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'Wipeout Omega Collection' Brings My 90s Memories to Magnificent Life

Wipeout has always been fast and hazy, but this sharper version is everything 1995 could've dreamed of.
All images courtesy of Sony

I was a little too young in 1995 to fully appreciate how *cool* Wipeout was. Hackers aside, the fact that Sony brought its futuristic techno racer to clubs that actual party people hung out in (even if they were 90s party people) was something my 11-year-old brain couldn't quite grasp. But mainly, I just didn't have a PlayStation.

I got my first taste soon enough, with Wipeout 64, and I enjoyed the hell out of the mini-genre that Wipeout helped to popularize, with racers like Extreme-G and Star Wars: Episode I Racer, the only good thing to come out of the prequel trilogy (well, that and this unintentionally hilarious documentary). Later on, I would get to know F-Zero on the Gamecube. These games were fast as hell, colorful, and always had booming, blasting soundtracks to accompany the action.


So it's been years, but booting up Wipeout Omega Collection made all my beautiful 90s visions come rushing back.

Omega Collection is a sort of remastered compilation, with Wipeout HD, Fury, and 2048 all present and accounted for. Since I haven't played a proper entry in the series in many, many years, I couldn't tell you how these compare to their original iterations, only that I enjoyed the living hell out of going very fast down neon tubes, though vast aquariums, over and under overwrought, futuristic metropolises.

It's a bit hard to articulate exactly why this does it for me so well, but it does. Something about the lizard brain just loves to go fast, to perform maneuvers at high speed, to be pleased by bright colors and fun sounds. It's a very physical experience, or—more accurately—an experience that evokes the physical impression of speed so well, with sharp, clean, bright lines and music that enhances that sensation. It feels wonderful to play, and satisfying when you learn a course and nail its trickier turns and twists.

It's the perfect game to kind of zone out with (especially in the literal Zone challenges, which are abstract, light-shifting exercises in going fast and not hitting barriers), to enjoy the music and visuals and feel your way around the game, via time trial, or traditional race (full of deadly power-ups and just a taste of Mario Kart-style shenanigans), or any number of challenges in the solo modes.

A perfect podcast game, maybe, if you aren't fully arrested by the audio-visual bliss (or, of course, playing competitively). Racing games have always been this way for me, and I love them for it.

It's actually the kind of game I wish I could somehow attach to my treadmill, using that speed to train myself to go faster and twist through the scenery. But, hey, I guess I'll leave something to the future.