I know, I know, the Wii U is fairly sexy right now with the recent release of Xenoblade Chronicles X, but Fast Racing Neo is yet another reason why Wii U owners should be elated this season.
To those unfamiliar with the work of Shin’en Games, they are one of the best and brightest indies that have risen to fame from making beautiful and well-fleshed out games on Nintendo hardware. They were first noticed by beautiful, yet very fun games, Jett Rocket and the original Fast Racing League on Wiiware, the original Wii’s digital shop. Considering the ridiculous space restraints given to those publishing content on the Wii’s digital shop, a measly 40MB for one game, Shin’en rose to the occasion and lead the charge with games that were streamlined, immaculately polished, and downright gorgeous.
Fast Racing Neo on Wii U is no different.
One of the main things that have attracted gamers to Fast Racing Neo, is it being released at a time when veteran gamers have been crooning for a new F-Zero, Nintendo’s own futuristic high action racer. Given some hands-on time with Fast Racing Neo, here are a few highlights that have stood out to me.
Menus and Game Presentation: The first thing I noticed about the UI for Fast Racing Neo is that it is everything I like about a game interface – vibrant colors, geometric and clean shapes, crisp font, and appealing item/letter spacing and placement. Upon booting up the title, I stared at the interference and marveled in it before actually starting the campaign. It’s just so dang pretty. The tracks themselves are very creative. Eye candy everywhere. No two tracks look and feel the same. They all have their own vibes and are incredibly challenging. I felt accomplished when placing in the top 3 and being allowed to move on to the next cup. The music is also very fitting with the futuristic atmosphere. Fast Racing Neo has an awesome soundtrack. The tracks along with the score truly pull you into the moment.
Variety in Car Types: In Fast Racing Neo, they give you a group of vehicles to choose from differing in design, weight, acceleration speed, and top speed capability. The cars seem to distinguish themselves enough from one another and you definitely feel the difference between each one on certain tracks. For example, on tracks with sharper curves, I noticed that the lighter weight vehicles were much easier to maneuver during said situations. Though alas, car handling all comes down to the preference of the player. Not to mention, just like most other areas of the game, the vehicles are beautifully designed.
Game Mode Variety: This game features many different modes: 1) Championship Mode – compete for first place against AI in a series of 4 cups with 4 tracks each. The speeds are subsonic, supersonic, and hypersonic; 2) Time Attack – compete against your own best times and craft your skills even further; 3) Hero Mode – this mode is essentially Championship Mode on steroids; 4) Multiplayer – play locally with friends and family or against AI without the confines of Championship Mode. Play on any track at any time without sequence; 5) Online Multiplayer – compete for top speedster online with friends and randoms alike.
Gameplay and Controls: Just like Fast Racing League on WiiWare, Fast Racing Neo’s gameplay revolves around speed and the way that you use boosters. In Fast Racing Neo, there are blue boosters and orange boosters on each track that allow you to go even faster and possibly get the leg up on your opponents. Upon reaching the boosters, the player will need to change to blue or orange frequencies to properly utilize them. If your frequency is on the wrong color, it will slow you down. In order to fill your booster meter, you’ll need to collect the orbs located on the tracks. Aside from the way this game controls, it runs at a flawless 60 frames per second with no noticeable drops if any at all.
Online Multiplayer: Online with friends allows you to join in a lobby with pals on your friend list. The caveat is that all friends have to guess and join in all at the same time to be in rooms together. There are no dedicated lobbies that allow you to wait or invite pals in game. That being said, and considering that Shin’en is a smaller development studio, the online itself is nearly flawless. Sometimes there are hiccups, but I didn’t run into many that would wholly ruin my experience, though I admit to being a very patient individual.
Fast Racing Neo was met with positive reception when announced and is now receiving praise for a successful launch window. It’s everything we expected of Shin’en Games and a game of this caliber. Here’s some gamplay to drive home my point. Fast Racing Neo is legit.
Fast Racing Neo is available right now on the Nintendo eShop for $14.99 USD.
Have you gotten your hands on Fast Racing Neo? What do you think about it? Tell us your thoughts below!