Fast RMX Review: Gotta Go Fast
A high-octane racer sets down on the Nintendo Switch. How does it fare? Our review.
The Nintendo Switch is upon us, and to many an F-Zero fan’s chagrin, there isn’t a new iteration of the game on the console yet. Will there ever be? It’s not a sure thing. But that’s why we have Fast RMX, developer Shin’en’s love letter to the frenetic racing series. Combining svelte hover vehicles and blinding speed with the color-shifting convention of games like Thumper and Ikaruga, it scratches the itch for that need for speed we have in us all. It may not be F-Zero, but it doesn’t need to be.
The Fast Racing League Lives On
Fast RMX isn’t part of a new franchise, which might surprise you. It’s actually an update of the second game in the Fast Racing League series, which launched as a WiiWare title back in 2011. Fast RMX is an extended and updated version of the Wii U’s Fast Racing Neo. It comes with all the same tracks that Fast Racing Neo originally included as well as its six downloadable tracks for a total of 30 courses. Those previous games have all drawn well-justified comparisons to both Wipeout and F-Zero, but not simply for stylistic or mechanical reasons. They’re fantastic, too.
Fast RMX is a game all about speed, and it feels thrilling and electric to sling yourself into each curve and straightaway as you careen past your opponents. The vehicles themselves feel light as a feather, no matter which you end up choosing, and all are capable of giving you that feeling of the wind whipping your hair all about as you zoom through serpentine tracks aplenty. It’s simple to jump into and start placing first in the various cups, but that’s not all you need to worry about.
Switch That Polarity
Sure, you need to make sure you don’t fall off the edge of the track in the many open-air environments. While you’re zipping by the other racers at breakneck speeds, you also need to concern yourself with changing phases from orange to blue or blue to orange and back again when you spot a boost strip or jump pad coming up. One wrong move and you’ve made a grave mistake that will keep you from first place, or any respectable position, at least when it comes to the jump pads. It’s extremely important that you don’t miss those.
This type of mechanic fits right in with the futuristic racer’s thumping techno soundtrack and acts as a refreshing assault on your reflexes. Sometimes you won’t be able to keep up, but that’s where all the fun comes from. It would be much less of a game if you didn’t have to concern yourself with switching phases, so it was a great idea to go ahead and include this feature amongst the blisteringly fast racing that’s already there.
The game has several modes to play through. Championship is the main set of leagues you’ll want to concern yourself with, including Subsonic, Supersonic, and Hypersonic cups. Just like in Mario Kart or similar racers you’ll find that the earlier cups are a piece of cake at first and let yourself get cocky, only to realize that later stages are waiting with swift vengeance to knock you down a few pegs.
The tracks themselves will begin fighting against you, sprinkling in frustrating setpieces that you’ll have to contend with in addition to the other vehicles dead set on victory. These can range from fire that erupts out of nowhere to enormous mechanical opponents that delight in getting right in your way. That’s not even counting the other racers, who will absolutely try to knock you off the track or impede your progress in any way possible. Things get outright cutthroat as you rise through the cup rankings, as Fast RMX ensures it’s fun while still feeling like a challenge.
Aside from the fact that it excels at giving players that sense of speed we all covet, Fast RMX also feels right at home on the Switch, whether you play it at home or on the go. You can play it in short bursts on your commute or sit at home for some marathon-style play, especially if you decide to use the Pro Controller, which feels like the definitive way to experience Fast RMX. If you don’t have it, however, all of the possible configurations of your Switch controllers, even your Joy-Cons, feel like a breeze to play.
Multiplayer makes sense here as well, and this will no doubt be one of your go-to titles for sharing and showing off your Switch to friends and family. You can play with up to four players via split-screen and eight players for online races, but if you have multiple Switch systems you could potentially put them together to accomodate additional players.
Unfortunately, online play left much to be desired when I went to test a few games out. While online races function well enough, it’s pretty barebones as it is, with no way to talk to other players right now and a bizarre setup that felt rushed or tacked on. I had no lag or issues connecting to games thankfully, but this is a facet I wish had been worked on more at length before the game was released to the public.
Tearin’ Up The Road
Fast RMX is, however, an excellent racer that’s every bit worth picking up to add to your arsenal of Nintendo Switch games. There are plenty of tracks, vehicles, and reasons to keep coming back for more. But the one you can’t ignore is the greatest of all: The speed. It may not be the racing game you asked for on the Switch, but it’s the racing game you didn’t know you needed.
This review was based on a Nintendo Switch digital copy provided by the publisher. Fast RMX is available now digitally for Nintendo Switch and for $19.99. The game is rated E.
- High-speed races are a total rush.
- Plenty of tracks to choose from.
- Delightful phase-shifting mechanics.
- Solid frame rate, excellent aesthetics.
- Barebones online multiplayer options.
- Little to do after finishing all the cups if you like playing solo.
Brittany Vincent posted a new article, Fast RMX Review: Gotta Go Fast
They're working on an update to make playing with friends easier/possible, and adding other features as well: http://www.nintendolife.com/news/2017/03/fast_rmx_developer_is_already_working_on_an_update_for_the_switch_launch_title