Flawed racing oddity is not quite dead in the water
Sept 12, 2007
The Xbox 360's garage is outrageously well-stocked with racers, yet Koei has spied a gap in this market, hence Fatal Inertia - what initially looks like Koei's answer to Wipeout but transpires to be more like a, well... rubbishy futuristic version of Diddy Kong Racing.
Controlling your craft is innovative enough, since in addition to the usual left and right stuff you're forced to deal with elements of pitch and yaw as well as side boosts when maneuvering around tricky corners. This ain't no flight sim though, and with its arcade-like onus, you'll only occasionally have to pull your nose up to dodge ground obstacles. Then there are the weapons - the usual generic suspects like rockets and “force blasts” are redeemed by some smart secondary abilities, such as providing you with temporary speed boosts.
This potentially adds a welcome layer of strategy to the dull racing, though most races descend into slogs that are more likely to test your patience than your handling skills. The secret is to use the brake boost technique on the starting line and get yourself as far away from the mob and their in-fighting as quickly as possible - chances are you'll romp to an easy win more often than not.