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Thread: Why is Wipeout Fusion hated

  1. #1

    Question Why is Wipeout Fusion hated

    It's an awesome game, love the handling over Wip3out's floatiness (but I only ever played two ships on the demo, Goteki 45 and Feisar) and the weird handling on Pulse (only played Feisar). I'm fine with the upgrade system. The soundtrack is awesome (beats Pulse) and the race day atmosphere is spot on with how you see the ships make it to the starting grid. I like the weapons focused racing, because you can get some great races of attrition and when you make it to the end of those and see how many eliminations you got it feels like an achievement. It felt like a proper event (although it lacked gaps to the other racers). Also, was lurking these forums and someone pointed out something I had begun to notice, there's an actual pecking order on the grid. Xios, Pirhana and a team I can't remember always seem to be at the sharp end of the grid (I noticed I seemed to always be fighting them for first place) or I'd be up against Tigron all the time in my upgraded Feisar. Also, playing Pulse and having only 8 races isn't doing it for me, give me 16 racers for a more full grid any day.

    I don't have a PS3 or my PS2 anymore (I emulate the PS2 and PS1 Wipeouts) so I can't compare to Wipeout HD or Fury.

    I got into Wipeout when I got a PS1. There was a demo disc that came with it and it had the Wip3out demo and I thought this is awesome, so I played it endlessly. When I got wind of Fusion I bought it and loved, then I traded it, then I missed it and bought it again pre-owned. Got 100% on everything but Zone if I remember right, then my PS2 failed, years later built a PC and found it could emulate PS2 really well so I found the ISO for Fusion and it was like old times

    So, yeah, why is Fusion hated?

    EDIT: How'd I forget the bloodthirsty AI. Made it better
    Last edited by Goteki; 28th June 2015 at 02:53 PM.

  2. #2
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    I liked this game too, my favorite part was the gritty feel to it. It gets your heart pounding.

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    I only played Fusion for about 2 hours but that was enough for me.

    I can't exactly say why I didn't like it, only that it did not feel as though I was playing a Wipeout game, the handling was rather clunky and I hated the track design. I'm sure others have more profound reasons as to why they didn't like Fusion but those are my mine

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    I've never had the oppertunity to play fusion, but I know just from looking at it that it would be my favorite WipEout. It looks fast, feels fast, intense, challenging and balanced.

    The new focus on combat was something the series had always needed in order to make shield energy actually make a difference in a race. In HD energy was almost worthless since absorbing could restore more than a weapon could deal. And more often than not you got weapons you didn't want at that moment and you would absorb them. In fusion you can't absorb, if you want to heal in fusion you have to go through the pit-stop and lose precious seconds of speed; punishing you for not being able to manage your health. The shield stat was what it always should have been: A risk versus reward stat. Do you dare risk having less energy in exchange for more preformance? Or will you play it safe and not risk elimination? HD this risk almost doesn't even exist, how many top players do you see using Qirex, Auri, or Triakis? not too many, most go with Ica, Hari, and Feisar, and it really upsets me how much attention those teams get because of the game's faulty balance between combat and speed. Speed is favored too much in HD in my opinion.
    Last edited by AGgamer; 4th July 2015 at 06:49 PM. Reason: spelling

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    I liked each individual game for what it uniquely was personally, but I always felt Fusion was the black sheep of the set. Although each game had it quirks, Fusion was the only one that had a radical change in the controls and physics compared to the rest of the titles.

    My first and biggest problem was the controls, especially the braking. In all the other games, braking was incremental, allowing for precise handling. Even in the PS1 titles, you could partially brake and maintain a smooth line. Fusion had the worst mechanics for braking imaginable. You tap on the brakes, and its almost as if nothing happens. The brake simply nudges your ship over a little bit, and doesn't really slow it down. You have to power tap the brakes repeatedly to get any kind of reliable precision braking, and even that felt loose. For me, this alone was enough to make it a noticeable inferior title. It didn't feel like a Wipeout game, the mechanics are just that different.

    Next, the track design, while not completely regrettable, didn't really have any memorable standouts. The track design was just not up to par with the rest of the series. Different sections of the track would open and close based on the track selection, which was kind of cool, but the tracks themselves felt uninspired. This was not a huge deal for me, rather a minor disappointment. I liked the addition of the open track sections that took you through mud and snow, and I even liked the concept of losing traction over the ice patches, but the overall clunky controls really shadowed this aspect of the game and was more of a nuisance than a challenge.

    Upgrading ships with credits... was AWESOME! I think I liked that part the most, and for me was the redeeming factor of the game. The ship choices were already unique, but the addition of upgrades made it better. While this did allow for an opportunity to truly customize your favorite ship, it also had the side effect of creating a ship hierarchy which I did NOT like. Essentially, you are given the Feisar at the beginning of the game, and told "this is a n00b ship, upgrade it a little to progress further." Later at the end of the game, you are essentially told "this is the Piranha, it is the best ship in this game by far, no contest." In all the other games, there wasn't an outright "best" ship. The ships were diverse in their handling so that the term "best" was objective. You could be just as quick in a ship with high top speed as a ship with good acceleration. In Fusion, there was an obvious progression and a vast inequality between the different ship classes when fully upgraded.

    Lastly, a lot of players that are fans likely started out playing Fusion, then moved on to Pulse, then to HD. So they don't have any comparison to the older PS1 titles. In my opinion, and speaking with a lot of other players that started in the PS1 days, they have similar feelings to me about the clunky controls. If you started with Fusion, you likely thought that the handling started out there, and only got better with Pulse, Pure, and finally HD. If you started out with the first Wipeout, you likely loved the controls through Wip3out, then hated Fusion because it was so odd.

