Reggie: F-Zero Isn’t Dead, It Just Needs To Do Something New (And Nintendo Hasn’t Figured That Out Yet)

Reggie: F-Zero Isn’t Dead, It Just Needs To Do Something New (And Nintendo Hasn’t Figured That Out Yet)
Image: F-Zero GX/Nintendo

Despite fan fears that Nintendo has left its racing series F-Zero to moulder in a Gamecube era grave, former NOA president Reggie Fils-Aimé thinks otherwise.

Speaking to GamesBeat around the launch of his recent autobiography, the question of F-Zero‘s future came up. Fils-Aimé broke out the old company line about Nintendo looking for innovative ideas to justify bringing the racing series out of retirement.

However, he went on to say that he assumes that Nintendo is experimenting with ideas internally that it could use in any potential new F-Zero game.

‘Why was F-Zero abandoned? The insight I would share is that, at least during my tenure, Nintendo developers were always experimenting with different gameplay styles, always thinking about where a unique experience could be applied back, either to an existing franchise or maybe creating a new franchise,’ said Fils-Aimé.

‘My bet is that somewhere in the Kyoto development centres, some developer is playing around with an idea that might be applied to F-Zero. It’s never a situation, at least in my experience, where the company makes a conscious decision not to continue supporting X-Y-Z franchise. Historically it just hasn’t worked that way, not when I was there.”

Any prospective return to the series would therefore demand something entirely new, to set it apart from both previous games and whatever games dominate the racing sector today.

One thing that could potentially get a new F-Zero off the ground, however, is the meteoric rise in popularity of Formula One racing. Formula One, considered the pinnacle of motorsport, was the original inspiration for F-Zero, the name itself implying that it is a hyper-fast racing class above F1. The sport remains popular in Japan. F1 will return to the Suzuka International Racing Course for the Japanese Grand Prix in October (the same weekend as PAX Australia, in fact).

If Nintendo wanted to trade on that surge of interest in high-speed racing, it feels like now would be a good time to have an F-Zero game in the works.

Fils-Aimé is far from alone in feeling the series needs to innovate before it can continue. As recently as last year, veteran Nintendo artist Tayaka Imamura said in an interview with IGN that he considered the series difficult to revive.

‘Of course, I’ve thought about it many times,’ he said at the time, ‘but without a grand new idea, it’s hard to bring it back.’

Here’s hoping Nintendo finds that big idea soon. Given how often it has reached into its back catalogue of late, it wouldn’t be surprising to see Nintendo ramp up efforts to revitalise other old properties as well.

Keep holding on, F-Zero fans. If the Pokemon Snap people could get a whole new game out of Ninty, then, one day, your faith will be rewarded too.

[GamesBeat]

Comments

  • Mario kart stole the driving on walls and upside down…

    But if F1 and other racing games were to inspire new f-zero, perhaps moving more to sim aspects might be good.

    More in depth control over creating and adjusting your vehicle. Tweaking bits here and there to shave milliseconds off of laps.

  • I was always annoyed that there was never an F-Zero on the Wii. The motion controls would have been a really neat way to do the vehicle leaning (i.e. regular stick controls for thrust and steering, but angling the remote for pitch and roll to add more nuanced physicality like what RedOut did)

  • Most fans don’t need anything new or revolutionary though, we just want a new F-Zero game with fun tracks, good graphics and breakneck speed. Not every game needs a new gimmick. I loved both the N64 and Gamecube entries and I’d personally be happy with more of the same.

    • “Not every game needs a new gimmick.”

      That’s fundamentally incompatible with Nintendo’s star game designers’ philosophies, unfortunately.

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