Shin’en Multimedia is developing a game called Fast Racing Neo. It’s set to come out the the Wii U eShop sometime this year. Rumor and rampant speculation across the internet is that this game could be getting a name change and be revealed at E3 as something completely different. I’m talking about F-Zero Neo.
The game was unofficially revealed last spring and the first screenshots made it online in September. The game hasn’t been seen much since that time, but Nintendo has been hard at work sprinkling F-Zero around, mostly through Mario Kart 8. It was also featured as a mini-game in Nintendo Land.We have the ability to race in the Blue Falcon. There are not one, but two different F-Zero themed tracks and the 200cc mode feels very much like previous games in the futuristic racing series.
Now, understand, everything we’re hearing is complete rumor and speculation. This is the time that those E3 rumors really start to ramp up. Nintendo fans are chomping at the bit to get a new F-Zero game. The last one, F-Zero Climax, was released in Japan only back in 2004. The last game in the series to release in North America was F-Zero GP Legend that same year. F-Zero: Maximum Velocity was also released to 3DS Ambassadors in 2011.
I’m firmly of the belief, and have gone on record saying, that Nintendo has been tossing out so much F-Zero content because they were really gauging interest in the series and that we could realistically hear something about the series this year. If you’ve never played FAST Racing League on Wii then you wouldn’t realize just how much like F-Zero that game is. It’s also been compared to Sony’s Wipeout series.
Fast Racing Neo will run at 60 FPS and I think this rumor could be plausible. It’s just a rumor and until we hear anything about it that’s all this will be. Could it happen? Yes. Nintendo hasn’ t been opposed to letting outside developers work with their franchises in the past. They’ve even said recently that they’d be more willing to farm out some of their franchises in partnership deals. This could be one of the biggest for them. It would give them a chance to have an F-Zero game release without having to devote too many resources to a franchise they see as a gamble. Shin’en has proven that they can create a fun, fast racing game set in a world similar to F-Zero.
Will we see it happen? I don’t know. This one is plausible. We’ll find out next month when E3 rolls around. I don’t think Nintendo would test the waters this much if they weren’t at least thinking about it.