* Prices may differ from that shown
Set in the future, with high speed and excellent track designs, WipEout Pulse sets out to thrill the player in every single way. Sequel to the much loved WipEout Pure, Pulse puts a new feeling of WipEout into the player's hand. There are three main modes in Pulse: Campaign, Race box and Multiplayer.
There are a number of new weapons introduced into Pulse to keep things new and fresh, especially for existing players. The new weapons are the: cannon, shruiken, leech and the repulsor. My favourite though has to remain quake, as it remains a beauty to look at the 'destructive ripple storming down the track.' The leech beam also is a great weapon, especially in eliminator events as it drains opponent's energy to replenish yours. The new weapons are welcomed as they add depth into the game and expand the gameplay options. You can fire weapons and absorb them. If you are hit by too many and absorb too little to increase your health, your ship explodes in a spectacular fashion.
Unfortunately, for new player to the series, there are now only four speed classes. Vector has been removed whereas venom; flash, rapier and phantom still remain. The absence of vector, which in Pure introduced beginners into WipEout, means that there is a steep learning curve. However, the game is very easy to get into and novices will pick up the game within playing for thirty minutes. Phantom, the fastest speed class, when played for the first time, is terrifying. On my first go, I found it hard to keep the ship from destroying on my first lap as I was constantly hitting walls and being hit by incoming weapons. After all, it is advised: 'for experts only'.
In campaign the aim is to become the best racer in the WipEout league. Using a format similar to Ridge Racer, there are 16 grids, which each contain a number of events (the first grids have 8 whereas the latter have 16. There are seven different types of events which you can play: single race, time trial, speed lap, zone, tournament, eliminator and head to head. In order to unlock the next grid, you must get a number of points. Points are earned by getting medals in races. A gold medal gets you three; a silver medal gets you two points and a bronze medal one. To the player's advantage, you do not have to play each event in order to unlock the next grid.
For players new to WipEout: single race is a basic race with seven opponents. Single race is very enjoyable as races can be challenging, to experienced racers on the hard difficulty level. Time trial requires you to complete a number of laps in the total time given. In speed lap, a new event, you need to complete one lap of the circuit quicker than the given time. To assist you, in both time trial and speed lap, you are given one turbo boost every lap. You usually have seven laps to beat the target lap time in speed lap. Time trial on the other hand can become very frustrating if you cannot complete a level.
In zone, you take control of a ship which continues to accelerate through a track. The aim is to survive as long as possible and to pass as many zones as possible. As you play through zones, even on the easier events you reach immense speeds. As you continue through the countless zones the speed class in which you are in increases to eventually, until you reach super phantom. New players will find zone very challenging, especially at extremely fast speeds. Eventually though, after two or three attempts the player will get used to the track and speeds.
Tournament is a number of races where you are given points for how well you do in each race. The total at the end determines your final score. Eliminator, a new event type, has you destroying as many opponents as possible in the set number of laps. Although eliminator is one of the best events in Pulse, it only scarcely ever appears in each grid. Head to head has you racing against only one opponent in which you try to maximise the distance between you. Eliminator and head to head only start to appear after grid 4.
Racebox is the free play mode seen in WipEout Pure, but this time you can customise the races by deciding how many opponents there are and what mode you are playing (eliminator single race etc.). Unfortunately to play on tracks in racebox you need to unlock them first in campaign which as you can imagine, is a pain. On the other hand, all the speed classes can be played from the beginning and you can customise your own grid.
A new feature in campaign is the introduction of loyalty points. Every time you race with a certain team, you receive loyalty points for that team which in turn unlocks skins and ships for that team. The difficulty level on which you play also affects the loyalty points you receive.
Pulse also introduces magnetic strips. Magnetic strips are areas on the track which lock onto your ship. This allows you to do 360 loops as well as 90 degree nose dives. Magnetic strips also add style to the tracks as is shown in the wonderfully designed 'Metropia' and 'De Konstruct'.
Pulse supports ad hoc, infrastructure and game-sharing. Both allow you to play the game with up to eight players at any game type. Multiplayer, WipEout is excellent and it is outstanding in both eliminator as well as single player. The atmosphere is great with the lobby being easy to navigate around.
The graphics are great with weapons being a joy to fire and then gaze at. Also, the tracks are designed perfectly with great surroundings, like a grand-canyon environment. The sound is great as you can add up to 30 mp3 tracks to the play list from your memory stick. The 16 dance-techno tracks which are in the game are good solid tracks and will keep you entertained for a long time to come. The only problem with the sound is the voice which alerts you of incoming weapons. She can become irritating over time, even though she is extremely helpful, as she once said 'rocket' three times in a row, non-stop. The gameplay remains excellent, though repetitive, as there are only 38 tracks, some of which are the same, but in the opposite direction. This hopefully should be resolved with the downloadable packs coming soon.
