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Wipeout Pulse (stylised as WipEout Pulse) is a 2007 game for the PlayStation Portable, developed by Studio Liverpool. It is the seventh installment in the Wipeout series. The game was officially announced on 27 March 2007 and was released on 14 December 2007 in Europe and 12 February 2008 in North America. The game takes place in 2207 AD, players take part in the FX400 Anti-Gravity Racing League, competing in various types of race at several race courses set around the world.

Background[]

The events of Wipeout Pulse take place during the FX400 Racing League in 2207 - 10 years after the events of Wipeout Pure. In 2200, due to excessive traffic, Makana could no longer sustain its role as the sole venue of the event, and thus construction on tracks around the world began in 2205.

Gameplay[]

Offical logo of the FX400 Anti-Gravity Racing League

Wipeout Pulse is broadly similar to other games in the Wipeout franchise, and indeed to other racing games as a whole. Players take control of powered futuristic hovering vehicles on a series of race tracks which they must navigate, and sometimes with other vehicles to compete against. They are aided in this endeavor by the traditional Wipeout arsenal of weaponry (including rockets, missiles, plasma bolts, etc.) and bursts of speed, both of which are gained by driving over special pads on the track; they are also allowed to choose between a number of different ships, each with their own characteristics. The game features electronic music and extraordinary visual and graphic design, two hallmarks of the Wipeout franchise; it also features downloadable content from the PlayStation Network, each containing a new ship and two new tracks; however all have been released only in Europe and are not yet available elsewhere in the world.

Pulse delivers a number of new variations on this basic formula: while the game only has 12 tracks, these can be played both forwards and backwards; the race direction is marked by the suffix "White" or "Black" on the race's title (i.e. "Talon's Junction White") and may show subtle variations depending on which way they are driven. Certain circuits also have "Mag-Strips" on some portion of the track, which lock the player's ship onto the track and allow for roller coaster-esque loops, sideways U-turns, waterfall-like sheer drops, and so on. The game also completely revamps the standard method of game progression.

Most racing games present players with a series of "cups" in which they must come in first while racing against opposition. Pulse players are instead challenged to complete "grids", a cluster of hexagons which represent a wide variety of tracks and race types: time trials; seven-lap "Speed Lap" races in which the player attempts to achieve a particular lap time; single races against one opponent ("Head-to-Head" mode); single races against seven opponents ("Single Race"); multiple-race tournaments; "Eliminator" matches returning from Wipeout 3; and the "Zone" mode from Wipeout Fusion, in which the player attempts to survive as long as possible in a vehicle whose speed is slowly but infinitely accelerating. Players can race against the computer, against other human players within range of the PSP's built-in wireless card ("Ad-Hoc" mode), and over the Internet via a wireless network.

The game features a number of extras. Players can take screenshots of in-progress races at any time from the Pause menu. Players are rewarded for using the same team's ship over and over via the Loyalty system which unlocks new ship skins. The default skin for each team is Classic. Players are able to create custom skins for any ships at the game's central website using an Adobe Shockwave-based client, which can be downloaded to the PSP by the creator and/or the public at large. Lap times and other records can also be uploaded to the game's website which features a global ranking leaderboard.

Race Types[]

Downloadable Content[]

Main article: Downloadable Content

Wipeout Pulse, like its predecessor Wipeout Pure, also has downloadable content packs that include new ships and tracks, as well as new campaign grids. These packs are available to download for a fee from the PlayStation Store. However, these packs are only available in the European PlayStation Store, and was not released elsewhere. All downloadable packs are already included with the PS2 port.

Extra Features[]

Only available for the PSP version

Photo Mode - At any time during a race, you can pause and enter Photo Mode in which you can a take a picture of your ship from various angles. The pictures are stored in the Memory Stick.

Ship Customization - You can log into wipeout-game.com and create you own ship skin to use in Wipeout Pulse. (However, this site has long been shut down)[1]

Loyalty[]

Wipeout Pulse introduces a new gameplay feature known as Loyalty. This feature allows players to determine which team they prefer the best. As players play through the game, they are awarded loyalty points for the team they raced with in each race. Loyalty points accumulated for one team allow players to unlock ship skins for that team, and later the other teams.

