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Wipeout 64 (N64)

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Developed by Psygnosis and published by Midway Games Inc, this is a futuristic racing game. With weapons. And it has 7 courses to race over.

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    9 Reviews
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      09.07.2002 01:31
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      To be honest, I had doubts about buying WipEout 64. The PlayStation versions were renowned for their crisp, clear graphics, and fantastic sound tracks. On the Nintendo 64, however, how would these graphics fare after the texture blurring process? And surely those soundtracks will disappear? Wrong. Graphically, WipEout 64 is superior to both the original WipEout and WipEout 2097, although it looks nowhere near as good as the recent WipEout 3. The textures are crisp, and the frame rate is smooth. However, there is certainly a low polygon count at play, as many of the cliff faces and stadia look quite rectangular. Possibly the biggest issue with the graphics, though, is the awful pop-up. In WipEout 64's case, you can often see the track drawing itself up ahead, which is quite disconcerting when entering what appears to be a short tunnel, and finding out it is longer than you thought. However, the PlayStation versions also suffered dreadful pop-up, and so I feel obliged to ignore it for this conversion. So, what about the sound? Amazingly, the music HAS remained intact. The Propellorheads and Fluke have both provided "proper" music to the game, and compression experts PC Music have also provided some. The quality is superb, mainly due to the large amount of compression on the cartridge. The compromise: there is actually a loading time while the music decompresses, and the output is in mono. Although the loading time is only about 5 seconds, it is all the more noticeable due to the "Please Wait" screen that appears. Speech is also used to introduce you to the track, and a countdown is provided by computerised voice (apparently done on an Amiga). A number of people have claimed that this voice is tacky, but compared to the voice-over in the original, it is actually pretty good. With the graphics and sounds covered, then, it is time to look at the game play. And it's a beaut. Control is the main aspect where WipEout 64 succeeds. Analogue control means the game is easy to control, and the steering is a lot sharper than in the other versions. The game is also structured differently, with a special "challenge mode", where the choice of class, ship and course is decided for you. There are also different types of challenges, including Race, Time Trial and Weapons. Although the first two modes are great, Weapons mode does not come off as well as it should. Similar to the Death Race in F-Zero X, the objective is to destroy all your fellow racers with the variety of power-ups employed on the track. And, just like Death Race, it is nowhere near as good as the racing aspect of the game. WipEout is hard, so it will last some time. There is also a multiplayer mode. Two player is excellent, but too much detail and speed is lost in four player to make it a viable alternative to the Mario Kart's and GoldenEye's of this world. I actually prefer this game to Nintendo's more popular F-Zero X, and as it is available for only £10, I seriously suggest you buy it. As someone who owns all the WipEout games, I think this comes a close second behind WipEout SE. That's high praise indeed.

