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August 15 2007
Wipeout Pulse - PSP Preview
Release Date Distributer Publisher Developer Anticipation Players Price
November 2007SonySonySCEE1-8$59.95
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Wipeout Pulse is certainly colourful!
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But the gameplay is blindingly fast.

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No doubt about it, this is Wipeout.
If you were one of the many gamers that bought a PSP at the system launch then one title yo would certainly be aware of is Wipeout Pure. It was an adrenaline-pumped ride that saw one of Sony's biggest racing franchises be reborn after a couple of underperformed outings on the Playstation 2. It has almost been two years since the PSP launched, and we're now about to see a sequel to what remains one of the best games on the system to this very day. Having said that, Wipeout Pulse looks like bringing the series to a whole new level with a host additions to the title. For those of you unaware the Wipeout series of games takes place in the future (indeed Wipeout Pulse is set 200 years from now - in 2207) where hovercraft racing reigns supreme. The races are blindingly fast and the craft can pick up a series of weapons to use against the opponents.

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Looks like someone is in some pain.
Game modes include Single Race, Tournament, Time Trial, Zone, Head To Head, Speed Lap, and Eliminator. Most are fairly standard but the new ones include Head-to-Head so two gamers can race together on a track to see who reigns supreme. Speed Lap is similar to Time Trial in that you can battle to achieve the best lap time while Eliminator sees gamers being eliminated - by weapons. The Zone mode also makes a return, but unlike Wipeout Pure this will be available on all tracks - not just select ones.

A lot of work has gone into this sequel in terms of game balancing with improved vehicle handling and responsiveness while the ships are now more evenly balanced. The biggest change though is the addition of a Black Run and White Run - essentially each offers a different path and challenge depending on the game mode you're currently playing. The developers are putting a lot more effort into making the game a better single player experience with improved structure, combinations of race types, speed classes and circuits. The stats pages have also been given a working over with many more details then in the previous games. Weapons play a major part - the Disruptor weapon has been removed from the game, and three more have been added back in - including a returning favourite. Yet again weapons can be absorbed to give you a little more energy while in the middle of a race.

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The HUD retains a futuristic look.
Wipeout Pulse will also include a ship grid editor so players can create their own grids and races before saving them to Memory Stick to be played later. Also new is the HUD which reacts dynamically during races and the ability to take photos while in-race. Multi-player will also be supported in game modes including Single Race, Head To Head, Tournament and Eliminator. The game will be playable via Ad-Hoc, Infrastructure and even LAN play! The multi-player modes will support up to 8-players. The developers have also promised to include some downloadable packs which, much like the first game, will include new tracks and craft - although exact details are still being worked out.

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So, are you impressed yet?
Now we all know just how important the audio has been in previous games, with some great tracks from bands such as Chemical Brothers, Prodigy and a host of other dance bands, and this title will be no exception. The game will include plenty of electronica, break beats, house, techno and drum and base. Sadly the games track list hasn't been announced as yet (except for Exceeder by Mason) however the great news - especially for those that don't like the style of music provided, is that the game will let you use your own MP3's off the memory stick.

With a release for Wipeout Pulse now scheduled for November 2007 at the great price of only $AU59.95 this is certainly one of our most wanted PSP games this year. The only thing that could top this game, is a release for Wipeout HD on the PS3 this year - but that seems unlikely with a 2008 release more likely.