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Platform

Playstation 2

 

Genre

Racing

 

Publisher

Majesco

 

Developer

Blade Interactive

 

ESRB

E (Everyone)

 

Released

Q1 2003

 

- Excellent weather effects

- Custom Maps

- Vehicle Damage

 

 

- Dated Graphics

- Controls can be frustrating at times

- No Weapons

- No new innovation or features

- Sometimes the fast game speed means difficult gameplay

- Multiplayer is nothing great

 

 

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Hypersonic Xtreme

Score: 4.0 / 10

 

While the Playstation 2 is an amazing system, it does have it weaknesses. Futuristic racing games havenít shown up much on the Playstation 2 during its three-year history. Perhaps the most notable futuristic racer on the Playstation 2 was Wipeout Fusion, which gained a large amount of praise for its great gameplay. Is HX better than Wipeout Fusion or a disappointment?

 

hypersonic xtreme ps2 review          hypersonic xtreme ps2 review

 

Most arcade style racing games include weapons and power ups but in HSX it turns out most of the gameplay is based just on racing and not on vehicular combat. The gameplay is influenced a majority of the time by speed. Youíll find yourself going 4000 mph almost throughout each race. This is where the biggest problem in the gameplay occurs. Itís difficult to race at such high speeds and even with the speed HSX lacks any real excitement found in other racing titles.

 

The lack of weapons really hurts this game big time, as the focus on racing gets dull quite quickly. The vehicles seem too much similar to one another and there really isnít a whole lot of difference between each vehicle, which would give one player and advantage over the other. The only real feature that this game has instead of weapons is the boosts on each track. There is also a small amount of frustration involved with this game. During the races there are jumps involved to get from one piece of track to another. Its quite a challenge to make most of the jumps as youíll most often than not find yourself restarting over and over again just to make the jumps. The AI overall can seem cheap at times, but youíll have to get incredibly good at this game if you want to unlock new items.

 

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HSX features split-screen two-player racing but it alone cannot save this game. There really is no newfound enjoyment in the split-screen mode and more often than not, youíll be bored after playing for five minutes.

 

Even with all of the gameplay problems, there is one feature that stands out above all others which is the option to create your own track. The amount of customization available when designing your own tracks is mind blowing. Everything down to cool effects can be placed in your own tracks. Sadly though, the track editor wonít bring you back to play this game.  

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The graphics look terribly dated -- back to the days of the Nintendo 64. The vehicle models are off putting and the surrounding environment could have used a lot more detail, though there are some details worth mentioning. The weather effects look great, but sadly this often leads to even more frustration as rain can often block your viewing distance. There are sometimes puddles of water on the track and if you ride over the puddles youíll splash water all over the screen, which is a pretty cool effect.

 

hypersonic xtreme ps2 review          hypersonic xtreme ps2 review

 

The controls are good for the most part, but there are some instances where youíll have frantic trouble controlling your ship. Since a good majority of the game is played at high speeds you may encounter trouble controlling your ship when doing sharp turns.

Vehicle damage is also included and it changes the physics of your vehicle quite drastically. The sound is a mixed package. There is nothing to brag about and can probably be traced back to the budget price ($20US). There arenít any character voices, but the most sound will come from the in-game music.

 

To answer my question at the beginning of the review, Hypersonic Xtreme compares in no way to Wipeout Fusion. Although the mulitplayer can be fun and the track creation gets a thumbs up, HSX is a disappointment and those who want a futuristic racer for their Playstation 2 should check out Wipeout Fusion.

 

- Siddharth Masand

(April 5, 2003)

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