If there’s one thing people like, it’s going fast. The main complaints with more recent sonic games are that the gameplay was slowed down a lot. Fast RMX by Shin’en Multimedia helps you hover around at the speed of sound for hours. Fast RMX, the sequel to Fast Racing Neo on Wii U, is a futuristic antigravity racer. That means you drive around futuristic landscapes in a car that hovers above the ground, and you do so very fast.
Committed to their speed, there’s no tutorial that lets you wade into the gameplay. When you load up the game for the first time, you select the difficulty, track, and car, and start playing. In a time where “too much hand-holding” is a common complaint, it’s a refreshing dip in the deep end to pick up a game for the first time and start playing.
There are several cars to choose from, each with only three stats: acceleration, top speed, and boost. This means there are enough cars for every combination of stats to find one that controls perfectly for you. Many racing games give you plenty of cars with over half a dozen stats, but there’s a time and place for that, and Fast RMX likes being simple. You can’t go fast if you’re scratching your head looking for the best car.
I’ll go into this more in the presentation section, but Fast RMX is a futuristic racer. You get to explore futuristic and physics defying environments. It makes the game much more appealing than your standard racer where you race around the same tracks in different configurations.
With plenty of racing games out there, games need a special mechanic to set themselves apart from the competition. A little something that makes it stand out. Boost orbs and meters aren’t anything new, but Fast RMX adds phase shifting to the mix. Your car has two phases, blue and orange. Every track has blue and orange boost panels lining the ground. If you go over an orange boost while your car is in an orange phase, you speed up. If you’re in the wrong phase, you slow down. It’s nothing too complicated, and adds something extra to think about while racing.
“You decide whether to spin out another car or if you want to save your boost to recover after someone hits you”
You can decelerate by releasing the A button and lean left and right with the triggers. This lets the cars hand;e well despite the insane speed of the game. It takes more skill to handle cars with a higher top speed, but once you get the hang of it it’s a ton of fun.
Boosting is a standard mechanic in these kinds of games. Boosting off the track is very common, but when you play the tracks several times you’ll get a good idea of when you should and shouldn’t use your boost. If a car that’s boosting hits a car that isn’t boosting, they’ll get spun out and lose their built-up speed. This adds another layer of tactics when playing the game. You decide whether to spin out another car or if you want to save your boost to recover after someone hits you.
The phase shift mechanic is fast and easy, and you can change the button for any action if the default placement doesn’t work for you. The gameplay is near perfect.
“Watching your car explode is always fun”
The game looks incredible. It runs smoothly at 60 FPS despite cars zooming and robots stomping around. The sleek graphics work well with the futuristic and gravity defying setting. Although the “google maps” texture in a few tracks looks a bit off, everything else looks fine. Watching your car explode when you drive it off the track is always fun, and it’s awesome seeing another car exit boost mode. It looks like they’re dropping out of hyperspace in a sci-fi movie.
The soundtrack is okay. It’s not terrible, and it fits in with the high-speed gameplay well enough, but it’s very generic and there isn’t anything notable about it. It’s interchangeable with the soundtrack to just about any racing game, and that’s not good.
Fast RMX wants you to go fast, and makes it as easy as possible for you to do so. It looks amazing and the track designs are mind-blowing. It’s a standout futuristic racing game with eight(!) player co-op and an online mode. Nintendo made a great choice picking this for one of their launch titles.
Final score: 8.5/10