Hands-on: Dreamcast Trickstyle

Recently, a playable build of this visually impressive game landed in our offices - and we've been playing ever since.

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Do you remember the first time you saw Wipeout running on the PlayStation? At the time, the futuristic racer from Psygnosis was the epitome of next generation gaming - no title could better convey what 32-bit games had in store for us. Wipeout carried with it a connotation of cutting-edge graphics and design. So when I say that Trickstyle is to the Dreamcast what Wipeout was to the PlayStation, hopefully you'll understand what I mean. So far, no Dreamcast game has come close to delivering this sort of wow factor.

Trickstyle can best be described as an amalgam of arcade skateboarding games like 720 fused with Wipeout. It just feels right - there's a perfect feeling of weightlessness as you're zooming over track hills and obstacles. You simply have to stay alert to win - the game requires you to calculate ahead, taking into account physics and course layout. It stays fun, though, because the control is intuitive and capable of being mastered.

The version we saw only offered a chance to play through the training mode of the game, so it is still too early to make a fair judgement on how the complete game will feel. However, from what I've seen so far, every element is there. The graphics are perhaps some of the best yet on the Dreamcast - just wait until you see this game in motion. The sound gets your feet tapping with fast-beating techno, and the title's gameplay is great. I've been racing around the training modes collecting orbs and whatnot, and I'm hooked. The cards are definitely in place for Criterion (the developer) to have a major success on its hands.

Being released in the US by Acclaim, Trickstyle is currently slated as a Dreamcast launch title. It's likely that a demo will be packed in with the Dreamcast system when it releases here as well. Definitely keep your eyes out for this one.

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