Fuel Overdose is a combat racing game that
excels in a lot of areas, but also seems to have been held back by the
nature of it being a smaller PSN title. While the game is fun, both
offline and online, gamers expecting perfection or those with a high
standard might be a bit turned off by a few factors.
Before we get into the bad, letís talk about what Fuel Overdose does
right. First and foremost, Fuel Overdose is fun and addicting. Once you
play it for a bit and get past some of the quirks, learn a few cool
tricks, and get more skilled it becomes more and more addicting. As a
form of entertainment, Fuel Overdose does a good job and is more than
worth it in value. While other racing games exist, and other racers
involve combat, Fuel Overdose has a light hearted charm and each racer
has unique special attacks and special abilities ranging from deflecting
certain attacks, to double speed boost, to complete 180 turnarounds, and
more. While playing a different racer wonít drastically change the game,
it will add enough of a change that there is a reason to play each one.
The multiplayer for Fuel Overdose was a bit tricky to test due to the
small number of people, but luckily the developers were kind enough to
give Impulse Gamer extra codes to pass around so that we could try it
out and test it. Overall the multiplayer is fun and there is an extra
sense of enjoyment seeing your friend right in front of you and lighting
them up to knock them back toward the end of the race. It provides a
sense of competitiveness and entertainment and certain strategies that
might have worked on AI will not work on players. If Fuel Overdose is
able to get a strong multiplayer community it could turn out to be quite
the fun multiplayer game. The only real downside I see to the
multiplayer is that not every racer is balanced. Some racers simply have
better attacks and abilities than others. It wonít make a horrible racer
beat somebody really skilled, but it does mean that from a competitive
sense there will only be a few different characters being used.
Unfortunately, while Fuel Overdose succeeds at being entertaining there
are a lot of things holding it back that some gamers wonít be able to
get past. When I first started, the controls were a big thing; however,
I can say that after playing a bunch one simple fix will cause a gamer
to have little to no problems with the controls. The simple fix is to
use the d-pad and not the control stick. The d-pad provides a lot more
control and players will find themselves having much more fun with that
simple fix. However, not every problem can be fixed with a simple
First off, the graphics for the game range from pretty to pretty bad.
While a few maps are nice, very little sticks out other than the chest
for some of the female racer. The character artwork is very nicely done
and each character is a nice looking, well-drawn, anime character. It is
at that point where the graphics start to sink and deteriorate though.
The map of New York is one of the worst and Iím surprised it made it to
the final product. The game is post-apocalyptic and as such New York is
flooded and thus parts of the New York map are flooded. The problem
comes up, however, when you realize that the water for an entire half of
the map is clipping with the road. In other words, youíll be driving and
the graphics will keep half-covering various pixels giving you a look of
half-road pixels, half-water pixels and it cycles randomly between this.
While it doesnít mess up the cars ability to race, from an art
perspective it looks bad, but worse, it looks lazy to have allowed that
to make it to the end game. The gameís menu and title screen graphics
donít help much either and both tend to be a bit bland and nothing
special. Overall when the graphics are good they are nice, but not
special; but when they are bad, they are horrendous.
One of the worst things about the game, however, is the sound. The best
music in the game is the title screen music; once you get past that you
probably wonít realize there IS music. I actually was convinced for a
while the game had zero background music until I muted everything else
in the settings, turned the music to max volume, and then listened very
closely. The music is barely audible and even if you make it audible by
altering your settings you wonít hear a masterpiece, just generic music.
So what sound does the game have? Eye-splitting screeching and squealing
from tires. While I realize sometimes car tires will screech when racing
and making sharp turns, the game seems to believe that every turn, no
matter how big or how small, should have a nice loud screech. The volume
distribution is so bad between the two that if I wanted to hear
everything the game offered I had to turn the sound effects volume to
the lowest setting and the music to the highest; and even then during
big turns I couldnít hear anything but a screech.
Being a racing game, donít expect much from the story. Sure there IS a
story told through the use of slideshows, but it is very clichť and just
serves to give a reason to play all the characters. While I do recommend
playing all the story modes to unlock new racers and maps, the story
itself just seems tacked on.
However, while Fuel Overdose has its flaws it is still a good deal for
its money. If you can get over one map having clipping issues, ignore
the sound, and not care about story (itís a racing game after all) then
you should find a nice cheap game that provides a lot of fun
entertainment. And isnít that what video games are all about?