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    Review By Jaz
N64DD: F-Zero X-Pansion Kit
Review by Jaz
Views: 21925
Date: 2002-12-15
Comments: 10
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Now Iím not one to collect weird and wonderful items from the video gaming world (thatís Redahís job), but when I first played on a 64DD, I just had to own one. One of the main reasons why, was this genius piece of software.

For those of you who arenít aware, the F-Zero X-Pansion Kit was an add-on disc for the original N64 version of F-Zero X. This disc allowed you to edit the `cars`, create new tracks, and generally mess about with the game itself. All will be revealed. Read on.


At the end of the day, the point of F-Zero X was never to have pretty graphics. And the X-Pansion Kit does nothing in the way of enhancing the plain textures of the stand-alone 64 version. But they do the job, and the game runs at such a blistering pace anyway, youíve very little time to admire what has been achieved graphically. In terms of the X-Pansion Kit graphics, each of the course textures, along with a few more are available for use in the track designer, which is pretty damn cool. ;)


The X-Pansion Kit adds a host of new tunes to the jukebox, as well as keeping each of the original songs. Again, as with the textures, each of the music tracks on the cart and disc can be used on your home-made tracks. As with the music, the X-Pansion Kit does nothing to enhance the in-game sound effects, but you canít really criticise it for that, I mean, itís hardly the point of the thing is it?! There really isnít that much more to say about the sound other than it does itís job nicely. As with the graphics, youíve not got enough time to concentrate on the sounds whilst trying to control your ship at speeds of over 800kph!


Now this is what F-Zero is all about. Even without the X-Pansion Kit, F-Zero must be up there as one of the most playable games ever created. The addition of the 64DD disc simply takes F-Zero X to a new level. The major feature in the X-Pansion Kit is, obviously the track designer. The track designer here is unlike any you would have used before. In fact, so Iím told, the designer in question is not far off the one that the F-Zero X programmers used to create the original tracks! And so yes, itís pretty complicated to use at first, especially considering that itís all in Japanese! But after a night or so of trial-and-error attempts, youíll pick it up pretty quickly! Soon enough it becomes a five-minute job to create tracks that would have the F1 organisers proud. Loops, jumps, half-pipeís and boosts, theyíre all included, along with hundreds more bits and bobs to include on your new track. Basically, if you can think of it, you can probably build it! Once you have a handful of tracks saved to disc, you can think about creating a custom championship. Give it a name, select the tracks and save. You can now race this championship on your own, or with up to 4-players. Secondly, youíve got the `car` editor. Compared to the wonderful track designer, the `car` editor is a bit of a let down. Whilst you can mess about with the colours, decals and stats of each ship, you canít design your own from scratch. Itís a shame, and a feature that is more of an afterthought than a fully-blown part of the game.


This is where itís up to you. The F-Zero X-Pansion Kit will only become boring when you run out of ideas. In theory, if you can keep coming up with new exciting ideas for tracks, this game could last you a lifetime. After a while, you may not play on it as much, but itís always a pleasure to invite three friends over, each create a track, and then compete in a custom multiplayer championship. A feature Iíd of like to of seen implemented in F-Zero X-Pansion Kit would be the ability to design textures and the like using the Mario Artist DD series, and import them into the X-Pansion Kit. But still, designing new tracks never seems to lose itís appeal.


Possibly the most tragic aspect about F-Zero X-Pansion Kit is that barely a few thousand people will get to play it. Overall, itís a wonderful piece of software that every F-Zero fan should go out of their way to play it someday. Hereís hoping that the GameCube version of F-Zero has the DD features included as standard.


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