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Wipeout Pure PSP

Published by Sony Computer Entertainment Europe
Developed by Studio Liverpool
Release Date: Out Now
Price: £34.99

Wipeout Pure, an introduction.

The original Wipeout was a huge success on the original PlayStation console and can definitely be considered a major contributor to the console's phenomenal popularity. Wipeout was essentially the PlayStation's answer to the F-Zero series and offered the same kind of futuristic races and excitement. The sequels weren't quite as good but thankfully, Wipeout Pure sees a return to the style of the original game and it's easily the best game in the series since the original Wipeout.

What's the game about?

Wipeout Pure contains a Single Race, Tournament, Time Trial, Zone and Free Play mode for single players. Multiplayer gaming is supported too with a wireless ah hoc mode available that will allow up to 8 players to take part in tournaments. The game contains 12 brand new circuits as well as four updated classic ones. The handling of the ships has been reworked since Wipeout Fusion and they handle almost identically to the ships in the original Wipeout. In fact the game as a whole largely ignores the disappointing sequels that Wipeout had and returns to the original, winning formula.

What's good about the game?

Wipeout Pure is simply a magnificent example of what the PSP can do. The graphics, the frame rate and general sensation of speed make Wipeout Pure one heck of an experience. Wipeout Pure can also be expanded by downloads. These downloads will consist of ships, skins and circuits, which is superb. The first of these downloads the Gamma pack, was available for the PSP launch day and added some wonderful circuits (easily as good as those included in the original game). The only downside of these extra packages is that they take up a lot of space on your memory card and if, like me, you are only using the 32MB memory stick that came with the PSP you'll soon run out of space. The game itself is superb though and the Tournament mode in particular will keep you busy for months. It takes a lot of time to get used to handling the various ships at speed as well as getting used to the circuits but the experience is so rewarding that you'll never lose interest. The AI is also good and again it will take some time before you win the more difficult races. The Zone mode is basically a test of endurance as you try to ride through as many zones as possible before your ship, which gradually gets faster, is destroyed. Zone mode has its own circuits which makes it even more interesting. The ships can be controlled with either the analogue stick or the directional buttons and both methods work well although the analogue sticks allows for smoother control.

What's not so good about the game?

Perhaps the biggest disappointment is the inability to race against opponents over the Internet. Had this been possible the game would certainly have been difficult to pick fault with. As we've mentioned above, you'll really need a larger memory card if you want to take advantage of the additional packages that will be available for download in the future.

How does it look?

Without a doubt the best looking launch title for the PSP is Wipeout Pure. The last version of Wipeout to arrive on the PlayStation 2 was dogged by a poor frame rate but Wipeout Pure manages to keep a constant frame rate, which is really impressive. The game retains the same futuristic look as previous titles in the series and both the ships and the circuits look great on the PSP.

How deaf gamer friendly is the game?

For the most part Wipeout Pure is fine for deaf gamers. Most of the information in the game is displayed in text. During races you're verbally warned if mines are on the circuit which is actually an important feature because the circuits have so many twists and turns that it's quite easy to hit the mines before you know they are there. However these warnings are not shown in text and it's probably the only complaint that deaf gamers will have with the game.

Final thoughts.

Fans of the original Wipeout will love what's on offer in Wipeout Pure. Even those who never experienced the original Wipeout but like futuristic racing games like the F-Zero titles will appreciate the game. Longstanding fans of the Wipeout series have had to suffer disappointing Wipeout sequels but in Wipeout Pure they finally have a game that manages to recapture the spirit of the original game which is quite an achievement.


Overall Game Rating: 9.0/10

Deaf Gamers Classification:

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Wipeout Pure recaptures the magic of the original Wipeout and is easily the best game in the series since the original game. If you like futuristic racers then this is a must have and it is easily one of the best PSP launch titles we've seen.