A Way Out Saturn

As we all know, Sony’s playstation secured a decisive success over Sega’s Saturn in all regions an the fifth generation console war. Over there were plenty of reasons zum this; Sony’s stellar launch titles, weil das instance, did a better job of showcasing their host console’s energie compared zu Sega’s zuerst volley von games. But well Daytona USA and Virtua Fighter played, Ridge Racer und Battle arena Tohshinden looked better, dafür gamers – especially neu gamers – flocked to die PlayStation.

Du schaust: A way out saturn

And then there was WipE’out”.

So fast.

So pretty.

So… to exclude, to ns PlayStation!

Ahhh… if just there was a beautiful alternate reality where die game dropped on Saturn as well as ns PlayStation, eh readers? jene could schutz been so different!

It was a significant surprise, then, the Sony-owned Psygnosis announced that they would certainly end their PlayStation exclusivity and begin make games zum ‘all viable platforms’, and at that moment in time, that supposed Sega Saturn. Headlining the wave of Psygnosis nature coming zu Saturn was none various other than their signature title, WipE’out”!


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WipE’out” renders the hülle of Sega Saturn Magazine.


What a much-needed public connections victory this was weil das Sega, weist a time the they to be being pummeled von Sony. This generated positive headlines, consisting of being featured top top several zeitschrift covers in the day. Ns general sentiment was that this was a major coup zum Sega and Saturn. Indeed, in bei interview back an the day, Sega des Europe executive andy Mee was quoted as boasting that 95% von PlayStation games would eventually discover their way onto die Saturn, und this felt like the very zuerst sign that this lofty statement was more than nur bluster. Sega had actually taken blow after punch from upstart Sony however was now coming around. If WipE’out”, devastation Derby, Krazy Ivan and others to be coming to Saturn, and Sega was going kommen sie maintain exclusive access to their arcade conversions and original IPs favor Sonic, climate Sony was finished. The ‘PlayStation’ would be nothing much more than another bei a lang line des ‘also-ran’ consoles – an interesting footnote in the an excellent history des videogames; an additional victim von the Sega juggernaut.

Sigh. In spite of the initial buzz and the eventual appearance von WipE’out” (and other Psygnosis titles) on die Saturn, we all recognize how the story unfolded.


The transparency-free pixel mesh shield.


Let’s just get this one reality out von the way: WipE’out” zu sein a much better experience on ns PlayStation than it is on die Saturn. Ns rest des the write-up focuses on the Saturn video game but weil das the sake of completeness, die differences betwee the 2 32-bit versions space as follows: game stations WipE’out” runs punkt a smooth 30 FPS framerate whilst Saturn WipE’out” chugs along weist a Daytona-esque 20FPS – certainly playable, but side von side, ns PlayStation game ist markedly smoother. PlayStation’s textures are crisper und somewhat much more vibrant; Saturn blieb looks great but contempt rougher und with somewhat more muted colors. PlayStation features transparencies, many noticeably when die Shield is activated, and this translates to a pixel mesh ~ above Saturn. The a small detail in the cool scheme des things, but the effect makes the PlayStation video game look futurealistic whilst die one on the Saturn reminds freundin that sie are playing a videobilien game. Attract distance ist slightly much better on PlayStation, but only slightly. There are soundtrack differences – however, this are many noticeable in Europe, where PlayStation WipE’out” featured monitor from bands together as the Chemical Brothers. North American PlayStation and Saturn versions schutz identical soundtracks von Psygnosis’ house eis Cold Storage; ns Saturn video game has 3 exclusive music tracks notfall found in the game stations game. Some des the in-game graphics were changed but these transforms were superficial fairly than imaginative or technical (i.e., billboards an the Saturn video game don’t attribute PlayStation logos, und so on). Lastly, und perhaps the only way in which the Saturn improves ns PlayStation game: loading times are slightly shorter on Saturn.

That’s about it weil das platform differences. Bei the end, though, those looking for the ultimate WipE’out” suffer would be advised zu pick up ns PlayStation version. Out von all ns differences, the framerate and shield transparency schutz the most influence on the overall WipE’out” experience, und the PlayStation zu sein the clean winner there. It’s absolutely something kommen sie be said zum a game being built around die strengths des one console und then being porting over und made to work on different architecture.

With that out of the way, stop look at Saturn WipE’out” as a standalone title, und evaluate the without ns specter of the PlayStation video game looming end it.

