In the beginning, there was Wipeout. And James looked down upon it, and he saw that it was good.
Actually, that’s not true, is it? There was F-Zero and whatnot, but I’ve never had anything to do with that, so we shall be brought to a prime example in games I like to call Wipeout-alikes, Jet Ion GP.
You know these types of games. Futuristic racing games with hovering ships that can generally fire weapons at each other. This sort of thing was, if I’m right, started by F-Zero and brought to mass prominence – where I am at least – by Wipeout. I should probably add here that I’m a huge fan of the Wipeout series, up to Fusion at least because I haven’t bought any of Sony’s newer consoles since it became apparent that they were utterly soulless. That said, my old PS2 has had something of a comeback in TMSD HQ as of late, with the discovery that some downright great titles can be bought second-hand for buttons these days. Plus, hey, it’s still current. They’re still making games for this thing ten years later. Blame the Wii for having such similar graphical capabilities that a port can be made simply by replacing flailing with button-mashing.
But I digress. This recent personal resurgence of the PS2 has resulted in my purchasing of quite a few second-hand titles for it, one of which is the subject of this review: Jet Ion GP.
Jet Ion GP is a Wipeout-alike game published by Crave and Ubisoft back in the year 2000. It does, however have a few differences from Wipeout in that there is three dimensions of movement rather than just along a track. Racing takes place along “Power belts” which hover in mid-air, along the ground and through tunnels. Deviating away from these power belts causes the screen to fade to black and for you to be placed back on the said belt. Then again, it’s virtually impossible to do this because the game automatically keeps you on the belt unless you specifically set it not to. This is incredibly annoying, at best it feels like there’s a second player controlling the same ship as you and at worst the game will pretty much play itself if you hold down “X”.
The design of the ships is what I like to refer to as an Anime robot mess. I’m far too lazy to actually get some screenshots – I can’t anyway because I don’t have a TV capture card and an emulator would make Sony’s lawyers very sad – but look it up anyway. Then compare it to the ships from, for example, Wipeout Pulse. There is no compare.
It’s probably apparent at this stage that I don’t like Jet Ion GP very much.
I can’t honestly say I’ve had the patience to play it a whole lot. I only bought it because the box made it look a little like Wipeout. It reaches the verges of complete unplayability, with the irritating auto-correction and an absolutely dire framerate for the most part (And don’t think that’s due to impressive visuals either.) The boxes’ promise of “speeds of up to 2500 MPH” is just annoying, as they blatantly fiddled with the speedometer to make this true. Even bumping diagonally along a wall from a standstill has you doing 300 MPH, apparently. Ooh, whiplash.
There are promises of items – which I haven’t come across, for some reason – Total freedom of movement, which isn’t true as said before, and the promised “exclusive smooth techno/trance musical score” sounds like it was made in a pirated copy of FL studio by Hitler.
Apparently there is a “strong background hidden behind each team & pilot”. Read this as “We hired somebody from the nearest Gundam fanfiction BBS to write a paragraph of text for each option in the ship-select menu.”
I paid £2.50 for it. I guess I can’t really give it a score out of 10, as it’s your choice given the facts to decide whether it sounds good or not. My verdict is this: With this knowledge, I wouldn’t buy it again.