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  Wipe Out 3
Wipeout: 3 by Psygnosis is a fast-paced playstation game where you get to master the air, defy the laws of physics, and laugh in gravity’s face! Of course you must realize that this particular series of game has been one of my favorites since the first Wipeout XL came out, so my opinion is slightly biased. For me however, it is one of the most addictive games since Tetris!
Using the main menus

The Language Select Menu and the Number of Player Menu is where you pick number of players and whether you want to read your text in English, German, French, Italian, or Spanish. To select a language you simply use your up and down directional buttons to select the language and then the X button to select it. You use the right and left directional buttons on your controller to highlight one or two players, then press the X button to access the Main Menu. In the Main Menu you get to select what kind of race you want. There are five main race types:

1) Single Race is intense racing with weapons and checkpoints against a full field of competitors. Your job is to clear each checkpoint before your time runs out.

2) Time Trial is where you race against the clock without weapons or enemy craft and a ghost craft will fly a copy of the previous best race that you did.

3) Challenge give you a list of twenty-four unique assignments that are divided into three Challenge Modes and you will be given certain tasks. Race Challenge is where you race to achieve 1st, 2nd, or 3rd against a standard group of competitors. Time Challenge is where you race to complete the circuit within a specific amount of time. Weapon Challenge is where you race and destroy a certain number of opponents.

4) Eliminator is my personal favorite choice of race. This is a score based event where a full complement of opponents compete for "top dog". In this race you yourself get to choose the number of opponents (up to 99) to search and destroy prior to game play. You score one point for each completed lap and one point for each competitor destroyed. The race is finished when either you or one of your opponents achieves the target score.

5) Tournament is the ultimate anti-gravity championship ever! There is a full line up of competitors that compete in this fast and crazy tournament over a variety of circuits. In the end, whomever has the most points is crowned the champion.

In the Racing Class Menu, you use the left and right directional buttons to choose your required racing class and then press the X button to select it. There are three main race classes. The Vector Class is for novices or those who think that they would like to sit back, relax and take it easy. The Venom Class is for intermediate players or those who think that they like to feel risky and take a chance. The Rapier Class is for more advanced players or those who think they want to challenge themselves. This seems to me an excellent thing to put into a game because once you become good at a particular level you can continue to challenge yourself at different stages of difficulty.

There are some other menus, like the Game Setup Menu, Controller Setup Menu and the Audio Setup Menu, where you can turn your weapons and checkpoints on or off, vary the way that your controller buttons are set to custom them to your liking, and tweak the volume, sound effects, and CD track for the game. There is also a Load/Save Menu where, well, it is obvious what you do there.

Playing the Game

There are colored weapon grids throughout a given circuit and all you need do is fly over them to equip your craft with a weapon. It will pop up on your screen and a little voice will tell you what kind of weapon you snatched. To fire it all you need do is press the O buttons on your controller or discard it by pressing the ' button on your controller. The speed pads, in the shape of blue chevrons, are carefully placed throughout the track and boost the velocity of the craft passing over it. However, one must be careful when using the speed pads because, while they are useful in the passing of other crafts on straight stretches, they can be hazardous when turning corners and, ultimately, may result in a crash and slower speed in the long run. The checkpoints are the blue beams of light that stretch horizontally across the circuit at regular intervals. The moment you begin the race, a countdown will begin showing your time elapsed. If the counter reaches zero before you pass through the next checkpoint, then it’s game over for you! However, don’t fear, because the more you play the game, the easier it becomes to reach the given checkpoints with even a little bit of time to spare.

As far as craft handling goes, there are hyper-thrusts, air-brakes, altitude changes, and pit lanes. The hyper-thrusts simply boost your craft’s speed by tapping into the shield energy reservoir. However, constant use of this will drain your energy and leave you more vulnerable to opponents. Air-brakes are something that I never used while playing this game because frankly I just found them a bit awkward due to the fact that they seemed to slow me down and it was hard to co-ordinate the regular buttons and the air-brake buttons But perhaps you are more coordinated than I! Basically each craft is fitted with a left and right air-brake, which aid in sharp turning by reducing your speed. Altitude changes are something to be aware of simply because when climbing a steep hill your field of view is decreased and it may be a surprise when you reach the top and are faced with an hard-to-control speed rush. The pit lane is where you can recharge your craft’s shield energy by flying through it. These areas are marked by blue striped sections of track.

Overall opinions:

After spending many weeks with this game in my possession I have played it in my sleep and in my wake. It is, in my opinion, an extremely addictive game that will keep you waiting for the next Wipeout to surface. I believe the only thing to do now is pray that Psygnosis puts out yet another in this compulsive, all-around-fun-for-everyone game!

Review ID Number: 508
  Product Details
Review Date: 2001-04-19
Reviewer: Kristin Sardy
Rating: 10 out of 10
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