"Pure Style."

Introduction

How many awesome series have been under my radar, now? More than I can count. One of them which I was suggested to get by many sources was the latest installment of the Wipeout series. Now, I've never touched a Wipeout game in my life. I have, however, played almost all the F-Zero games available now. I branded Wipeout as a poor F-Zero clone. It's now that I notice how vast my mistake was. Not only is it creative enough to be considered more than a clone, it's superior. This game is far more stylish that F-Zero and adds some delightful twists to the zero-gravity racing.

Story

As you've probably noticed, I'm not really into retelling stories. Pshaw. For your entertainment, I'm going to retype the story from the instruction manual.

In the decades after the fall of the F9000 league, only the enthusiastic amateur pilots would keep Pierre Belmondo's dream alive. With their hand built craft and meager budgets, those true fans of the sport would pave the way for professional racing to return one day.

The year is 2197 and that wait is over. Six historic and two new teams are making final preparations to their racecraft on the Pacific Island of Makana - host for the dawn of a new era in Anti-Gravity racing. As the world awaits, the Fx300 League is ready to go.


There you go.

Graphics

Stunning to say the least. Wipeout Pure sports some of the best graphics I have seen on the PSP to date; and it's only a launch title! The vehicles look smooth and the tracks are beautiful with their detail. The best part of the graphics is the lighting effects that you'll notice as you race through the locales. The explosions and effects the weapons bring are also outstanding. It does all of this with an extremely solid framerate.

9/10

Sound

Sound Effects - Pretty stellar for a racing game. Not a lot to say about the sound effects, like always, but the explosions and crap get repetitive after a while.

Music - One of the biggest pros of the game is its exceptional soundtrack. The music during the races are songs from a playlist that is bursting to the rim with heavy techno beats, fast rhythms and all the like. The high energy soundtrack is phenominal.

10/10

Gameplay

In Wipeout (Pure) the main point of the game isn't the soundtrack or the graphics; it's the racing! I remember the apparently "unmatched" speed of F-Zero, but Wipeout Pure blows F-Zero away in speed. The tight courses are smaller so there is little room for error. Let's start with the basics...

First of all, you have a nice handful of modes, there's time trial, zones (I'll get into this in a bit), tournaments, single races, free play and multiplayer. With the single races, they have you choose a course/intensity of the opponents/racecraft and then the action starts. You race around the course with 7 other racecrafts in an intense race. Along the way you'll encounter a nice assortment of weapons that make the race VERY exciting and action packed. Don't get too carried away with the bumping and such since you have an energy bar. If that energy bar runs out you're dead! If you find you're running low on energy, you can absorb your weapons instead of using them. There are also boosts. The tournaments work the same way, but you pick a cup instead of an individual course. You go through each of the courses earning points for your placing. Earning metals at the end is your reward. Time trial is pretty basic, having you race against the pre-set records for the fastest times.

With the zone mode, you race on special courses and gain speed. You keep gaining speed until control becomes extremely hard. The longer you last, the higher your score is.

My complaints for the gameplay aren't very bad. I find that the game doesn't have extremely good AI. Sometimes I'll see opponents deliberately jump into pits if I'm in the way. Not too common, but it happens for me. Otherwise, along with the polished menus, the gameplay is pretty good.

8/10

Replay

I love racing games, so the replay value is good for ME. The game is really great in that aspect, because of the polish in the game.

Pros
-----
+ Gorgeous graphics
+ High energy techno soundtrack = instant win
+ Polished gameplay
+ Nice assortment of modes and classes

Cons
-----
- Fair AI
- Repetitive sound effects
- Lack of tracks

Final verdict: 9/10

~ Sunny


Reviewer's Score: 9/10 | Originally Posted: 04/04/05


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