I have never been very good at racing games, and I don't really like them that much either - but this? This I love.

User Rating: 8.5 | Wipeout 2097 (Platinum) PS
I used to play this as a kid, and when I decided to have my own PS2, it was a "must get!" for my collection.

I haven't finished the game yet. It needs some time, smoothing your skills (and I'm not the best player there is), but after a certain amount of hours you do get better, and that gives such a feeling of joy that you want to keep playing.

There are three levels in this game, each of them with two tracks (so 6 tracks so far that I've found, but they say there are 8). The difficulty between levels is quite a jump, and while you can master first level quite easily and second level with some extra work, the third one really puts some sweat in your game. To finish first is not as easy as you might think.

Not only do you race with "planes" that hover over the track (you have several teams to pick from, with different strengths), but you get to shoot your opponents as well. Only, they shoot back. At the end of each track is a pit where you can recharge your defenses, but it takes extra time to go there.

The graphics of the game are satisfactory, but not much better than that. At high speeds it turns into a pixel blur, sometimes.

The sounds are good for each weapon, colliding with the wall, or just scarping the side of the track. Even if you can't necessarily see it, you'll hear it. The game has about a dozen songs it rotates randomly on the background, and most of them are very good and fitting (like Prodigy's Firestarter), putting you in a mood for another race.

Definitely my favorite racing game, despite the fact that it's old and the graphics don't do justice to the fun it provides. But not to worry; the movements following your fingers on the controls are smooth, even if the looks is a bit gritty.

It is really a shame that this game does not allow two players to enjoy it at once, but perhaps the split screen would be too hard to follow.