since they made it easier on PS2 and Cube), for example, I played through 13 of the 15 levels and then put it down for a few months because I was so pissed off. I finally let myself beat it later on.Originally Posted by Dave Long
Other games aren't so lucky, I did not finish Contra or Ikaruga because there are too many games coming out and my patience is not that great. I remember being younger and doing the same parts over and over again in games that were exceedingly hard. I'm already an anal game player, I retry whole levels until I do them without using any resources, but when a game forces me to be that way (oh add Resident Evil Zero to that list), I turn it off and move on to the next twenty games that are coming out.
But the question is, shouldn't they at least allow people the chance to play the game how they want to play it? I'm very pleased with the fact that Silent Hill allows me to select easy on the action parts and hard on the puzzles. Other games should follow suit, and there should always be an option that is easy enough for everyone to play who wants to see the whole game that they paid 40-50$ for.
Tom, how long have you had the game? Not saying that initial impressions can't be accurate, but if you've only had the game since it went retail, I wish that people would accept that some games take longer to master, especially since there isn't much to actually master besides racing (meaning once you "get it," the game becomes too easy and repetitive). You can obviously still dislike the game, but I personally don't think it's a valid complaint on a critical level that the game should be easier if you've only had a few days with it. Sure, an individual can wish every game to be extremely easy or hard from the get go (how difficult a game is in the initial hours is extremely subjective), and that's fine, but I'd hope that most gamers would be willing to put a bit of time into a game (especially racing where the actions are the same throughout the game) before judging its difficulty.
A few days? Maybe a few hours, but even that's pushing it. I don't think it should take more than an hour or two for players to become competent enough at a game to avoid feeling overly frustrated. It's poor game design or mission design otherwise. Well, unless Tom is just a retard at this game.You can obviously still dislike the game, but I personally don't think it's a valid complaint on a critical level that the game should be easier if you've only had a few days with it.
Are you kidding? that puts out all complex fighting games! A few hours at most of them and you WILL get frustrated playing on high difficulty or against another player - because you aren't any good at the game yet. The mistake is not making the learning curve entertaining imho.
A few days for a person who doesn't pour several hours into a game for each sitting. I think deciding in an hour or two if a game is too difficult isn't being fair to the game and feel that racing games especially would be too easy if they allowed such a shallow learning curve. As I said before, whether or not the difficulty of a game is well designed is a tough and subjective call in the first few hours. It has more to do with the gamer than the game. Difficulty levels should be designed so most everyone can get a fun challenge after learning the ropes. I think that unfortunately most gamers expect to rank decently in a race when playing a game for first few hours even on easy mode - they expect a push-over that provides them with positive reinforcement in the early hours.A few days? Maybe a few hours, but even that's pushing it. I don't think it should take more than an hour or two for players to become competent enough at a game to avoid feeling overly frustrated. It's poor game design or mission design otherwise. Well, unless Tom is just a retard at this game.
F-Zero may be frustrating in its difficulty, but I feel that part of that is due to gamers who don't want to have to put in more than a few hours before they should be able to pass through most of story mode. In the end, I guess its always right to give the majority what they want.
edit: For me, overly frustrating in a racing game would be not being able to finish a race after getting the controls down and one or two plays and then not being able to place at least 3rd every dozen races or so for the first hour or two. I feel that your average gamer wouldn't find the game rewarding enough with this difficulty, though, since much of the fun is in winning.
As I see it, Tom said he finished the first two novice races, but can't quite get the third. If he's only had the game since it went retail, it sounds like the difficulty curve might be too abrupt if anything - making it seem in novice mode that the player can do well until a certain moment ups the difficulty level too much. That can be overly frustrating, is poor design, and leads to a make or break point for the player in deciding to continue. Sounds like Novice mode wasn't enough of a stumbling block to provide an adequate learning curve.
FWIW, I got the game about a week before it went retail.
I understand what you're saying, Greenjeans, but don't give me this 'you haven't played it enough' guff, young man! I've been looking around and I see now there's plenty of belly-aching about the difficulty level, so it isn't just me. F-Zero GX is *not* a game for anyone who isn't a hardcore precision racing fan.
Having said that, it was pretty cool to play against only human players last night at Shoot Club. I still wouldn't recommend it over many other racing games.
I've been playing F-Zero GX for a few days now, and I must say that it rocks my fucking world from here to the moon.
Tom's right, it's hard as nails. The catch here is that every time I've lost a race (and that's been a LOT...Story Mode is merciless), it's been my own damn fault. I hit that wall or edged too close to the abyss or didn't use the boost to keep my speed at max on the approach to the finish, whatever. I'm no big fan of high difficulty, but as long as the failure is on my head, I'm fine with it. The control is absolutely brilliant, IMO.
I'm blown away by the track design, the smoothness of the framerate, the detail in every bit of the tracks, the sheer number of racers it pits you against. The entire thing is just such a rush that I don't even care if I lose half the time. After my first race through that pipe course with the pillars and spokes that flash by you as you scrape past them with an inch to spare, I was actually breathing hard. It's a visceral experience, and I rarely find that in modern games.
I do think Story Mode is a little insane, but the rush of the game keeps me trying over and over. F-Zero GX has a huge "Yes sir, may I have another!" element to it.
It does demand a very high level of reflexes, skill, and knowing the tracks is an absolute must even on the Novice difficulty, but this is everything I'd hoped it would be. After KotOR, this is the best game I've played in 2003 thus far.