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Wipeout for the N64 - better than you would think
Wipeout 64 (N64)
Member Name: Bones
Wipeout 64 (N64)
Date: 08/06/01, updated on 08/06/01 (31 review reads)
Advantages: Great sound, Highly playable , Great 2 player game
Disadvantages: Lifespan , Frustrating for the less patient gamer
Although the view that the Wipeout games are based mainly on the Playstation (which is true) I have discovered (with great surprise but also joy) that this N64 port of the original version is actually very good and well worth buying. Released back at the start of 2000 (I think), this game was cruelly ignored by N64 racing fanatics due to the release of the equally excellent F-Zero X a couple of months beforehand.
Shamefully I admit that the graphics had deterred me from purchasing this game but having played it many months later I realised just how playable and fun it really was. Anyway, I didn't have a Playstation at the time but I desperately wanted to buy it because of all the previews I had seen (along with the hype from my " Playstation - owning" friends). However I found it difficult to track down a copy and it took several weeks to locate one. It cost me about £35.( Now like many N64 games its price is about a third of that now).
The game does not disappoint. The graphics are great yet they do not deter the gameplay ( there is not a hint of slowdown and barely noticable pop-up). The game offers four speeds at which to play the game ( just take a look at the Phantom class races!) and the higher speed races have very tight time limits attached to them. I won't go too much into the detail of the game except to say that there are 7 courses and 4 types of ship. Now that doesn't seem like much but I assure you that the game plays like a dream and is hugely replayable. The N64 analogue stick feels loke it was designed just for this game as this is one of the coolest controlled racing games I have ever played. One minor point of criticism is that the collisions on the game are very frustrating - as your ships basically grinds to a complete stop if you even touch a wall - and due to the very narrow and twisty courses this is avery common occurence as you get used to the higher class races. Still if you like games to challenge you (
unlike the similarly themed Extreme G - where you can win races by holding down the accelerator for the entire duration of a race) you will find this game very rewarding.
The one aspect of this game that makes itself distinctly different from its Playstation counterparts though is the inclusion of a four player mode. However I was not too impressed by this because for the game to run in four screens at once all the background is scrapped so it looks like you are racing through space. However though, AND THIS IS IMPORTANT, I say now that the two player mode is OUTSTANDING. This beats all other racing games senseless for thrilling two player action. For a start you race against your friend with ALL the computer opponents ( although they can be turned off) and neither the gameplay nor the graphical detail is reduced). I emphasize this factor of the game greatly because this is what makes this game stand out far and above any other futuristic racing game available. Playing a mate at breakneck speed on Quron IV with thirteen other competitors is fantastic if both of you are very skilled.
Finally my last praise about this game is the music. Psygnosis (the developer of Wipeout 64) have managed miraculously to squeeze about 7 great tracks on this game, including a couple by bands such as Fluke and The Propellerheads. The quality is superb and is head and shoulders above games which have to stick with MIDI music ( this is generally a problem with cartridge games).
Possibly the biggest problem with this game is its lifespan for the single player. Even with the inclusion of a challenge mode to add more to the game the gamers who practice this game very hard will master it within a few weeks ( due to a very small number of tracks - even though they are all of very high quality). However like Smash Brothers for the N64 also , the real joy of this game is in multiplayer (provided that you find someone else who likes it too).
Besides the game is v
ery cheap now aswell. Also for those of you that own F-Zero X I promise you that Wipeout has a very different feel to it and as it is similar I'm sure you will enjoy it as much as I did.
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