Contemporary racers might have sleek and powerful machines but they’re still confined by the restraints of modern automobile technology. With no proper F-Zero release in sight and the WipeOut franchise all but extinct there hasn’t really been an option for those of us who want to turn corners at several hundred kilometers an hour. If you want to break the sound barrier you’re going to have to go FAST!
Fast Racing NEO is a futuristic racing title for the Wii-U that has drawn a lot of comparisons to Nintendo’s own F-Zero franchise over the last couple years and was well received when it was released last fall. In the game players race down a number of different tracks at hundreds of kilometers an hour, unlike other far off racers like Sony’s WipeOut FSN features no weapons or offensive combat. Instead each ship has a boost meter that they must manage, using the R button on the pro-controller to speed forward, and traveling through colored strips to replenish the meter. Racers can quickly shift their “polarity color” with the tap of a button in FSN’s unique twist on the racing genre. Should a player come into combat with a oppositely colored strip their speed is greatly reduced.
So why exactly was Nintendo showcasing a game that came out almost a year ago at their indie booth at PAX West? Well not only Fast Racing Neo getting a physical release in North America on September 30th but also the NEO Future pack will also be released alongside the physical disc. This add-on gives owners access to 10 brand new vehicles, 8 new racing tracks and 18 new audio tracks to jam out.
Speaking of Sony’s formally active futuristic racing franchise – I also played a whole ton of WipeOut 2048 on my PS Vita while on the flight to PAX West. While mechanically similar to NEO aesthetically and somewhat musically it is a very different game due to the inclusion of offensive weapons. Regardless, both of these experiences reminded me just how much I love futuristic racing titles and it seems that AAA developers have all but abandoned the genre. It is nice to see that smaller developers and indies have picked up the mantle and are racing towards the finish line.