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Platform

Playstation 2

 

Genre

Platformer

 

Publisher

Eidos

 

Developer

Crystal Dynamics

 

ESRB

T (Teen)

 

Released

Q4 2003

 

 

- Great satire

- Character voices

- Quick save and load times

- Good general concept, but…  

 

 

- ...unfortunately that doesn’t mean a good game

- Poor Visuals

- Ugly menus

- Horrible collision detection system

- Some moments of frustration

- Limited replay value

 

 

Review: Jak II (PS2)

Review: Ratchet & Clank 2 (PS2)

Review: Vexx (PS2)

Review: Jak & Daxter (PS2)

 

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Whiplash

Score: 6.5 / 10

 

In what is becoming almost standard for platformers, Whiplash (WL) features a duo of animal test subjects in a comedic romp.  Okay, that’s not quite standard, but the duo aspect is standard.

 

whiplash          whiplash

 

WL is centered on Spanx, a weasel, and a rabbit named Redmond. They’re chained together and are attempting to escape from an evil corporation named Genron, a company known for testing products on animals.

 

You play the character of Spanx, but you can use Redmond as a weapon to beat up on pesky security guards, scientists and any other enemies.

 

At the beginning of the game you familiarize yourself with the practice of the Genron Corporation by roaming around their headquarters. Along the way you are given the goal of destroying as much property as you can. The more property you destroy the more points you earn. You can also earn Hypersnax, which increase the strength of you character. Hypersnax are easily obtained by defeating any villains you come across who work for the Genron Corporation. One thing that is great about WL are the destructible environments. Anything that looks like it has even a remote value is destructible.

 

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The beauty of having two characters chained together is that Redmond is a trusty weapon. Unfortunately that is the only real weapon you’ll have for most of the game. The characters themselves are the main source of the game’s humor. The game’s satire is excellent. Some of the content you’ll either find cruel or funny. For example: Wandering around the environments you’ll see crocodiles being fed fast food, animals wearing afros and running on treadmills and so on.

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While the game makes a name for itself with the great humor, the gameplay isn’t as hot. The game play is pretty standard after you get past the few novelties (i.e. using the rabbit as a weapon). The first problem lies with the weapons. Since Redmond is the only weapon available there is little variety for attacking targets. Redmond can also be used a tool – lit on fire, filled with helium and operating some machinery. Other than that the game consists of basic platform elements such as exploration and puzzles.

 

whiplash          whiplash

 

There are some puzzles in which you’ll be getting frustrated with because some objectives or methods of solving the puzzle are not clearly stated. You’ll often resort to trial and error methods and hope you did something right. Overall the game doesn’t provide a good challenge as it can be easily completed in ten hours or less. On top of that there really is little to no reason to go back unless you really get a kick out of the satire.

 

Don’t expect lots of varieties of enemies. The most basic enemies include guards and scientists. The AI itself is fairly good, as opponents sometimes block your attacks but a lot of the time they’re extremely slow and navigating carefully around them is not difficult.

 

Visually, things are on the sloppy side.  The collision detection is awful and there’s a distinct lack of detail to practically everything including the menus, which are rendered in fuzzy detail.  I’d hate to draw comparisons to some games on the N64, but that’s what it felt like sometimes.

 

If you’re looking for a satirical style platform style game, then Whiplash might be right up your alley – just don’t expect anything earth-shattering.  It was a good concept but if you already own games like Ratchet & Clank 2 or Jak 2, you’d best be skipping this title.

 

- Siddharth Masand

(January 25, 2004)

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