FAST Racing Neo - Review

Author: Mattia "Zave" Ravanelli
Date: 2021-02-01 18:37:31
Fifteen years lived a little dangerously, this is the curriculum of Shin'en, a German label that since 1999 has dedicated itself almost exclusively to the Nintendo world. But is it really so? Faced with productions that have rarely been reported for the experimental charge, ending up more often with the roads already widely traveled by others before them, the boys of Monaco have however sought the least reassuring means to do so, that is the theoretically less platforms. suitable. From the Game Boy Color to the 3DS, from the WiiWare channel to the Wii U eShop, Shin'en's games have often focused on a powerful and muscular technical realization, but cut out on the measures of hardware often inferior to the competition.

Fast Racing Neo is no exception and perhaps this is why it has so forcefully climbed the charts of the most anticipated games for Wii U. Because if elsewhere it would have risked drowning in its already seen formulas or being suffocated by numerous and ruthless competition, in the showcase virtual home console of Nintendo is almost a unicum. But the reality is that, unfortunately, Fast Racing Neo would still have attracted some healthy attention even in the Sony and Microsoft-branded digital markets, because Shin'en's game is a love letter sent to F-Zero's address (very much ) and WipEout (much less) ... addresses to which nobody answers lately.


We lost that hyperbolic future along the way and seasoned with gaudy kinetic trails that, at the end of the 90s, seemed to have to swallow the whole arcade driving games sector. Fast Racing Neo is here for this, to remind us why we liked to spend weeks in the chicanes of Mute City or with our hair brushed by the sonic slings of Future Sounds of London and Prodigy. It's not a new game, it doesn't really have half an interesting idea that it hasn't seen before, and it's almost embarrassing poverty. But it is that poverty that, when accompanied by effective and exciting game mechanics, can generously be promoted to "essentiality". The substance does not change, but at least everything can be judged differently.

In Fast Racing Neo you accelerate very strongly, you slip into gullies while around the colors and environments melt away, carried away by the current of the sense of speed that toasts the neurons ... then you "stumble" where you shouldn't, it explodes badly, you lose the race, you turn uselessly to the sky, sure you never want to pick up the GamePad again. Nonsense, just a few seconds are enough to start over: this time I understood, this time the parabolic dome, this time I choose the other spaceship which is definitely better, this time I win. And go find out: maybe it happens, more likely another bitter disappointment will follow, because the Shin'en game does not discount anyone, but to say that you have not enjoyed it is almost impossible.


There are sixteen tracks provided by the game, divided into four championships made up of as many tracks. Each championship that you take home, reaching at least the third position in the final ranking, is equivalent to unlocking a new spaceship and the next championship. There are three classes available for the championships, while the offline and online multiplayer modes, together with the time trials, conclude the game modes provided. There is only one last resort, accessible only once you have reached the third class of the championships (and if you are not a more than experienced driver, it will take a few hours to succeed in the enterprise), it is the Hero Mode which adds a dynamic , that of the presence of the energy of the spaceship, capable of making everything even more F-Zero-oso than it already is.

Yes, because in the other game modes there is no need to worry about the energy available, but only to be able to arrive safely at the end of each lap, making the most of the blue and orange asphalt tongues placed on the ground to enjoy of some brutal acceleration. Practice that can be filed with masculine determination making sure you get over it while your spaceship is in the right "phase". What does it mean? It means that at any time you can press a button to change the phase of the spaceship between blue and orange: if there is a nice orange carpet in front, it will be better to activate the orange phase. And so on. Failing to do so not only does not get the "boost", but is even braked. The basic structure of the races includes only two other elements: spheres to be collected in order to then take advantage of a further acceleration, to be unleashed at will, and any environmental obstacles that intervene, in a different and initially unpredictable way, in each of the sixteen tracks.

For the rest? Forget about the rest, there is nothing else. Spacecraft cannot be modified or expanded. In the timed mode there are only the records proposed by Shin'en, but no online rankings and not even ghosts. There are obviously no weapons to use and the crossroads inside the slopes are not too bad, but they are also few. But in the end, that's okay: because Fast Racing Neo is all about driving, driving and driving. Strong, very strong and at the extreme of possibilities. Enjoying a hypnotic experience, very soft thanks to the sixty frames per second, which overshadow the shortcomings in terms of anti-aliasing effects and company. Shin'en's game is of almost incredible effectiveness: with its track design that oscillates between good and excellent (fortunately unbalanced towards the latter), with an elementary but ultra-reliable and very fun driving model, with his good ability to diversify things with the varying characteristics of the spaceships.

Online things work well, even if as usual you cannot invite someone, you cannot connect to the games of others and you just don't see any equipment options. Yet, if F-Zero and the aesthetics of WipEout have always fascinated you, you will hardly be able to find a more honestly ancient and enjoyable game than Fast Racing Neo, of its kind. Which is missing only a soundtrack worthy of its "founding fathers", too bad.

MODUS OPERANDI
I played Fast Racing Neo thanks to a download code received from Nintendo. In a few days of testing I completed the four championships of the first class and the first three of the second class, I still have to be able to unlock the last and most demanding. I faced and beat some Shin'en records and took part in some online gaming sessions, without suffering from particular problems (indeed, none at all).