Friday, February 1, 2008

Review: Wipeout Pulse

So, Wipeout.. After hearing so much about it, how futuristic the race it, the break neck speed and the killer power ups, I finally got my chance of playing the Wipeout series last week. But how do I define the series then? Well, let me put it in this terms. Playing Wipeout for the first time is like given the key for a Jet fighter with no instruction booklet while your commander pats you on the back and says,"Don't worry, there is an eject button somewhere in there. So go crazy"

My first 15 minutes of Wipeout is mayhem,crash and burn race. I had absolutely no idea how to break, use power ups, absorbs power up or even turn sharp corners! The break neck speed on where you are going does not exactly help either but 15 mins later I manage to find the break button, find out how to turn sharp corners and absorbs power. Winning though is a totally different matter altogether.

You starts off the race at always the position of number 8 (last) even though on by the 3rd lap you would still be on the last position, a proper speed and boost at the right amount would propel you to the 1st position. This of course apply the same to the AI where they can unexpectedly zoom by you in the matter of seconds! The tracks are designed with curves and turns where the first few time you are running through it you would be embracing the wall as if you have missed a long lost lover, kissing the wall every few yard and going straight into their embrace. So worry not if you would have to go through a track more times than you can count.

I have to admit though, most of the time I have been ignoring the sound track while I concentrate my best to steer clear off the walls embrace and keeping myself centered onto the track. One of those rare moments when I can actually listen to the soundtrack, I am bombarded with techno musics which hypes up all the futuristic race feeling. Granted, if you prefer Mozart while racing, Wipeout Pulse allows you to play your own tune from your memory card.

To advance to the next level, Wipeout Pulse comes in a grid system which is in the form of hexagonal beehive kind of thing. By playing through one grid, you will unlock the next adjacent grid and so on and hence forth eventually unlocking the whole grid. Each grid features different type of race, there is the time trial, zone (where you need to stay alive as long as possible while the speed increases slowly), tournament and the age old Elimination which takes the meaning Wipeout to the next level. In normal elimination level on every other racing game, the last racer in every track is kicked out. In Pulse, elimination requires you to wipeout the other racer using the power-up provided in track. Death Match on Track! Cool eh?

Wipeout Pulse takes on a whole new meaning of futuristic racing for those that are not familiar with this series, it reaches into your brain and gently squishes all thoughts out of you as you concentrate and let your instinct guides you through the next level. Turns and hairpins are abundance as you try your best to remember which turns are best taken without break and which turns ends with a straight strip where you can speed up and overtake everybody else. For those that love racing this is one racing game that you should not miss. The graphics are superb but does not really matter when you are trying your best to steer clear off the walls, the music gets your heart pumping and the AI try their best to outrun and eliminate you.

Truly, Wipeout Pulse is an experience to behold.

To purchase Wipeout Pulse, head to HERE

-Because I Can-