Sunday, October 10, 2010

Video game number two hundred and ninety four: Wipeout

Video game review number two hundred and ninety four in my 365 Games in 365 Days project is "Wipeout".

Wipeout is a Wii game based on the (semi) popular summer TV series, where a bunch of average people compete on a crazy obstacle course trying to make it through without killing themselves. It's like American Gladiators or Ninja Warrior, except many of the contestants aren't in the best shape. If I could pick any game show to be on in real life, I think this might be it.

I've played several game show games over the course of this challenge, and none of them have been very good. There are a few more I plan to play before this challenge is out (Who wants to be a Millionaire and Deal or no Deal)...but the way things are going, I should probably abandon all hope. It's become very apparent that the game developers don't put much thought into these things, aside from "A lot of people watch this show, let's make a video game based on it"

When you really sit down and think about it, I'm not sure how someone could make a good video game based on the Wipeout TV show. It would be like trying to make an "America's Funniest Home Videos" video game. The best thing about both shows is laughing at the misfortune of others, and that doesn't translate well to gaming. We're already used to watching our characters die, fall into pools of water, or lava...or get dominated by obstacles from countless years of when it happens in this game, there's nothing special about it.

Yes, the game has rag doll physics employed, so when your character bites it, they go flailing into the water below. You might have a chuckle or two the first few times it happens, but it's not nearly as interesting to watch as the TV show is. The obstacles themselves are copied directly from the show, but in a video game, there's nothing special about them. Seriously, if I told you all you had to do was jump from one moving platform to another....would that get you excited? just reminded me of a dozen games that do it better (Mario, Mega Man, 'Splosion Man, Sonic, Metroid, Munch, Ratchet & Clank, God of War, Little Big Planet, Loco Roco, etc, etc, etc).

This game simply can't compete as a platformer, and as an adaptation of a TV show, it fails miserably as well. Like I mentioned above, I think it would have been a pretty hard game to make. The only thing I can think of that might have made it better is live video clips of actual contestants failing. It could be from the audition reels, or other un-broadcasted stuff...but the problem with that is, you'd see all the clips eventually and it would get repetitive.

Overall Score? 2/10. I played through the game show, then went into the challenge mode and played each challenge individually, until I could safely say I'd seen the bulk of the obstacles in this game. I mastered most of them, except for a few really tough ones...but there was no joy in it. There was also no joy when my characters failed to navigate an object and fell into the water (which is the best part of a TV show). This game is completely disappointing....and it never should have been made.

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