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 Preview: Fast Racing Neo

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Shin'en Multimedia has been making games for Nintendo Consoles and Handhelds for over 20 years now. Even if they aren't a household name, Nintendo fans should know them from their Nano Assault, Jett Rockett, and Fast Racing Games, along with Art of Balance and sport titles. This year at E3, Shin'en showed off the newest game in their Fast Racing series, Fast Racing Neo.

Fast Racing Neo is the second game in this antigravity supersonic racing series, and is a Wii U eShop exclusive. The original Fast Racing League debuted on WiiWare back in 2011, and was met widespread praise. For many, it scratched their F-Zero itch while retaining a feeling of originality. What sets F-Zero apart from Fast Racing is its unique boost system. In Fast Racing League, in order to fill your boost bar, you needed to drive over a light or dark pad on the track. In order to receive the boost, your vehicle needed to be in the corresponding mode, light or dark. If you are in the wrong mode, you will lose some of your boost, and be slowed down. This mode change was done with a simple button press and when described, it sounds complicated. Why not just have one boost pad and make everything simple? Shin'en's way makes it more challenging, and more rewarding when done properly.

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In Fast Racing Neo, orange and blue bars replace the light and dark ones of the previous entry. Accompanying the colored bars are colored orbs on the track. These work like the boost pads, but can make gameplay more complicated when racing at speed that melt your face off. If you forget to change modes to match with the correct color, you could easily lose your current place. Boosting has another application instead of just speeding past your opponents. If you hit a rival while boosting, you will cause them to spin out.

Along with these boost pads, there are also jump pads, weather effects, ie a sandstorm, and numerous areas for you to go off road. The latter does refer to short cuts, but also the staple off course parts of the track in racing games which slow you down. The jumps from the jump pads can also cause you to crash if you do not aim your landing back onto the track.

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Fast Racing Neo will feature Championship, 4 Player Split Screen Multiplayer, Up to 10 Players in Online Multiplayer, a Time Attack Mode, Single Track Racing, and mode only known as Hero mode. Martin, an employee of Shin'en demoed Fast Racing Neo at Nintendo Treehouse live and only said that Hero mode would change the mechanics of the game. Hero mode could be a renamed Challenge mode, which was available in Fast Racing League.

Championship mode contains four cups, and within each of these cups, there are four unique tracks. All of these can be played on any of three difficulty settings, Subsonic League(Novice), Supersonic League(Advanced), and Hypersonic(Expert). For those familiar with Mario Kart's CC difficulties, the same principal applies here. Every higher difficulty will get faster than the previous, and rivals will gradually get smarter.

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One last thing to note is that there are at least ten unique vehicles in Neo. We are unsure if all ten will we available from the get go, but there were ten shown off in the E3 Alpha Build. Each of these vehicles have unique stats and all play differently than the rest. Some have better stats in Top Speed, whereas others shine in Agility. Martin commented on this, saying that "Our goal was that those cars really should behave different, not just skins or different colors. Every car should feel different and give the player different feeling, so it has replay value.".

There is also no shortage of control options. All controllers have been confirmed to be compatible, including the Wii Classic Controller Pro, as seen in the Alpha Build. No confirmation of off screen play on the Gamepad, yet at least.

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Shin'en might be bringing this exclusively to the Wii U eShop, but that hasn't stopped them from doing their best to include all of the features that would be included in a retail release. While Fast Racing Neo has been in development for a long time, all of that work has paid off. The game looks amazing and from what we heard has an great soundtrack. We wouldn't be surprised if Shin'en just has to work out a few bugs, because this game looks ready for release.

Fast Racing Neo should be available by the end of 2015. Are you excited for Shin'en's newest release? Let us know in the comments below.

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Preview: Fast Racing Neo :: Comments

Professor Clayton
Re: Preview: Fast Racing Neo
Post Thu Jun 18, 2015 9:51 pm by Professor Clayton
This is definitely a Day 1 purchase here after seeing it at E3. I watched it on a whim during the Treehouse because I wondered what it was- and man was it awesome. The visuals look superb, in Alpha Mode, the racing looks tight and there is a huge emphasis on diversity of courses and vehicles. If anything, its an arcade racer that WON'T get boring too quickly. Really looking forward to this one, more than most other Wii U games at the moment.

Preview: Fast Racing Neo

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