Has it really been nine-or-so months since FAST Racing NEO first graced our consoles? This writer finds it hard to believe and yet here comes an incessant rattling that many might consider to be an opinion on its DLC pack we've been dying for. To say that we at Nintendo Life are fans of Shin'en and the games they produce is no secret, so expectations were high for what this new content promised to deliver, and we can thankfully say our lofty desires have been, for the most part, fulfilled.
Taking a leaf out of Mario Kart 8's book this pack offers eight brand new tracks to whizz around as its biggest appeal, along with new music to accompany the aforementioned whizzing and a 'Vehicle Profile' for every futuristic racer. The tracks fit so well into the rest of what the game has to offer that there were instances where it wasn't clear that we were playing new courses at all, despite crashing into every wall and flying off every edge imaginable. Some tracks are certainly better than others, with the jump-riddled Antarctica being a personal highlight.
The other snowy track in the DLC, appropriately called Iceland, takes clear inspiration from F-Zero yet again by offering a tubular track. This does add some variety but out of all the courses this one feels very barren, often coming across as featureless between obstacles. The polar opposite of this is Kuiper Belt, taking place in outer space and boasting a no-holds-barred arrangement of twists, turns, and surprise hazards that'll catch you out if you're not paying attention. If it were any other game we might say that the detail and sensory overload this track provides is a bad thing, but given that this is what the game is all about it's one of the best courses it has to offer, even outside of the DLC.
On the whole every track has a personality and its own series of challenges, but their difficulty isn't light years away from the original courses in the standalone version of the game. This is absolutely the right attitude to have, as making the tracks more of an 'expert' experience would have ostracised every player who hasn't zipped around everything else in Hypersonic mode, and we're glad the developers took this decision.
Unfortunately the praise isn't so lavish for the other side of the DLC, as neither feels like a selling point to make us part with our cash. The new music tracks are great, if largely expected, but the Vehicle Profiles are nothing more than what seems to be a large piece of concept art. If these had been thrown in as a bonus it would have been very welcome, but considering it was one of the three selling points of the DLC we can't help but feel a bit short-changed on that front. Thankfully these gripes are minor at best; the DLC as a whole is perfectly well priced for the tracks alone, and realistically that's why people will download it.
If FAST Racing NEO didn't fully satisfy that eye-bleedingly fast-paced itch for you in its vanilla form, then we can't recommend the Future Pack enough. After all, it's just more FAST Racing NEO at an attractive price.