Reviews// WipEout HD (PS3)

I'm sure I've sEen this before

Posted 25 Sep 2008 00:00 by
Companies:
Games: WipEout HD
When the original PlayStation landed in Europe back in 1995 one of the best launch games was a strangely capitalised title from Liverpool-based Psygnosis called wipEout. With its combination of Designer's Republic-styling, dance music soundtrack and speedy game play, wipEout was an instant hit, topping sales charts and gathering critical acclaim.

Unusually for a Sony-owned studio, Psygnosis published wipEout on the Sega Saturn as well as PlayStation and PC. The follow-up game, wipEout 2097 (known as wipEout XL outside of Europe) was also released on Saturn, PC, Mac and PlayStation. A version of wipEout 2097 was even released for the Nintendo 64 as wipEout 64 with added split-screen multiplayer.

All subsequent games were published only on Sony-owned platforms; wip3out (wipEout 3 outside of Europe) on PlayStation, WipEout Fusion on PlayStation 2 and WipEout Pure and WipEout Pulse on PlayStation Portable. Now we have WipEout HD on PlayStation 3 which is a combination of the best parts of Pure and Pulse, with a few tweaks, delivered at an eye-watering 1080p and 60 frames per second, exclusively available on the PlayStation Network Store.

As you would expect, WipEout HD sticks quite firmly to the winning game-play formula that its predecessors have established. You race around tight tracks in high-speed hover vehicles, using weapon pick-ups and speed pads to try and make sure you finish first out of the eight racers. Points for gold, silver and bronze medals open up new events and speed classes.

There are, of course, events that stray from the simple single race concept. You can enter Tournaments of multiple races that use F1-style points in the races to place you in the tournament standings. There are Time Trial and Speed Lap events in which you must complete a number of laps in an allotted time or set the fastest single lap time you can in order to earn your medals.

Then there is Zone. Hang on while I calm down enough to describe this game mode to you...

...OK, here we go.

Zone is based on a very simple concept; you are placed in a ship that moves up a speed class for every ten second zone you complete. You have no say over your thrust at all, only steering and air brakes fall under your control. Since your ship takes damage as usual, your destruction is inevitable. Medals are awarded for completing certain numbers of zones.

Zone is the single most frustrating game mode on the planet. You start off in the slower speed classes where you will over-anticipate the corners and crash. Next you will briefly flit through the class you are currently playing in the rest of the game where your reactions will serve you well. Then you keep ploughing on through the higher speed classes where you can't judge the corners well enough and will crash by under-anticipating them. And because you move up a speed class every 10 seconds, you never get a full lap in any class to properly get used to it.

Somewhere in Liverpool, a game designer is missing their true calling as a sadistic torturer.
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Companies:
Games: WipEout HD

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Comments

Gazo 25 Sep 2008 11:51
1/12
strange rating... a few things that you didn't like are plain subjective and the rest is like "great" - so this is 73/100? whatever...
Xbot 25 Sep 2008 11:52
2/12
Poor nintendo fankid you are son.
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Tim Smith 25 Sep 2008 12:11
3/12
Gazo wrote:
strange rating... a few things that you didn't like are plain subjective and the rest is like "great" - so this is 73/100? whatever...


73-100 is 13 above average. It is also a strong recommendation in copy for the gamer who appreciates WipEout games (hence the history lesson from Gavin at the top). Gavin, by the way, is a longtime fan of the IP. He's also more than aware of its development/evolution and expressed that.

In terms of 'plain subjective'; it's a review of a piece of creative work experienced subjectively. The idea that any game review (or film or music or literature review) isn't subjective is immediately flawed. At best we can strive for objectivity - e.g. "The fact that the control system in NewBigGame is based on a single-button excluding all other aspects of the joypad, is a flaw" - but that's about as far as it goes.

All that said - at least you've bothered to read the review rather than simply referring to the score. Any chance you - and other readers - would like to post up how you think 1-100 review scores should break down?

All the best

Tim



Tim Smith 25 Sep 2008 12:36
4/12
Tim Smith wrote:
73-100 is 13 above average.


