About bloody time.

User Rating: 6 | Fatal Inertia EX PS3
The thing that really gets me about Fatal Inertia EX is the fact its been in development for so long and they stil haven't got it right. Yes, it is fun. Yes, it is pretty in places and yes, it plays a lot better the quite frankly appauling 360 effort, but it feels so desperately lacking even compared to previous WipeOut installments.

Firstly it isn't a bad looking game, just not as good looking as WipeOut HD will be...when it comes out. The jungle track looks pretty awesome with swish water effects and lovely green foliage but compare that to the baron wasteland of the desert which is ultimately featureless and consists of mainly sand, that's it. And to make work a lot harder they developers have decided to add a massive sandstorm to make this level a little more trivky, so much so I can't see where the f*** I'm going.

This problem further worsens another irritation I have with Fatal Inertia EX, Checkpoints. They're all well and good but in this game you have to drive through each individual one, and if you don't, the game will make you drive back until you have, further knocking your position down and fundementally lose the race. This isn't at all helped by massive huge sandstorms which turn the screen brown.

The weapons are crap aswell with highly cliched names like pulse bomb and rocket, all the usual rubbish you would expect from a sci-fi racer, and nothing quite frankly new and intuitive. The wire weapon, which lets you grab onto near by opponents and slingshot forward, is a pretty cool idea, but it doesn't work and it looks like a big wibbly wobbly penis. The time weapon that lets you slow down time is cool aswell but I saw this weapon way back in 1999 when CTR was released. Big woop.

Controls are fairly good and I like the addition of sharp cornering and barrel rolling but I was a bit unhappy with the X button used as my acceleration, I like games that uses a trigger as acceleration as it gives a more distinct feel of accelerating forward and speed but X makes it feel arcadey and a little unproffessional and outdated. However, handling is very good, though simple, easy to pick up and accessible to anyone.

Though single player is a bit of a slog, and insanely irritating, the multiplayer is where EX hits its stride. Far too few games nowadays feature splitscreen racing, Burnout Paradise didn't, Motorstorm didn't, Fatal Inertia does and offline too, which in my books is always a big plus, it may seem like a retro thing to do with all the online nonscence, which it has too, but keeping a feature like this is always a fun and welcome addition.

Overall Fatal Inertia, is long overdue, it was supposed to launch with PS3 exclusively for cripes sake, but in this more manageable and smaller form, it is a lot more refined and a lot more fun than the 360 by far. It feels a lot like the crap pod racing from the devastating Star wars Episode 1 but if you want a pit stop before WipeOut HD, then this a decent enough choice. Just remember WipeOut is just around that last bend.


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