Review: Fast RMX (Switch)

A remix that’s definitely worth your time!

By Robert Marrujo. Posted 03/20/2017 12:00 2 Comments     ShareThis
The Final Grade
Editor's Choice
grade/score info
1-Up Mushroom for...
Stunning visuals; works as both a home and mobile title; a ton of content; solid soundtrack; fun alone or with friends
Poison Mushroom for...
Difficulty level still might be a bit too intense for some; no ability to matchmake online races with friends

Fast Racing Neo was an absolute marquee eShop title on Wii U. It boasted stunning visuals, tight controls, and some of the most blisteringly fast gameplay a racing fan could ever hope for. Fast RMX on Switch is everything its predecessor was and then some. Clocking in at 60 frames per second no matter how it’s played, Fast RMX is a white-hot racer that any fan of the genre with a Switch owes it to themselves to download. Thankfully Shin’en continues to be at the forefront of development on Nintendo consoles with the transition to Switch, and Fast RMX is a title worthy of every bit of praise it receives, launch title or not.

For those who did give Fast Racing Neo a purchase, there might be some question as to whether or not Fast RMX is worth a download. Besides the fact that it’s the only way to play Fast on the go, it’s also clear that the development team put a lot of thought into this “remix” of Neo. For starters, there’s been an obvious effort made to streamline the user interface; menus are more focused and easily navigable than before. This might sound like a trivial detail, but it’s actually really beneficial for playing on the go; I play it on lunch breaks at work and it makes zipping right into a race a breeze. Having only three races per cup now also makes RMX more mobile-friendly.

That’s small potatoes compared to how packed to the brim with content this iteration of Fast is, though. There are numerous vehicles to unlock (15 in all) and six new tracks to race on besides the previous ones from Neo, bringing the total up to 30. That’s a lot of bang for $20 worth of buck, and sure to keep even the most ardent of racing fans busy for quite a while. Perhaps the biggest selling point is just how much more punch RMX’s graphics have on Switch. Neo was no slouch on Wii U, but the 1080p, 60 FPS buttery goodness was making my mouth water, it looked so good. Graphics aren’t everything, of course, but when a game looks this pretty… well, there’s nothing wrong with taking in the view!

Of course, Shin’en has been boastful about getting the game’s performance to remain consistent no matter how it’s played, and to that point I will say they’ve done a good job of making it happen. Though the game tops out at 720p on the Switch touch screen when in portable mode, RMX is still every bit as stunning and smooth on the go as it is at home. On a TV screen it looks even better, of course, and even when experienced in multiplayer it’s amazing how well RMX continues to play. The game can support up to eight players in local and online play; I’ve experienced the former, which was a solid time, but I haven’t been able to round up eight people locally for a match. I did experience the four-player split screen, though, and it was rock solid (though definitely not as user friendly on the Switch screen versus a TV).

If you’ve read other reviews of the game, the overwhelmingly common observation made by others is that RMX (indeed, the entire series of Fast games) plays a lot like the love child of Nintendo’s F-Zero and WipeOut. As tired as that comparison has become, it’s an apt one (so I’m going to use it, too!); RMX is fast sci-fi racing that easily lives up to the pedigree of those two classic franchises. It lacks a colorful cast of characters like F-Zero is home to, but more than makes up for this absence with the bleeding-edge cool aesthetics that WipeOut embraces. I’d even go so far as to say that RMX’s phasing mechanic (switching the vehicle from blue to orange and back in order to activate color-matched speed boosts on the racetrack) gives it a slight edge over WipeOut in my book.

Where RMX can frustrate is its difficulty level. Even on the lowest speed setting, it can take a while to learn courses well enough so as not to spend every race ricocheting off of everything in sight. Courses feature a variety of obstacles and hazards, which further ramps up the challenge. In previous entries I felt like Shin’en was perhaps a bit too unforgiving, making players hit boost orbs with pinpoint precision and offering not even an inch of sympathy after a wreck. RMX, however, has pulled back somewhat on the difficulty. It’s still a tough-as-nails game — crashes remain frequent if one isn’t careful, and getting in first will be tough even on the lowest speed class of races. That said, I also feel like it’s easier to recover from a bad turn, and snagging orbs is easier than before. None of this breaks the game, but instead opens it up for more players to enjoy everything that Fast has to offer.

I find myself extremely impressed by RMX. It takes everything about Neo and improves upon it, while also adding in new features and tweaks that make it suitable for both play at home and on the go. As a launch title, RMX boasts a level of thoughtfulness and polish that isn’t often seen until well into a console’s life cycle. I can’t recommend enough that players go and download this game; it’s a gorgeous nod to the sci-fi racers of old while still establishing its own identity. I can’t wait to see what Shin’en does next on Switch!

2 Responses to “Review: Fast RMX (Switch)”

  • 819 points
    Toadlord says...

    This is a very well-written review, Robert. I’m looking forward to reading more of your “Nindies” reviews for Switch games.

    You might have convinced me. I purchased Neo when it launched on Wii U, but admittedly haven’t given it the time it deserves. Jut like F-Zero Gx, the AI in Neo can smoke you, so it’s good to hear Shin’en eased up of the difficulty in maneuvering a bit. I consider myself to be pretty decent at racing games, but Neo was definitively challenging for me in that regard.

    Haven’t snagged a Switch yet, but this one is on the radar for when I do.

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