Wednesday, April 19, 2017

Fast RMX (Nintendo Switch)

I like racing games, but I haven't liked a racing game in a while.

That's because I like a style of racing game that hardly ever gets made anymore. Everything now is a large open world street racing game with some vague plot. And it's online. And there's no local splitscreen. And they want you to, you know, drive.

But to me, the perrfect racing game is something more like Hydro Thunder or Burnout. Fast, arcade style racing. Distinct courses, either point to point, or laps. Scenery. Boost. Maybe some weapons. Local split-screen a must, four-player is ideal. Pretty much all I've had in that department in the last generation would be Mario Kart 8, which is good but flawed, and Riptide GP: Renegade, which is a mobile port and the multiplayer, while fun, is flawed in terms of customizability and letting a group play the way they want to play.

So when I saw Fast RMX on Switch for twenty bucks, I had to give it a try. It's essentially Wipeout with F-Zero handling, high-spedd futuristic racing. Tons of cars, tons of tracks, and a color-shifting mechanism - you can switch between yellow or blue, and if you match the color of boost pads, you go faster, and if you don't match, the boost pads slow you down. It's a decent mechanic.

The courses are exactly how I like my courses. Themed, vast, and with lots of ridiculous backgournd details. There's a snow one and a desert one and various different city ones and space ones and alien worms and jumps and just shit going on. But it's also all very cleanly designed and not too distracting, which is especially important in four-player split.

And oh, that four-player split. There were two options in the multiplayer menu that immediately won my heart over, because even though it's 2017 and we should all know this by now, there's some shit that Mario Kart 8 and Riptide GP still got wrong. Fast RMX lets me turn off CPU opponents, and lets me race a single track instead of a cup. THANK YOU THANK YOU THANK YOU.

Nothing's worse in a multiplayer racer than four friendly novices racing against four AI opponents to see which humans come in 5th, 6th, 7th, and 8th. It's such a simple thing, and so frequently overlooked. Similarly, maybe we don't want to run three courses, or three specific courses, before moving on to some Rocket League or Trivia Murder Party. Maybe we're almost done and want to do just one more race, not three more. Fast RMX lets me.

The four player is silky smooth and easy to see, even with my shitty eyesight, something else I appreciate a great deal. The way they handle lighting and such, even the dark rainy jungle track was easy to "read" in one corner of a 55" TV.

In single-player mode on the go, this aesthetic also means I have no problems playing it on the Switch's small screen, and so far, it's my go-to game when I'm on break from work and caught up in Marvel Puzzle Quest.

Easily worth the $20 price tag if you're into throwback arcade racers.

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