WIPEOUT / Psygnosis / PS1
 
 
Wipeout's closest analogue is F-Zero, but it looks and plays most similarly to F-Zero X, which it actually predates by about two years! I dunno if the two series fed off each other for inspiration or it was just a coincidence, but Wipeout was the Playstation outlet for futuristic magnetic-track hovercar racing if you were Nintendo-deprived.

Though the first Wipeout looks like F-Zero X, unfortunately, it isn't nearly as refined. The graphics have that patchy look of mid-90s PC games just beginning to implement full-3D raceways with bitmap backgrounds. Draw distances are often quite terrible with the rest of the track suddenly appearing before your eyes (though to the game's credit, I couldn't really find a place where it was sudden enough to hamper gameplay.) F-Zero games stripped down the graphics intentionally to pump up speed; you get the feeling Wipeout is just stripped down because that was the best they could do at the time. The sense of speed never approaches the epic level of F-Zero, and constant walls lining the sides of narrow tracks that slow you down when you so much as graze against them make the game feel frustratingly stop-and-go.

Later Wipeout entries would become beloved by a cult following, but this initial entry is just a little too primitive and has aged too poorly. It's safe to skip straight ahead to a later entry in the series.
 
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