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Top 10 F-Zero GP Legend Strengths



Alright, if you hadn't seen its 10 Flaws, here it is. However, I don't see GP Legend/Climax as a lost cause like so many consumers think. I will try and list 10 positives to hopefully cancel them out, and maybe help GP Legend get a second shot for airing the American Dubs of the anime. So here goes:

1. Cool Canon Foreigners

As the name would imply on TVTropes, they're characters that're introduced to a work that is far from the norm of the actual series, such as a spinoff or expanding a universe. They're also used to add more variety to the cast, whether it'd be diversity or adding a female to an all-male group. Every installment expands their cast, and they hardly disappoint here:

In this case, there are 3 main examples of this, those being Rick Wheeler/Ryu Suzaku, Haruka Misaki/Miss Killer/Luna Ryder, and Lucy Liberty. There is also the Death Soldier and Clank Hughes, but they're mostly side chars. The main trio adds more pizazz to the ever-expanding cast, and all the Foreigners are also pilots for the GBA game and Climax.

Rick Wheeler (who is my all-time favorite) pilots the Dragon Bird and has an interesting origin, as a cop that woke up from cryo-hibernation for 150 years on account of a  fatal accident while pursuing the maniacal convict, Zoda. Now the monster's counterpart is so different than the original series, but he seems to have more development this time around, as does Rick. He happens to be the main man, which could be a problem to some since he often takes the spotlight, unlike many who expect Capt. Falcon like in the prior games. For me? It was like a breath of fresh air introducing a newcomer. And I grew to like him ever since. Greg Abbey has done quite a phenomenal impression on him, and I'll always associate him w/ Rick, no matter what!

Lucy Liberty's the youngest member of the Task Force, and she often works as an apprentice to Dr. Clash. She's sweet, independent, and a good role model to women, unlike SO MANY damsels in distress within the Nintendo Universe!! She's voiced by Amy Bimbaum and the Elegance Liberty's a decent, lightweight machine.

There's also Miss Killer, who is one of the most awesome Canon Foreigners I've ever seen! As she's been conjured by The Skull and brainwashed by Black Shadow, and happens to be Rick's late girlfriend. Her machine, the Moon Shadow, is nothing to snuff at either, even when I constantly associate it w/ the Cat Stevens classic of the same name! While I hated that it took too long for her to regain her senses, I still liked her as the only woman within the Dark Million organization. She tends to give me the jitters, as it was its way to take the organization more seriously since she was used to eliminate Rick from stealing their victories. Not to mention, she happens to be Revivedracer's favorite character! She's also voiced by Amy, from 150 years ago, but Caren Neill displays her dark persona very well!

Others include the Death Soldier, who happens to be a pilot in Climax, and underwhelming, expendable villains. While Clank was more interesting, as he also happens to be a pilot of a special vehicle, and the son of the Mighty Gazelle. He also acts as a promising analyst/engineer much like Lucy who's a junior asset to the heroes. Clank is voiced by Amy, again, and she does a phenomenal job while acting as a child prodigy.

2. GP Legend Introduces a Newer Generation?

Yes, I know that the GBA game was very user-friendly and rushed, since it had to coincide w/ the release of the anime in both Japan and the US. However, whenever I saw it on the search engine, it always displayed the same rating; not E for Everyone, but rather Early Childhood. Despite how sugarcoated it is, I actually think this game alone was the first stepping stone for those who'd be introduced to the F-Zero franchise. I still hate the fact it takes place in an alt continuity, and I'm sure that people would prefer the original SNES game for newcomers, but I think the GP Legend game is a good place to start and practice the basics on the workings of the series. If that was truly the developers' intentions, then kudos!

3. Nice, Memorable Soundtracks

Like most of the F-Zero installments, even both GP Legend and Climax have some great, catchy numbers. One of the things that make the franchise strong is indeed their upbeat tunes, as well as the FoxBox which I'll get to shortly. In the games, I like most of their remakes, as well as their original tracks such as Mist Flow, introducing the hero/villain, Lightning, and even the depressing Game Over A. In Climax, a few remakes stand out, like the longer version of Silence and the rocking themes of Lightning and Sand Ocean, and the credits/preparation themes in both games.

Those in the FoxBox are mostly each of the chars jingles, from the epic three notes of Rick's, to the cocky jingle for Jack, the serene tune for Lucy, the vile themes for Zoda/Black Shadow, the cheery/creepy tunes for Miss Killer/Haruka, the authorative tunes for Jody or Dr. Stewart, the mechanical jingles for EAD/Dr. Clash, the contemporary jingle of Burt and the Falcon House, or the striking chords for Capt. Falcon. Those always tell the audience they are here and are ready to take center stage! And they sure are a nice touch considering they don't have any profile themes, unlike in GX, even for the Foreigners. This was why I wanted Tinsel to have her own from F-Zero's predecessor, Mach Rider. I wish the English Dubs would stay around for these reasons...

4. Awesome Intros

Whether it'd be the English version made by 4Kids, or the Meaning of Truth by HIRO-X, they both seem to do great when catching the audience's attention and keeps them engaged! Even when Dan Green does his opening lines in the former. They're memorable, action-packed, and also fun to sing along to (check out Silverreploid's take on the American Dub, and the fan made lyrics of the original version by Rage). In fact, aside from the original and the GBA game's, they were definitely the most recognizable in the entire series! I only wish the English Intro would have more praise, though...

