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Wii Game Review



Format: Wii
Bethesda Softworks
RRP: £29.99
0 093155 122635
Age Restrictions: 7+
Available 27 November 2009

Wheelspin offers furiously fast racing action, for up to eight players. Jump into the driving seat and tear up the futuristic, gravity defying tracks, with this intergalactic thrill ride, guaranteed to get your heart pumping...

"Furiously fast racing action..." says the back of the box of Wheelspin. Hmm... well technically that's a bit of a grey area because there are few sections on any of the tracks where you can really whiz off. Why? Well, there are so many sharp bends and obstacles on the track that it's almost impossible to pick up speed without flying off the track.

The game is a futuristic racing game (which is a neat way of getting around any of the real physics that most racing games adhere to). You must shoot around the laps on tracks that bend, twist and loop the loop. On certain tracks there are sections missing of the track, or large rocks in the way, and you can also spiral down large pipe sections. Sounds fun, until you actually try it.

For those that remember the old Playstation Wipeout series of games, Wheelspin looks very similar - only your driving cars now instead of flying space vehicles. At certain segments of the track there are speed boosts which allow you to quickly pick up more speed. In Battle mode you can also pick up weapons which you can then fire at your opponents, or use to protect your car.

As you progress through the levels you gain more money which allows you to buy a new car or perform upgrades.

The main problem here is that this is a Wii game. If this were on the Xbox 360 or PS3 then I doubt there'd be a problem. But, we have to contend with the Wii's ludicrously poor control system. For this game you can either buy a Wii wheel (a lump of plastic that you place the Wii controller into) or just use the Wii controller on its own. To do this you have to hold the controller horizontally and use the 1 and 2 buttons to accelerate and brake. Tilting the controller left and right moves you left or right - but not very well.

Sadly, the most important element of this game - the actual driving - is pretty appalling. While the graphics look impressive (for a Wii game) the actual fun is hampered by a real pig of a control system.

There are also a few too many bugs. The most notable being the fact that on some tracks your camera view is very restricted, making it almost impossible to see which direction you have to steer. One one track this is made even more frustrating by the fact that a large chunk of the road is missing, so you need to be able to see that. And on the same track there is a gravity defying pipe you can shoot up inside of, but with the limited camera angle it's almost impossible to tell which way you are supposed to go - it ends up being more luck than anything that you get through it. Another bug we encountered was that on the very first track of the game it got to lap three of three and just let us continue to go around and around again.

And, when you unlock future tracks they're just the same tracks but now you race round them in the opposite direction. Again, here is where the camera issue raises its ugly head. Racing around the correct way the camera is mainly well positioned, but in reverse you can't see far enough ahead in some areas to be able to time the bends properly.

Fun for about 10 minutes and then you realise that something more interesting needs attending too - like the freezer needs defrosting.


Darren Rea

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£13.05 (Amazon.co.uk)
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All prices correct at time of going to press.