Review: F-Zero 99 – A Brilliant Battle-Royale Revival That Plays To The Series’ Strengths

Got 99 problems, but F-Zero ain’t one.

What do you get when you take the first entry in one of Nintendo’s most overlooked franchises and cram it with battle royale mechanics after nearly 20 years of dormancy? You might expect a shambling Frankenstein’s monster of a game held together by nostalgia-baiting stagnancy. Instead, F-Zero 99 is a clever re-imagining that injects new life into a stone-cold classic while dodging many of the pitfalls found in Nintendo’s other battle royale remixes like Mario 35 or PAC-MAN 99.

F-Zero is such an important–and impressive–game thanks in no small part to its presentation. As a launch game for the SNES, its vibey, sci-fi Mode 7 graphics helped plant Nintendo’s flag in the 16-bit era as a graphical powerhouse. But F-Zero’s more than just a tech demo; it’s a high-adrenaline, white-knuckle racing game with some serious teeth. F-Zero 99 takes care to pay its respect to the original’s tough-as-nails legacy while giving it new mechanics, to help it fit even better within the ‘-99’ formula. After all, F-Zero has always been about speed and survival.

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