5. The Japanese Version Gave it...Some Closure

It was really unfortunate that the FoxBox only aired the first 15 episodes, and it did it again on Christmas just days before the block was usurped as it transformed to the abomination, 4KIDS TV!! By March 2005, it was all over; hence, my fics, including the epic Ending it All. But the Japanese version aired all 51 episodes and introduced some story elements that gave the show...a little more closure. I say little because I didn't like all their ideas, but the ones I did like were introducing the unique, volatile Reactor Mights, Mighty Gazelle reuniting w/ Clank...till his destruction, Rick being engaged and learning the history of Haruka, the inclusion of the Dark Star, and even the complicated legend of Falcon. In which in my story was explained SO MUCH better..! Not to mention, we also had the chance to see the...exploited Falcon Punch and witnessed the end of Black Shadow; wish it was Deathborn instead.

Regardless, it did give the series a little chance of finality; I only wish the English Dubs would have the same chance, if it were to get a second-wind on Toonami or Funimation much like One Piece...

6. It's Better Than Maximum Velocity

Yeah I said it!! I love GP Legend over Maximum Velocity! While the concept of the GBA was to take SNES-quality games on the go as it works better than the Game Gear, MV was my least favorite in the series. It was well worth the wait when Suzak teamed up with Nintendo, and helped with development while it still maintained a similar gameplay style from the previous installment, GX; energy was still sacrificed for boosting instead of having one per lap'; the ranking out, bomb cars, and dummy cars were cut entirely; and the courses/machines/pilots weren't so underwhelming. Heck, both games even had a homage to the original F-Zero via Platinum Cup in Grand Prix Mode!

The only ire I have is that GP Legend got the side attack back, but not the spin attack; instead, it was put in at Climax which also introduced the new Boost Fire mechanic, while still maintaining gameplay elements from GX.

With these attributes, I'd still prefer to play Climax/GP Legend over MV any day, even though I'm not very fond of the former since the AI is extremely aggressive, the announcer wouldn't shut his mouth, and nearly everything is still in Japanese..!

7. Characters Take Center Stage

As I'd said before about the Canon Foreigners, the side characters from the series take up the spotlight, even with their own jingles. It was a huge gust of fresh air since Capt. Falcon doesn't hog the limelight and instead shows up at intervals, while giving a lot of side chars a chance to shine, especially Rick who's the new main protagonist. In the Mobile Task Force, we get ourselves to be introduced to the team and learn more of their personalities and motivations. We get to know each of the heroes more, even the enemies in Dark Million, rather than just straining ourselves to get first place overall and earn interviews about them. I personally liked how we were immersed with a larger cast, and the 4Kids actors weren't too disappointing, at least not with the main chars. The side chars still get axed after one or two episodes, but the main roster seem to be a lot more fleshed out. EAD has a relationship with a human, Kate; Dr. Stewart functions as a key role and mentor; Dr. Clash is the comic relief mechanic; we see how obnoxious the poster boy, Jack, is; we see how authorative and strict Jody is; but, I never liked how they changed Tanaka. We see how evil Black Shadow and his cronies can be, even when they remade Zoda as a more cold-hearted assassin.

Even though the stories in the GBA game are anticlimactic and very short, it was just a welcoming break from the oversaturated mascot!

8. A Tribute to the Original

As I'd mentioned, the Platinum Cup, in both games, is a homage to the original SNES game. The nostalgia was almost a killer for me as I'd noticed it was unlocked from completing all Grand Prixes on Normal difficulty. It was a well-earned reward, and while I found the tracks to be slightly smaller and more forgiving (even in White Land and Fire Field), I find them to be a nice tribute. 8 courses were featured in the Platinum Cup, and it quickly became my upmost favorite league in both games; plus, you don't have to worry about the gimmicks from the original since they were cut out, and still play with a variety of pilots to choose from!

My only issue, though, is that some of its music can be a bit dull at times... The developers tried to recapture its magic, and praise for that, but I kinda wished there would be an option to listen to the original's music as a nice Easter Egg, like how to switch to the track listings in some Sonic games or some Smash Bros. games. Still, it's a great added bonus.

9. Pilots Are Unlocked, Rather Than E-Scanned

Unlike the Japanese version, the pilots are unlocked normally, simply by maxing out each of the eight pilots as you earn points from accomplishing missions in Story Mode. I always thought the process is randomized, maybe not, but it sure beats the hell out of finding those rare, underwhelming E-Scan Cards. I was never a huge fan of those pointless things, nor the scanner, so I was pretty happy you can still unlock the pilots aside from Rick, Falcon, Jack, Jody, Black Shadow, Zoda, Samurai Goroh, and Lisa as you earn them while you progress. It's not a hassle to earn and play each one, even the awesome Canon Foreigners. Beats the hell out of wasting tickets at the garage during GX anyway.

10. Pretty Decent 4Kids Voice Cast

We all know about the accursed, corrupt company, 4Kids, despite the nostalgia attached to it; one of the things is the decent voice cast, whether it'd be in Pokémon, Yugioh, Sonic X, or even here in GP Legend! I would prefer the English actors over the Japanese ones any day of the week, and here is no exception! From the unsurmountable Dan Green as Dr. Stewart, to the strict Veronica Taylor as Jody Summer, to the hilarious Marc Draison as he gives the Russian accent to Dr. Clash, the...so-so Aussie accent Marc Thompson uses for Jack Levin, the cheerful, innocent Amy Bimbaum as Lucy, Haruka, and Clank, or the psychotic outbursts from Jamie McGonnigar as Zoda, the intimidating, sinister tone of Karen Neill as Miss Killer or the singer, Kate Alen, and of course the epic voice of Greg Abbey as my personal favorite pilot, Rick Wheeler!

I don't like all the voices of the anime, though, as I felt most of GX's voice cast do some of the chars justice such as Falcon, John Tanaka, Silver Neelsen, Draq, or any of the chars that never made the cut in the English Dubs. Regardless a small handful of people have a lot of spunk and so much experience to boot.


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