Tuesday, January 13, 2009

My Top 8 of 2008: #3 WipeOut HD

Anyone who remembers the original Sony PlayStation can appreciate the revival of the WipeOut franchise in 2008. In 1995, Wipeout delivered on the promise of futuristic 3-D racing experiences and we were all sufficiently wowed by its beautiful urban landscape, and sleek twists and turns. WipeOut was quite the accomplishment then, and it seemingly grabbed our attention and never really let go.

Fast-forward and WipeOut HD represents a new promise to this generation of gaming: the delivery of high quality, high-definition full games via download. For only $20 gamers invested in a superior audio visual experience that combines the tracks of both previous PSP iterations of WipeOut. Yes, both portable games admiringly retained the classic WipeOut charm, but in HD the experience received a sizable high-resolution boost to full 1080p HD.

Although the controls here are tight and the online play is solid, it seems that any potential future for the series has been left to us, ironically. As of this writing, we here at Systemic have no idea how well the game has sold online (it didn't make the top 10 list, though) or when new tracks will be released online, but it would be a waste if Sony sits on their laurels and won't support this model since downloadable games are the future of this industry.

If you're a complete novice or a fan, give WipeOut HD a try. It's got friendly race assist options designed to help new players ease into the series (because no on likes running into walls the first time they play an unfamiliar racing game). The included tracks are some of the best of the last two games with more on the way (at least we hope), and Zone mode is a great way to help you hone your skills for online play. And the price barrier to entry here is a welcome one. At $20 bucks, there really wasn't an equal racing experience last year that could compete.

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