The rise of new hardware brings fresh, exciting new software, this time in the arrangement of Shin’en’s Fast RMX.
In what feels like a gift to fans of Psygnosis’ Wipeout series, Fast RMX provisions a more than competent initial entry into the Nintendo Switch’s Racing library with a fast, frantic and ever-competitive futuristic racing experience. While it’s easy to identify its launch title traits, given only two game modes and a very barebones multiplayer offering, Fast RMX is a game I’ll continue to revisit for my fix of intense and addictive racing.
My first experience started in Fast RMX’s most expansive mode, Championship mode, which follows a familiar formula; top the leader-board after a 3-race series and you’ll unlock a new Cup to conquer and a new vehicle to ogle over. As I slung away from the start line, the premise of Fast RMX became apparent quite quickly. Throughout each track, blue and orange panels paint the terrain. As you fly around each circuit, racing over the coloured panels provides you with a sudden surge of boost. However, there’s one caveat – your ship shows either a blue or orange fuel burning from the rear of the ship, whereby the colour of your fuel can be changed by hitting the X button on your right joycon. To efficiently capture the boost from each boost panel, your exhaust fuel colour must match the colour of the panel. This mechanic becomes second nature and is seamless, as you speed from panel to panel, chaining together uncontainable volumes of speed.
As you ride bumper to bumper with your opponents and trade paint (of which you’ll do on many occasions), you’ll also gather boost orbs which are littered throughout each track. These orbs are added to your boost container, which you can call upon at will for a quick rush of speed using the R button. After just my first race, I could honestly feel sweat building under my pores – this may be the fastest racer I’ve played, atop other futuristic racing series, such as Nintendo’s own, F-Zero. The experience offered by Fast RMX is often overwhelming, as you fight the joycons to keep your ship on-track and guard off other nuisances on the grid who are pugnaciously vying for bragging rights.
While other futuristic racers leave much to be desired, Fast RMX offers a substantial offering of ships to choose from and circuits to conquer. Whilst I would have welcomed the ability to customise my ship for a personalised look, I’m hoping like many others that this will come in a future update. Fast RMX offers itself well to future Downloadable Content as well, as I’d gladly shell a few dollars for some fresh metal to strap myself into. Some tracks, in my honest opinion, seemed rushed from a design standpoint, as specific parts of the track just didn’t mesh together as well as I’d hoped, which often sent me hurtling off the track or transformed me into scrap metal. There were often sharp corners met with unlevelled platforms, which forced me to slow down – while it may just be my racing style that attributed to my displeasure, I often felt like I had to brake in places I shouldn’t need to, which sometimes broke the flow and my racing line. It’s important to note, however, that this is the minority. Most tracks are a racers’ delight – my favourite being the Scorpio Circuit in the Gallium Cup.
There were a few standout moments throughout my playthrough; unleashing a full gauge of boost is a euphoric feeling and arguably the most addictive trait of the game’s footprint. Coupling this together with a photo finish to the line highlights the fun and exhilarating experience I had with Fast RMX.
Multiplayer presents local split-screen, local multiplayer and a competent online multiplayer mode. I had the opportunity to test both local multiplayer with multiple Switch consoles, as well as Fast RMX’s online offering in my playthrough. Whilst both modes are bare and leave little to no customisation or format, they are fun and offer a small dose of adrenaline with friends and online rivals.
Graphics and Sound
Visually, Fast RMX is a blur of electric, vibrant colour and colourful light waves that ignite the track and its surroundings. Given the only recent birth of the Nintendo Switch, the visuals are incredibly vivid and engaging and by no means a slouch. With its arcade feel and futuristic finish, Fast RMX presents well and runs ever so smoothly. During my playthrough, switching from TV Mode to Handheld Mode quite frequently, there was not a single hitch of framerate or slowdown – a testament to quality development on such young hardware.
It is worth making special mention of the inclusion of HD rumble, which, I felt, was surprisingly present in Fast RMX. On tracks that brought a wisping, desert setting, the rumble feature whistled and moulded to my every move as I slung around the circuit. As gigantic wind turbines churned away just inches from my ship, the HD rumble came to the forefront, loudly whirring away and truly making me feel like I was being violently swept up and flung around the track.
Menus are colourful, fresh and vibrant, and load times are simply non-existent, bar a few seconds as you anticipate entry to your next race.
Sound is both crisp and immersive, with a wide variety of drum and bass and techno tunes, handcrafted in-studio. The selection of zaps, electric keyboards and basslines kept me immersed and are catchy, and as strange as it may sound, it somewhat keeps you in rhythm as you flow from corner to corner and is yet another ingredient in the recipe of destruction that unfolds in each race.
Shinen’s Fast RMX is a more than competent launch title for the Nintendo Switch, presenting a fun, immersive and addictive futuristic racer with unintentional throwbacks to Psygnosis’ Wipeout and Nintendo’s own F-Zero series. With quite an impressive number of tracks and ships to experiment with for a perfect formula out on ground level, its replay value is only hindered by the lack of single player game mode variations and little attention paid to its Multiplayer modes (Shinen have released a statement inferring more game modes are still to arrive in a future update). At a price of just $30 AUD, it’s a more than worthy addition to your Nintendo Switch library and an overlooked gem in the launch title timeline.