It’s been a while since I’ve played a fast, arcade racing game, and for the first time in a while, I didn’t play Fast RMX purely to review it within a fast timeline for VGChartz.com. You see, since first getting the Switch I’ve been clamouring for games I can play on the nifty handheld – it sucks having a highly capable machine with next to no games to actually play on it. So from the offset, Fast RMX caught my attention, with me adding it to my wishlist when I first set eyes on it. Thankfully, with it just being the holiday season and with it being New Year sales, Fast RMX came down in price, instantly prompting me to download the gorgeous and fast racer.
First things first – it has to be said that Fast RMX is a perfect portable game. The short stages (each about 2-3 minutes in length) as well as the fast championships makes for a fantastically portable game, one that game be played in fast spurts and one that easily beats most of the mobile games out there. The shortness of levels works massively in the games favour, especially when it comes to losing – you see, in most games, should I lose a race I’d be annoyed and rarely want to come back to it, due to the sheer length of the course I’d have to drive around once again. Not the case with Fast RMX, where failing a race or even championship just requires another couple of minutes to try again. I found this aspect of the game hugely gratifying, especially since it alleviates any frustration you may have with the game.
Graphically, Fast RMX is a stunner, especially for such a tiny portable console like the Nintendo Switch. There are times where the presentation/polish lets the game down mind you, especially when it comes to the dynamic resolution going extremely low (resulting in a blurry image at the start of races), but overall when the games actually being played, Fast RMX is a stunning game to behold. Light rays, particles effects, and all manner of great and large environments are an absolute joy to behold, and easily justifies the games price despite how small some of it’s levels may be.
It’d be hard to talk about a story, mainly due to the fact there isn’t one – you merely pick championship, jump into a specific race, and choose a ship. A few button presses and you’re in the game, with no context as to the world this game takes place in, nor whether there’s any reason for the races taking place. Not to say Fast RMX needs a story – far from it, it’s more than capable of sustaining your attention without any reasons given for racing, I just thought I’d point out that you’re merely getting an arcade racer through and through.
So, how does one race in Fast RMX? well, being something of a Wipeout clone, you simply proceed to press and hold A to accelerate, press X to switch the colour of your engines, and finally press the right shoulder button to use your boost that you collect around levels . That’s all there is to it. This simplicity in controls is both freeing, allowing you to concentrate on racing alone, but also annoying to some degree. You see, as you go around the stages, there are some times it’s all but impossible to actually catch up to, and overtake other drivers on the track. No matter what you do, they’ll always be ahead of you, which is irritating as hell. It’d have been nice if there were weapons to grab on the stages, for example a homing missile or anything to just try and get the upperhand, but alas you’re stuck just watching AI overtake you forever more.
As previously alluded to, there are some ways of getting ahead of opponents in races. For example, change the colours of your engines to the same as panels on the floor and you’ve got yourself an instant boost, one that doesn’t fill your boost meter, but helps you get ahead. Spread throughout the stages are also little balls of energy that fill up your boost meter – collect them and use all your boost at once, or use them instantly, it’s completely up to you. I found that whilst this simplicity is pretty cool, as previously stated it can be down right annoying too, especially when you’ve used all your boosts yet your opponents are all seemingly faster than you.
It goes without saying, but the vast majority of the time a racing game is only as good as it’s soundtrack, and in Fast RMX’s case, it’s certainly got that going for it. I found myself loving each new stage’s music, so much so that I ended up tracking down the soundtrack on soundcloud and have listened to it well past completing the game. To say some stages become Better due to the soundtrack is an understatement – many would be downright forgettable if it wasn’t there.
So all in all, am I glad I finally bit the bullet nad purchased Fast RMX? Yep, it’s certainly one hell of a game to showcase what the Nintendo Switch is capable of, and goes one step further in getting me to play the console even more, even going so far as to call it my go-to gaming device. Should you own a Switch, by all means buy the game at full price, and you’re in for a treat if you managed to get it in the sale like myself.