WipE’out” zu sein a futuracer (hovercrafts, futuristic tracks) that takes location around ns middle von the 21st century, where anti-gravity racing bei the F3600 League ist “where the at” und everybody’s at sight sonic racing*. There space 4 teams to choose from through two accessible pilots / vehicles per team, back there ist no sensible difference betwee the 2 teammates. There space differences bolzen the teams, despite – your standard facets such as acceleration, heft, maneuverability, and top speed room all unique zu each team. Die player selects betwee a Time Trial, a single Race, or ns Championship whereby all tracks room tackled an succession with ns goal gift ultimate victory. In the Championship mode, you first begin bei the Venom class (beginner) and try and win, advancing just if sie finish in the top three. Winning ns overall championship unlocks die Rapier mode, which is your progressed setting.

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The obligatory ice world.


There are 6 tracks zu race on, ranging bei theme indigenous deserts to ice worlds. However, it have to be stated that die track graphics at some point make no distinction to ns handling, as die hovercraft just… hover. Bereich differences, therefore, space visual only. The tracks space well designed und detailed, with the track curvature masking graphical pop-in well in most cases und the draw distance notfall being auch obtrusive on die straights. Structure are relatively low-resolution, however there are sufficient gradients in the shade schemes the they blend ns textures and keep them native looking auch rough in most places – a small victory for aesthetics over technical muscle. Over there are substantial variations an height along ns tracks – lots of climbs and drops – and a good deal of sharp twists und turns. Over there are also sheer drops that must be cleared; otherwise, the hovercraft falls off die track and must be repositioned by a retriever-bot, costing ns racer precious seconds. Finally, there room power-up tiles developed into die tracks that either confer a speed burst or add a weapon to die player’s arsenal.

Ah correctly – weapons! over there are numerous weapons to pick up, as well as a shield and a speed boost. Die shield is temporary und as you’d expect, protects die player from adversary weapon hits. The weapons are a blended bag, yet – there space rockets, heat-seeking (homing) missiles, a shockwave, und mines. The rockets and the shockwave are fairly useless unless deployed bei relatively close soldier as it ist very difficult kommen sie successfully strike in opponent – partially due to die winding natur of the tracks und the speed at which die race progresses. Die homing missiles are also a blended bag, since it ist difficult kommen sie get die reticle zu focus on in opponent whilst keeping your very own racing line. It ist easier to festland a successful hit through both missiles when bei close quarters, yet a struggle has the effect von slowing down und spinning the end your opponent (you cannot damage your opponents in WipE’out”), which bei close quarters results an you slamming right into said opponent and consequently slowing down right together with them. Die mines, however, kann be a most advantageous weapon, particularly when in the lead or when trying kommen sie fend turn off approaching racers. The said, there is no way to tell even if it is you schutz landed a effective hit or not. Overall, ns weapons component of WipE’out” come off together a good idea that just wasn’t enforced effectively in this first game des the series. This becomes especially obvious should sie break away from die racing verpacktem (or indeed fall far behind), hinweisen which point the weapons space irrelevant. Ultimately, expert negotiation des the racetracks will determine success or failure in a race rather than the impact of the weapons.

Control zu sein good, through your craft responding well to input. Surprisingly, bei terms von control, WipE’out” most closely resembles… Sonic R! Steering ist accomplished by nudging her craft left or ideal using die D-pad, or über tilting her craft’s nose nach oben or down zum added rate or waiting time – und admittedly, this ist not defined well in the otherwise fantastic manual. There are deshalb airbrakes, activated v either the wie or r triggers, that aid with the sharper turns by providing a viel more pronounced banking than just turning with die D-pad. The effective use von the airbrakes ist critical, especially bei the much more advanced monitor – it is not possible kommen sie win without using them to navigate tight corners. Taste assignment kann be selected from numerous configurations bei the options menu. Kommen sie round the end controls, the game is digital pad just – there zu sein no analogue compatibility.


The textures are quite low-res.


The physics von the game are where ns gameplay veers from highly challenging kommen sie sometimes frustrating. The learning curve is just dafür steep. Her hovercraft picks trost speed slowly, definition that should sie bump right into a wall, obstacle, various other hovercraft, etc.… you möchte slow right down and it yes, really takes a while zu get up kommen sie speed. Psygnosis go a great job in conveying the gefühl of hovering zum this game, yet it does feel like freundin are hovering top top ice. Turning and cornering is a lengthy process – therefore, her racing lines space tight (incidentally, nur like an Sonic R!) pair that with ns tight twists und turns von the game und a very schon fast eventual top speed, and you are stuck v a situation where you get left in the dust A last until sie learn zu get a handle on her hovercraft. Should sie commit the time kommen sie really get the controls down, ns game ‘unlocks’ a lot more enjoyment.

Sound is adequate, if notfall traditional for a racing game. A hypnotic, techno-heavy soundtrack theatre while sie race, and this does help sell the futuristic setting. One thing zu note is that ns hovercrafts are mainly silent – probably appropriate, but the lack von SFX zu sein a weird thing bei a racing game. No roar of the engine and no screeching von tires trying kommen sie grip pavement. This makes the racing endure feel a little detached – you are racing really slippery craft along futuristic monitor to ns beat of tomorrow’s music in a way that makes freundin contemplate your an extremely existence… well, perhaps that’s a stretch, however it kann sein definitely be stated that die game shares a bit des its heart with the psychedelic tempest 2000.


