|System: X360, PS3 (PSN)||Review Rating Legend|
|Dev: Koei||1.0 - 1.9 = Avoid||4.0 - 4.4 = Great|
|Pub: Koei||2.0 - 2.4 = Poor||4.5 - 4.9 = Must Buy|
|Release: June 3, 2008||2.5 - 2.9 = Average||5.0 = The Best|
|Players: 1-8||3.0 - 3.4 = Fair|
|ESRB Rating: Everyone||3.5 - 3.9 = Good|
by Cole Smith
Claiming to be better than the X360 version, Fatal Inertia EX for the PS3 may just be worth the wait. It's not necessarily new as far as the gameplay is concerned, but it's been improved. Fatal Intertia EX has been a long time coming. After poor reviews on the X360, the developers returned to the drawing board to improve the game for the PS3. While they were at it, they decided to throw in a few new tracks and modes to make it more enticing. An "EX" has also been added to the moniker to signify the addition of these new and improved features. It's available as a download and is nearly half the price of the X360 version. This definitely warrants some investigation.
In the tradition of the futuristic racer genre, ala games such as F-Zero GX and WipeOut, Fatal Inertia EX puts you in control of a high-tech vehicle that hovers above a challenging track filled with seemingly impossible twists and turns. Winding through various landscapes including natural settings such as deserts, forests, lakes, and mountainous regions, the game consists of 59 different tracks, eight of which are new. Racers will pilot their crafts at the highest speeds possible, while relying on weapons and vehicular upgrades to increase their odds of wiping out the competition. A lot of defensive strategies are also required, since your opponents will be able to give as well as they get.
Races get quicker as the difficulty increases, but at no time do you feel out of control. Overall, the game has a gentle learning curve that allows the player to get comfortable with new tracks and upgrades. You won't have the same sense of exhilaration as you would find in F-Zero GX, but the gameplay in Fatal Inertia EX is not just about speed, it's also about strategy. There are a lot of interesting weapon systems to employ in the game such as grappling hooks, smoke screens, booster blasts, and magnets. The game gives you ample time to revel in, and savor, the execution of these devices, all of which are fun and rewarding to use.
Overall, the gameplay is little more than what you would expect from a futuristic racer. It's just done well, from the control system to the graphics; there isn't much to complain about. The gameplay has a good degree of depth with the weapons, power-ups, and customizable upgrades, but let's face it, Fatal Inertia EX is little more than a glorified kart racer.
In the Quick Race mode you'll get to take your craft out and experiment with it. Here you can practice barrel rolls and brake boosting. Both of these techniques will come in handy for knocking off magnets, which can be shot at you by rival racers. These magnets attach themselves to a vehicle causing it to become unbalanced depending where the magnet is. They do the most damage when attached to the wings. Aside from unbalancing a craft, the magnet can also attract other craft to attach to the affected vehicle. These magnets, like the other weapon systems, are picked up as power-ups along the track.