Fast RMX is a racing game developed by Shin’en Multimedia as a launch exclusive for the Nintendo Switch. It is an expanded version of the game Fast Racing Neo that was released on the Wii U. It features all the same tracks and cars provided in that installment, but it adds six new courses, along with a graphical overall to make it one of the best looking games released on the Switch so far.
Fast RMX gives players the freedom between the variety of different control options and various features. Taking advantage of everything the Switch has to offer with motion controls, HD rumble, and being able to play with a single joycon, both, or the pro controller. I have tried all of these configurations and they all work nicely, but oddly enough I found myself enjoying playing with a single joycon the most. The game has such a simple control scheme that it translates very well to that state. You really only have several buttons to press, the triggers on any format for leaning left to right to dodge obstacles, a simple button press to accelerate and another to come to a complete stop. Also clicking in the stick or the right bumper allows the player to boost after collecting the pickups that allow this mechanic. Also the games big mechanic is color switching at the tap of the top button, or usually X. This allows the player to switch between blue and orange depending on which stream of color they see, allowing you to drive faster, and avoid being slowed down. The game clearly shows the versatile nature of the platform, giving people the option of how they want to play, with a variety of control options.
The game offers several modes, ranging from singleplayer to multiplayer. Let’s start with talking about the “Championship Mode”. Championship mode is a Grand Prix of three tracks for every cup. As long as you finish in the top three after completing a cup you will unlock the next cup and a new available car. After you finish every race in subsonic difficulty, you unlock the supersonic difficulty mode. It provides a harder challange than what was previously available, and going through this mode should get the rest of the cars you need. This is where the issue with Fast RMX’s unlock system comes into play, before you even unlock the hypersonic mode you already have every vehicle unlocked. So the players intensive would be to either fill out that 100% completion by finishing first in every cup, or going out of their way for a challenge.
Grand RMX’s other singleplayer offering is something called “Hero Mode”. Hero mode also offers the varying difficulty’s previously addressed for championship mode. The difference is you can select single racing tracks instead of an entire cup to play through. As the twist with hero mode is you must finish first, and your boost energy is connected to an energy shield around you, if you run out boost juice, you crash and must restart the challenge over from the start. I found this mode quite repetitive and lackluster. Maybe if they offered different challenges on every track I would find more enjoyment, but it’s the same experience each time, and is where your time with Fast RMX should not be spent. I would have much preferred more traditional modes like a time trial, or some sort of battle mode as seen in other racing titles, but those are committed as of the writing of this review.
Fast RMX has a multiplayer slew as well. Featuring online play, splitscreen play, and local communication with other Switch’s nearby. The game’s splitscreen runs just fine and allows up to 4 players at once. From what I noticed the game always maintains 60 frames per second despite this, and there appears to be no graphical downgrade. Even when playing on tabletop mode the game still ran flawlessly. When it comes to local communication with another Switch, I managed to play one of my friends and it worked seamlessly, like we are on the same system. Now when it comes to the game’s online mode is when we run into issues. The online supports up to 8 players, and functions similar to other games in this genre. But the connection issues are apparent, at times other players cars look like they needlessly jerky and sometimes change positions. For example I had wrecked, but when I was spawned again I was somehow in first place despite merely being in 4th place. It also takes a while to find a match sometimes, when I played on launch day I sat there for 6 minutes waiting for a match that was in progress. As far as I know you also can not invite your friends, which is just laughable in 2017. Just odd connection issues that get in the way of a stellar experience otherwise.
The game’s various tracks are for the most part, very well made and suite the mechanics they have introduced. They make plenty use out of the boost and color switching abilities the player is given. They also look varied, from racing on mars, to a rain forest, to a futuristic city, it will take players awhile before they get old of the beautiful surroundings. The cars also have a varied degree in difference. Differing in acceleration, top speed, and braking. This makes every car feel somewhat unique to play as, but it makes some cars like the Guang Zhou almost useless since it has rather dull stats. But the variety in the way they look, and play is there for some competitive players to find what works best with each track.
Fast RMX is easily the best looking game on the Switch right now. Running at 1080p 60fps while the system is docked and 720p 60fps when it’s in handheld mode. Both don’t take anything from the experience as it showcases some of the thing’s that can be done with this hardware, while showing the developers skills in creating a technical marvel for the platform. All the sounds are very crisp and make you feel like your in a race, especially combined withe HD rumble in the controllers. The voice announcer from F-Zero GX appears as the announcer in this game, but he is heavily underused having very few lines, but they are welcome despite being on occasion. Bottom line, the game just looks great in every single way, aside from one small complaint when the vehicles crash the animation used, isn’t the best.
Now Fast RMX is a good game, one of the better launch games for a system we have seen in a long time. But it is not without it’s flaws, with some barren modes, and in need of a better online infrastructure. But it’s fun, the game plays well with every controller setting, and it’s beautiful, all wrapped in the price of $19.99. If you own a Switch this is one of the game’s you should buy for it. I give Fast RMX a 7.5 out of 10, hope to see you walking around playing this on your Switch!
Rating: 7.5 / 10
Developer: Shin’en Multimedia
Publisher: Shin’en Multimedia
Available On: Nintendo Switch
Release Date: March 3rd, 2017
Review Copy Info: A digital copy of this game was purchased by RealGamerNewz for the purpose of this review.