A Brit Late: WipEout Pulse

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Release Date: December 14th 2007 (UK)

Lateness: Nearly 11 months

There’s a bit of a story behind my purchase of WipEout Pulse. I had just gotten a PSP-1000 and after definitely not loading it with custom firmware I needed my first PSP game to start me off on the potential games that lay hidden within the PSPs library of games. Fellow whore Bunnyrabbit2 suggested WipEout Pulse. Now I had never owned a WipEout game before and I remember on the demo for the original WipEout, I was terrible at it. However I was pretty young when I played that demo version and with an enticing price of £10/about $16  I couldn’t resist so I went and bought it. And boy  was it one of the best 10 pounds I had spent in a while. Find out after the jump.

If you don’t already know the theme for WipEout, it’s of a anti-gravity racing league set in the future. Think Formula One but on speed (Pun clearly intended). That’s as far as it goes regarding story, as it’s all about the racing and you have plenty to choose from.  Regarding race modes, there’s your regular race mode. There’s also zone, which is a test of survival with an ever increasing speed on your ship, eliminator, which is a deathmatch like mode where the ship that gets to 10, 15 or 25 kills first wins. Finally there is your regular time trial mode and speed lap, which is completing 1 lap as quick as possible. All of these modes are pretty fun to play but it’s eliminator that takes the cake for me. One would think that you would blow up enemies while moving up the positions, but that won’t work since once you’re first, you’re a sitting duck for the ships behind you. So you have to be tactical and this is why it’s my favourite.

There’s also the racing classes, which makes up for the lack of upgrades to your ship since each class is a different speed. This class system works in your favour, as the career mode begins in the lowest class so that you can get used to the game’s controls and then gradually ups the speeds as you progress further through the career mode. Speaking of the career mode, it is made up of 16 different “grids” which is a set of more and more races, so it means that the game will take a fair bit of time to complete. The game itself is fun to play, having the right amount of challenge and fun, and if the game is too hard or easy, just turn the difficulty up. WipEout Pulse also offers 8 player online or offline multiplayer, which sounds pretty damn good but I haven’t tried it so I can’t comment on it. Finally, on the plus side there is the ship skin creator on the official website for the game, which allows you to create a custom ship skin that can then be transferred to the game. That’s pretty damn cool.

Now, onto the negatives, for me they would have to be the game’s soundtrack, the photo mode and the circuits. I’m not a big fan of electronica or techno so I may be wrong in saying that the game’s soundtrack isn’t memorable. That being said the game does allow a custom soundtrack of up to 30 songs so it’s not all bad. The photo mode is a nice feature (the pictures in here are from it), but it’s not as  it could be because the game doesn’t offer replays so that you can take a photo of an awesome moment.As for the circuits, while they work well and are fun to race on, there is nothing that sticks out about them. They’re just circuits, nothing more, though now I’m just nitpicking.

It’s a shame that the PSP hasn’t done too well because I think that WipEout Pulse would have sold well. With a fleshed out career mode and online multiplayer as well as the customization features, WipEout Pulse is a nice little title that you should seriously consider buying if you have a PSP. It gets a thumbs up from me.

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