|System: PSP||Review Rating Legend|
|Dev: SCEE Liverpool||1.0 - 1.9 = Avoid||4.0 - 4.4 = Great|
|Pub: SCEE (SONY)||2.0 - 2.4 = Poor||4.5 - 4.9 = Must Buy|
|Release: Feb. 12, 2008||2.5 - 2.9 = Average||5.0 = The Best|
|Players: 1 (2-8 online)||3.0 - 3.4 = Fair|
|ESRB Rating: Everyone 10+||3.5 - 3.9 = Good|
But the best feature of the gameplay has to be its online functionality. Not only does WipEout Pulse have online capacity for up to eight players to compete in multi-level custom tournaments, but it will also be the first PSP game to feature downloadable content. Although there is none available as of the time of this review, there should be some on the way fairly soon. The game links directly to the WipEout Pulse website, so delivery should be pretty simple. In addition to the downloadable content that will be available at the website, you can also customize your favorite WipEout Pulse vehicles.
Control for this game is pretty simple, and is actually a real departure from other games in the futuristic racing genre. While games like Fatal Inertia suffered from a control scheme that was a little too difficult to learn and very frustrating to play, WipEout Pulse has a control scheme that is the exact opposite. You use the X button to accelerate, the d-pad to steer (or the thumbstick if you so desire), and the shoulder buttons to make sharp turns. You also have a button that allows you to regain power by absorbing weapons you pick up instead of using them. And that is the extent of the controls. The control scheme feels very precise and responsive. There were very few moments where I felt that the controls were too much for me to master.
Visually, this game looks pretty good. Tracks look absolutely beautiful, and feature smooth environments that compliment the futuristic sci-fi feel of the game. The color in the game uses a lot of silvers and grays and uses some interesting lighting effects to showcase the most interesting parts of the course. The only facet of the visuals that does not look completely stunning is the different vehicles. They look a little rough, and seem to lack the polish of the tracks. But aside from this minor detail, the game is probably one of the best-looking games on the PSP.
WipEout Pulse is a pretty awesome racer for the PSP. It is one of the few futuristic racers that feels actually playable after a few minutes, a considerable feat considering the competition. It has great tracks, varied gameplay, and some pretty innovative online functionality. It is a blast to play, and I would definitely consider this a must-own for PSP owners who also consider themselves fans of racing games. Even if you've never played games like Fatal Inertia or F-Zero, you'll almost certainly find something to love in this high-octane title.
Amanda L. Kondolojy
CCC Freelance Writer