The Super Nintendo Entertainment System is home to a multitude of great games. Most of the classics still hold up today. Games such as Super Metroid, Final Fantasy VI, and Donkey Kong Country all are still fun to play and still look pleasing to the player’s eye. One game that didn’t quite hold up throughout the years is Stunt Race FX.
Stunt Race FX is a cute little racing game where the player controls one of several sentient vehicles: A coupe, a race car, a 4 wheel drive truck, or the unlockable motorcycle. The feature that makes this racing game stand out from a game like Super Mario Kart or F-Zero is that the graphics are entirely polygonal, using the Super FX chip to power the 3D engine.
When this game was still new, I played it constantly. I worked to unlock everything within the game such as the motorcycle, 2XD, and achieve the best possible times on all the courses. I LOVED Stunt Race FX. Unfortunately I lost track of my original cartridge, but was pleased to find that it was super cheap when I started collecting for the SNES again. Of course I purchased it right away.
When I popped the game in to play it for the first time in years, I was slightly disappointed. This wasn’t the game that I remembered. While I could forgive the blocky polygons, I couldn’t get over the framerate and background pop-up. I remember the game playing very smoothly as a kid, but playing it today, it’s very jerky, making the whole experience somewhat lackluster.
Of course some would argue that the original Star Fox suffered the same fate, but I hadn’t played that game as a kid. The realization that the Super FX chip didn’t age well didn’t hit me the same way with Star Fox as it did with Stunt Race FX. Unfortunately, Stunt Race FX just feels near unplayable on the original hardware. But there is hope.
Without going into too much detail, there is a way to overclock Super Nintendo emulators to play games like Stunt Race FX and Star Fox much more smoothly than when they appeared on the SNES. The framerate of said games is much improved and much more playable to today’s standards in 3D gaming. I haven’t yet attempted to play Stunt Race FX on an overclocked emulator yet, but watching videos on YouTube make the game look like a much more fun experience.
Stunt Race FX isn’t nearly as great as it was back in the days of the 16 bit consoles, and it’s a bit sad for me to see. At least I’ll be able to hold onto good memories, and maybe even give it a shot on an overclocked emulator. It won’t be as authentic, but maybe it’ll match my memories, and I’ll have a fun time playing a great game again.