F-Zero or Zero Gravity

Just to prove that anything Acclaim can do with Extreme G, Nintendo can do too, the Kyoto based masters released a batch of new screenshots this month to show off the potential of the four-player mode in their forthcoming F-Zero 64. And although (certainly at this stage, anyway) the visuals don’t appear to be as detailed as those in the other, Probe- developed N64 Wipeout-beater, there looks to be plenty for fans of the original to look forward to.

Much of F-Zero still remains under wraps, but the screenshots point to rollercoaster-style corkscrews, up-and-unders and multi-branching tracks. One track, complete with 360° turn, enables you to see your opponent on another part of the track as you race, cranking up the tension as you compete to come away with honors.

The graphics still have a long way to go, looking positively washed out in some areas, but it looks like the game will steer clear of super-sophisticated graphics and opt, instead, for face- contorting speed. (Indeed, it’ll “almost make you pass out”, according to Shigeru Miyamoto, who’s producing the game, speaking in a recent interview in Japan.) That said, only a fool would dare suggest Nintendo won’t improve the game’s looks. Check your back catalogue and it’s difficult to find a Nintendo game that doesn’t gorge the old orbs.

The game will also be Rumble Pak compatible because, as Nintendo themselves confirm, “technically applying Rumble Pak support to games is really easy”. Where the Pak will come in isn’t clear, although the power-up points seen in the original would appear the most natural choice.

All of which bodes particularly well for the future. But, as we all know where Nintendo’s concerned, the future could be any time within the next year or so. Still…