Review by Stejpan
"Satisfying revival of a PlayStation launch favourite"
Wipeout first made head waves back at the European launch of the PlayStation in 1995, notably for its fast paced futuristic weapon based racing, and the club theme and techno music that was popular at the time.
It went on the spawn a few sequels, and a few ports to the Sega Saturn and a one-off Nintendo 64 edition. Many fans agree that the series seemed to peak at the second game, and by the time Wipeout Fusion hit the streets, the series had lost it's lustre. Fast forward a few years and the remains of the former Psygnosis team responsible for the series has attempted, and apparently succeeded in rejuvenating the game with Wipeout Pure.
Story - 8/10
I never did get around to sitting down to read the story, but it's just a racing game so it isn't important. A few of the original teams like Feisar are back.
Graphics/Presentation - 9/10
Upon turning on your PSP, you are harassed by a slew of options for loading the memory card data, it should have been something eay to bypass, but it's sadly become a trend in gaming over the last decade. A rendered video clip then plays showing a CG rendered formation of a racing craft. It's pretty cool to say the least.
As for the in-game visuals, they're done quite well, although the best still goes to Ridge Racers for the time being. The quality is what I somehow imaged Wipeout would look on the Dreamcast. The racing craft still retain their classic shapes with a bit more definition, the tracks feature plenty of definition outside the racing lane (underwater features, background buildings and other objects), and here are some shiny particle effects and explosions.
My only gripe is the framerate. It's capped at 30fps, and sometimes drops lower when there are many other craft on screen, and big explosions.
Gameplay - 9/10
Wipeout Pure retains all of the playability and longevity of the original games. The main racing league modes see you racing against 7 computer controlled craft, and you must pass the finishing line alive with a gold to be able to unlock more races and bonus gallery pictures.
Along your race you must negotiate sharp turns and avoid the traps and weapons that your enemies use to slow you down. Many of the familiar weapons are here: land mines, plasma bolt, and the big bomb. There are also speedup and defense shield items as well as a ray for disrupting the control of an enemy ship (although it doesn't seem to work well against computer enemies).
The energy refilled pits have been abolished in favour of a weapon energy consumption method. Instead of using a pickup, you can use it to recover some of your ships energy. Helps you last longer, but because of the frequency and availability of powerups, its now rare to be able to destroy an enemy ship.
There are several racing modes and tracks to test your skill, as well as different speed classes for each. There's a Ghost mode that lets you race against your fastest times, and it can be saved to your memory stick.
My only complaints in the gameplay is the rubber band AI that always seems to trail you no matter how much you try to get ahead, and when you gain the lead, you can never lap your enemies - they just don't seem to appear. The load times aren't terribly long, but I do wonder why the game needs a loading break when restarting a track.
Multiplayer - 9/10
Race wirelessly with your friends across tracks of your choice, Sure beats sharing a single tv screen.
Control - 9/10
The control method is set out well, and you can use the D-pad or analog nub. Sometimes I did find myself accidentally consuming a weapon instead of launching it as intended.
Soundtrack/Audio - 9/10
Those familiar with the previous games will be pleased that Pure follows the same style of music for most of the part (although it's mainly big-beat instead of fast paced techno). Several UK musicians have lent a hand to the games soundtrack including Tim Wright, the original Wipeout composer. You can disable songs from the playlist if there's one you don't really like.
Sound effects are your typical explosions, and the computer aid has a pleasant female voice with a Brittish accent.
Replayability - 8/10
There are plenty of races to beat and there's more than the standard league race. An entertaining portable racer. There's some downloadable content for added tracks that extends the longevity, as well as a web browser.
A very good portable rendition of a decade old favourite. It's the best PSP racer next to Ridge Racers as of 2005.
Reviewer's Rating: 4.0 - Great
Originally Posted: 12/19/05
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