WipEout Pulse is, by far, one of the most enjoyable and addictive racing games to come along for the PSP this year. It’s a fast-paced, unforgiving and intense racing that will surely please fans of the racing game genre even with the lack of racetracks.
The Wipeout series finally finds its natural home, and it's on the PSP. It looks and sounds fantastic, the tier challenge system works really well, there are loads of championships to unlock and the one problem that has plagued the previous games - the difficulty curve - has finally been solved. One of the very best games on the PSP and an essential purchase for owners.
F U N .
I've been playing it for hours and hours on my PSP and it's very enjoyable. The higher the vehicle class, the faster and the more exciting it gets (and also the less controllable to be fair), and the fact you can add up to 30 songs to the game's playlist and you can take pictures of replays and make them your console's wallpaper is an extra I really liked.
Also, if your PSP has custom firmware and you crank up the CPU speed to the max (333MHz), the game will run at 60 FPS. Nice bonus. Should be the game's default, but at least that you can do to play it best...
It features the same punishing reflex-based gameplay, high speeds and engaging flair that other games in the series have trademarked. While it's unfortunate that the game doesn't radically reinvent the series or vastly expand upon the play, WipEout Pulse is still an extremely enjoyable title for racing fans.
Developers take note - this is how games for PSP should be made. Keep the controls simple. Structure the action fo rshort, sharp play sessions. And cater for PSP's criminally overlooked online functions. [Nov 2007, p.83]
While tech backdrops of futuristic cities are great, the fundamental racing mechanic has inched forward at a snail’s pace, delivering an experience that is almost identical to every Wipeout game that came before.
An incremental improvement over Pure in many ways.
Improved performance, a rock solid 60 FPS compared to the variable frame rate of Pure that targeted 60 but sometimes dropped into the 40's and even 30's during single races and tournaments. Also there is no more 30 FPS lock for Time Trial and Zone modes. But most of this is not the result of code optimization on Studio Liverpool's part. It is due to Sony's firmware update allowing developers to take advantage of the PSP's 333 MHz CPU clock (compared to 222 MHz at the PSP's launch). There are some improvements to the graphics such as more polygons for vehicles (which are beautifully modeled and even have cockpit interiors) and better texture detail, but there is one aspect of the graphics that took a step backwards (more on this later).
There are subtle improvements to the A.I. and they fixed barrel rolls which is nice. There are more options and modes (such as Eliminator and Head-to-Head) which add variety but they aren't as well suited to the game's core design as the standard Single Race and Tournament modes. Structure and progression is much better. The new grid style is a welcomed change and fits well within the aesthetic of the game.
They tweaked the controls and made them tighter. Veterans may prefer the old controls at first but its simply different and takes getting used to. The sense of speed in the game is slightly faster now which was a good change.
The soundtrack in Pure was superb so its very hard to beat what came before. But Studio Liverpool managed to put together a soundtrack for Pulse that is fantastic. It may even be the best soundtrack in a WipEout game. And now you have the option to add your own songs which is great. Though there are a few less songs provided this time (16 in Pulse vs 19 in Pure).
Honestly there is very little to nitpick about. The only sore spot would be the race tracks. Although the track design is generally great and there are even a few gems (Moa Therma comes to mind), some of the tracks are merely good. And many of them lack the visual appeal that made Pure's tracks amazing not only to play but to just look at. There are now two versions of each track, the "White" version (forward) and "Black" version (reverse). But the differences between them are more than just going in opposite directions. Some of them have fundamental changes that make them feel almost like different tracks. All of the tracks in Pulse are also available for Zone mode which was a great change and they are given an abstract visual makeover just for the mode and they look beautiful.
Pure originally shipped with 12 tracks and Pulse also shipped with 12 tracks. So at first glance it might look like you are getting the same amount of content but Pulse makes far better use of the content it has compared to Pure. Even with all of Pure's DLC, Pulse still manages to be competitive in this regard.
The issue of track design prevents Pulse from being an improvement in every way compared to Pure. Pulse is however the more polished and accessible WipEout with more options and ways to play making it slightly better overall.
Even in 2016 I still find myself coming back to this game on PC with an emulator. I'm very impressed with how well it holds up today and it looks great in HD. A testament to the art direction and slick presentation. Graphically it doesn't look as good as WipEout HD of course but both games share a lot in common. After all, WipEout HD is essentially a remix of the PSP WipEout games and borrows heavily from the advancements made in Pulse. It is the closest you can get to WipEout HD on PC without actually having WipEout HD. And clearly I still love it, enough so to make a passionate review about it over 8 years later.
This game is absolutely amazing! This is the first wipeout I have ever played and I have to say, it's the best psp racing game and one of the best psp games of all time, period. The controls are fantastic and the game modes are fun! Every single game mode is a blast. There's races, time trials, speed laps, and my favorite, Zone. Zone is a mode of survival where your vehicle goes faster and faster and you are forced to maneuver through the track at break neck speeds. Very fun! The graphics are fantastic by the way. It actual feels like you are in a futuristic city that is alive! There are also pick ups in races kind of like Mario Kart. When great graphics, great controls, fun game types, many events, a futuristic feel, and mario kart like racing come together, you get an amazing game, especially for a handheld! This review may be late and the game may be several years old, but none the less, it's a great game and a great reason to own a psp.
SummaryAs is tradition with the series, gamers trench race at high speeds in futuristic vehicles outfitted with weapons. New to the franchise with Pulse is a mag-strip, a part of the track that locks the vehicles onto the track, allowing them to race through loops, 90-degree-angled parts of the track, and steep drops. The game features seven ...