Most helpful critical review
16 of 16 people found the following review helpful
Takes a while to warm to, from a series fan
on 23 February 2012
This game was the reason I bought the Vita, and with the widely publicized Vodafone offer, the reason i went for the 3G model. I am a huge Wipeout fan, and I honestly believe Wipeout HD to be the best Playstation 3 game out. I had extremely high hopes for this game.
My hopes are met; it just took a while to get there. I initially found the graphics to be very underwhelming. Don't get me wrong, it is the best looking PlayStation Vita game I've seen; let there be no doubt, if you got ten gamers who knew nothing about the PlayStation Vita, and somehow managed to hook the Vita up to a TV and handed them a controller, not a single one would be able to tell that they were playing a handheld game. The graphics are *that* good.
The thing that really gets me though is the framerate. The game is capped at 30 FPS, but its not a solid 30 FPS either, and while the graphics have that 'wow' factor, the abundance of bloom and detail, possible anti-aliasing (maybe just blur) combined with moments where weapons start flying and FPS dips result in moments where you can see bleep all and end up face-first in the side of the track. These moments, thankfully, are few and far between, but I would gladly have taken less impressive graphics in exchange for 60 FPS, especially after being spoilt by Wipeout HD's 1080p/60 FPS gameplay. I really think that the low framerate impedes gameplay a lot.
That isn't a dealbreaker, however. Something that really does come close to being a dealbreaker is the loading times. Holy flip do they suck, with loading times up to a minute long for some events. Between the fast paced racing, the electronic soundtrack and the visual overstimulation we've come to know and love from Wipeout, the last thing I want to do is stare at a loading screen for a minute straight - and this is after a patch that's supposed to have improved the loading times. It is unforgivable, and literally acts as a disincentive to play the game - I seriously sometimes think "nah, i can't be bothered playing Wipeout at the minute because i can't be bothered with the loading times".
The zone events are back, and while they look a bit like the Zone events from Wipeout HD, the track doesn't appear to act as a fancy visualizer or respond to the music in any way - it just changes colour in a psychadelic style. While it still looks cool, it could be joked in Zone that the game merely looks like its been fed some dodgy graphics drivers.
It's a dirty shame too, because the game itself is pure Wipeout bliss - it just took a fair few races before the aforementioned niggles faded away and I was able to truly enjoy the game itself. Obviously I don't feel ripped off because of the Vodafone offer, but I may have felt differently had I bought a boxed copy of this at launch. It should be noted that the game is due to receive all the content from Wipeout HD + Fury as free DLC, which is great news. I would say its a five star game with fixable flaws big enough to subtract two stars - hopefully further patches can fix these problems!