Fuel Overdose, crafted by developer I-Friqiya, recently released on the PlayStation Network and I had a bit of time to sit down with the game this week to draft some impressions. The game is a battle racer (can I make up a genre?) that puts you in the shoes of one heavily-stereotyped anime persona in an all out brawl to the finish line. The main goal of the core game is to win the race but in a certain Mario Kart mixed with Vigilante 8-type fashion you have to avoid (and deal out) punishment with multiple weapons and on-track hazards.
From the get-go the game reminded me slightly of the old Micro-Machines games of the past. It has a top down, fixed camera view and a slightly cell-shaded art style that gives it a nice bit of charm. I had some issues with the camera throwing me off when turning corners, but that only lasted until I got used to the game overall. The controls are fairly standard, you have gas, break, reverse, etc. The additions to the formula in Fuel Overdose are the weapons and gadgets. On the face buttons you have the ability to shoot (one of multiple weapons available for purchase pre-race), use a grappling hook (for grabbing other cars or grabbing poles located on specific corners for a boost if timed correctly), detonate on-track bombs as your opponents pass, and more. The weapons are fairly easy to get down and the grappling is a nice addition when you time it right. The story mode itself follows a group of characters as the compete in death races following the end of the world in order to win vaccine for a plague affecting all of humanity, and is generally over the top and forgettable. This game is about racing though, and for what it is it does top-down arcade racing fairly well.
Overall the game is not for everyone. If you enjoy games like Mario Kart, car combat like Vigilante 8, and don’t mind a fixed camera and top-down view this game should be enjoyable as long as you don’t put too much stock in the story itself or over-anime’d characters. At its core Fuel Overdose is a competent battle-racer but comes up a bit short on overall fun value and the ability to retain your attention longer than a few races at a time; feel free to check out the videos of the game on COIN-OP.TV and make your own call!