FAST: Racing Neo is an upcoming futuristic racer game for the Nintendo WiiU, developed by Shin’en a small independent studio from Germany. After my last interview “Hatred is Okay” with Destructive Creations I thought that my 2nd interview for this website should be about a very different game, and personally I am a big fan of games like WipeOut, Rollcage and F-Zero so it was awesome to get the opportunity to learn more about FAST: Racing Neo.
MAYBE the one game that will make me buy a Nintendo Wii U finally.
Hello Mr. Manfred Linzner. First of all can you introduce yourself and your team at Shin’en a bit?
Shin’en is doing console and handheld games since 1999. So far we released nearly 30 games for different platforms. I’m CEO of Shin’en and lead developer for FAST Racing Neo
How many people are working on Fast Racing Neo?
Around five people.
Your company Shin’en has an extensive history developing games for Nintendo systems, is this a coincidence or are you preferring to develop for Nintendo in general?
We have a very good relationship to Nintendo and love many of their 1st Party games. Nintendo always released new and interesting hardware when we were looking for new challenges. Also we like to create games for a broad audience that is interested in high quality games, and this is a perfect match with Nintendo players.
FAST: Racing Neo, questions regarding the game and its contents
The game has been in development since 2013 and was first announced to be released in 2014. but then got delayed. “Were there any difficulties in development that lead to this delay?”
We worked on three different projects at that time (Nano Asssault Neo-X, Art of Balance and FAST Racing Neo). Therefore we decided it’s better to postpone FAST Racing Neo to 2015 because we didn’t wanted to rush the game. We wanted to give it the perfect polish it deserved and also wanted to try different new ideas.
How many tracks will there be in Fast Racing Neo?
We will announce all tracks and vehicles at a later date.
According to reviews, FAST: Racing League was an incredibly good game for the Nintendo Wii, but was also very overlooked. In a conversation with a Nintendo Fan who bought a ton of Wii games he called the game a “hidden gem” on the Wii.
The game was released at an unfortunate time. The Wii sales declined and not many people were aware of WiiWare at all. The games still sold nicely, compared to games released at the same time on WiiWare. So we knew there was quite some interest from the core users.
How successful was the first game for you / Shin’en?
As any game we ever released on Nintendo platforms it was a commercial success for us. The sales were on par with Jett Rocket and Art of Balance, two other gems on WiiWare from Shin’en.
I did not play FAST: Racing League (Released in 2011 as a WiiWare Game) on the Wii myself, however FAST: Racing Neo reminds me a lot of the WipeOut series on first sight and also a bit of F-Zero.
What would you as the developer say are the biggest differences to those two racing series in FAST: Racing Neo?
Most people know only these two great futuristic racing games. So it’s just right and normal they compare FRN with these games. First of all FRN plays very differently. It’s all about amazing speed and phase switching. It was also very important for us that players get quickly a good feeling for the vehicles.
We tried to make the game very accessible from start while still hard to master in higher leagues.
I watched videos of FAST: Racing League and I liked the soundtrack a lot. As a fan of videogame music, I am interested about if the soundtrack in FAST: Racing Neo will be similar to FAST: Racing League. Will the soundtrack be available separately as well?”
For the music in FRN we tried a fresh style. We wanted something that could sound like from an 2015 Arcade Game. We really love how the music developed for the game. We plan to release the soundtrack at a later date.
FAST: Racing League had no online modes, will online multiplayer be supported in Fast Racing Neo?
FRN features online racing with up to 8 players.
What type of game modes will be in the game? Will there be any special
We will reveal all game modes at a later time.
Can you give us a more specific release date and estimate the costs of the game?
The release date is not yet set.
Are there any plans to possibly release FAST: Racing Neo to any other systems or will it stay exclusive to the Nintendo Wii U?
We currently have no plans to bring FRN to another system. However, i think a futuristic racer on a new handheld would be great.
Is there any DLC planned for the game?
We want to release all content we created at launch of the game.
Additional Personal Questions not related to FAST Racing Neo
I believe you have released some of the graphically most impressive games for systems like the Game Boy Advance. As well as this, I would call Iridion II one of the best Arcade Shoot’em Ups of its kind ever. Will we ever see an official third game of the series?
We don’t have the rights to the Iridion brand so i don’t think there will be new games in that series.
What are some of your favourite games from the past and today? What was the last video game you bought and played?
Journey is a great game and Warioland 2 was near perfect. Last game i bought and played was ‘A Link to the Past’ on Wii U Virtual Console.
Thanks a lot for this interview @ Manfred Linzner and as well for releasing games with a focus on a high quality and without DLC. I wish more developers would think like that.