Fast RMX is probably the Switch game for which I was the most hyped after Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild. It's essentially a "definitive" edition of Fast Racing Neo on the Wii U with all of the DLC included, but it feels like so much more than that. For starters, Neo on Wii U rendered at 720p and just upscaled to 1080p; on Switch while docked, it usually keeps a solid native 1080p, though it does drop to 900p at times. More important than the resolution, though, is the frame rate; no matter whether it's running at 720p undocked or 1080p docked, it keeps a solid 60 fps with no noticeable frame rate drops whatsoever. For a high speed racer, that's critical, and it's what makes this game really shine.
Okay, a little history lesson on this series because it hasn't gotten the recognition it deserves. It started on the Wii as a digital WiiWare game called Fast Racing League, and that's where its legacy of pushing hardware to its limits begins. Even running at 480i on the Wii, Fast Racing League looked remarkable, and it performed extraordinarily well, running smoothly. Fast Racing Neo released on Wii U in 2015 and brought the high speed action into HD. It changed the game mechanics slightly with the ability to shift between orange and blue to take advantage of differently colored boosts. Fast Racing Neo was extremely well received, but the low system sales of the Wii U limited its potential success (though it did see a physical release with all the DLC in Europe). The solution, naturally, was to release an enhanced version of the game - a "remix" - on the Switch, a Nintendo platform that promises much higher success. Higher resolution, the added DLC features, and a system more conducive of local multiplayer? Fuck. Yes.
So what's the actual gameplay like? The best way I can think of to describe it is "The best F-Zero game Nintendo never made." You race in super fast future floating cars - like F-Zero - and the twists and curves in the track require a certain degree of track memorization - like F-Zero - and you explode hella hard if you hit something too hard - like F-Zero. You'll want to collect the orbs floating around the track to collect speed boost energy, and you'll need to swap between your vehicle's orange glow and the blue glow to match the color of the boost strips on the track. Taking advantage of these boost spots and judicious use of your accumulated boost energy is the key to victory.
The game supports local and online multiplayer in addition to the traditional single player races. Completing race cups will unlock additional vehicles to use, and there are 10 cups in the game, each one consisting of four tracks each. For each of the cups, there are three difficulty settings. In addition to the cups, there's also a time attack mode for those who want to take their skills to the next level. Personally, I'm trash at this game - I started having MAJOR trouble winning about 3/4 of the way through the cups on the easiest difficulty - but the game is an incredible amount of fun. This is probably my all-time favorite racing game, and I never thought any game would take that title away from the N64's Beetle Adventure Racing.
Fast RMX is, as far as I'm concerned, the greatest console racing experience of all time. Not all will agree with me, of course - you have to like this particular type of racing game. It's not a driving sim like Forza, and it's not a kart racer like Mario Kart or Hello Kitty Kruisers (that game's shit, never play it). If you're into high speed high adrenaline fast reaction racers, though, you'll never find one better than Fast RMX, and that includes F-Zero in my opinion. All three of Shin'ens racing games have been incredible experiences, but Fast RMX is their masterpiece work. If you have a Switch, do NOT pass this one up.
My Rating - 5 Neps
I'm a teacher.
And I like to play video games. I like to collect video games. I like to talk about video games, and I like to write about video games. During the day, I teach high school history; during the night, I spend my spare time gaming. Then I write about it.