FAST RMX, the sequel to 2015’s Fast Racing Neo, serves as a stand-in for their long-absent F-ZERO franchise at the launch of the Nintendo Switch. Like its predecessor, FAST RMX is a love letter to the futuristic racing games that are no longer present in today’s racing game scene, such as Wipeout. The game successfully imitates the elements that made its inspirations so successful – ridiculous speeds and a hilariously enthusiastic and cheesy announcer appropriately present.
FAST RMX feels like the F-ZERO game that Nintendo refuses to make. The racing in RMX is smooth – blasting past competitors at 500+ miles per hour is immensely satisfying and the over-the-top speeds are manageable while keeping players on their toes. There’s an intensity to be found here that has long been forgotten by today’s much slower racers. Fast Racing Neo’s “phase shifting” mechanic makes a return here as well. This allows your vehicle to change “phase” colors to match that of various boost pads in the tracks and gain a large speed boost. If, however, the vehicle’s phase does not match that of the boost pads’, its speed will decrease dramatically as if it had hit a speed bump. This adds an interesting rhythm-game-like dynamic to FAST RMX’s already enjoyable racing. Timing is hugely important – miss one critical boost and you might find yourself lacking the momentum to make a jump.
Also scattered across the tracks are little glowing orbs that power the racing machines’ boost which complements the gameplay loop of utilizing boost at optimal times, hitting boost pads whenever possible, and navigating around environmental hazards. It’s easy to pick up yet difficult to master, all while delivering a euphoric rush.
Every track is built with no concept of braking – it’s all speed, all the time.
The true stars of FAST RMX are the game’s tracks. The game features some very imaginative and varied environments to race in. Across the thirty playable levels are locales typical of futuristic racers – space stations, jungles, and alien deserts are all present. It even has Antarctica! Each level is littered with visual set pieces, such as fighter jets flying overhead or giant mechanical quadrupeds walking across a city. And despite players blasting across maps at over 500 miles per hour, these set pieces aren’t distracting, but rather serve as visual touches that give each track a unique feel. Each venue in FAST FMX focuses on different aspects of what makes a proficient racer – quick reflexes, mastery of phase shifts, and utilization of boost. What contributes most to the game’s sense of exhilaration is the strong level design. Every track is built with no concept of braking – it’s all speed, all the time.
Very few game modes are present at FAST RMX’s launch. There is a campaign (where you’ll unlock tracks and cars), multiplayer (including both split-screen and online), and Hero mode (a more difficult mode where players manage shields as well as boost). Three game types do not seem sufficient for a racing title in 2017, but its developer, Shinen Multimedia, has announced that more will come in the future. As it stands, FAST RMX is extremely bare-bones and gets old quickly. The only variety the game provides is through its breadth of tracks, many of which are gated off until the completion of the campaign mode. Placing restrictions on what levels are initially available makes multiplayer barer than it should be, not unlike having to unlock tracks in a rhythm game by playing single-player. I found myself having to quit a split-screen session to play the campaign in order to unlock more tracks. For a game that boasts its four-player split-screen features, restricting what can be accessed in said game modes is a bizarre design choice.
…restricting what can be accessed in said game modes is a bizarre design choice.
It’s easy to recommend FAST RMX to fans of futuristic racing titles. Its racing mechanics are tight and immensely satisfying. An expansive variety of tracks are available, all of which are as fun to drive in as they are to look at. However, its scarcity of game modes and imposed lock on tracks in multiplayer make replayability an issue. Despite this, FAST RMX is a great racing game and one hell of a launch title. Combined with an affordable price tag of $20, this game is an easy pick-up for owners of Nintendo’s new console.
Kevin played FAST RMX on the Nintendo Switch over the course of 6 or so hours. He completed the novice difficulty of the campaign and spent some time in multiplayer as well. You can read more about our review and scoring methods on this page.