Wipeout 3 retains some of what makes the hit show a success. Hosts John Anderson and John Henson as well as reporter Vanessa Lachey all appear in the game to offer up commentary for the action and explain the obstacle courses players will attempt to make their way through in the game. Players will find obstacles inspired directly from the show as well including bouncing red balls, slides, conveyor belts and more, but as soon as you start up a match you'll realize trying out Wipeout 3 with any aspirations of the game being good was giving the game and series far too much credit. The announcers do a terrible job of staying with the action and often give lines that don't fit the action on screen at all, and they are very poor quality when they do actually stay consistent with the game action, sounding as though the developers filmed the entire voiceover in a couple of hours total. Often times, Vanessa Lachey pops up annoyingly throughout the game to slow your progress and occasionally not say anything at all. The stages themselves are just as lazily, uninspired, and after playing through one or two episodes, you'll notice repeated levels that are simply reskinned in an attempt to make the game seem longer than it really is.
There are 12 episodes and 200 obstacles in Wipeout 3, and many of these can be played in a variety of modes including single player, quickplay, party mode and trap attack mode. You can quickly jump into a match to play by yourself with the first two modes or play with up to four other players in party mode with characters taking turns and trying their luck at the game's obstacles. Playing on Nintendo Wii allows players to enjoy trap attack mode where one player controls the game with the Wii gamepad and attempts to distract and impede the progress of the other player while running the obstacle course. Needless to say, the game isn't very fun no matter which mode you try, and the implementation of the gamepad is trap attack is disappointing as the only real use of the special controller in Wipeout 3. Completing levels will earn experience points and Ballsey Bucks that can be used to level up characters and purchase additional clothes and items for added effects in-game. The customizable characters offer up one of the only really cool elements in Wipeout 3, as you continue to make your created character or Mii look absolutely ridiculous and have statistical benefits over your opponents. Still, it's just not enough to make the game enjoyable once a match starts.
Wipeout 3 isn't the worst looking game around, and is now available on Nintendo Wii U, Xbox 360 with Kinect, Wii and DS. The game manages to look just as average no matter which system you're playing it on. The themes of the stages add a nice touch that allow you to play through a Wild West theme for a while and switch to a School theme the next, but the recycled obstacles will bore even the most patient gamers quickly. Combine the terrible design with physics that ensures you will find yourself crashing into the water below numerous times through a match from no fault of your own, and you've got the recipe for one of the worst games of the year. Still, what makes Wipeout 3 one of the worst games we've played all year is its competition. The game should cost no more than $5-$10 as a downloadable title, and even then, Wipeout 3 would be a tough sell. Basically, there is absolutely no reason why any gamer or parent should pick up Wipeout 3. You've been warned.
Wipeout 3 is now available from all major retailers and can be purchased for Xbox 360, Nintendo Wii, Nintendo Wii U and Nintendo DS. Wipeout 3 is rated E by the ESRB for Comic Mischief & Mild Cartoon Violence. For more information on the game, check out the official Wipeout 3 website.
Platforms: Xbox 360, Nintendo Wii (reviewed), Nintendo Wii U & Nintendo DS
Release Date: September 25, 2012