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F-Zero X Expansion Kit Reviewed by Ferry Groenendijk on . Rating: 92%
F-Zero X Expansion Kit
F-Zero X Expansion Kit F-Zero X Expansion Kit F-Zero X Expansion Kit F-Zero X Expansion Kit
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The original F-Zero X was a hi speed racer, blasting ahead at 60 frames per second with absolutely no slow-downs. Problem is, it came at the cost of highly detailed graphics. They ran perfectly fast, even with 30 characters on screen at once, but compared to other racers on the Nintendo 64, it left it open to some debate. The gameplay however could not be argued, it was perfect, and frankly, is what made the game an instant hit. Yet even with the random track generator included at the end, it felt like something was missing from the cartridge.

A year later it turned out indeed something was left out, this is where the F-Zero X Expansion Kit sits. This disc isn't a sequel, per se; it's exactly what it says it is, an Expansion Pack, something that gives you much more to do. In fact, it effectively works as a course editor and a car modifier, a couple of things that could have been useful in the original Nintendo 64 version. It should be noted that although the 64DD needs an Expansion Pak to run, the F-Zero X Expansion Kit does not seem to use it to spice up the graphics, not that it matters as the gameplay remains exactly the same.

On the main menu you can access all of F-Zero X's features, plus two new functions, namely Car Edit and Course Edit we just talked about. With the latter you can design your own courses, and eventually enter them in the six-track Custom Cup! There are also two new Championship Cups originally named Cup DD & Cup DD-2 and these Cups are really aimed at the champions as their insanely hard to complete, add to this the ability to save up to three ghost racers on each course and you might understand the addictiveness of the DD's disks.

The two new Cups (logically) add six tracks each with their own all-new championships. There are some almost impossibly hard to beat tracks amongst these courses, mostly due to the weirdest curves you've 'never' seen before in F-Zero.

The Car Editor works great, although the options and everything is in Japanese and might take a while to figure everything out. This feature is still a bit shortcoming, no thanks to the the lack of different options you'd expect in customizing a car to your liking. Select your car's body shape, spoiler, cockpit design, and change each colour to your liking or add icons to your vehicle. After you're finished with that you can balance your car's settings as in grip, boost, and speed. After you've named your car, it's time to take it for a spin.

The Course Edit is the real gem of this expansion kit. You can edit just about everything when creating your own tracks, I wouldn't be surprised if F-Zero X's creators used this themselves. You can first create a basic circuit, and then add points to it to create curves and move the track up or down and decide the basic track layout by adding course textures and colour schemes. Keep an eye on the track by rotating around it, adjusting height and width, and zooming in and out. Many different track styles are included, such as basic road, road with walls, half pipe, cylinder, loop and tunnel as well as road surfaces ranging from rock to the recharge strips. You can also add one or two buildings, flags or gates per track. Make your track upside down, add ten loops, attach one out of about 8 awesome new pounding music tracks, add mines, ramps etc., you name it you got it as long as keep enough normal track in between all the twists and turns so you won't fall off the track with your car. Overdo it and the editor will give a warning. There's so much to edit and that's what makes the game so much fun after you figure out what every Japanese option does. From what I can understand from the manual, you can save up to 100 courses onto the disk! You can also test your track at any time and do a few rounds to see how good it really is (or how much it sucks).

4 Player multi-player doesn't get much better than this on the N64. Not only that, but this is pure raw fun on a disk!! The new tracks are lightning-fast and so is the disk their on, loading times never surpass 2 seconds, or the blink of an eye. Once you get the Japanese language barrier out of the way (which isn't that big of a deal), the entire expansion kit you get offered here plays smoother than an eel. If you even remotely like F-Zero, you'll be hooked. This is most definitely worth a 64DD import if you have a US/JPN N64 unit and money to spend. That is, if you can't wait until F-Zero's eventually GameCube release in 2003. I'm sure that will have a track/car editor included as a standard option with today's bigger memory cards and all. 3, 2, 1, GO!
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