News Article

First Impressions: FAST - Racing League

Posted by James Newton

Taking Shin'en's latest for a spin

Plenty of Nintendo fan ire has been drawn by the lack of an F-Zero game for the Wii, and with Wipeout exclusive to Sony consoles there's a huge gap in the market for sleek-looking futuristic racers. WiiWare developer Shin'en Multimedia is hoping to fill that with its upcoming WiiWare title FAST – Racing League, due to reach Europe on 27th May.

On the surface, the game shares much in common with Nintendo's renowned high-speed racing franchise: its rollercoaster-style tracks fly by at high speed, though it intentionally stays below the same kind of eye-melting pace that GameCube achieved with F-Zero GX, and with good reason: it has a trick up its sleeve.

Your ship can be "phased" between black and white in a neat nod to Ikaruga. Passing over an energy strip of the same colour as your ship will grant you a huge speed boost, with colour-coded ramps letting you hit big jumps and strips on the ceiling pulling you upward for alternate routes. If you're not in the right phase, you'll slow down if you pass over a strip, and passing over a jump pad or under a ceiling strip of the wrong colour does nothing, so judicious use of phases is the order of the day.

In the demo version we played only four of the 12 tracks were available, varying from a rocky canyon to a metallic raceway, with that trademark Shin'en sheen that made Jett Rocket one of the best-looking games on the service. The frame rate is smooth throughout, and will no doubt earn Shin'en many more well-deserved graphical plaudits.

It's only a week until the finished version of FAST — Racing League hits WiiWare, and from our brief hands-on playtime it's looking like Shin'en will have a considerable hit on its hands. The addition of phasing has plenty of potential for interesting course design, and the full game also includes unlockable content not available in our preview. We'll have a full review not long after FAST — Racing League is released on WiiWare, but in the meantime check out the first video footage of the game in action:

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User Comments (42)



Sneaker13 said:

This looks absolutely stunning. Can't believe (again) that this is a WiiWare game.

The article self is not really much to go on. How does it control, what gameplay modes does it have, does it have a multiplayer option (online/offline)?



Shiryu said:

Day 1 purchase! And hope the future brings this to classic retail. Maybe even 3DS.



alLabouTandroiD said:

Since you've played a demo version it seems likely that there will be one on the WiiShop. Why not put it up the day the game releases ?



Raylax said:

0:21 - "Captain F.", huh?

Looks completely awesome. Can't wait for this to hit the service.



James said:

@LTD This was a preview version created exclusively for us here at Nintendo Life. Not sure it'll go up on the Wii Shop Channel, though of course I hope so!

@Sneaker13 Split-screen multiplayer for four players (as in the video), tournaments available and controls like Mario Kart meets Wipeout



thaantman said:

Been waiting for this game for a while, this looks solid, I never played an F-zero game, but have play several of the wipeouts and I love that series, I do hope this gets a demo on the same day of release, I definitely think this is a day one purchase Need for speed Nitro & mario kart say hello to fast.



Omega said:

I'm not a fan of the genre and won't buy it. But it looks absolutely fantastic and I'm sure that fans of the Racing genre will like it very much. It's so sad this is, by now, one of the few quality WiiWare games that see the light of day.



cyrus_zuo said:

Looks great and will buy day 1.

However, the phasing thing has always concerned me. As the 'impressions' have started to show up in various places there are a few more things that are concerning to me:

  • Falling off the track lots (something mentioned in someone else's impressions)
  • Narrow tracks - notable from the video... I love using the Wii Wheel in Mario Kart, but can't imagine I could use it in this game due to narrow tracks
  • Missing something? - The Shin'en games are all ABSOLUTELY gorgeous. And yet they each seem to be missing something on the game play side that would take them from a great looking good game to a great looking great game!

Regardless I'm sure this will be a step up from Speed Racer, which similarly tried the F-Zero thing on the Wii (to mixed results). I think Fast Racing League is immediately better looking from the videos. Can't wait to try it out and prove all my fears wrong!



NESguy94 said:

It looks like a combination of F-Zero and WipeOut, this would be awesome online!



thaantman said:

There's more detailed impressions of FAST-racing league @ this game sounds sweet



warioswoods said:

Shin'en ought to be put in charge of teaching required classes for all licensed WiiWare developers.



MeloMan said:

Looks good... still wish it was online, but I'll still look forward to it. I like how the vehicles came out in the "color order" as the original F-Zero's Blue Falcon, Golden Fox, and Wild Goose



SwerdMurd said:

@warioswoods - seriously.

There's a part of me that wants to see what they'd be capable of developing for PS3/360/PC...but at any rate, it's nice to have one consistently excellent, Nintendo-only third party.



CaPPa said:

It looks a lot like Wipeout 2097, which is a good thing as it was my favorite in the series.



Wolfenstein83 said:

I am excited about this, since it's as close as we are going to get to an F-Zero game for the Wii, and it just looks awesome anyways.



AVahne said:

Finally a trailer, and I have to say that this looks great! But makes me wonder if Nintendo will ever release a Wii F-Zero :/



vakama94 said:

So, this looks like it´s going to be THE definitive racing game on WiiWare, looks a lot like Wipeout HD, which is a good thing, i can´t wait to see the game by myself, just a while ago i played the Jett Rocket demo and it was beautiful



jbrodack said:

Can't compare to wipeout hd which is one of the reasons I got a ps3 but still looks like it will be a good game on its own. I like the water on one of the tracks, the flipping on one part of the video, the 4 player split screen, and some of the long jumps. Those guys do do work on wiiware and this is one wiiware that easily looks like retail quality.



Traxx said:

I hope it really is a mix of f-zero wipeout. Wipeout: the looks (check), f-zero playabilty/controlls (we will see). Since I'm a racing freak this is an instant buy as long as it doesnt completly fail.
But there have to be new F-Zeros for 3DS and that new home console!



Vinsanity said:

The Jett Rocket engine is A MONSTER. At least, when it comes to Gamecube/Wii/3DS era tech.

I hope Shin'en puts out some 3DS games. They need to have a retail presence. Too many gamers overlook the DLGs on Nintendo platforms. Even just porting games like Jett Rocket and FAST to 3DS, at a budget price, would be a VERY WELCOME THING right now for that system, since it's hurtin' for some rad games to play like this.



castor said:

Cool... I never really got interest for any game in WiiWare until I read this. Since I love F-Zero series, this one will be good for me. And talking 'bout F-Zero, I really want it comes to the upcoming Nintendo console and the 3DS, it'd be awesome!



Shadowflash said:

Epic. I so want this.

Nintendo needs more VG developers like Shin'en. I hope we can see a sequel for this on 3DS and/or Project Cafe.

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