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 The Final Word game review

WipeOut XL -- Psygnosis

O.K., so how is it I managed to not review this game until now?!? I was just scanning through the archive and there it was, WipeOut 1 and 3, and what no number 2?!

Well let's set the record straight right now. This is THE best incarnation of WipeOut on the PlayStation hands down. Play-control is awesome, graphics are stunning, and the music is some of the best techno/dance music in a video game to date. I used to listen to this soundtrack so much in the car (the Rage Racer soundtrack was on the other side), that I wore the cassette tape out and it actually broke.

Control is pretty good with a standard DualShock controller, but totally shines with a NegCon controller. Control of your anti-gravity craft is very precise, and the line you take through the track is just as important as how much you lean back or forward on hills. The only complaint I can even strain to come up with here is that the difficulty of a couple of the tracks makes it very difficult for a novice to get through the game, and may get frustrated. With that said, I personally feel this title is really best suited to the gamer that has already perfected the first WipeOut. While this isn't that bad a thing, it is a small issue.

Graphics and sound-effects create a very dark and futuristic industrial mood that is completely in line with the background story for the game (this is supposed to be a sport evolved from industrial transport vehicles, right?).

I really liked the improvements in the weapons, and I thought the new graphical effects on the engines and weapon effects looked fantastic. ...and lets not forget to mention course design. These are some of the best fantasy racing courses I've ever seen in a game. Designed not only for great play-though, but also designed to help limit track pop-up. In fact, unlike the first WipeOut, I can't think of a single place in the game where I noticed pop-up on the tracks.

If you've only played either of the other WipeOut games and liked them in the least, then you owe it to yourself to pick up XL. Additionally, if you can get your hands on a NegCon controller, and have the patience to learn how to use it right, you may find yourself in for one of the best video fantasy racing games to date. Let's hope that the eventual future release of WipeOut Fusion for the PlayStation 2 lives up to the quality in this title. My hopes are that it will since word is that it is being done by the original team responsible for both this version and the original.

>>>>> 24.5/25 <<<<< R.I.P.
Graphics 5.0
Sound 5.0
Gameplay/Control 5.0
Longevity/Playability 4.5
Overall 5.0
Total 24.5