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Wipeout 64

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Released: 1998

Genre: Racing

Format reviewed: Nintendo 64

Publisher: Midway

Developer: Psygnosis

Submitted by: Chris Noble

Often overlooked in 'Best of' and 'Top 50' charts, Psygnosis' N64 edition of this game should definitely not be ignored.

The third game in the Wipeout series, Wipeout 64 is heavily based on Wipeout 2097, its spiritual PS1 predecessor, yet some tweaks are made to the circuits and weaponry, and this being a system exclusive, represents the only way that N64 users could sample the sheer delight of the series – the feeling of speed, and the achievement on progressing through the varied challenges is not often rivalled, especially on the N64.

Although often compared unfavourably to its rival F-Zero X, released at a similar time, what is often overlooked is the real sense of atmosphere and polish on offer here.  Although the game lacks a single-player 'Grand Prix' mode, the variety of Challenges (Race, Time Trial, and Weapons) and a 2-4 multiplayer mode does keep boredom at bay.

Wipeout 64 is one of those racers that constantly drags you back to shave off vital milliseconds from lap times, and to do so will require full use of the analogue stick (up and down directs the nose of the ships) and mastery of the unique air-brake system.  Although frustrating at times, it's never unduly unfair (in the manner of, say, SNES Super Mario Kart), and it really does reel you in for just 'one more go'.

Thoroughly recommended, and with carts costing not much more than a fiver on eBay, there's no excuse to avoid it.