Players: 1 to 2 Player Game | Release Date: 01/26/03 | Genre:
Few futuristic racing games have been able to capture the speed and essence of the Wipeout and F-Zero series. Both are able to capture the freshness and creativity that the past games in those series have been able to accomplish. It doesn't take long for competing companies to try to cash in on the popularity of this genre, but at the same time it doesn't take long for these competitors to fail in the process.
As far as gamplay goes, it's fairly straight forward. There is gas, brake, left thruster, and right thruster. Each craft is easy to control, and generally there aren't any problems with the handling of the vehicles. The area where the problems arise, are the physics. The game just feels too generic to even contend with games like Wipeout and F-Zero. It's very arcade like, and there really isn't any depth to the controls at all.
There are just the basic racing modes seen in this game being Cup Race and Time Trails. Neither have anything special about them except for the fact that you will need to play the cup race mode to get more tracks to race on in the time trails mode.
The track design is for the most part well done, but seems too repetitive and they all seem to resemble each other very closely. And this brings us to the best and most impressive area of the game, the track editor. In this mode you can create your own tracks however you like, and you are free to do almost anything. It is very straight forward and easy to use. There are many different things that you can add to your tracks, but you must unlock them by playing the 1-player game. Even though I found myself not even using any of the extra options and just creating insane tracks for hours.
As far as graphics go, there isn't much here to look at. The textures are very simplistic and resemble an N64 game. The whole visual feel screams Wipeout but doesn't retain any real style that the Wipeout series has. Everything about the graphics are just plain simple. The rain effect, which many games have used before, comes off looking just plain bad. Water droplets seem to appear on screen one second, and disappear the next coming off as fake and just plain embarrassing.
But where it looses in graphics, it makes up for in the framerate. The game moves very quick and there isn't much slowdown if any during these high speed races. Even when playing in 2-player mode, the game doesn't seem to miss a beat and retains its framerate in most cases.
The sound in the game is once again very simplistic. As far as engine noises go, there isn't anything special to listen for and every vehicle has the same sounds. It doesn't fair too bad in the Music department though. Of course being all electronic music, it suits the game very well, and keeps the feeling of ì?¬l music in the future will be Electronicî ´ype feel that you would expect from a game of this genre.
Overall, this game just screams average, with the only area that stands out being the track editor. At $10, there really isn't much to expect from a budget priced title and you defiantly get your money's worth just for the track editor alone. If you enjoyed Wipeout Fusion on the PS2, then you will probably enjoy this title as well, but don't expect to be playing it for more then a couple weeks. Once you're done with the track editor, there isn't much else this game can offer. If the game was online, then it would of defiantly of been more fun being able to trade your tracks with other people and having online tournaments. But as it stands, this game is only slightly above average, with not much to loose if you're willing to pay the measly $10 for it. If you're a fan of this genre then I'd say it's at least worth a rental, but for everyone else just walk on by, there is nothing special to see here.