Developed by Shin’en Multimedia Published by Shin’en Multimedia Reviewed on Nintendo Switch
With the release of the new Nintendo Switch and a total of 12 game titles available at launch, you might think there’s not a whole lot to play. Most have probably picked up The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild and are wondering what they should pick up next. As part of the Switch launch, developer Shin’en Multimedia has released their latest racing game, Fast RMX, a follow sequel to their Wii U title Fast Racing Neo. Besides Zelda, Fast RMX is one of the best looking games in the Switch’s docked console mode, running at 1080p at a smooth 60 FPS.
Fast RMX is a futuristic hovercraft racing game so you won’t find a story mode, characters, or vehicle customization. Fast RMX has three main game modes to choose from: Championship mode, Multiplayer, and Hero mode. When playing Fast RMX on a Nintendo console the first thoughts that comes to mind is that it resembles the beloved F-Zero franchise. If you’re a Sony fan it’ll remind you of Wipeout. If the two series had a child, Fast RMX would be their baby.
Championship mode has three speed class, subsonic, hypersonic, and supersonic. Each one is a little more faster and more difficult than the other classes. Every class has 10 cups for a total of 30 different and unique tracks. 24 of them are returning from Fast Racing Neo with an updated look and feel to them. As you progress and come in at least third, you unlock up to 15 vehicles. After you unlock all 15, you’ll be unable unlock anymore in the later classes
What sets Fast RMX apart from F-Zero or Wipeout is its unique alternating boost pads on the tracks. When racing you will notice on the tracks that there will be either a orange boost strip or a blue boost strip. As you go over the boost you will have to match the color of the boost pad in order to gain the boost. This makes you pay close attention to the track layouts and to gain an advantage over your opponents. It keeps you aware of what’s ahead and switching your car between the colors is enjoyable. In addition to the colored boost pads, you can find orbs which gives you a manual boost to keep top speed or help play catch up from behind.
Multiplayer mode lets you play with up to 8 players online and via local multiplayer. Local multiplayer offers a 4 player split screen mode or ad hoc Switch to Switch communication. The online multiplayer works to some degree but seems unfinished and is a work in progress. Which, in all fairness, they didn’t have an opportunity to stress test the servers like the upcoming Splatoon 2 will later this month.
Online setup is like Mario Kart 8 as it randomly throws you into a room with 8 other players. After the race is over, the game randomly chooses a selection of tracks for the next race. Which ever track gets the most vote will be used in the next race. At times the racing is smooth but online multiplayer appear choppy while you’re racing. Also some tracks feel broken as you’re racing; if you happen to crash in certain parts of the track, depending on your position, it can bypass track sections to take you to first place. Hero mode is a mode that almost in some respects is like playing F-Zero. Not only are you racing against the CPU but you also have certain objectives to complete before finishing the race. You also have a shield; if you run out of boost energy or damage your shield to much, it’s game over.
In the absence of F-Zero, Fast RMX is a solid, fast paced hyper futuristic racing title. Shin’en Multimedia has created a template that they can update into something awesome in its own right to set itself apart from F-Zero and Wipeout. Shin’en Multimedia already stated that they plan to add more features such as time trials and online friend support. Here’s hoping they’ll address some of the online issues as well. If you’re looking for your next Nintendo Switch game, Fast RMX is a very solid pick that’s only $20.