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        25.01.2002 20:42
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        This is what racing games are meant to be about - ultra-fast tests of skill, anticipation, memory, reflexes, and shooting. There, that about sums it up............ Only kidding, there's no way I'm letting you off that easily. I've decided to write an op on Wipeout 64 as I've mentioned it in a previous op, on Star Wars: Racer, a game I was less than impressed with when I compared it to this one. Well, having made that statement I should be prepared to put my money where my mouth is, so it's only proper that I review this game too. Wipeout originally appeared on the PlayStation (and I think the PC and Saturn too), and was a huge success, so when the N64 was released, a new version of Wipeout was created too. Although that was a few years ago, the game is still the best racing game on the N64 platform. The premise is simple. It's about 100 years in the future, and anti-gravity racing is the new formula 1. Instead of cars going around a track, levitating car / spaceship hybrids (well, I can't think of anything better to call them) now race at new tracks around the world - there's a radar station in Greenland, an underwater course, and a track on the Moon too. As you would expect in any racing game, there are different craft to choose from, with each one having different characteristics (some have good handling, others accelerate faster, etc). There are also 3 diffent types of single player game to play: race, weapon or time trial. In these challenges you must particpate in a series of 6 races and fulfil a set of criteria - either place 1st 2nd or 3rd in each race (race challenge), beat a preset time (timetrial), or destroy a set number of competitors disregarding final placings (weapon). The race challenge is the easiest, the weapon challenge is the most fun. As usual in these games, the better you do, you more extras you unlock. By defeating the challenges you unlock 4 new facilities: a bonus track to race on, an upgrade in weapon power, and a new craft to fly (the Piranha II), which is top of the range in all criteria. You also unlock a "super combo" challenge, which combines the race and weapon challenges - you have to place in the top 3, while destroying x number of opponents. This is HARD. VERY HARD. But it all adds to the enjoyment and longevity of the game. The learning curve in this game is perfect - you can race an easy track in an easy craft at a slow speed to learn the trade before graduating to the challenges, which is a big help; you aren't just thrown in at the deep end. The graphics are absolutely phenomenal - the colours and speed will astound you, regardless of anything you may have seen before. There is no slow-down, and no pop-up whatsoever. Some of the effects when you fire a weapon are brilliant, and one in particular, the quake disruptor, is hilarious. Seriously, this game is fun. The handling of the cars / craft things is excellent - the analogue stick can take a bit of getting used to when banking around a corner, but you get the hang of it after 2 races. You can surprise yourself at how well you can react at ultra-high speed when presented with a sudden curve. The weapons, which in my opinion are what makes this game truly great, give an added dimension to the gameplay, and all fit in with the futuristic feel. Each of the 5 types of craft has its own unique special weapon which ads to the carnage, with the mini-gun of the Feisar craft being my personal favourite. Nearly finished. The game also has a multi-player facility, with up to 4 players playing at once. I've only played it with 2 players, so can't comment on the 3 or 4 player options, but in 2 player the game is just as good. There is a slight reduction ni graphic resolution, but this does not detract from the gameplay in the slightest - it is intensely gratifying to shoot your mate in the backside just as he's about to cross the fini sh line and overtake him as he screams curses at you. Magic. As always this game has its weaknesses - thing is, I've yet to find them. Maybe it could have had another track or 2, but that's all as far as I'm concerned. It's controller and rumble pak compatible, although not expansion pak compatible, but this is of no consequence. When compared to the other versions of Wipeout, this one stands up very well. Although I still feel the very first PS Wipeout had the best tracks, and Wipeout 2097 had the best feeling of speed, the N64 incarnation has the best MIXTURE of graphics, speed, track design and playability of any Wipeout yet created - the forthcoming PS2 Wipeout Fusion notwithstanding. So, a summary. This game is brilliant. The challenges are hard, but pitched at just the right amount of difficulty so as to be addictive, not frustrating. The graphics are magic, the gameplay faultless. Pure driving fans might not like it, but if you like driving games with a shoot-em-up element, then this is the daddy of them all. Go buy. Immediately. (By the way, I originally posted this op on Ciao, in case it seems familiar - but then it only got 10 reads there, so hopefully it'll get a better reception here!!)

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          14.09.2001 05:36
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          Wipeout 64 is the advanced member of the Wipeout series for the Nintendo 64 (hence the 64 suffix) it follows in the footsteps of the highly successful wipeout, wipeout 2097 and all the other members of the franchise. It is a futuristic racing game which involves you piloting sort of hover ships armed with all sorts of groovy weapons. You take part in races containing fifteen entrants at high speeds round all sorts of long and winding circuits. #Graphics & Sounds The graphics of past outings were impressive but this unsurprisingly tops them all. Modern dance music pumps out of your TV as you speed round at ridiculously high speeds which gives the player a real adrenalin rush. This is the main reason for the success of this game. It basically oozes modern coolness basically and it requires a higher level of focus than most games of the same genre which is responsible for its addictiveness and really long shelf life. #Controls The game is very responsive to the normal N64 pad (the one included with the machine), having not played it using any other pads I cannot comment on those. I can recommend this game on the basis of the normal pad and thus i expect it can if anything only be better on improved controls #Playability The game shines in two player mode as you get to compete in a fashion that very quickly becomes extremely competitive. The four player mode is seriously not recommended though trying to all play using one screen unless it is absolutely massive. Even with a great multiplayer though, the one player races are great so you can play this pretty much 24-7 aloneor in a group. All in all this is a great game with a long life ahead of it if you buy it.

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            04.08.2001 01:32
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            WOW!!! You can easily get blown away by this adrenilin pumpin' racing game for the Nintendo 64. The choice between racing hovercars and drivers is endless, also you can pick up a wide range of missles and mines. This game is like a can of pringles, once you pop you just can't stop. Hope you enjoy this game, even though it is a bit expensive it is worth every penney. The other in the wipout series are for the playstation but this i think is the best so far.

