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Aero GPX is the F-Zero GX sequel Nintendo won't make

Whoa, you're way out in front!

Several cars race across a futuristic race track in Aero GPX, with the Eurogamer Wishlisted logo in the bottom right corner of the image.
Image credit: Eurogamer/Aaron McDevitt

Yes, F-Zero 99 was a cute diversion after Nintendo's high speed racing series seemingly went into hibernation, but fans are still waiting for that next proper F-Zero game to arrive.

It turns out, though, we didn't need Nintendo after all. Solo developer Aaron McDevitt has developed Aero GPX, a futuristic racer that's F-Zero in all but name. Grands prix of 30 colourful characters? Rollercoaster tracks? A banging electro-rock soundtrack? Check, check, check.

It's presented in a cartoonish, cel-shaded aesthetic that brings to mind the Japan-only F-Zero anime GP Legend, and provides a clean, crisp look to the super fast racing. And yes, it's very fast.

Crucially, it handles like F-Zero too. I jumped straight into a grand prix race and immediately felt at home after years of playing Nintendo's N64 and GameCube hits. Handling is responsive and smooth, with the triggers used to strafe and steer through tighter corners. One track was a straight loop, similar to the classic Silence track, where you strafe between boost pads to hit max speed. Another was a cylindrical track - don't fly off if you go too fast!

Except, maybe you should fly off. That's because flight is Aero GPX's new trick (the clue's in the name, after all), with certain characters more capable in the air than others. Some tracks specifically feature wind tunnels to soar through, my stomach plummeting through the floor as the ground suddenly disappeared.

Multiple colourful vehicles flying through circular wind tunnels in Aero GPX
Image credit: Aaron McDevitt

What's more, at top speeds you can fly off the track for some spectacular shortcuts, the vehicle spinning in a dive through the air for extra speed - at least judging by trailers, as I am yet to pull this off myself (though McDevitt has showcased plenty of advanced mechanics in his development videos).

Combat, too, is in a similar vein to F-Zero as you can spin into your rivals. One change, though, is your energy is now split into two gauges for health and boost power (only from the second lap onwards!). In Nintendo's series, there's risk-reward between choosing to boost at the risk of leaving yourself vulnerable to attack from the same pool of energy. Here, the separate gauges mark a subtle yet clear change, with players needing to manage recuperating energy from individually marked sections of track.

Aero GPX - Kickstarter TrailerWatch on YouTube

Derivative as it may be, then, Aero GPX does have a few ideas of its own to bring futuristic racing from the past into our present. Other similar racers have tried to hit the same highs, but Aero GPX clings tightly to Nintendo's model for the closest comparison yet. Its nostalgic thrills had me immediately falcon punching the air, while its lack of release date (so far) is crushing. I've needed this in my life for years, but at the very least McDevitt is giving fans what Nintendo won't.

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