After far too long a wait to get my copy of this game early, my Japanese version of F-Zero GX arrived in the mail today. I've been playing it for the past few hours and would like to share some of my initial impressions for those who are interested in this product (and perhaps a little jealous that I have it before everyone else ). Graphics and Sound You may have seen screen shots. You may have watched some high-quality Quicktime movies from the Net. However, none of that matches the experience of playing this game on a big, widescreen TV while the soundtrack envelopes you in glorious Dolby Pro-Logic II. The levels are highly detailed. The framerate never falters. The music rocks hard and fast. The sense of speed is uncompromising. There is a thread elsewhere on this board concerning reference quality games. F-Zero GX is the next such title for the GameCube. Well done, Amusement Vision! Controls In typical Nintendo fashion, the controls are simple to learn, but difficult to master The control stick obviously steers your craft. The A button accelerates, and the Y button activates your boost. B acts as a braking device and the L and R shoulder buttons drift your ship ever so slightly to the left and right. In short, the controls feel a lot like past F-Zero games, particularly the N64 incarnation, and this, my friends is a very good thing indeed. Challenge Word around the Net is that this is a tough game. It is. You have your choice of three difficulty levels when you start out. Right now, I'm stuck on Novice, trying to beat the Emerald Cup. The problem is not that I can't win the race. I just can't finish them. I keep flying off the track and crashing, thus, ending my chances of winning. However, like another great Amusement Vision game, Super Monkey Ball I don't want to stop playing because I know that I can beat it if I play through it just one more time. Oh, and from what little I've seen of Story Mode thus far, I can safely say that these challenges will stump even the most avid F-Zero player. They not only require wits, skill, and quick reflexes, but a sharp mind to plan out the best course of action. This should keep me busy for quite a while. In short, I'm liking it so far. It looks like fans of the series will be very happy come later this month.