With rumours that Nintendo would announce a new F-Zero game for the first time in nearly 20 years, there was a lot of hype surrounding today’s Nintendo Direct. These rumours were partially true.
Nintendo announced a new F-Zero game, but it’s not what fans hoped. Rather than a direct sequel to the GameCube’s F-Zero GX, this new entry is a free 99-player battle royale game based on the SNES original.
F-Zero meets battle royale
Announced during today's Nintendo Direct stream, F-Zero 99 sees up to 99 players battle it out in futuristic ships. In a new twist, players have a power meter that decreases if they crash into other ships or hit the wall.
Players can also get a temporary speed boost, but you’ll be eliminated from the race if the power meter runs out. Players can also collect Super Sparks, which appear on the track when colliding with other ships, to access the Skyway, an elevated track that acts as a shortcut.
Visually, F-Zero 99 replicates the original SNES game’s groundbreaking Mode 7 graphics, which created a pseudo-3D effect. All tracks and ships from the original SNES game are included in F-Zero 99. Unlike the original, completing challenges unlocks customisation options including new exterior colours, decals, and boost colours.
Outside of the core F-Zero 88 mode, scheduled Mini Prix and Grand Prix modes challenge you to compete and qualify in a series of races. Additional Team Battle and the Pro Tracks mode rotate throughout the day. Prepare yourself in Practice Mode and race against your ghost.
How to play F-Zero 99
This new take on F-Zero is free to play but can only be played with a Nintendo Switch Online subscription. A year's subscription costs £17.99 / €19.99.
F-Zero 99 is the latest in a wave of free Nintendo battle royale games following Super Mario Bros. 35, Tetris 99, and Pac-Man 99. It’s also the first entry futuristic racing franchise since 2004’s F-Zero Climax on GameBoy Advance.
If you want a more retro experience, F-Zero 99 will support the Switch’s Super NES Controller. The original F-Zero and F-Zero X are also playable on Switch via the Nintendo Switch Online Expansion.
Nintendo also revealed the final wave of the Mario Kart 8 Deluxe Booster Course Pass during the Nintendo Direct stream.
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