Latest F-Zero GBA outing zips into view
Nintendo gives Falcon Densetsu a European release date.
It's taken a while to get here, but F-Zero: Falcon Densetsu finally has a UK release date. It's set to appear on the shelves of your local gaming emporium this June 4th under the banner of "F-Zero: GP Legend". This is obviously a crap name, but still manages to beat "F-Zero: Maximum Velocity" for acceptability without using a single recharge pad.
Reviews of the Japanese version of the futuristic racer game have been positive in general, but it's fair to say that it hasn't excited fans as much as its feebly named predecessor, and now pales in comparison to rival graphics engines on the format. We've also seen suggestion that it's a bit too easy for hardcore F-Zero fans, and surely there can be nothing but hardcore F-Zero fans doing the rounds if F-Zero GX on the Cube was anything to go by. Then again, Nintendo Europe still reckons you'll need "the reflexes of a cobra and the hand eye coordination of a jet fighter pilot", and who are we to contradict the big N?
For those with little if any idea what we're talking about, F-Zero: GP Legend is like previous F-Zero titles - it offers fast, harsh racing thrills in futuristic environments and hasn't previously failed to excite our senses in new and interesting ways. The latest title to bear the name includes a new Story Mode complete with anime-still cut-scenes, in which players control a character called Rick Wheeler on his way through 40 racing missions. The Story Mode came about, if you're wondering, because Falcon Densetsu is actually a spin-off from the Japanese anime of the same name. Don't get too excited though - if the anime is anything to go by (our expert used various unprintable terms to describe it), this one looks set to continue the tradition of hammy and forgettable story modes in racing games.
Fortunately there are also straight Grand Prix, Time Attack and Training modes to back it up, and a Zero Test challenge mode which sounds a bit like its equivalent in the Cube F-Zero GX. We just hope that reports of the AI's cheating antics are a bit overblown, or we might decide to give this one a miss on June 4th. Assuming we can find an alternative GBA game worth playing, which is proving a bit difficult at the moment...