FAST Racing League - First Impressions

posted 30 May 2011, 13:39 by Knuckles Sonic8   [ updated 30 May 2011, 13:43 ]
Everyone on the Wiiloveit team has been eagerly looking forward to FAST Racing League especially with the depressing state the WiiWare service has been in as of late. Since Shin'en first unveiled their latest WiiWare-exclusive many months ago, we've received many visual teases that have shown the game to hold a major amount of promise. And I for one am really excited that it is finally here. After having spent over an hour with the game, I can confidently say FAST is proving to be a really strong title. 

In this futuristic racer, you take control of one of six sleek ships, participating in tournaments and races on any of the game's twelve tracks. As you swerve around corners and zoom along straightaways, you'll notice energy-powered orbs on the track which can be used to activate your boost power or flip between the light and dark phases. Aside from instilling a great sense of speed, the game principally focuses on the element of phase-changing and this is reflected in the different track designs.

Depending on what phase you have active at a given time, you'll be able to use certain gimmicks on the track like jump or boost pads to stay ahead. Going over a boost pad with the wrong-coloured phase will end up slowing you down, but in the case of the jump pads, it is possible to avoid some of them completely. In doing so, you'll take a different route which may or may not work in your favor. You'll have to experiment on the fly and get used to each track after multiple plays to determine the most ideal strategies.

The game is set up much like other racing games, where you have multiple tournaments to complete on three difficulty settings. Jumping from the first set of leagues to the next, I noticed that along with having more challenging rivals, the pace of the game gets faster. I'm really looking forward to seeing the third difficult setting (Ion) and how that plays out.

For the first 15 minutes or so, I was jumping back and forth between control schemes. Initially, I stuck with the default control scheme, but I soon found this to be a bit uncomfortable for my tastes. I also tested out the Classic Controller for a bit and that worked fine, but I'm finding that the Wii Remote and Nunchuk combo is the best way to play so far. 

So far, it looks like the game will last at least 3 or 4 hours without taking multiplayer into consideration. Currently I'm at the second League on the Proton difficulty and it's been a blast. I haven't touched the Challenges or looked into the Unlockables menu yet, but I'll probably make my way there soon. But right now I can tell you that FAST Racing League is lots of fun to play, and I'm already craving to experience more of it. We'll have a full review on the site soon, but in the meantime, feel free to check out this video of one of the tracks in the game. Let us know if you'd like more footage!