I'm really feeling it!
I'm really feeling it!
Illustration for article titled Hot Take: Fast Racing Neo (Wii U eShop)

Confession: I’ve never played an F-Zero game.

Well that’s not exactly true. I played like five minutes of an F-Zero game when I got it through the Nintendo Ambassador program because I was a 3DS early adopter (Because of course I was an early adopter). I don’t remember what it is and I remember it not being as fun as I wanted it to be. And up till now I only vaguely understood why fans wanted Nintendo to update the series. If Nintendo ever needed a reason (that wasn’t money) Fast Racing Neo is all of the answers:

  • As the title states, this is fast racing. The only racing game I ever had experience with before was Mario Kart and that could not have prepared me for the breakneck speeds on display here. It took some getting used to but after the first few races I started to hold my own.
  • The mechanics are well thought out, and the only gimmick is the engine-color swapping that felt smartly balanced. I did have trouble dealing with drifting, because rather than one button drifting, the game has you leaning in either direction with each shoulder button. The race courses have course obstacles as well, but they never seemed unfair or unavoidable.
  • This feels like a racer made for dedicated gamers, rather than a racer made for casual and party gamers. The lack of items and high learning curve mean that you are winning through your own technical mastery. That made winning each match very satisfying in a way that feels different to winning in party-type racers.
  • The graphics are fantastic. The bright visuals really make this game pop and Shin’en perfected making the game feel like you’re going fast through it’s visuals. Each of the original 16 courses felt distinct, even if the settings weren’t.
  • Online was functional and what you’d expect. It’s 2016, you should expect it to work if it’s included right? I didn’t play too many races, players online were almost always miles better than myself.
  • I feel weird mentioning the price point now, but for $15 it feels like a lot of content here! In reality it’s pretty average for a racing game, 16 tracks, but I think the extreme amount of polish makes it feel like a full retail title rather than an eShop indie game. Because of the natural difficulty level, it also challenges you to replay courses and improve your skills. There’s also DLC that has a totally fair price if you’re interested in more (And you will be!)

This is a definite “Go For It” in my books. This is a racer for ‘true’ gamers, without extreme gimmicks and frills. Through balanced but skill-challenging gameplay it leave the player satisfied with each race and their own improvement. The price point is on-point for what is being offered, with a healthy helping of content, even if you decide against the DLC. F-Zero fans: it may be a reminder of the lack of F-Zero, but I’d say let it be a stop-gap instead. I can only hope Nintendo was smart enough to broker a deal with the very talented team at Shin’en Multimedia, because I can see them doing great things in the future.

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JpSr388 is a casual(ish) gaymer, hardcore Nintendo fan, designer & writer. He writes about what he cares about, and is always good for some opinions. Find his sexy ass on Twitter here. Or keep on the lookout for more editorial, QuickDraws, Hot Takes and reviews here.

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