Decent game with extreme potential but doesn't live up to the standard of next-gen consoles.
I use the word 'failure' gently because really Fatal Inertia is a fun game to play. It's biggest downfall is it's weak storyline. Playing single player races is entirely pointless unless you're looking just to race against a computer, not to mention that you have access to all the cars you can unlock in the story mode (there's 4) in multiplayer and the last one is such a piece of unbalanced garbage not even the most intense race fanatic would be able to control it. While it's probably not worth the $39.99 price tag, it is readily available at FutureShop for $29.99 which makes all the difference.
Graphics in this game are sufficient but probably would have been more worthwhile as an XBL or PSN arcade game or as a previous gen console game. The maps are well designed and the cars have their own charm as well. You can tell that the game developers took pride in their art designs and the art is probably the best aspect of the game. The back of the game case claims you can reach speeds up to 500MPH which sounds impressive but since the graphics don't really display any real feeling of speed (despite the fact that you are actually going quite fast) and the lack of a speedometer really kills the bill there.
The music in the game is made by the developers and isn't great but doesn't grate on your ears either. I hope you like simple beat techno because that's all your getting. Considering it's a low budget game though, we can't really expect it to have licensed songs or anything and the techno is a much better alternative to the developers trying to make their own songs, complete with obnoxious lyrics (*cough*Jet Set Radio Future*cough*).
The gameplay itself is frustrating and yet incredibly addictive. As you zoom around the maps you'll find it has a little more of a learning curve than most racing games as turns and corners have to be taken with precise accuracy or you risk running headfirst into some protruding part of the landscape. There's also weapons involved in this game (even if you couldn't tell from playing it). The weapons are hardly significant and you'll probably end up just hindering yourself trying to use them because there is no targeting system and so much focus is required just to avoid obstacles.
All in all, picking up this game isn't a bad idea if you're looking for something different and are willing to look past some major flaws that keep Fatal Inertia from being an amazing game. The creators of this game are definitely on the right track. Maybe in Fatal Inertia 2 boys.