Game Review: WipEout HD on PSN

The fast-paced, futuristic racer makes us wish real flying were this cool! WipEout HD has something in it’s back pocket… 1080p and 5.1 Dolby Digital. F-Zero-esque?

I seriously thought Techno Music went out with Z Cavaricci’s. Apparently not if it’s 5.1 Dolby Digital Techno Music. And the pixels, ohh the pixels. WipEout HD is beautiful. The quality of this game blows my mind for a PSN title. Online challenges and Campaign mode are both entertaining. Heck, you can even upload your own tracks and race listening to “Chocolate Rain”. Have to admit, I never played any previous versions of WipEout before. Maybe a bit of WipEout 64, but it was at a friends house and I had Peanut Butter all over my hands so I gave up the controller after the first turn. When I downloaded WipEout HD from the PSN, I had no idea what to expect. Beside it being a futuristic racing game… wiseguy.

Gameplay very forgiving. WipEout HD does a great job of convincing you that you know how to fly. Crashing into walls is a thing of the past. The controls are very soft thus creating a delayed reaction when avoiding walls or an opponent but not really. Hope that was clear. What I mean is, if you’ve played racer games or flying games before you know how responsive your craft can be. With WipEout HD it’s different. If you’re heading towards a wall and try to avoid it at the last minute your ship will correct itself back on the track path. In other words you will not crash and burn like other racing games if you hit the wall dead on.

Online Mode is easy. The online mode allows up to 8 people to race together. The only report we’ve heard negative about online play, is if you have over 50 friends in your “friends list” your game will freeze up. The splitscreen mode is nice for two people playing locally oh yeah and in 1080p. And beating an opponent just looks that much better. Need proof? Use ‘Photo Mode’. At the end of a race press the square button. You can now save the picture of you crossing the finish line and email to you friend for bragging rights. ~Hint: Trophy Award
I’ve been asked “What about voice chat?” While playing online press “L1” to activate it. I’ll stick up for the people, it isn’t noted during online play.

Weapons are not self explanatory. Flying your ship over the red “x” pads collects weapons. You got your greens and your reds. Green weapons are positive for your ship like turbo, shield and auto-pilot. Red weapons are negative for your opponents ships. Rockets, missiles, cannons, plasma, etc. Simple eh? Similar to Mario Kart 64.

Speed Pads explained. As you fly your ship over the blue arrow pads your ship will boost. It will be hard to hit every blue arrow tab during on-line play. All the players have the same goal you do. Pick up weapons and fly over blue pads.

With Campaign Mode brings Trophies. I know, who cares about XMB Trophies? Well, hate to break it to you, but everyone in some shape or form. WipEout HD’s Trophy system is a bit difficult to attain. Gathering up the first handful can be done with 1 hour of play in both Campaign and on-line. Like to see the full list, check it out here.

The Good
– 1080p, 5.1 Dolby Digital
– Online play, easy and fun
– Photo mode
– $20 Downloadable PSN Title
– Upload your own tracks
– Yup, Trophy Support

The Bad
– The over 50 friends bug
– Techno music
(after 30 minutes on ‘Main Menu’)

Final Note. For the price tag of $19.99 on the PSN, this title is a must have for any racing fan. Why have a disc that can get scratched, or get up to insert into your PS3? Your 60gb PS3 won’t mind.

If you were a fan of SNES’s F-Zero, you’d get a kick out of WipEout HD!



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