CHARLESTON, W.Va. -- Still going strong in its fourth year on the air, ABC's "Wipeout" continues to come up with creative ways to punish, embarass and humiliate contestants who brave the show's various obstacles in pursuit of a $50,000 payday.
Not to be outdone, Activision's video game franchise based on the hit series has recently released its third edition, appropriately titled "Wipeout 3." Much like the show that it's based on, "Wipeout 3" does its best to innovate in its own ways, introducing a new over-the-shoulder camera angle, simplifying the controls and adding split-screen multiplayer for the first time.
These changes are welcome additions to the series, especially the competitive multiplayer mode. Admittedly the Kinect had some issues keeping up with the action sometimes, but for the most part it did fine recognizing the gestures and motions made by my kids and I as we leaped over Sweeper Arms and bounced across the Big Balls. The new party mode allows four players to pair off and compete for bragging rights.
Those looking for a solo challenge can compete in any of the dozen new themed courses spanning both the summer and winter versions of the show. Performing well earns you credits that can be spent on unlockable items at the Wipeout Shop to customize your avatar.
John Henson and John Anderson return to provide entertaining commentary and the TV-style replays showcase all of your glorious failings. Watching slow-motion replays of your friends and family getting dumped in the pool or smacked in the face by a well-placed bumper is almost as fun as playing "Wipeout 3" yourself.
If you've played either of the previous two "Wipeout" games, you should already know what to expect with "Wipeout 3." Developer Behaviour Interactive doesn't try to reinvent the wheel here, instead opting to offer a more polished version of a game fans had come to enjoy. The new levels and improved multiplayer are certainly worth the price of admission, though, making this a fine addition to your collection of Kinect titles.
Developer: Behaviour Interactive
Available for: Kinect for Xbox 360 ($49.99); Wii ($39.99)
Rating: E+10 for everyone 10-and-up