Written by Mark Turcotte
Nintendo platforms have been known for their intense multiplayer racers. With series like Mario Kart and F-Zero becoming staples of their platforms it’s no surprise that fans have come to expect fun racing experiences to be available. At it’s launch the Nintendo Switch currently lacks a title in either series but there is one title that has sped it’s way to the new platform and has even drawn some inspiration from one of the best. Fast RMX channels the speed and intensity of the F-Zero series and for the most part does it pretty well.
Fast RMX, developed by Shin’en Multimedia GmbH, is an extremely fast racer which puts you behind the steering wheel of an anti-gravity vehicle and pits you racing against others through a futuristic sci-fi world. When I say extremely fast, I mean extremely fast. The speed of this game cannot be stressed enough. The game will test your reflexes throughout each of the 30 tracks contained in the game. The main mode of the game follows the typical Mario Kart concept having you pick a cup to race, which consists of 3 races. Your placement in each race scores you a certain amount of points and then at the completion of all the races your points are tallied and you are crowned victorious or sent to the garage with your ego tarnished.
The game features a boost meter for your vehicle that you are able to use at the push of a button to increase your speed to even higher levels. You fill this boost meter by gathering small orbs littered throughout each track. One interesting mechanic that the game introduces is a requirement to constantly be aware of the track ahead. This seems like an obvious thing but in Fast RMX you can shift the color of the burners on your vehicle from either blue or orange. There are boost and jump pads on each track that require you to have the correct color booster equipped to take advantage of the pad. If the wrong one is equipped you will lose speed or even worse if its a jump pad. The wrong color on a jump pad does not activate the pad and you will quickly see yourself crash off the track. This adds an element of skill to the game that many of the previous mentioned series have never included.
With this new mechanic the game really begins to open up. As you race your way across the games included 30 tracks you will encounter some rather difficult ones that will test your hand eye coordination on a level that many of these other games don’t. This can be both a good thing or a bad thing depending on the style of racing you are looking for. There is almost never any downtime in this game. You will constantly be on the edge of your seat with sweaty palms and your heart racing. I have a feeling casual players may find it a bit too intense and be turned off.
The game does offer a few more modes including a Hero mode which tasks you with completing races with set objectives and of course a required multiplayer mode. The game allows for 8 player online multiplayer or local play via the Switch. It also features 4 player splitscreen-multiplayer either in TV Mode or Table Top Mode. With the intense speed and requirement for constant track awareness Table Top mode is almost unplayable, especially in 4 player splitscreen. The screen size of the Nintendo Switch just does not lend itself well for this type of play. Single player handheld mode is passable but the preferred way is definitely on a TV that allows you to take everything in.
The game is not without its faults. The controls at times feel a bit loose. For a game that requires focus on the level that this does, I found myself getting frustrated often and for things that seemed out of my control. The tracks feel a bit unfair at times with their launch pads shooting you over gaps and too often leading you off the track. It is a bit light on game
modes too, but for the $20 price tag makes this forgivable. Fast RMX is definitely not the game that will keep you invested for hours, but for a quick race or two or for that party night where you want to challenge your friends to a few races it will do the trick.
Fast RMX has a lot going for it. It is currently the first racing game on the newly released Nintendo Switch with a fan base craving a multiplayer racer. It’s low price point and smooth 60 FPS visuals make it appear to be a worth while purchase for gamers looking for more titles to play on their new system. It may not be a perfect racer and it’s intensity may turn some players off, but in the end Fast RMX delivers a worthwhile experience that will surely provide some hours of fun and excitement.