The launch line-up of the Nintendo Switch continues to evolve and grow, with FAST RMX by Shin'en Multimedia being a recent addition to the 3rd March line-up. A 'remix' of the excellent FAST Racing NEO, it's an exciting one for fans of the original fast-paced racer as it will add new content and improved performance to a successful formula.

Keen to learn more about the launch title we caught up with the studio's Manfred Linzner to discuss new content and get into detail on performance improvements, modes and the game's price on the Switch eShop.


FAST Racing NEO was an impressive release on Wii U in late 2015, but at what point did you decide that you'd remix it for Nintendo Switch?

It was at the meeting with Nintendo when we got introduced to the Switch. Everyone realized FAST was simply a perfect candidate for the Switch. It would use all the new tech of the Switch and Nintendo already knew and loved the original the Wii U game. They were pretty happy we decided to bring it to the Switch.

When you switched development to the new system, what were your early impressions of the hardware and development environment?

The hardware was already quite advanced when we started working on it. It made a very solid impression right from the start. When we got the final devkits (which are very close to the retail version) it felt simply perfect to play our game on them. From this day we knew the Switch would win the masses. It was simply so satisfying to use all the control options and to switch seamless between console and mobile mode.

When we finally got the final devkits (which are very close to the retail version) it felt simply perfect to play our game on them. From this day we knew the Switch would win the masses.

The development environment is very modern and easy to use. It finally made it possible to create FAST RMX in roughly only a year.

What sort of technical improvements have you been able to make in terms of your graphics engine and so on?

First of all we were able to drop all the tricks that we needed to make FAST Racing Neo run at 60fps at all. So the image quality of FAST RMX is much higher then FAST Racing Neo. We also improved the rendering resolution from 720p to 1080p. We also took this chance to create a complete new user interface to make better use of the higher resolution.

This new user interface is even quicker and more responsive then the original which is a perfect fit for a racing game.

Most of the tracks from the Wii U version got improvements for better lighting and more special effects. We also added a new GRAPHICS option to the Pause menu. There you can toggle effects like 'Dynamic HDR Exposure' and 'Chromatic Aberration'. The first one allows a much higher dynamic range of brightness on the screen. You have to see it in action. It makes the game much more lifelike. The 2nd effect emulates how real lenses work on cameras and gives a nice touch of realism to the image. All these additions were not in the demo version that many people already played, because the demo was created last year.


Can you outline the performance people can expect in terms of framerates, and how they differ in 2 to 4 player splitscreen / multiplayer?

Our goal was to deliver always 60fps, no matter if console or mobile mode, and no matter how many players in splitscreen. To achieve that we render in 1080p @ 60fps with dynamic resolution scaling. So we always have the perfect balance of high frame rate and maximum graphics quality.

Can you outline the core content for those that don't know, such as the number of tracks and vehicles?

We have a massive number of 30 tracks, and each track has its own setting. So it's like 30 tiny worlds to explore. And we really mean 'worlds' because each track is so unique. We also have 15 anti-gravity vehicles to unlock and 10 cups to complete. So even when you come from the original Wii U eShop version you will experience almost twice the content!

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What options do players have for control configurations, such as Joy-Con, Pro Controller and so on?

I think we covered it all. We support single Joy-Cons, we support Pro Controllers, we support the Joy-Con Grip and even motion controls with any controller. And you can even swap controllers while playing!

Can the player customise controls in any way to suit their play style?

Yes, that was a top priority. We thought the Switch controls offer so many possibilities and we wanted to allow the players to play how they think it works best for them. You can change your controller mappings any time. You can even boost by pressing on the Controller Stick. Works great when using a single Joy-Con!

HD Rumble gives you the impression you are really 'on the track'. You feel when you bump into something, and you really feel 'where' it happened in regard to your vehicle.

HD Rumble is an impressive new feature on Switch, can you tell us how that's implemented in FAST RMX?

HD Rumble is really cool. I think FAST RMX is one of the first games at all that makes use of it. HD Rumble gives you the impression you are really 'on the track'. You feel when you bump into something, and you really feel 'where' it happened in regard to your vehicle. You could even try to close you eyes and play blind just by that feedback. You also recognize just by HD Rumble feedback if you drive over a jump-pad or if you get propelled by a boost-pad. We think its really something novel and thats a lot to get more immersed.

We understand there's some pleasing news about Hero Mode, can you fill us in on that?

HERO MODE is our reference to the excellent F-ZERO games and it's nothing for the faint hearted. In this mode your boost energy is also your shield energy. So you need to play very different then in the normal mode. The boost pads will also load up your energy just like in F-ZERO. We hope this mode will be a great extra for all the players that remember how hard games were decades ago but also how satisfying it was to win!

In FAST Racing Neo we added the HERO MODE as a late unlockable, but we realized that many players want that extra challenge right from the start. So when you finish the first cup you can hop right into it.

Are there any changes to the online multiplayer that fans should know about?

Of course we have again an online mode with up to 8 players included, but we also added a local multiplayer mode!

Up to 8 Nintendo Switch systems can also join into a local multiplayer match, with each player owning a copy. When testing that mode at Shin'en it was simply no work, we had too much fun with it!


Do you have release details to share?

We are happy to announce the price for the game here at Nintendo Life.

FAST RMX will cost only 19.99 USD/EUROs! Grab it at launch!

Finally, do you have a message for our readers on your hopes for Fast RMX on Switch?

We hope everybody will feel the fun we had making this great game for you!

We'd like to thank Manfred Linzner for his time - FAST RMX will launch on the Switch eShop on 3rd March.