“Wipeout” is a wash on Nintendo DSWritten by Michael Siebenaler | | email@example.com
ABC and Activision team up to bring their obstacle course game show “Wipeout” to the Nintendo DS. This one player game has entertainment potential, but several shortcomings especially in the areas of movement and visual effects. Players succeed by conquering almost 40 obstacles before the third attempt where they automatically advance. This game has three basic rounds in the main TV mode beginning with eight players —the qualifying, sweeper and wipeout zone. Obstacles also appear in the obstacle mode where successes unlock special items and character outfits.
Patient players can find some fun, but frustrates with odd physics, problematic button response, limited customization options, and frequent clipping (characters go through objects). The scrolling movement incorporates some 3D perspectives and the high jumps give players serious hang time. Other actions include duck, run, and block. A grasp, climb or special “last resort” button (using the L or R) would have been ideal.
The actions are simple but the sequenced challenges are very challenging. Placement is key at the end of jump. Landing on a corner triggers a default sequence that makes you fall off the course — even when you might be able to bump across on another object. The times are shown, but not recorded (a high score board opportunity missed) and players cannot save immediate progress.
Developers do not optimize the Nintendo DS capabilities here. Players can use the touch screen to select menus options and that is it. No NDSi camera option to put yourself in the game. No touch screen swipes or hits to lead the action. They miss some basic graphic enhancements as well — most notably visual effects like splashes and mud splats. Players do not even get to see the fall impact most of the time. The sound effects are very basic and do not compensate for the visual weaknesses. The fun music score impresses but the audio comments bore with frequent repetition though sound options allow players to turn them off.
The 18 preset character cache includes hosts John Anderson and John Henson plus on-field commentator Jill Wagner. Unfortunately, “Wipeout” is a wash out on the Nintendo DS. But the Wii version (not reviewed here) offers a four player option, taunts, and slow motion replays (*1/2, rated E for comic mischief, also available on Nintendo Wii).