Busted this out for a few hours on a whim to re-live those blissful pre-Y2K vibes and hot damn, it's incredible how this plays almost exactly like you'd expect a modern day Wipeout demake to play. Maybe it's sacrilegious to describe a game's canonical progenitor as "feels like a demake" but what I mean is: I straight up cannot believe that this is running off of 25 year old hardware, it simply looks and plays too well (and too similarly to its modern counterparts) for that to be true.
Seriously, this thing handles like a dream in what seems like 480p + 60fps, and if it wasn't for the fact that you can jam the HYPERTHRUST button and damn near outpace the rendering engine, you'd be forgiven for forgetting that you're playing on a PS1. There's even a cool technical control detail here that I think later games have abandoned, which is that the forward/backward pitch of your craft is something you have to actively manage while racing. This adds to how buttery smooth the game feels as you whip ass up and down and all around the tracks while the choicest late 90s EDM pulses outta your TV.
I legit think I'm gonna get an HD upscaler for the PS1 just so that I can live inside the aesthetic of Sampa Run specifically. Firmly in my "polygons so sharp they could cut ya" era after just three hours of old school Wipeout
Reviewed on Apr 24, 2023