Review: Wrecked: Revenge Revisited
I think it’s safe to say that there will probably come a time in any reviewer’s life where they’re able to judge the title they’re about to play by the developer or publisher involved; it’s an almost Jedi-like sixth sense that can only be earned from playing lots of games and looking at them from a critical viewpoint. When the scribe knows something’s going to be good a massive sigh of relief washes over them when it actually turns out to be every bit as enjoyable as they expected, but on the other hand – when the old spidey-sense starts tingling in a negative fashion and winds up correct – you could almost register their groan of disappointment on the richter scale. You see, it’s hard not to be disappointed to begin with, but that disappointment is eventually replaced with cynicism and the whole thing turns into a vicious cycle.
Personally, I’m a bit wary of 505 Games – not just because their last title (Michael Phelps: Push the Limit) was less than palatable, but I’ve really not 100% enjoyed what they’ve put out. Saying that, the 505-published Zumba Fitness title sat happily at the top of the UK Chart for what seemed like an age, and even revisited its Number One position a number of times, and forthcoming FPS Sniper Elite V2 is actually looking pretty good right now.
Either way, I came away from Wrecked Revenge Revisited feeling disappointed, mainly because I haven’t played a decent top-down racer since Micro Machines V3 back in the heady days of PlayStation 1, and although Wrecked is from the same studio that created MMV3′s spiritual successor, it just feels totally lacking. I’m not sure if it’s because the genre just isn’t the same unless you’re racing miniature vehicles across massive kitchen tables and school desks, but something certainly doesn’t feel right here.
The single player portion of the game is played out across a number of different challenges spread across four categories; Speed, Weapons, Skill and Elite, with six different challenges in each category. There’s a good range of challenges on offer, but they really only last for a couple of minutes each, tops, which – for a full-whack XBLA title – doesn’t exactly equal value for money.
Each challenge has a Gold, Silver and Bronze reward based on how quickly you complete it, with the Gold reward as elusive as a vampire during the day in some challenges, but ridiculously easy to get on others. There’s no explanation for this, but at least on the tougher challenges you can say that Supersonic are really delivering what they say is on the Wrecked Revenge Revisited tin (as in, a bit of a challenge). Each time bracket is represented by a gold, silver or bronze ghost car, and it’s these little blighters you have to beat in order to ace a challenge; which is no mean feat as they are a speedy little trio. Luckily, you have three special moves in your arsenal to give you a bit of a fighting chance: Super Turbo, Super Brake and Shunt. Super Turbo is activated by pressing LT (Brake) once, and RT (Accelerate) twice in quick succession whilst Super Brake is the opposite: RT (Accelerate) once and LT (Brake) twice. However, Super Turbo is generally very weak and comes off as more of a superpowered fart as it really has no value on a straight, whilst Super Brake is just useless. It seemed no matter how many times I used the Super Turbo, it just didn’t make any difference to the outcome of the race and the bizarre button combination used to pull it off doesn’t help much either.
Shunt proved the most beneficial of all three moves, however – activated by nudging the right stick in either direction, it makes your vehicle strafe from side to side. Mainly intended as an offensive manoeuvre for slamming opponents in a race, it’s also a great get out of jail free card for correcting over (or under) steered hairpin bends, or as a split second save when you’re about to plummet off a cliff edge.
You earn XP when you complete a race at Bronze, Silver or Gold level, and it can be used to unlock modifications for your chosen vehicle like new chassis, different wheel types and colours or decals – it’s all for aesthetic value however, as it makes no impact whatsoever on your racing performance, but it’s a nice addition and I suppose it makes you feel like you’re actually racing for a reason. It doesn’t take long to unlock everything however, as you can still earn XP for finishing races you’ve already completed, but the novelty soon wears off once everything’s unlocked.
Up to 4 people can take part in local or online multiplayer, and it’s here that Wrecked starts to realise some of its potential, and at times it is reminiscent of the old days of huddling around the PS1 and a telly with your mates, but online is dead and there are far more enjoyable games to play locally anyway. The only real fun to be had here is with the weapons on offer; restricted to specific challenges in Single Player, they’re now freely available throughout each race and are picked up by driving over the relevant glowing circle on the map. Machine Guns, Drones, Mines, Shotguns and Homing Missiles all feature, and it’s surprisingly good fun blasting your mates off the track. You can still take part in a race even after you’ve been knocked out by contributing an airstrike or two, and it’s really good fun dodging these attacks as your opponents fall one by one. Added to all this is the Red Bar of Death, which trolls around at the bottom of the screen and destroys anyone it comes into contact with – essentially, it’s failsafe way of getting rid of players who lag too far behind.
There are six different courses to hack around, and they’re all fairly nondescript in execution – my favourite is the Jungle Temple, as it looks a bit like an apocalyptic overgrown city that wouldn’t look out-of-place in ‘I Am Legend’. It’s a really enjoyable course as well, fairly easy to navigate but with some decent shortcuts to boot. The rest is a mixture of ice and desert-based tracks, but they all feel secondary to the Jungle level. The cars are nicely animated, with frost visibly appearing on your vehicle during the Ice levels, and there are also some decent exploding barrels thrown in for good measure. Unfortunately the camera is a bit unreliable, as it changes depending on where you and your fellow racers are on the track, pulling away at certain points but then inexplicably zooming in at the same point in another race – which is a real pain – especially if you can’t see what’s around the next bend.
Overall, the real lack of content is what lets Wrecked Revenge Revisited down – the limited challenge mode, lack of tracks and basic car mods aren’t enough to warrant the exorbitantly high 1200MSP price tag. To add insult to injury, 505 have released some day one DLC that adds 2 new multiplayer maps, 8 single player challenges, 2 power ups and a new vehicle for 400MSP that could have easily been included as part of the full game. Shame on you, 505 Games.
Review: Wrecked: Revenge Revisited Results
What we liked:
Top down racing never gets old
Shunt special move is a nice addition
Weapons add fun to Multiplayer
What we disliked:
Shocking lack of content for 1200MSP
Day one DLC??
Pointless XP system