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            05.07.2001 01:02
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            I really like futuristic racing games, there's Rollcage, Extreme G, F-Zero, WipEout... I played the original on the PlayStation and I thought this was rally good, unique. Then I played WipEout 2097 and they just made a good game a lot better. But then came along Wip3out. This game is just the future game of all future games. The two player suffers no slowdown, the tracks were excellent, the graphics were improved, there were a lot more modes, the game had loads to unlock, there were more ships, and my mate stood on it. And it snapped. But I tried WipEout, knowing it would be good. When I loaded it up I found it out to be the very same WipEout 2097, but more 64-like. The sound was near - CD quality, the graphics had that wierd fuzzy anti-alias and the control (built especially for 3-handed people) had that strange feel to it. I loaded up a level and found that they were the same too, the graphics were the same anbd had no improvement, and the speed was exactly the same (on Venom and Rapier) eg. fast. You should get this, but only if you like this type of game. WipEout Special Edition 10 times more reccommended.

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              08.06.2001 07:16
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              Although the view that the Wipeout games are based mainly on the Playstation (which is true) I have discovered (with great surprise but also joy) that this N64 port of the original version is actually very good and well worth buying. Released back at the start of 2000 (I think), this game was cruelly ignored by N64 racing fanatics due to the release of the equally excellent F-Zero X a couple of months beforehand. Shamefully I admit that the graphics had deterred me from purchasing this game but having played it many months later I realised just how playable and fun it really was. Anyway, I didn't have a Playstation at the time but I desperately wanted to buy it because of all the previews I had seen (along with the hype from my " Playstation - owning" friends). However I found it difficult to track down a copy and it took several weeks to locate one. It cost me about £35.( Now like many N64 games its price is about a third of that now). The game does not disappoint. The graphics are great yet they do not deter the gameplay ( there is not a hint of slowdown and barely noticable pop-up). The game offers four speeds at which to play the game ( just take a look at the Phantom class races!) and the higher speed races have very tight time limits attached to them. I won't go too much into the detail of the game except to say that there are 7 courses and 4 types of ship. Now that doesn't seem like much but I assure you that the game plays like a dream and is hugely replayable. The N64 analogue stick feels loke it was designed just for this game as this is one of the coolest controlled racing games I have ever played. One minor point of criticism is that the collisions on the game are very frustrating - as your ships basically grinds to a complete stop if you even touch a wall - and due to the very narrow and twisty courses this is avery common occurence as you get used to the higher class races. Still if you like games to challenge you ( unlike the similarly themed Extreme G - where you can win races by holding down the accelerator for the entire duration of a race) you will find this game very rewarding. The one aspect of this game that makes itself distinctly different from its Playstation counterparts though is the inclusion of a four player mode. However I was not too impressed by this because for the game to run in four screens at once all the background is scrapped so it looks like you are racing through space. However though, AND THIS IS IMPORTANT, I say now that the two player mode is OUTSTANDING. This beats all other racing games senseless for thrilling two player action. For a start you race against your friend with ALL the computer opponents ( although they can be turned off) and neither the gameplay nor the graphical detail is reduced). I emphasize this factor of the game greatly because this is what makes this game stand out far and above any other futuristic racing game available. Playing a mate at breakneck speed on Quron IV with thirteen other competitors is fantastic if both of you are very skilled. Finally my last praise about this game is the music. Psygnosis (the developer of Wipeout 64) have managed miraculously to squeeze about 7 great tracks on this game, including a couple by bands such as Fluke and The Propellerheads. The quality is superb and is head and shoulders above games which have to stick with MIDI music ( this is generally a problem with cartridge games). Possibly the biggest problem with this game is its lifespan for the single player. Even with the inclusion of a challenge mode to add more to the game the gamers who practice this game very hard will master it within a few weeks ( due to a very small number of tracks - even though they are all of very high quality). However like Smash Brothers for the N64 also , the real joy of this game is in multiplayer (provided that you find someone else who likes it too). Besides the game is v ery cheap now aswell. Also for those of you that own F-Zero X I promise you that Wipeout has a very different feel to it and as it is similar I'm sure you will enjoy it as much as I did.

