In a time when WipEout and F-Zero are no more, we often wonder where we can go for our fast sci-fi racing fix and Shin’en Multimedia has provided the answer with FAST RMX. This remixes the well-received Wii U exclusive FAST Racing Neo, resulting in a definitive version that contains all the DLC tracks and vehicles from the game in one big overall package, but it comes with a couple of twists.
FAST RMX is a racing game with a science fiction twist as you race through one of up to 30 different courses, all set on or around Earth with a variety of twists such as big robot creatures, going through space and more. This harks back to the sci-fi racers of yore and makes the game feel like it is from one cohesive world.
In each race, you have to control your speed, boosting when necessary, and changing phase to match coloured panels on the track to get a separate boost. As the game is fast, you need to learn how to drift so you don’t keep crashing into the walls. Other racers will also try to hit you from behind, causing you to spin out and lose momentum.
As of launch, the game has three modes. First is Championship Mode where you race against the computer in cups akin to Grand Prix. You play three matches per cup and can play on multiple difficulties. Doing this will unlock more cups and more vehicles, each with their own unique stats. The Championship Mode is a great way to show the progression in the game, but during play, it seemed to have difficulty issues.
The rubber-banding in the game seems somewhat excessive, with players you overtook and gained significant distance still managing to catch up with you even if you hit all the boosts and drive perfectly. There were also instances where despite near-flawless driving, we still only got second or third. Granted, it could also be down to the vehicle, but that makes the game seem a little broken. That said, that doesn’t stop it being fun or a challenge. Rather than curse the rubber-banding, it’s best to play more aggressively and knock out the opponents.
There’s also the new Hero Mode. Hero Mode acts more akin to an homage of the classic F-Zero where your Boost is also tied to the health of your vehicle. As you boost, your health goes down and you need to replenish it. This mode has you race against the computer again but in individual races. This is a lot of fun and can be a significant challenge when you get to the later, more complex, courses.
Finally, there’s the Multiplayer mode. You can play with up to four players split-screen on one device without it hitting performance. Alternatively, due to the wonders of the Nintendo Switch, you can play with up to eight players either using local wireless or by connecting to the Internet. The online features seem a bit barebones, with no way of playing with friends, but that has been promised as an upcoming update. The online runs fine, with little latency, but once you can challenge friends that will be when it truly shines.
The graphics of the game are great. You have the futuristic look with some amazing effects. For example, in one stage you’re going through a rain forest with ridiculously heavy rain creating some amazing effects on both the camera and the level itself. The game has a great style and just works well. It’s mostly crisp, but there are times when the resolution looks a bit off and it looks blurry. However, once you start getting into the race, you’ll barely even notice it due to how fast everything is going by. The game runs like a dream. During our time with the game, we noticed very few, if any, dropped frames. It truly shows the wizardry in place at Shin’en.
As for sound, everything is largely standard with some cool music fitting each of the stages. It’s nothing special, but it sounds nice to the ear and fits with the motif.
FAST RMX is a game that you have to get if you like your futuristic racers, and even if you don’t. While sometimes in the single player it feels like the AI is completely stacked against you, it’s a fun game – especially with friends. If Nintendo doesn’t bring F-Zero back but Shin’en continue with this series and keep quality at this level, I’d be very content.