by Brandyn Johnson
Published by Brandyn
wipEout Pulse (for the PlayStation Portable)
The art of the race has always been facsinating to me. Racing is probably my favorite genre of gaming besides adventure/platforming. I first began it with Mario Kart 64, and continued on to games like F-Zero.
Basically, wipEout is what you get when you cross F-Zero with Mario Kart. You get the futuristic setup and futuristic machines of F-Zero as well as the high speed, with the item-throwing insanity of Mario Kart. Also you only have to duke it out with 7 other machines, but even that can be a challenge. It's fast, fun, and destructive. Everything I like about a game is rolled into one. The controls are fantastic, and I must say that the track design is amazing. Each track is like a roller coaster.
So how do items work in a game like this? Well for the most part, it mixes things up a bit and keeps the racers on their toes. You can't let your guard down just because you are in first, because when you least expect it....a Quake will come rocking and kill you, costing you the race. Now at times the items did become so much of a pain in the a-s-s that I had to turn them off which, thankfully, you have the option to do. Sometimes just the race by itself is enough, and now I take back what I said about how F-Zero needs items..... it definately does not.
I found the main campaign to keep me busy, because it has you unlocking new tracks by completing others. There is even a mode where you gradually go faster and faster until you can no longer control your machine and you keep bumping the walls until you meet a fiery demise. So yes there are mindless explosions, too.
As for the sound, it contains a beautiful array of techno music that is so adrenalin pumping and made of awesome, you will most definately want it on your iPod. Here are a couple samples for you, neither of which are owned by me.
The graphics are so wonderful and detailed, they almost look too good to be on a handheld game. The models for the machines are excellent, and so are the wonderfully detailed and exciting tracks as aforementioned. The framerate is quick and keeps the race fast-paced, and there are even some really cool attempts at realism, like if you are on a track that is raining, little droplets will splash on your PSP screen.
Overall Grade: A
wipEout Pulse is a must have for PSP owners in search of the good games for it (which contrary to belief there are many). And at a modest price, it wont wipEout your finances.
An improvement over your older reviews, but there's still plenty of room for improvement.
That's as much of a compliment as most people get from me, so take it. And take this advice:
Imagine an overall "theme" of a game. How does each component (music, design, gameplay, art style) contribute to your own personal experience and the theme of the game?
Yes, I have resolved to these quick reviews and I no longer bother with screenshots until I get that good. Until then, these simple ones are good for beginners like me I suppose. Thanks for the advice.