Fast RMX review


I never realized that I had actually forgotten to review this game. Not sure how that slipped my mind.

So I picked this up like most people to have more than just Zelda to play on Switch, it being a semi-exclusive. Well, it’s exclusive, but it’s also basically a port of Fast Racing Neo from the Wii U. It just happens to have new content in addition to what was on the Wii U version.

So let’s make this a mini-review. It’s a pretty straightforward game, so no need to go super in-depth. Read on!

Developer: Shin’en
Publisher: Shin’en
Date of Release: March 3rd 2017
Platform: Switch
Genre: Futuristic racing

Rated E for Everyone

Presentation

60 FPS. This is really the most important part. A game this fast requires smooth framerate, and the small team at Shi’nen more than deliver. Not only does it look great either on the TV screen or the Switch screen, but it runs at a smooth framerate at all times (I don’t know about multiplayer). Graphically it looks great. It’s a futuristic racer so there’s lots of metal and futuristic cities and cool hovering cars and shit, as you might expect. They’re not doing anything crazy here. Each level does feature its own visual gimmicks though. One level has freaking giant Dune-ish sandworms, for example. The levels are recognizable as they differentiate themselves from each other for the most part.

On the music side, some techno-ish stuff that you’d expect in other futuristic racer. Not really much to say about it. It’s good. Well designed on the sound effect front, you always know what’s happening. Very useful to know when you’re picking up boost power-ups (because sometimes you pick them up without visually noticing it).

Gameplay

So it’s a futuristic racer. Conceptually it has a lot in common with every other game in the genre. There’s 10 cups. Before any of them you choose your car for that cup. Each car has slightly different stats in acceleration, top speed and boost. I don’t know exactly if there’s other differences so I just go by those (my go-to right now is the Rochdale). Then you do 3 races, each race gives you points depending on which position you end in, and then you’re placed compared to everyone else. Then you unlock a following cup if you get a good rank, and a new car if you don’t have them all yet.

Controls are fairly simple. A to accelerate, B to brake (I never do this), R to boost, ZL and ZR to lean left and right, and X to change color. The leaning mechanic is pretty key, as it enables you to do tighter turns, and is your best bet for moving in the air during jumps.

Courses have 2 ways to boost. First is pellets that fill up a meter, then you can press R to boost. Hitting enemies during a boost makes them spin out slightly. Second way is boost strips on the floor. Similar to shield-charging strips in F-Zero. However, if your car is the wrong color you will actually be slowed down. That’s why you have the color-change mechanic. Sometimes the game lines up strips of different colors so you have to switch to optimize your speed. There’s also jumps and occasionally other stage elements where color matters.

So the game as a whole is about optimizing your speed. Not smashing into walls, getting as much boost time as you can. Leaning into turns usually helps. In the air I’m actually not sure what is preferable, I try to get back to the ground ASAP, but maybe that’s wrong. The tiniest mistake though is gonna mess your speed up. It’s a really precise racer, with a massive sense of speed. It tends to be pretty okay about you hitting walls, as long as you don’t do that while in the air or just straight out ram into a wall directly (in which case your car will completely crash and you’ll have to wait a bit to respawn).

Not TOO sure about rubberbanding, it doesn’t feel really strong, though there’s some races where I was doing okay and not being passed, but then on the third lap I’d be getting my best lap time and end up being passed. So who knows. I think there is some, but it’s also possible my best lap time just wasn’t all that good.

As for content, there’s 3 difficulties in championship mode with a ton of race tracks. Then if you don’t find it hard enough in championship mode there’s Hero mode, where the boost bar is also a shield bar. There’s plenty of stuff.

Overall

Fast RMX is a must-buy on Switch. With Nintendo’s continued insistence to not make a new F-Zero, this is as close as you’re getting. Not QUITE the same thing, but there you go. The game is a new version of Fast Racing Neo, but there’s a bunch of new tracks, and the cars are apparently slightly redesigned, so even if you have the Wii U game this one is still worth getting.

The game itself is really fast, really smooth, and requires precise, talented play. It’s really damn fun. And there’s plenty of content here.

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