One thing that’s always fascinated me as a lover of retro games is the number of times games get remade or how many titles pay homage to the games I grew up with. Usually it’s classics from the arcades of the 80s and early 90s, or some of the more well-known games from the 8-bit and 16-bit era. While modern console gamers are used to seeing remastered editions of their favourites from previous generations, there’s a new trend from an unexpected source…
Making A Comeback
Which brings me onto one of the launch titles for the original PlayStation, WipEout. I remember buying this and a small handful of games when the original PSOne was released. While it may have aged badly compared to Wipeout 2048 on the PS Vita, the original was breathtaking at the time. With its stylish visuals and techno soundtrack, the games industry hadn’t seen anything like it before.
So it came as a surprise to discover Ion Drift Epsilon: 3D Time Trials. This game, available to play freely at Plays.org bears more than a passing resemblance to the PlayStation classic, albeit in a more simplified format. Intended for use on web browsers rather than mobile phones (as it’s designed for keyboard control), it’s a stripped down version of WipEout taking the basic elements of the classic and putting them into a more accessible format.
Spread over three tracks, with two race types for each (unlocking in turn as you complete them) it’s a straightforward game. Use the cursors to steer left and right, with up and down to accelerate and brake respectively. There are no weapon pickups but just like its source of inspiration there are markers on the tracks that will give you a momentary speed boost.
Three of the races are time trials, the other three are against an AI opponent and get increasingly tougher as you progress. While six stages may not seem like a great deal, it will keep you occupied for a while, especially as you try to beat the final opponent. Controls will take a little getting used to, especially for those of you used to playing with a controller but they’re fairly easy to pick up.