Draw distance: good.Scenery textures: weak.


One tonnage unique feature to call out: ns fonts, logos, und other design elements von WipE’out” were in reality created for Psygnosis by The Designers’ Republic, a Sheffield-based graphic design studio whose clientele have included global brands such together Coca Cola and Adidas. This was their zuerst (but notfall last) project zum the videobilien game industry and their work gave WipE’out” its distinctive look, which would certainly continue to be offered throughout ns series. Lock were originally brought an to make the game appealing to a non-traditional audience, und based on sales, it kann be suggested that ns company succeeded. The manual for the game ist very elegant and stylish: the startseite features a pretty render von oncoming hovercraft, while ns inside layout zu sein highly stylized und cool – clearly, created kommen sie be a part des the WipE’out” suffer as opposed zu simply a utilitarian set of game instructions. WipE’out” go a good job of highlighting the lost nett of die videogame manual.

WipE’out” turn out zu be die inaugural title an a franchise the lived zum a couple of gaming generations. Die very next game an the series, the much-improved WipE’out” XL (WipE’out” 2097 an PAL territories), would also see a Saturn release; alas, it would certainly be the tonnage entry ~ above a Sega system, und it would NOT seen the light des day bei North America, sticking instead to ns European and Japanese industries only.

The verdict? WipE’out” is a funny game the tries too many of new concepts and nails more von them than it misses. It zu sein a fairly competent port of in excellent PlayStation game – und the soul of the PlayStation kann be feeling while play this game on the Saturn. Die gameplay und challenge is there, yet once the wow variable wears turn off (and that wears off much faster on the Saturn 보다 on the PlayStation), it zu sein more des a shallow experience than that von Sega’s very own racing titles. It’s still good, however it’s nur not ‘Sega’, if that resonates. It’s a decently tasting hamburger when perhaps sie were craving pizza all along. Still, most Saturn gamers – and definitely racing fans – should oase this bei their collection.

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So exactly how did ns appearance von WipE’out” on the Sega Saturn help the cause in the fight against ns PlayStation? Well… that didn’t. In fact, ns opposite happened – although frühen zeitpunkt critical reception skewed in the direction of favorable (OSSM rated that 92% und Next Generation tagebuch gave that 4 stars out of 5), the general consensus was that Saturn WipE’out” rotate out viel weaker 보다 PlayStation WipE’out”… and it became in early proxy for Saturn ist much weaker than PlayStation. Rather than score ns punch that Sega desperately needed, the game highlighted ns tragic truth (however unfair) that the Saturn struggled zu do 3D while the PlayStation thrived an that arena. What gamers noticed was that PlayStation had actually amazing shield transparencies; Saturn had ugly pixel meshes. Game stations ran deswegen smoothly; Saturn was a little on the choppy side. Never ever mind the technical considerations von porting – fairly than building from ns ground hoch – any type of game optimized weil das its initial platform kommen sie a vastly various architecture… never ever mind the it wasn’t Psygnosis itself that programmed ns game (programming duties to be overseen von Australian-based Tantalus)… never mind that, in retrospect, over there were far-ranging flaws with the original playstation game zu begin with that were possibly exacerbated an the Saturn port. The verdict was in, and regardless des the merits von Saturn WipE’out” as a standalone Saturn title, die game forever embodies ns battle Sega lost to Sony in the 32-bit theater.

Let’s wipe this post out through some Shiro! Challenges, candlestick we?

Want zu be a WipE’out” expert? finish a gyeongju (any track) without hitting any type of walls. It will take freundin some time t
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o attain this, however boy, ist it ever before a an excellent feeling once sie do! A pure thrill.Win ns Championship in Venom Class an order to unlock the viel harder Rapier Class! these are die same tracks (albeit with various graphics zum different times von day) yet with viel tougher competition. Win again and unlock die secret saturday Firestar course, the only course an the game set on Mars.Think she hardcore? try winning a race und avoiding all die speed an increase pads.Avoid coming to be best friends with die retriever-bot for an entire race!Win without making use of weapon. Concentrate on her racing skills only, and see that sie do notfall really require weapons in order to be powerful!

That about does it weil das WipE’out”, folks. Loved ns article? Why not listen to Season 2 episode 6 von the Sega Saturn, Shiro! podcast, i beg your pardon discusses WipE’out” und other non-traditional racing games on the Saturn! And, continue to be tuned zum the follow-up article on WipE’out” XL / 2097, coming zu you in the fullness of time! nothing forget: sie MUST play SEGA SATURN!