The PSP has a launch line-up to die for. Once again gamers have been treated to a near-revolutionary gaming machine featuring several must-have titles and at the top of the list (for me at least) is Wipeout Pure. It couldn’t be more aptly named, to be honest.
Wipeout Fusion on the PS2 did a lot to harm the reputation of Studio Liverpool and one of their most popular intellectual properties. For some reason it just didn’t sit well with gamers. It had great graphics, was reasonably fast, and had some new challenging game modes - but there was something missing - or perhaps too much added in to appeal to Wipeout purists. So it was with some trepidation that I purchased Wipeout Pure for my PSP. I needn’t have worried, the game is utterly fantastic.
Wipeout Pure is a return to the glory days of old, and restores Wipeout to its rightful place at the top of the tree of all futuristic racing games. If you’ve never played a Wipeout game, imagine a racing game featuring sleek and fast hovering anti-gravity racing machines bred purely for the purpose, with massive weapon upgrades scattered throughout the tracks to ensure the opposition don’t have an easy time of it. It’s so fast that you’ll need top-notch dexterity to cope with its twisting turning speed tracks. Thankfully your ship is fitted with twin air-brakes allowing you to take corners at breakneck speeds without breaking a sweat.
Let’s not forget the other trademark of any Wipeout title, the music. All the old favourites are back along with some new artist and Wipeout is one of the few titles where the soundtrack fits the game so perfectly that you won’t want to switch it off. The whole thing runs so smoothly on the PSP that it makes a perfect title to show off to anyone who thinks that portable gaming means stripped-down content. It doesn’t. There’s a full Championship mode here, Time Trials and a mode which sees you trying to keep control of your racer as its speed constantly increases to the point where you can barely corner. There is also a fully-featured multiplayer mode and we had 6 racers all playing wirelessly in no time at all. Not only this, downloadable content will also be available in the future which extends the life of the title immensely. Couple that with the fact that you can save your ghost races to memory stick, port them to your PC and email them to a friend and there’s a lot to be said for making this one of your first PSP purchases.