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Wipeout 3 (PSX) by Brian

Psygnosis

Overrall Score - 8

Still the same old game, but vastly improved.  4-Player, man!

 

      In the 22nd century, car racing is obselete.  At any time of day, people gather to watch the anti-grav ship races.  If a ship can't break 100 kmph, it can't finish anything but last.

      While the numeric speeds may not top most fantasy racing games on the market, the actual speed tops just about every racing game.  Wipeout 3 may start out slow, but once you get to Rapier class, you have to air brake like mad man.  Just when you think it doesn't get any faster, you finally unlock Phantom class.  In Phantom class, using the analog stick on the Dual Shock controller to steer is a joke.

      The main problem with this game is how more than half the game has to be "unlocked".  Also, it doesn't even tell you that you can have up to four players if you link two Playstations together. Having played Wipeout XL this way, I think it's a great feature.  Of course, once you have everything unlocked, finally, the game couldn't be much better.

      Most people tend to dislike the gameplay because they don't know how to control the ships. The most important thing to remember is to turn before you get to the sharp turns.  The game plays more like boat racing than car racing.  They are, after all, not actually on the ground.

      While I miss the Turbo Boost, Electrobolt, and Spread Rockets from XL, the new weapons are... well, interesting.  My favorite new weapon, by far, is the Energy Drain.  If you've taken a lot of damage and can stay on your target's tail, you can eliminate him.  It also helps to ram it a few times. 

      The game has a few bugs, like a few clipping problems, and it changes some options back to the default when you don't want it to, but aside from that it's very well done. 

      The new tracks are a bit short, but they are very good.  They may seem a bit easy in Vector class, but then Vector class is really slow and easy.  The spiral in the Mega Mall isn't as spectacular as I had hoped.

      The best new feature is split-screen multi-player.  Not only is it split-screen, but you actually get to choose whether it's a horizontal or vertical split.  Of course, don't kiss your link cable good-bye.  Although it's not mentioned anywhere in the manual, you can get four player multi-player with that link cable.  Two-player just doesn't cut it once you've played it four-player.

Just change the default name on both Playstations to LINK, go to Establish Link, then select up to two players per Playstation, single or eliminator mode, then proceed as normal. 

      Another great feature is that you can pop it into your CD-Player, skip the first track, and listen to the great techno tracks that follow.  I'm not a big techno fan, but it does sound good.

      Now, on to the graphics.  You can't fully appreciate how much of an improvement was made over Wipeout XL unless you view them side by side.  It's like watching Soul Calibur on the Dreamcast next to Soul Edge on Playstation.  While Wipeout 3 may not bear as many polygons as its predecessor, you can see further, the picture is clearer, the frame rate is better, but most of all the colors don't clash.  That last one may not seem important, but when you play Phantom class, believe me, it is.

      All in all, it's the best of the series by far.  While it doesn't have as much going on graphically as Wipeout XL, it's still far superior.

 

 

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