Wii

North America

FAST - Racing League

by Aaron Kaluszka - May 20, 2011, 8:58 am PDT
Total comments: 11

Shades of F-Zero GX and Ikaruga combine to form this impressive WiiWare title.

There hasn't been a F-Zero game recently, but Shin'en comes to fill the void with their own rendition of the futuristic racing subgenre. A WiiWare title, FAST brings an interesting gameplay mechanic, shiny visuals, and an intense racing focus.

In the game, players can switch their cars' phase between black and white. Driving over regions of track matching your vehicle's color allows players to zoom forward at extreme speed, while passing over in the opposite color slows you down. There are also colored ceilings, which magnetically grab players, letting them drive upside-down, and colored jumps, which much be carefully matched to avoid driving off the track to destruction.To power the phase switch, orbs must be collected on the track. With enough orbs, you can also employ a turbo boost. However, power must be conserved carefully to ensure that polarity can be switched when necessary.

FAST can be played with the Wii Wheel, Remote and Nunchuk, or Classic Controller. While the quick reaction time needed in the game will probably send players to the classic control options, it contains possibly the most responsive motion racing controls available on Wii. They're even better than Mario Kart Wii's.

From a design perspective, FAST is highly reminiscent of F-Zero, as well as Shin'en's own Nanostray series. The graphics push the system, featuring lighting, texture, and other special effects seen too infrequently on retail Wii titles, let alone downloadable ones. While there isn't as much stuff going on off-track as F-Zero GX, it's frankly amazing what the developers managed to pull off given the WiiWare size restrictions. FAST's graphics are complemented by a driving Euro beat soundtrack.

Unlike F-Zero, there are no drivers or other characters to speak of; you're driving cars for corporations with Japanese-sounding names. As a result, the game can feel a bit generic and impersonal, but that's not necessarily a bad thing, as it keeps a solid focus on what matters -- the racing. The game ramps up quickly, throwing in loops, water-filled pits, tornadoes, flame guns, rotating walls, and other environmental hazards.

FAST includes six vehicles, 36 tracks across three leagues, and lots of unlockables. It also features 24 specific racing challenges in addition to the regular Grand Prix-style racing, as well as split-screen offline multiplayer with support of up to four players.

"FAST" describes the game well. The game runs buttery smooth and the cars do fly very fast. There's actually an option to run the graphics at a maximum of 60 fps, or to lock them to 30 fps. I rarely saw a drop using the variable setting in single player mode, though it happens on two-player mode. With more than two players, the game is automatically locked to 30 fps.

FAST somehow manages to pack a full retail experience onto the limited WiiWare platform. The game is very similar to the sorely missed F-Zero, but adds a challenging polarity mechanic a la Ikaruga. It packs an incredible amount of content, as well as impressive graphics into a tiny package, making what looks to be one of the best WiiWare games to date. FAST races onto WiiWare on May 27 in Europe and May 30 in North America.

Talkback

Killer_Man_JaroTom Malina, Associate Editor (Europe)May 20, 2011

Nice, very nice. I was interested as soon as I saw the first details and screenshots, but the polarity-switching mechanic puts a neat twist on proceedings. Trailer looks good, features sound impressive and your positive comments about the motion controls are particularly encouraging. Best on the system? Wow.

CericMay 20, 2011

Do each of the cars handle and feel different?
How many Racers in a given race?
Multi-player modes?
Can you give an example of a Challenge?
Any word on Price?

I've been enjoying the stuff you've been doing lately MegaByte.

Quote from: Ceric

Do each of the cars handle and feel different?

Yes, though only 2 were unlocked for me.

Quote from: Ceric

How many Racers in a given race?

8

Quote from: Ceric

Multi-player modes?

Just Grand Prix.

Quote from: Ceric

Can you give an example of a Challenge?

I was unable to try these myself on the preview copy, but a screenshot on their website shows the first challenge as "Speed up to 370 mph in under 10 seconds."

Quote from: Ceric

Any word on Price?

1000 points

Quote from: Ceric

I've been enjoying the stuff you've been doing lately MegaByte.

Thanks, glad you've enjoyed it.

CericMay 20, 2011

Thx.

EnnerMay 20, 2011

This looks great and the $10 price point is lower than I expected ($15). My first thought that six vehicles is on the low side, but then I realized I don't know what to expect in vehicle counts for futuristic racing games.

Mop it upMay 20, 2011

Why do cool games always have lame names? This title would be like if they called a game Kart Racer or something. A title like F-Zero or Extreme G sounds interesting, but I can see people not giving this game a second look based on the uninspired title.

That problem actually extends to the in-game names.

I haven't played the games, but it was pointed out to me that FAST is even more similar to the Wipeout series than F-Zero.

xcwarriorMay 21, 2011

Looks so good, but yet again no online multiplayer. Wii successor has to fix all this.

KDR_11kMay 21, 2011

36 tracks sound good, usually that's the limiting factor for WiiWare games.

mr_lakituMay 22, 2011

It does have multi. The vid shows split screen.

I can forgive a lack of vehicles knowing nintendos silly mb limit.

KeyBillyMay 23, 2011

This looks really interesting!  Thanks for the impressions.

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Genre Racing
Developer Shin'en

Worldwide Releases

na: FAST - Racing League
Release Year 2011
PublisherShin'en

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