"Superb and challenging racing packed into one cartridge...one of the best racers out there."

Let's get it clear right from the start -- I consider myself to be a casual gamer when it comes to racing games, so my opinion may not be as valuable to anyone who takes their racers seriously. But I've played my fair share of racers in the past, including the Wipeout games for the Playstation, and I really see Wipeout 64 as something special.
The biggest reason that this game rules over it's Playstation competitors is all due to one simple thing : the controls. The Nintendo 64 controller is absolutely PERFECT for playing this game, and the default control scheme is a dream come true. Therefore, if you have any problems with smashing into walls, etc, you can rest assured that it was all completely YOUR OWN fault.

Oh, and by the way, YOU WILL smash into walls a lot at first, especially if you've never played a Wipeout game before. This isn't one of those games where you can just hit the gas and get to the finishing line...it's much deeper than that, and you'll find yourself honing your skills for hours on end in order to perfect your braking, turning,etc. I don't think I've ever spent so much time on a racing game in the past, but with Wipeout 64 the time just flew by, and I had a blast trying to better my racing skills.
However,for casual racers like myself, the whole "Challenge" mode can be extremely daunting at first, because it will most likely take you a LONG time to reach the pre-set goals to win the awards...in fact, I'm sure a lot of people who've played this game have probably never made it past the first challenges...it's THAT hard. I found myself repeating the same race for hours and hours just to try to place THIRD! It can be really discouraging, and a big turn-off, but perseverance and determination are eventually rewarded.

With gameplay this good, an entrancing (although repetitive) techno soundtrack, and such a diehard difficulty, Wipeout 64 should be a real hit among the hardcore and casual alike, as long as you're willing to put in some dedication. Like the Tony Hawk series, practice and experimentation makes perfect.

Reviewer's Rating:   4.5 - Outstanding

Originally Posted: 06/08/04

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