Tuesday, July 25, 2017

Fast RMX & Snake Pass Mini Reviews

I recently finished off two titles that I picked up on the Nintendo Switch eShop. Here are mini-reviews for each:

 Fast RMX
  • This futuristic racer looks absolutely gorgeous and runs silky smooth at top speed. The performance looked pretty solid even when playing 3-player split-screen (I don’t have a fourth controller yet to test 4-player).
  • The boosting and color-changing mechanics keep the races fast and fluid. The only downside is that sometimes by the time you are close enough to a boost pad to tell what color it is (blue or orange), there might not be enough time to react and change color. Thus, course memorization is sometimes required.
  • Each race track has a unique setting and set of road hazards to avoid, though the race tracks could use a little more personality rather than just having a generic “future” aesthetic. This is only a minor quibble as the courses still look great and are fun to drive.
  • The later grand prix cups become very challenging, even playing on the easy “Subsonic” setting. However, it's also possible that I'm just a lousy future space car driver.
  • Overall, playing Fast RMX just feels good. At one point I was playing with a friend and she found herself spontaneously shouting “Woohoo!” when launching her car off a big ramp. It’s just that kind of game.
  • The only thing Fast RMX is missing is a cast of muscle-bound folks in off-brand superhero costumes to drive the cars.
Score: ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️
Completion Time: About 5 hours (All cups on easy difficulty, all cars unlocked)

 Snake Pass
  • While it looks very accessible from screenshots, Snake Pass mixes the aesthetics and sounds of a Banjo Kazooie-esque platformer but with the deliberately cumbersome controls and physics of Octodad, to make for a cute but punishing experience.
  • The game's difficulty comes from trying to do fairly simple platforming task (short jumps, climbing ladders, balancing on narrow ledges) as a character with no limbs. Wrapping your mind around how a snake should approach these obstacles and then getting your hands to sync up with the controls in order to actually pull off these maneuvers can be very tough, but is rewarding when you get it right.
  • I thanked my lucky stars every time I landed on a checkpoint. While the levels are generally fairly generous with them, there are definitely some times (especially late in the game) where I found myself having to repeat the same few obstacles over and over due missing a platform between checkpoints. There are some sections where this can become rather frustrating. The fact that the camera can take on a mind of its own at inopportune times doesn't help alleviate this frustration.
  • Every level is full of a myriad of collectibles. However, gathering these doesn't really serve a purpose so I would suggest skipping them and sticking to the main path. They're there if you're in need of an extra challenge, however.
  • The game was scored by veteran composer David Wise. So you can expect to hear catchy tunes throughout your adventure.
  • Snake Pass starts out as a laid back and fun experience that becomes nerve-racking near its end. Mercifully, the game isn't any longer than it needs to be.It has enough time to fully explore its relatively simple concept without overstaying its welcome or becoming unbearably difficult.
Score: ⭐️⭐️⭐️
Completion Time: About 5 hours (Critical path w/ 60% completion)

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