Jesus Tim! Learn to count you idiot!

It's 23 above average!

Fool!

Tim
McE 25 Sep 2008 12:50
5/12
1080p and 60fps alone is more than 13 above average. your site ist more below average dude
pretender 25 Sep 2008 12:54
6/12
McE wrote:
1080p and 60fps alone is more than 13 above average. your site ist more below average dude


next dumbass that cant count! obviously it is(t) a german one. rofl
joe 25 Sep 2008 13:38
7/12
pretender wrote:
McE wrote:
1080p and 60fps alone is more than 13 above average. your site ist more below average dude


next dumbass that cant count! obviously it is(t) a german one. rofl


50 is average of 1-100 but doesnt eman its the average review score of all games entire universe

THink average review score on average is 75% therefore this game is a below average game.

To be fair averages are so useless.
tyrion 25 Sep 2008 19:55
8/12
Gazo wrote:
strange rating... a few things that you didn't like are plain subjective and the rest is like "great" - so this is 73/100? whatever...

Hi guys. Just so you know, I'm the reviewer. Thanks for all your feedback.

For the record, I'm a big fan of WipEout games, that's why I got HD to review in the first place. I have played all of them, I even still own Wip3out and WipEout Fusion, widely regarded as the "worst" or "hardest" of the series depending on your POV.

A few reasons why the score is lower than you lot seem to have expected;

Even though I enjoyed the game and did reasonably well with it in the time I had to review it (I posted some top-10 times and scores on the reviewers' network leader boards), I can put myself into the place of other people who won't enjoy it as much.

SPOnG has many readers who either don't like WipEout or have never tried it, they will have a hard time liking HD without turning on the pilot assist function, which is basically cheating :-)

For those that love WipEout and have a PSP, you'll have played all of the tracks in WipEout HD when you played Pure and Pulse, but the Eliminator game mode has been removed.

So basically we've got a re-worked PSP game with some features removed and some additional tweaks that isn't very accessible to new players. On that basis, I had to give the game a lower score than I would have otherwise done.

SPOnG takes the view that 50% is an average game, nothing special, but playable, you wouldn't hate someone who gave you it as a gift even if you wouldn't buy it yourself. WipEout HD is a must buy for some of you, but others will hate it, so a mid-70s percentage is right by our scoring guidelines. If it was as excellent a game, but with much wider appeal, it would be in the 80s or even 90s.

If you love WipEout, you'll love HD, go and buy it now and enjoy it, even if you've played the PSP versions. If you hate WipEout, this game won't change your mind. If you're unsure, play it at a friend's house, you might really like it, but you'll have to give it some time.
config 25 Sep 2008 22:33
9/12
McE wrote:
1080p and 60fps alone is more than 13 above average. your site ist more below average dude

So by that reckoning, any graphics whore tech demo with bugger all gameplay is deserving of "13 above average". Yeah, that;'s what games are all about.

I played Wipeout HD for a couple of rounds, and personally I wouldn't have given it 73 - it's really not that far above average. I know what you may be thinking; "a few rounds isn't enough to pass judgement!". Well, with a game like Wipeout HD, I think it probably is. Let's face it, it's hardly like there's some emergent gameplay in there, right? Seriously, the game shows no clear evolution over its predecessors is the gameplay department. The whole weapon pickup aspect continues to be a joke - you can only carry one randomly gifted weapon, and once it's gone it's gone. You can't stockpile and select a weapon for a given set of circumstances so, with s**t moving around so fast, you may as well just shoot the bolt and see what pointless weapon you get next.

I played the demo of Fatal Inertia a few weeks ago and the weapon aspect was much more entertaining and integral to the gameplay.

Wipeout needs to either embrace its weapons or ditch them.
Brick 26 Sep 2008 00:17
10/12
McE - you're missing the point. Completely.

How different was the gameplay in GTA4 from its predecessor? Or Halo 2 from the original? Or MGS4 from 2 or 3? If it aint broke, you don't fix it.

