Same good old formula.
But when I got my hands on the Wipeout Pulse on the PSP, I was immediately hooked.
Later on I went on and played the two latest HD iterations on the PS3 and those versions delivered as well.
This one is practically the same, although there are several improvements.
The mini-map is improved. In the PS3 versions, you had to divert your eyes to the side of the screen to determine who was behind you and how far behind you they were so you could place mines or allow them to outrun you so you could blow them up with rockets. This time, we get a semi circle at the bottom of the screen in the middle which gives you a good idea of how far your foes are.
Also, instead of starting with the beloved Asegai model, you get the Feisar Speed ,model, which plays similarly like Asegai. You get that "handling" rank of 10 which is essential when turning any corner. So anyway, you raise your rank and get other models of Feiser and eventually other vehicles to unlock.
This time, instead of loyalty points, you get the actual experience points. Loyalty points were pretty useless except that you upload your points on PSN and get new skins for vehicles. This time, however, experience points unlock new vehicles and further stages. As you play through enough stages and earn enough experience, you go to next season where you face new enemies and race on new maps.
Also, this time we get three types of pads. The blue ones for the speed boost, the yellow ones for offensive weapons and the green ones for shield and nitro.
All the weapons are still there. The soundtrack is the good old funk accompanied by constant beat, although I do miss several soundtracks from the PSP version.
As in the previous games, you have to pick which vehicle you need for which race. You take the Speed class if you do a simple race or Zone; and you take the fighter class if you do the 3-4 stage championship wherein it's beneficial to not only win as many stages as possible but also increase your chances of winning by eliminating the opponents with firepower.
I also recommend picking the "wipeout" control layout over the default "racer" layout. The wipeout layout allows you to quickly swerve into left or right by using L and the R buttons; the racer layout layer sucks because it doesn't allow you to do that.
Oh, and you can forget about tilting your PS Vita layout. The game is way too fast for that.
The multiplayer works like a charm although in order for you to play online you have to redeem your online coupon via connecting vita to the PS3 which is kinda BS. You basically have to enter your redeem code in your Account Management icon (on the PS 3). Then connect your Vita to the PS3, and then go to your Content Manager icon (on Vita), then copy the online pass from the PS3 onto Vita. I hope this is only the case with the retail version though and I hope I saved someone 30 minutes of frustration with these "instructions".
I also tried the cross platform multiplayer and it ran smoothly without any problems.
Also, there are plenty more alternative map routes this time. Every 5 seconds or so you will see the road split in two so you always have to make that split second decision. Each path contains various bonuses so it's always hard to pick.
The loading times are indeed slow. It takes about 50-60 seconds to load a stage.
In general, this is a very aesthetically pleasing game with zero FPS hiccups. A large portion of the maps take place in a futuristic New York City. You get to see the Brooklyn Bridge, the Empire State building, Central Park and what not. The gameplay is rewarding and you want to pat yourself on the back every time you win a race because you mostly get to win because of the fast reflexes. The game requires lots and lots of concentration.