This is a list of point targets required to unlock the alternate designs of each of the teams' ships:

Skin Loyalty Point Requirement
PSP PS2
Alternate livery (one team) 4,000 5,000
Eliminator livery (one team) 8,000 12,000
Zone ship (one team) 16,000 25,000
Concept ship (one team) 25,000 N/A
Alternate livery (all teams) 60,000 N/A
Eliminator livery (all teams) 75,000 N/A
Zone ship (all teams) 90,000 N/A
Concept ship (all teams) 100,000 N/A

Campaign[]

Main article: Campaign in Wipeout Pulse

Wipeout Pulse introduces a new game mode called Campaign Mode. This mode features a series of grids consisting of various race scenarios in the form of hexagonal cells. Completing a cell with a medal finish unlocks all adjacent cells. A bronze medal is worth 1 point, a silver medal 2 points, and gold 3 points. A certain number of points are required to move on to the next grid.

Tracks[]

A unique feature in Wipeout Pulse is that every track in the game has two variations, called White Run and Black Run. White Runs go in the forward direction, while Black Runs go in the reverse direction, often with changes to the track layout. There are a total of 16 tracks in the game, including the 4 extra tracks available as DLCs.

Standard tracks:

Expansion tracks (available as DLCs):

Teams[]

Main contestants of the FX400 AG Racing League:

Expansion teams (available as DLCs):

Music[]

In addition, the PSP version features a "Custom Soundtrack" option, where players can add their favourite music from their PSP Memory Stick (internal storage for PSP Go) to the game. It only supports MP3 format, and there's a limit of 30 files.

Reception[]

Critical reception of the game has generally been positive. On Game Rankings it was rated an average of 84% from 36 reviews while on Metacritic the game has scored 82% based on 40 reviews.[2][3]

Overall, IGN found the game to be good scoring it an 8.8 out of 10 while also awarding it their Editor's Choice Award. The reviewer complemented the game for its great presentation, graphics and sound. However, the reviewer was disappointed with some of the gameplay noting, "The repetition of tracks is disappointing, as is the balance of weapons for AI and the lack of extras."[4] 1UP's review rated it a B. Although the reviewer himself was not a big fan of the Wipeout series, he notes that, "Wipeout Pulse truly does become a game for its fans ... if you truly love Wipeout, you're going to truly love Pulse."[5]

Trivia[]

  • The game is set approximately 200 years from the year of its original release date.
  • This is the first game in the series to feature a photo mode. On the PS2 version, this is not possible.
  • Like Pure, framerate issues can cause issues with barrel rolling.
  • The PS2 version features more detailed liveries compared to the original on PSP.
  • The mechanics for weapon pads and Bombs have been fixed to avoid exploits like in Pure where it is possible to eliminate all the opponents in Single Races. However, it is still possible to launch the Quake backwards by flying in the opposite direction.
  • This is the first game in the series to have all teams feature their respective Zone ships, likely due to the new "team loyalty" mechanic. The teams' Zone ships may be a reference to the F7200 Drag Prototypes in 3.
  • This is the first game in the series to feature "afterburners" when hitting speed pads, boosting or performing Barrel Rolls, as shown with smaller vapor trails on the ship's other exhaust tips.
  • This is also the only game where Zone ships can be raced normally, however this is only limited to Single Race when a team's Zone ship is unlocked.
  • While Pure is technically the first game to feature alternative liveries for teams, Pulse is the first game where all teams have alternative liveries, to the point where they have alternate ship variants (such as Eliminator, Zone and Concept ships). Neither of these variants directly affect the ships' performance stats, and only change their designs.
  • Whenever ships hit certain borders of the track, or projectiles collide with them, there are unique green lights preventing them from escaping and acting as a wall or a barrier in their place. This may likely be the ECS cage (Entertainment confinement system) mentioned in the manual where this is essentially an invisible barrier of energy designed to protect the surroundings of the track and its spectators from any oncoming ships and/or weapons.
  • All the ships in the game have their airbrakes opening outward.
  • This is the only game to feature Eliminator-exclusive weapons, the Shuriken and the Repulsor.
  • The custom soundtrack feature in the game can run into issues, such as bugs with the frequency, or they might not play at all.
  • Mag-Lock is featured and introduced in the tracks of this game. However, the use of Mag-Lock has been used all the way back in the AGRC and was discontinued after the 2050 season due to safety issues, and was also possibly used in the F9000, prioritizing entertainment over safety.
  • In this game, flying on Mag-Lock sections may affect the trajectory of certain weapons (the most notable being the Plasma, which will curve dramatically unless fired point-blank at an opponent, and will render the Shuriken useless).
  • The elimination effects have been slightly altered from Pure, where the ship will completely implode from the inside out, revealing a completely charred and misfigured chassis with sparks everywhere, and will then explode into a ring of fire with a fireball with debris flying on its epicentre.

References[]


Wipeout series
PS1: WipEout2097/XL64Wip3out
PS2/PSP: FusionPurePulse
PS3/Vita: HD (Fury) • 2048
PS4: Omega Collection
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