Nukezilla Review: Wipeout 2 (Wii)
I originally rented this game as a trial for a new way of getting more reviews up closer to their release date. I figured that with the exception of RPGs and a few other longer games, most games could be knocked out in a weekend. It might not be the most thorough analysis of the game, but if you can’t tell if a game is worth your time or not after ten hours, it probably isn’t.
Plus, if anyone was going to get all bent out of shape over the shorter review period, it sure wouldn’t be over a six month old Wii game based on a moderately popular game show.
What surprised me about Wipeout 2 was that a one-day rental was more than enough to cover every aspect of the game. In fact, I beat all eight levels, unlocking all the bonus characters in the process, in just over an hour. All that’s left after that is trying to get better times, which don’t really have much of an effect in single player, or playing against a friend, not that I would recommend it. The only real fun there would be trying to bump each other into or off of the obstacles, and for that I’d rather just break of New Super Mario Bros. Wii again.
Wipeout 2 runs players through a 2D-platformer style obstacle course based on the obstacles and challenges of the show it’s based on. Each of the eight levels breaks down into four parts: a straight obstacle course, a simple rhythm based challenge, a race down a slightly different obstacle course against a moderately competent AI opponent, and one last, slightly harder obstacle course. Time is kept across the sections, and the lowest time between the player and the handful of AI opponents wins.
What’s odd is that winning or losing doesn’t seem to have any real impact. Get first, and the next level unlocks, along with one or two bonus characters. Lose… and the next level unlocks, along with one or two bonus characters.
There were really only two moments in the game I got any real enjoyment out of. First, when I unlocked Pitfall Harry after finishing the last level. I’d rather Activision just make a new, good Pitfall game, but it was nice to see the developers throw that reference in there. The second was actually a result of one of the bigger gripes I had with the game. Most of the smaller text, especially instructions and the little number pop-ups that inform you of time bonuses or deductions, are completely illegible on the standard definition TV I was using. Make fun of my crappy TV if you want, but this is the Wii we’re talking about. It only does standard def. Many of the letters blur together, so when it told me to “FLICK THE WIIMOTE” to climb back onto ledges I was clinging to, I honestly thought it told me to “FUCK THE WIIMOTE.” Now, I’m all for innovation and trying new control schemes, but that’s taking things a bit far.
The biggest problem with Wipeout 2 has to be its price. When this game launched, Activision was charging between $30 and $50 (depending on system). If it was $15 I’d feel ripped off. Really, everything this game does was already done better in the free to download Doritos Crash Course for Xbox 360. It’s not a bad game. It’s just insulting that Activision thinks we’ll pay full price for it.