The Nintendo Switch is here! Hooray! Grab your Joy-Cons, sit close to the TV and get to playing! Alternatively, grab your Joy-Cons, attach them onto the system and get to playing! You’ll need games for that, though. Surely you’ve picked up The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild and Shovel Knight: Treasure Trove, right?
If those aren’t enough and speed-thrill racing is more your idea of a good time, you might want to suit up and take a look at Shin’en’s FAST RMX.
If you’ve played Wipeout, you’ve got a pretty good idea of what you’re getting into with FAST RMX, a “ReMiX” of the Wii U’s FAST Racing Neo. The two are so similar that I’m surprised no suits have been filed. You pilot a futuristic hovercraft, flying in circles around a track to achieve the best possible lap times; repeat until satisfied. Successful racing unlocks new hovercrafts and tracks to fly around on. Simple, but effective.
FAST RMX’s addition to the formula is an Ikaruga-style color-switching system; your car is either red or blue at any given time, and flying over boost pads of the same color will result in some much-needed speed. You’ve got little boost pickups to grab as well, offering some boost a la carte, but to make the best possible times you’ll need to hit all the boost pads on the track while you’re the right polarity. It’s a cute idea, but it feels like taking a system that works in most games and adding an unnecessary step of complication. Still, given the game lacks Mario Kart-style weaponry, the color system adds an additional level of engagement.
Also like Wipeout (or F-Zero, for that matter) FAST RMX takes some getting used to because of how, well, fast it is. Your ship blazes around the track at mindblowing speeds, even at lower difficulty classes, and it’s difficult to get a handle on how the thing moves for the first few races. You’ll need to start turns well in advance of when you need to make them, for instance, since they come up much more quickly than they might in a traditional vehicle. Wipeout (and, really, F-Zero) veterans shouldn’t have too much trouble picking up on this, but it can be a rough learning curve for newbies. You’ve got a few modes to race in, including a passable online multiplayer option, but they tend to vary largely in how fast your ship goes and how many mistakes you can make rather than being drastic changes to the concept.
The presentation is pretty standard for this sort of futuristic racer. Admittedly, FAST RMX looks pretty damn good given the Switch’s relatively unimpressive hardware, but the ship designs, environments and music alike are all fairly generic. Still, it’s up there with Breath of the Wild as one of the better-looking games in the console’s sparse launch window, so there aren’t many complaints as far as aesthetics go.
It’s unsurprising that FAST RMX was launched around the same time as the Switch itself, as the console’s hurting for launch-window games and this is a decent, pretty racer to show off the system’s capabilities. Fans of antigravity racing games will probably have a good time with this, as will anyone who played the original FAST Racing Neo. It’s only a $20 game, so if Zelda and Shovel Knight can’t satisfy your raging Switch cravings, then check FAST RMX out.