The controls remain exactly the same as in WipEout Pure with the D-pad/analogue stick being used to navigate the ship. The R and L trigger are air brake, which helps manoeuvre the ship around tight corners. X is used to accelerate. Square fires the weapon which you have obtained whereas circle absorbs it to increase the health of your ship.
Overall, Pulse is undeniably the best WipEout game yet. The magnetic strips definitely add more variety into the excellently designed tracks. The great, long-lasting campaign mode and the newly introduced online infrastructure mode will keep player hooked for hours. With free downloadable content coming our way from wipeout-game.com, WipEout Pulse will stay in you PSP for a long time to come.
A piece of advice. Do not play this game with the volume on whilst in public. Trust me on this one!
I bought Wipeout Pulse to keep me amused on a particulary long train journey from London to Glasgow. I've played the Wipeout series of games before, mainly on the Playstation and Playstation 2, so I was keen to see test out a portable version of the game. I had the choice between Wipeout Pure, and Wipeout Pulse, so I opted for the latter (although I later returned to purchase Wipeout Pure also - I just can't help myself and will post a review of Pure at a later date).
Wipeout is a futuristic racing game, in which players can take control of a variety of space craft each with advantages and disadvantages in relation to speed, handling, and shield abilities. The range of craft available is good, with something for everyone. My advice is to try each one out until you find the one that best suits your 'racing style'.
The aim of the game is to progress through grids, each of which contain a variety of different race types. These include time trials, single lap races against one and multiple opponents, and eliminator races in which the object is to destroy your opponents craft. Additionally, there is a zone type race, in which the speed of your craft notches up every few seconds or so until you are racing around the track faster than your eyes can cope with, desperately trying to avoid smashing up your craft! I should add that the zone type race was my LEAST favourite, owing to induced dizziness!!! This game is long, and you'll be playing it for a while - if you like racing games, this is up there in the top 10 (at least in my opinion!).
The graphics are lush. This includes the craft details, and the game's beautifully crafted selection of tracks. I should add that you can download additional tracks and crafts for this game from the PSP store at a small cost. Ummm... yes... I could not help myself in that regard either, and downloaded all of them...
The soundtrack is great - think dance music with a techno feel to it. The game also comes with the ability to upload your own music - although you need a USB cable and a laptop or PC to do this.
Finally, in your bid to win races, you are supplied with an arsenal of very useful weaponry. These range from shield depletion weapons, guns, and a particularly fun weapon called "quake". If one of your opponents launches a weapon at you, a robotic sounding woman will announce what is heading in your direction. Now, as I said in my opening paragraph, you might want to be careful with the audio on this one. As I sat on the train, my fellow travellers did not appreciate my robotic Wipeout gal announcing "Bomb" just as we pulled out of Newcastle.
Finally, there is multiplayer functionality with this game. You can play it online. However, whenever I have tried to do so, there is no-one online to play with!!! Argh! For that, I have to give this game 4 out of 5.
Seems all i'm doing recently is finding more racing games to review, but finally this is one with a different twist to it. The Wipeout series has been around for a long while, I should know as I was the proud owner of the original Wipeput and it's sequel Wipeout 2097 on the PSX. For all who don't know, Wipeout is a racing game , but think of it as an ultra tylish futuristic Mario Kart.
Flying at breakneck speeds through galaxy tracks, Wipeout produces a great level of entertainment for all. As well as being really really fast your little speed racing spaceship is equipt with a number of different weapons from missiles to lasers to blast your opponents in an attempt to take over them in the race for galaxy leader.
Grpahically this game is a tiumph, it's slick and really good to look at even when the game is at it's fastest it doesn't lose it's look and the tracks you race through look really cool. The sound is something the game has always delivered on throughout the series and it's no different here with some great up tempo dance tracks that fit right in with the gameplay. And that itself is although pretty hectic, great fun, playing Wipeout rarley gets boring as each race is very different thanks to the weapons and stuff.
All in this is just a great fast paced high action racing game that looks brilliant. What more can you ask for?!
Having recently playyed the PSP conversion of the original Wipeout game, i was worried that this game would be just as poor. However, this is a brilliant racing game for sonys portable system. Being a massive racing fan, i think this game is good for those seeking something a little more fun. For those who don't know, Wipeout is a racing game, set 200 years in the future, where players control an anti-gravity vehicle, with loads of different weapons to take down opponents. This new wipeout game has stunning visuals for a handheld, definatly one of the psp's better looking games. The campaign mode contains a variety of different race modes, including eliminator, tournaments, race and time trials, which earn you loyalty to unlock new content. All this means this game is well worth buying if your out for a racing game, that offers something a little different. All in all, this is a very solid title for the PSP.