I have very fond memories of watching Wipeout back when it was airing on ABC. A television show made famous by pitting contestants against each other in an obstacle course designed specifically to ensure the most brutally (safe) wipe outs possible, all while capturing every bump, flip, and concussion in a super slow-mo replay. Before the 6th season could even air, it looks like those big red balls are back thanks to Activision Publishing, Inc. who has released a mobile game allowing anyone with a smartphone to instantly become a contestant in Wipeout, without even having to sign up for extra health care.
Gameplay and Graphics
Wipeout for Android faithfully manages to recreate all the insane action you know and love from the hit TV show, only now it’s on the small screen. Have to say, I wasn’t expecting too much from this title. Opening it up, I figured it’d be nothing more than another “runner” title. What I found was game that offers a good range of depth and solid controls deep enough to pique my interests for a good amount of time. One side of your screen is used for either advancing or backing your character up in the gauntlet, while a quick tap on the other side of the screen will jump or dive with a down-swiping motion. Pro-tip: use the dive — it’s saved my butt countless times.
Wipeout not only plays great, it looks great too. Firing it up on my HTC DROID DNA, the game is crisp, clear, characters look well-detailed and wonderfully animated, and even the levels feature a nice range of special effects like normal mapping and real-time physics. Speaking of physics, wiping out in Wipeout is probably one of the funnest parts of the game (and something that will happen often). Characters flip and flop around with rag doll physics. All this makes for some truly awesome replays.
Still, I have mixed feelings about Wipeout when it comes to difficulty and the way they handle in-game items. Of course players can always pony up real dollars for “cheaty” in-game items. Pretty much every game has that gameplay element. My problem is sometimes the game feels so overwhelming hard, you’re either going to have to tough it out on the same level over and over again, gaining extra coinage by wiping out and earning “style points,” or man-up and fork out some real-world dollars (in addition to the $2 required to download the game) for in-game cash to buy items like helmets, or new levels. Granted, $2 isn’t much, but if I already paid the entry fee, don’t Disneyland me into paying $8 for a churro. It just gives me a headache when I’m simply looking for a good time, not trying to be nickeled and dimed.
Even with the confusing amount of in-game currency and it’s freemium-like business, I still think there’s something worth checking out here with Wipeout. The game is fun and quite honestly, one of the few I find myself returning to. You know, when I feel like getting my ass handed to me. For the love of Pete, you can bounce on the big red balls! Ultimately, I’d recommend Wipeout for anyone who’s a fan of the show and looking for some a good old fashioned virtual abuse from their Android device.
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