F-Zero Climax (エフゼロ クライマックス Efu-zero Kuraimakkusu?) is a futuristic racing video game for the Nintendo Game Boy Advance handheld. It is the third F-Zero game to be released for the Game Boy Advance. Climax was released exclusively in Japan on October 21, 2004. Like its handheld predecessor, F-Zero GP Legend, Climax was both published and developed by Nintendo, with assistance from Suzak.
F-Zero Climax is a racing game that plays similarly to its immediate predecessor, F-Zero: GP Legend, and the original F-Zero game. Like its predecessor, Climax is tied-in to the TV Tokyo anime series F-Zero: GP Legend. Players control futuristic machines and pilot them on numerous circuits. Each machine has an energy meter, which serves two purposes: It is a measurement of the machine's health and, secondly, the player is given the ability to boost after the first lap. Boosting greatly increases the racer's speed for a few seconds, but also drains their energy. The stored speed boost players receive after completing a lap does not, but may only be used during an energy-draining boost. Pink plates are located at various points around the track for vehicles to drive over to replenish energy. A side attack, or new to the 2D F-Zero games, a spin attack, can damage competitors. The game offers four control scheme presets, and personalized button configurations.
Climax has numerous gameplay modes and options, some of which were carried over from GP Legend. In the Grand Prix mode, the player races against twenty-three opponents through three laps of each track in a cup. There are four cups available (Bronze, Silver, Gold, and Platinum) with multiple levels of difficulty. Time attack lets the player choose any track and complete it in the shortest time possible. Zero Test is a selectable option in Time Attack where players may complete thirty-six trials on a small section of track for the fastest time. Survival consists of mission-based objectives such as navigating courses with depleted health and beating an opponent on a short guardrail-less track, then brake at the finish without flying off-course. Completing a series of survival challenges unlocks a character biography with a brief episode summary from the anime. The multiplayer mode where two to four players can compete simultaneously.
Edit mode allow players to create tracks and then race on them. Custom tracks can be saved to one of thirty slots for future use and shared with other players via Game Link Cable. The game can also generate a track-specific password that can be inputted on any Climax cartridge for conversion back to the custom track.
Release and reception
Information on the game's existence and title was leaked by Japanese retailers weeks before its official announcement by Nintendo. The game was released in Japan on October 21, 2004. Nintendo World Report and Siliconera felt that the game was a likely candidate for localization in regions outside of Japan, this never happened.
Reception for the game have been generally positive. Nintendo World Report gave it a 7.5 out of 10. Siliconera praised the game fast gameplay and track editor features, but criticized it for feeling more like an expansion pack than a sequel.
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