It’s hard to believe that the Nintendo Switch is officially in our hands, but that day is finally upon us. With the launch of any new system, a slate of new titles hit the eShop and local gaming stores, and like many of us, you may only have so much cash in your pocket. So, you may be asking yourself, “Is Fast RMX worth my hard earned money?” In short, yes.
Improving On The Past
For those unaware, Fast RMX is the third in a series of futuristic racing games from Shin’en Multimedia, following Fast Racing League on Wii and Fast Racing Neo on Wii U. Many see this game as a spiritual successor to the F-Zero series from Nintendo, as it follows many of the same traits – speed, floating cars, and futuristic beats all makes an expected appearance.
When I say this game has speed, I am not kidding. It is extremely fast, nearly to the point of disorientation. While that may seem like a bad thing, trust me when I say it gives you a rush like nothing else currently on the market. You hold down the gas, fly down the track, hit boost pads, avoid obstacles, and try to come in the prized 1st-place position.
What makes Fast RMX so unique is the strategy involved in each race. As you speed through the course, you’ll come across different colored boost pads – blue and orange. As you race, you’ll be able to hit a button and change your cars “phase” between the two colors. If you hit the boost pad with the matching color, you will shoot out into the lead, but if you manage to go over it in the opposite color, your speed will be greatly reduced.
You’ll also be able to collect colored boost “pellets” that allows you to store-up a special boost meter. This can be activated at any time with the press of a button, shooting you ahead, similar to a boost pad. However, you can also use it to knock out a rival vehicle. If you come up on another racer, hit your boost and send them spinning out of control. If you miss, however, you may send yourself flying right off the track.
Remember how I said this game is extremely fast? Well, with great speed, comes even greater difficulty. This game is extremely challenge, even on the first difficulty setting. One wrong boost or nudge of the control stick, and you could be careening off the track, crashing in an instant. While you will return to the race, you will lose you lead, never able to regain it. It’s this “gone in an instant” sense of tension that makes this nail-biting racer so rewarding. While it may sound extremely challenging, once you master the controls, you’ll be on your way to victory.
Like most racers nowadays, it is worth mentioning that this game does face some of the standard “rubber-banding” issues that come with modern-day racers. While you may have hit every boost perfectly, taken every turn like a champ, and made your opponents eat your dust, at the first sign of struggle your opponents will be blazing ahead of you in the blink of an eye. Some may see this as a issue, but it does add to the games overall challenge.
Modes Of Play
While this is a standard racer, Shin’en Multimedia did provide us with multiple ways to enjoy going around the games 30 courses. The main meat-and-potatoes of this game is Championship Mode. This decent-sized campaign includes 3 CCs, which span across 10 cups with 15 unlockable vehicles. This is where you will be spending the majority of your time with this title.
After completing Championship Mode, move on to Hero Mode. This mode plays a lot like F-Zero. In this situation, your boost meter also becomes your shield meter. Do you risk using your boost to speed ahead? Or save it up to crash into on-coming racers? While this mode is great, I do wish it had more options. You can only choose to race one race at a time. I wish there was an opportunity to take on a full cup in this style of gameplay.
Once you’ve mastered the courses in single-player, you’ll be able to test your mettle in Multiplayer Mode. Here you can play 2-4 player local split screen, 2-8 player local communication (where you can wireless play with 8 separate Switch consoles), and 2-8 player online mode. The online mode works great for a launch title, yet, it is worth mentioning, that in multiple racers I would notice my opponents oftentimes glitching down the track. Hopefully, this can be addressed with the recently announced future updates.
As far as controllers go, you can play this with any of the Nintendo Switch control schemes. You can play in handheld mode, with the joycon grip, joycons by themselves, the pro controller, or the individual joycons on their side (great for tabletop mode). However you like to play, there will be an option for you.
A Beautiful View
The first think you’ll notice when playing Fast RMX is how beautiful of a game it really is. While the world may be passing you by at break-neck speeds, you can’t help but admire your surroundings. It’s extremely impressive to know that it runs at a steady 1080p 60fps in TV mode and 720p 60fps in handheld mode. This includes split-screen multiplayer.
The atmosphere, weather effects, and vehicles all have a great shine. Lighting effects look beautiful, and the water is mesmerizing. If you want to show off how impressive a game can look on Nintendo Switch, look no further than Fast RMX.
The Final Lap
With only a handful of Nintendo Switch launch titles, some may believe that it doesn’t have much to offer outside of The Legend Zelda: Breath of the Wild. While I do feel that Breath of the Wild is the first must-own title on the system, if you have enough money for a second game, I suggest purchasing Fast RMX. It can be a great pallet cleanser from your long hours of adventuring. With its fast speed, beautiful graphics, and ambitious difficulty, I see this as the second must-own game on the newly furbished system.
Final Score: 4/5