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                01.12.2000 18:26

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                I'm a big fan of futuristic games, Extreme G and F Zero X are two of my favorites. After seeing Wipeout 64 for only £12.99 and having heard about its greatness on the Playstation I decided to give it a go. The idea behind the game is much the same as others, you pilot an anti-grav racer and compete against others round a high speed track. Around the track there are 'weapon spots' by running over these you get an item which will help you. These range from a heat seeking missile to shoot your opponent with to a shield to stop your opponent doing the same to you The game runs very smoothly and the graphics on the track and the racers are reasonable good but nothing special. The sound is much the same, it's ok but nothing special. The N64 version doesn't have the great soundtrack of the PD Wipeouts, it has to make do with Midi songs of which I have only heard of one before. The gameplay is good, the analogue stick works well as you get smooth, fluid control. The racer doesn't go along the track like it is on rails, if you go too fast into a corner the back starts to slide. Once you get the hang of the tracks and you can precisely control the sliding, it's quite satisfying. Unfortunately, before that it's very frustrating. If you touch the side of the track you instantly stop and have to accelerate from 0 mph. This is very annoying when you start playing the game and it takes a while before you get good enough at the tracks to avoid it completely. Even then it really dampens a decent mulitplayer game when you are eagerly racing along, simply to hit the wall and be basically out of the competition. The same happens when you are hit by a weapon, again you stop dead on the spot and your shield strength goes down. This makes you a sitting duck in the middle of the track for the next person to shoot you. This means it is very easy to go from first to last, simply because you were hit once. There aren't many options on Wipeout, you can either do a normal race, a time trial or a challenge. The challenges are split up into different categories, some you have to kill so many opponents to get onto the next one, others you have to beat a certain time. Unfortunately there are only 7 tracks and they aren't particularly long so i found myself getting quickly bored of them. There is a multiplayer option for up to four player but the tracks are so dark it doesn't work well on the smaller screens. For me this is a disappointingly average game, I would be ok with it if it was very fast and you felt like you were racing at breakneck speeds but it doesn't. I have really enjoyed playing Extreme G, Pod racer and F-Zero X and I have played them lots of times. Wipeout just can't cut it against these fine racers and given the low prices for them, I can't recommend Wipeout 64 over them.

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                28.11.2000 23:34

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                Most games that come out, regardless of platform, tend to follow fairly similar patterns. Perhaps developers feel they can get away with making the same game over and over again. Psygnosis has taken the high road with WipeOut, and while it’s not totally and completely original, it does put a fairly large spin on the racing genre. You pilot a futuristic hover-craft around incredibly detailed tracks, racing other hover-crafts towards ultimate glory. Along the way you pick up weapons to take out the other racers. The in-house techno music is excellent, and complements the game excellently. In fact, the whole game has a very special feel to it. It sucks you in through the presentation: the music, graphics, and Designer’s Republic-designed logos all add to the immersive effects. WipeOut does have its problems, though. The crafts are somewhat difficult to maneuver, and take some getting used to. Also, there aren’t nearly enough competitors. Once you’ve learned how to "fly" the craft, you’ll pull ahead of the other racers with no problem. These are minor points, though. WipeOut is a good, solid game that pushes more boundaries than most. Ten years from now, when most other games have been long forgotten, WipeOut will be viewed as a classic.

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                18.11.2000 18:22
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                I'm not really a fan of the typical racing games like Ridge Racer, F1 Pole Position or Top Gear Rally. Now don't get me wrong, as I've nothing against these games. I just prefer something a bit more bizarre. Wipeout 64 is a futuristic racing game in which you control floating crafts! These crafts are also equipped with weapons! The aim of the game here is to race some amazing yet deadly tracks (massive jumps and hard to turn corners) and to survive the race (rockets and missiles coming from other opponents)! Now Wipeout has appeared on other formats before (3 versions of the game are on the PlayStation), but the Nintendo 64 version looks and feels vastly different. The Nintendo 64 version has a single race mode (if you just want a quick game), a time trial mode (if you think you're really good enough), a challenge mode (designed to put you to the test), and unique to this version is a multiplayer mode! There are 6 tracks (plus 1 secret one), 4 crafts to choose from (plus 1 secret one), and 10 different weapons as well as special weapons unique for each craft. The game is obviously very fast with the frame rate and animation moving at high speed. When playing for the first time you'll find yourself crashing a lot but after a bit of mastering you'll soon be used to the tracks and controls. The multiplayer mode is good if you have a lot of friends but it feels a bit of a disappointment. The playing screens on the 4-player mode feel really tiny and there's some loss of detail from the tracks just to make the whole thing run smoothly. Being able to play with the analogue control stick on the Nintendo 64 makes playing the game much easier then you might expect. If you've played previous versions of the game then you'll know what I mean! Wipeout is also well known for its music and the soundtrack is exceptional with music from the likes of Fluke and the Propellerheads. I br ought the game for £25, but I've now seen it around for £10! If you're a speed enthusiast or just want a racing game that’s different then this is an ideal purchase. Star Wars Episode One: Racer and F-Zero X are also good alternatives.

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