When I download WipEout, the last thing I want is "Emergent Gameplay". I want WipEout, in all its 1080p 60fps glory. And please, do not even mention Fatal Inertia in the same breath - it's in a different postcode.

73% is comfortably the lowest score this game has received anywhere on the net. We're all entitled to our opinions I guess - mine just happens to be that Spong has scored this waaaaaaaaaaaaay low...
Brick 26 Sep 2008 00:25
11/12
tyrion wrote:
Gazo wrote:
strange rating... a few things that you didn't like are plain subjective and the rest is like "great" - so this is 73/100? whatever...

Hi guys. Just so you know, I'm the reviewer. Thanks for all your feedback.

For the record, I'm a big fan of WipEout games, that's why I got HD to review in the first place. I have played all of them, I even still own Wip3out and WipEout Fusion, widely regarded as the "worst" or "hardest" of the series depending on your POV.

A few reasons why the score is lower than you lot seem to have expected;

Even though I enjoyed the game and did reasonably well with it in the time I had to review it (I posted some top-10 times and scores on the reviewers' network leader boards), I can put myself into the place of other people who won't enjoy it as much.

SPOnG has many readers who either don't like WipEout or have never tried it, they will have a hard time liking HD without turning on the pilot assist function, which is basically cheating :-)

For those that love WipEout and have a PSP, you'll have played all of the tracks in WipEout HD when you played Pure and Pulse, but the Eliminator game mode has been removed.

So basically we've got a re-worked PSP game with some features removed and some additional tweaks that isn't very accessible to new players. On that basis, I had to give the game a lower score than I would have otherwise done.

SPOnG takes the view that 50% is an average game, nothing special, but playable, you wouldn't hate someone who gave you it as a gift even if you wouldn't buy it yourself. WipEout HD is a must buy for some of you, but others will hate it, so a mid-70s percentage is right by our scoring guidelines. If it was as excellent a game, but with much wider appeal, it would be in the 80s or even 90s.

If you love WipEout, you'll love HD, go and buy it now and enjoy it, even if you've played the PSP versions. If you hate WipEout, this game won't change your mind. If you're unsure, play it at a friend's house, you might really like it, but you'll have to give it some time.


Subsitute "WipEout HD" with "Halo 2" and "The PSP Versions" with "Halo". If you loved the first, you'll love the sequel. But if you didn't like the first one, I have to mark this one down as you're bound not to like it.

By your logic, every sequel should get a 73%, despite the merits of the game itself. Bizarre.
tyrion 26 Sep 2008 08:50
12/12
Brick wrote:
Subsitute "WipEout HD" with "Halo 2" and "The PSP Versions" with "Halo". If you loved the first, you'll love the sequel. But if you didn't like the first one, I have to mark this one down as you're bound not to like it.

In my opinion, the whole Halo series is overrated, but never mind.

At least Halo 2 added game play elements, it didn't take them away. It added new levels, it didn't reuse the ones from the original Halo. It was a true sequel that moved the series on.

Brick wrote:
By your logic, every sequel should get a 73%, despite the merits of the game itself. Bizarre.

No, that's only true if you twist my words to fit your argument. Many sequels add a lot to the series, they innovate the game play, they add levels and locations you haven't played before or they move the series forward in some other tangible way.

WipEout HD isn't a true sequel, it's a remake.

In fact, it's a remake with bits taken out.

In fact, it's a remake of a game that's difficult for new players to pick up, with bits taken out.

Personally I really like it. I downloaded it last night and was playing it until after midnight, replaying the races I'd completed on the review code. However, it's not new, it's not for everyone and it's not easy for new players to get into. Those factors have to affect the score.

Reviews aren't aimed at people who have already made up their mind. They aren't there to confirm your already made choice and make you feel good about it. They certainly aren't there to back-slap the latest most hyped game.

Reviews should be there to help everybody decide if they will like the game. You have to read the whole review to understand it, otherwise we'd just list game names and scores.

Put it this way; does me giving WipEout HD a score of 73% affect your enjoyment of the game?
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