But the series is still slumbering
It’s tricky to pin down Nintendo’s rhythm when it comes to retro game announcements. That was true for the NES and SNES games featured in Switch Online memberships, and it’s definitely still true for the newly-added Nintendo 64 game drops for Expansion Pack subscribers. Next up, on March 11, we’ve got F-Zero X — a cool choice as a deeper cut.
The Nintendo 64 days were some of my all-time favorites for the racing genre, so it’ll be fun (and frantic) to revisit F-Zero X with online multiplayer on Switch. If you’re coming in totally fresh, don’t mind the simple-looking vehicles and tracks — it’s all about the feel. And emulation-wise, as far as the Switch goes, this looks pretty good at a glance.
Nintendo has digitized the instruction manual, too — soak up everything you can.
While recent inclusions like Banjo-Kazooie and Majora’s Mask feel like no-brainer crowd favorites, F-Zero X has a smaller (but still very dedicated) following. I’m happy to see it reach a new audience, even if it is gated behind a pricey subscription service.
My last experience with the F-Zero series was F-Zero GX on GameCube, which was great, but also ridiculously intense. Never a dull millisecond. It’s been a long time for fans — too long! I’ll never forget that quote from Nintendo’s Takaya Imamura (who’s now retired) about F-Zero being hard to bring back “without a grand new idea.” As much as there’s probably more to the decision than that, it seems to sum up the current reality pretty well.
If you need a refresher, here’s an up-to-date list of N64 and Sega Genesis games featured in the $50-per-year Switch Online + Expansion Pack plan.