For 30$ this makes a nice futuristic racer while we wait for WipeOutHD. Lots of annoying things, still entertaining.

User Rating: 8 | Fatal Inertia EX PS3
Every first hour PS1 owner remembers WipeOut... Maybe not everyone bought it, but the demo cd coming with the PS1 at launch made sure you could at least try it.

Rendered at 60 fps, featuring streamlined art by Designer's Republic and the first real great techno soundtrack by in any video game featuring bands like the Chemical Brothers, the main attraction of that game was still the blinding speeds over 400 km/h you could reach.

The sensation of being hypnotized by the scene in front of my hovercraft is still etched in my brain...

No other game ever came close to recreating the first WipeOut ; the sequels were atrociously bland and generic compared to the little gem of a game the first was. It was like they took out the soul and character.

I cannot say Fatal Inertia made me forget the first WipeOut, but at least it's on the right track in my opinion.

It delivers fast and fun hovercraft racing, the graphics are sharp, but could be better... Come on, Unreal engine? A racing game deserves its own engine. Nothing against the Unreal engine it's a great core but here it seems like cutting corners...

Another flaw is the absence of any human voice from the game...
You got the generic techno soundtrack, nothing special there, nice sound effects for the weapons and impacts, but no "Last Lap" ; no pick-up callout.

One thing everybody loved in WipeOut was the way you always knew what weapon you had because some robotic announcer would yell out "Shield!" or "Rocket!" when you happenned to pick something up at 450 km/h. Or just by looking at the unique-looking icon at the corner of your eye you instantly knew what you had on deck... Too bad in Fatal Inertia they missed that lesson : every weapon icon looks similar ; some white-on-gray solid crest instead of color coded icons. There's no announcer ; you have to actively look for the white-on-gray icon in the lower right corner of the screen ; right where your attention is needed at 450 km/h.

WipeOut's icons were centered at the top of the screen ; you couldn't miss them even if you didn't hear the announcer call them out...

That they go ahead and do this kind of game while ignoring important aspects of it like those is really annoying. I hate when people try to "improve" things that work fine just for the sake of trying to do it their way out of fear of being called a flat-out copy of WipeOut...

One more thing that could be improved upon is the way that in a 4 race competition, 98% of the time the 2nd will finish 2nd in every race if you win, the 3rd will always finish 3rd etc... So if you botch a couple of races he WILL finish first and there's no way to catch up to him. He never has a 6th place, 98% of the time the names in the rankings are always the same order during the entire competition.
That kinda takes away the fun and freshness of doing old races you already have cleared. Couple it with the fact that there's no currency ; once you unlocked a part by winning a competition you have it for every craft ; and you have no reason to do the old competition ever again after clearing them...

The original WipeOut lacked money awards too, but it kept every race you did fresh by pitting great A.I. against you, not infinite-boost opponents like in this game. Take a look at the mini map while your buddy plays a game and observe the 2nd place racer when you are running first ; whatever lead you may gain (unless you're in a velocity race) will quickly be butchered and the 2nd guy will soon be in your trunk again...

That makes the game frustrating because a mistake at the very end of a perfect race will lead to a 4th position while a dozen mistakes at almost any point until the last third of the race still gives you a fighting chance for the first place...


I'm totally being demanding here : this game is 30$ and in my opinion it is totally worth them. I'm comparing it to my favorite hovercraft game, I know it's unfair. But I want to be honest and tell it straight : this game isn't as good as WipeOut.

I'm out to talk to fellow gamers, do a fair review and tell them what to expect ; I hoped for WipeOut and it wasnT as good so it is my responsibility to say it.
I'm not a fanboy who deludes himself thinking every game he buys is the best, and when I get lemons I don't call my lemonade grape juice.
This game isn't a lemon, I wasn't expecting something as good as WipeOut, but I sure was hoping for it...
Please be assured that my criticism is aimed at making this a better game, not copmplaining for the sake of it. I'm not so deluded into believing that those will ever reach the developper's ears and actually improve this game, but still when criticizing I think you have to offer solutions or else it's just complaining.

You do get a lot of racing for 30$ : customizable crafts, different racing conditions and locales (7 planets with 30+courses if I'm not mistaken) and a whole lotta speed.
The Velocity races where every power-up is either a rocket (can be fired or used as a boost) or a straight out boost are a ton of fun. The challenge is to get through every checkpoint without missing one because of the blinding speed, or else you press triangle and respawn in front of the checkpoint you missed at a complete stop.
Everyone gets unlimited magnets im Magnet Madness, these races can be very fun too. Like every weapon, the magnets can be left behind or shot forward ; a great play mechanic. Especially the rocket, which can either blast you to first place, or be shot at some unlucky opponent's behind and steer him sideways in a rocky cliff at 300 km/h... nyuk nyuk nyuk

Melee races are standerd, random pick-up races.

It's a pretty good game, it is worth 30$ in my view since I'm a WipeOut fan, and it just needed some voices and better icons centered top screen to really help the gameplay. I wish the A.I. was more random in choosing its winners but I can't moan too much about that, it affects the gameplay a lot less than the former interface issues...


The graphics could use a little more Boosh!!
As I've said, I got nothing against the Unreal engine, but PS3 = 1080p
See, it even rhymes, say it again with me PS3 developpers :"PS3 = 1080p!"
Do your games for 1080p ; the PS3 can do it, maybe the Unreal engine cannot, I dunno maybe it can but it gets sluggish ; in any way, you need to make these games in 1080p. It's just OK the way it is, seen it before.
What they needed to do was push it some place else graphically ; like the original WipeOut did. If they chose to use an old engine to make a cutting-edge game graphically, you can't expect miracles... I know this game is older, over a year now, but it is still no excuse.

The music is off in my options, generic techno, it is weird that it doesn't seem to even fit the game. I only keep the sounds, they are OK.

The controls are fine and maybe a bit too easy, I wish there was more of a difference in how the different craft handled compared to, yes, you guessed it, WipeOut...

All in all, don't expect this game to turn into WipeOut after you installed it, it's a nice racing game that may introduce newer gamers to the concept of hovercraft racing. You got great battle elements, but an interface that kinda works against you and isn't very helpful. If you wanna know how fast you're going, I hope you got glasses... And you better make sure you're going straight before looking at that power-up you just picked up. It still makes for cool multi-player races and lots of fun evenings. It just isn't a real competion game you can take seriously and work on running better laps day after day... For fun it's alright though...

Give the demo a try if you aren't sure, the full game has customizable parts and more crafts, but if you don't like the racing experience in the demo, you won't like having more ships and wings... I'm glad I bought it while I wait for WipeOutHD, even with every little annoyance I mentionned, it still is an enjoyable racer and a lot of fun.
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