Despite the Wii-U’s many shortcomings, it managed to produce a clutch of excellent releases that flew right under the radar of most gamers. Notable among them a low-profile clone of Wipeout and F-Zero named Fast Racing Neo. The second in the Fast Racing League franchise — which first touched down as a WiiWare title in 2011 — it was met with mostly positive reviews from critics when it launched in 2015. Two years hater and it arrives freshly remastered on the Nintendo Switch as Fast RMX — a title that caters to gamers' racing needs two months before Mario Kart 8 Deluxe makes its appearance.
As soon as you hit the track in your hovercraft-like vehicle, the appeal is immediate — your craft flitting across lanes and ahead of the competition as you fly through curves, light as a feather. The illusion of speed is so complete that you it's hard not to feel a little dizzy when your craft veers too close to the edge of an open air track.
Simply staying on the track isn't enough, however, as you’ve also got to keep up with Fast RMX’s Thumper and Ikaruga-like insistence that you swap between orange and blue phases as you hit like-coloured boost strips and jump pads. Hit a blue jump pad while still in the orange phase and you’ll swiftly find yourself plummeting towards an ignoble end. In lieu of offensive weaponry, it's a mechanic that adds another layer of complexity to what could otherwise be written off as a speed junkie’s fever dream. It's not enough to be fast - you need to strategise as well.
There are several races to complete across Championship mode, which is broken down into Subsonic, Supersonic, and Hypersonic cups (the slowest of which still feels blisteringly fast), where opponents get progressively more difficult. Later cups find you grappling with environmental hazards in addition to other racers, which can prove to be more than a little annoying for those without lightning reflexes.
Played solo, the game itself, is enjoyable, if lacking in personality when compared to F-Zero or Wipeout. But it’s mechanically and aesthetically pleasing, especially if you’re all about hitting the track and leaving everyone else in your dust. The online multiplayer is fiddly, though, with a lack of real lobby support and no way on the Switch to communicate with other players, but these are reportedly being addressed in an upcoming patch.
As it stands, however, Fast RMX is a fast-paced, responsive racer and comes gratifyingly bundled with all the DLC and tracks from its previous incarnation. Available at a bargain price, this is well worth picking up — at least until Mario Kart arrives.