RacingNeo

Indie Corner: Fast Racing Neo

If Nintendo fans could bring back one franchise, it would be F-Zero. It’s been since the GameCube era that we got a new F-Zero game and it’s not looking good for a Wii U entry. If Nintendo doesn’t make it, someone else needs to make it. That’s exactly what developer Shin’en must have thought. Of course, they don’t have the rights to create a ‘real F-Zero’ but Fast Racing Neo brings some fresh and fun futuristic races to the console for sure!

The F-Zero connection 

When you boot up Fast Racing Neo, it’s not hard to see the similarities with F-Zero. The game offers the same futuristic vehicles on realistic tracks. The graphics are gorgeous and the music is adrenalin pumping, heck they even have the same announcer as F-Zero GX. Fast Racing Neo brings back a feeling Nintendo fans haven’t felt in a while. If you’re looking for a game to fill your F-Zero void, this Fast Racing Neo is probably the best option you’ll find in years. Don’t be mistaken however; this isn’t F-Zero, meaning the game offers some great new gameplay elements but lacks certain ‘Nintendo magic’ at the same time.

screenshot10

Not a clone 

At its core, Fast Racing Neo is a traditional futuristic racer, meaning you’ll get access to several hovering vehicles that manage to go insanely fast. When it comes to the vehicles and their speed, the game really mimics F-Zero but it also adds some elements to make it stand out and lose the F-Zero stamp. Thanks to the phasing boosts, the game does offer a more innovating way of playing. While you’re racing, you’ll notice blue and orange zones on the tracks. These zones can give you a boost, if your vehicle matches the colors. Thanks to the phasing button, you can switch between a blue and orange vehicle as much as you like.

Learning where these boost zones are located and which color they have is crucial to end first in a race. These boost zones offer some innovation to the standard formula and really make sense, they change the way you play and they bring a refreshing strategy to the genre. Besides these phasing boosts, you can also collect orbs while racing to activate your standard boost. This boost is crucial to pass your opponents right before the end of the race. Unlike the colored zones, you can always use your standard boost if you collected enough orbs, meaning you’ll be able to go ridiculously fast multiple times.

The modes

So when it comes to racing and presentation, you’re safe to get Fast Racing Neo but what’s more important are the modes of course. Does the game offer enough content for your money? The most important one is the Championship without a doubt. Here, you’ll race in 4 different cups, featuring a total of sixteen tracks. Sixteen might not sound as a big number but keep in mind that each track has its own setting and features. You have maps in snowy landscapes, maps filled with water, industrial maps and a lot more. Each map has its own strengths and shortcuts and we can’t say we didn’t enjoy racing on them. The championship can be played on different levels of difficulty but you’ll always need to start on the easiest difficulty. Fast Racing Neo is an incredibly hard game to master and it will take some time to get used to the speed of the vehicles.

screenshot22

Besides the Championship, you can also compete in Time Attack or more interesting, in the Hero Mode. This mode offers the true challenge and can be considered as a true F-Zero homage. The Hero Mode mirrors all the maps and your boost bar doubles as a shield. If enemies manage to take down your shield, you’ll lose some important seconds. Hero Mode isn’t playable right from the start; you’ll need to prove that you’re worth unlocking this mode.

Last but not least is the multiplayer, both local and online. It’s nothing special really, you can’t communicate or interact with the other players but as far as it goes, it’s not really necessary in this type of games. Finding other racers is easy and playing online happens without lag, which is rather impressive.

Lacks personality 

So at first sight you might think that Fast Racing Neo is the perfect alternative for F-Zero but the game still misses an important factor, personality. Faceless pilots operate the cars so there’s no story at all. Without personality, this game is just a very enjoyable futuristic racer. The vehicles themselves look great but lack the same love for details and lack personality. It’s not something that breaks the game or makes it less enjoyable but it makes it a lot harder to really connect and appreciate the game for what it does.

NeoVerdict
The good: The bad:
+ Gorgeous graphics and great soundtrack – Lacks personality
+ The boost system
+ The speed of the vehicles

Fast Racing Neo isn’t a copy of F-Zero but it comes very close. The game offers incredible graphics and incredible speed. Don’t be mistaken however; you’ll need to spend a lot of time with it in order to become really good. If you’re trying to fill the F-Zero void, you’ll love this game but even if you never played F-Zero before, you’ll have a blast with it. If you like your races fast and your vehicles shiny, be sure to download this one on your Wii U System. Nintendo, it might be a good idea to contact Shin’en Multimedia to talk about a real F-Zero next time.

4 out of 5:

4sterren

 

Got interested in games since I could read. Started with Nintendo but evolved into an all-round gamer. I love all kind of games; triple A games to Indie. If the vibe is right, I'll enjoy playing it.