    @AG: I'm curious which games you've played to say that speed is favored too much in HD. Speed has always been the main attraction. Weapons have historically been a way to slow down the competition, and this Eliminator nonsense is a fairly new thing. Wipeout has always been a combat racer, but speed has always been the main reason to race. The emphasis prior to HD was always racing, NOT elimination. I think that a lot of inexperienced players are attracted to Icaras, Harimau, and Feisar because they are easy to play without having to master. That doesn't mean there is a lack of balance between combat and speed, it just means there is a lack of experienced pilots you've met. I personally have a "top pilot" on my friend's list of each ship type. If "combat" is your thing, there is always Elimination but keep in mind a race is a race afterall, and all that matters in racing is getting across the finish line first.

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    I find it funny that most of the time people don't fully understand what I mean when I say 'balance.' For me, the shield stat is one that is nearly worthless in HD (I'm ignoring eliminator for this argument since I hate that mode and it almost entirely relies on shields rather than the speedy / agility stats). I say shields are worthless because of how rarely eliminations actually happen between experienced players. The shields should represent the odds that you could be eliminated in a race, even if you are experienced.

    Lets compare Auricom and Icaras. Auri straight up has worse stats than Ica, but has much more shield energy. In order for this exchange to be fair, shield needs to play a pivotal role in strategy: speed an risk elimination? or play it safe. But this risk really isn't here, in fact I think it's more likely that Auri will be eliminated than Ica. This is because of absorbing and a strategy I call "weapon-hoarding." Have you ever been in second? Right behind the lead pilot? A missile would be perfect! Maybe some rockets to really do some damage! But guess what: YOU HAVE NO WEAPONS. This speedy Icaras in front of you is eating up all the weapon pads on the track and absorbing them. If there was any damage on him, it's gone now. Auricom in the meantime is sitting back in second, low energy from rolling, trying to keep up with the Ica but it's energy is thin. I must slow down so it can get a weapon to heal. Fat load of help shields are now, huh? Of course I realize Auricom could do this to an Icaras, yes. But Icaras can naturally employ this strategy better since it has better stats.

    2097 / 64 did not have this problem (ignoring Piranha of course). Each of the four ships was unique in their stats and balanced. Shields meant something since damage from weapons and collisions was higher. Rather than trying to slowly weather someone down in HD, if you got into a serious fight with someone in 2097 / 64, one of you would probably be dying before the lap was out. What about absorbing? Never there! To heal you need to sacrifice your precious speed by going through the pits. High energy craft like Feisar were slower but safer from the very real risk of elimination. A risk that is almost non existant in HD.

    I hope I conveyed that a little bit better.

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    Ok, that makes much more sense. I can see your point, but I still think a lot of that has to do with the pilot's ability. Using the same comparison, Auricom vs. Icaras, to fully utilize each ships own unique play style, you have to learn how to pilot your craft. For most experienced pilots, the shield definitely is an important stat to consider. But that is still contingent on using each craft to the height of its personal stats. Icaras for me, has been my ship of choice. I (as well as a majority of other Icaras pilots) tend to absorb everything and only use defensive weapons to block key roll points. This best utilizes the Icaras's abilities because the poor shield strength will often destroy or cripple an Icaras. So with Icaras, I often have low ship energy because I am barrel rolling to maintain first so I don't get hit with any weapons. Auricom when used correctly, has a much higher survivability rate than Icaras, even when barrel rolling all the time. I typically either win, or I get eliminated when flying higher with Icaras. I've never had that happen with Auricom.

    Let's use the Goteki as another example. With high shields and high thrust, to effectively use a Goteki, you have to be aggressive, and rely on getting to the weapon pad first. After that, you have to constantly pummel other ships. This WRECKS an Icaras pilot's strategy, because Icaras has to rely on being nimble and quick. Same with Auricom. It has higher speed than most, and good shield strength. So to use it effectively, you would need to be semi-aggressive, but also use key roll points when possible. If you are just behind an Icaras, drop back enough to get the weapon pads. Wait for your opportunity and then strike.

    It isn't that things aren't balanced, it is just that a lot of pilots tend to assume that Icaras is the best because it is the fastest without considering the way the Icaras should ideally be handled. I get beat a lot by Mirage crafts, and even Feisar as an Icaras, but only because those pilots know what they are doing with that particular craft. Feisar MUST have super tight lines to be effective, and Mirage has a unique handling style that requires the pilot to be able to shift strategies based on position in the race. Icaras has its drawbacks because you really need to be in front to not be heckled. Icaras is quite vulnerable while trying to get to first.

    With Fusion, things were even worse at balance because there was a clear progression in ship stats. Each ship didn't have unique handling styles that outclassed another ship. Once you unlocked later ships, then first ships were all but useless.

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    That kind of strategic talk is the sort of talk I've always wanted to see in a WipEout, and I appreciate your effort to see the fine details of strategy in HD. But unfortunately I have to disagree. There is no reason to pick Qirex or Auri in a race when you could be using Ica, Hari, or Feisar. Once someone in first starts weapon hoarding second that's the race right there. Slowing down in order to negate weapon-hoarding is not a winning strategy, by sacrificing that much speed your opponent will vanish ahead of you. No 5 lap race is long enough to allow you to regain that much lost ground. If absorbing was not in the game I would agree, but it is, and you heal more damage than you take.

    Again I've never actually played Fusion, it just looks like my dream WipEout game: fast and using the Pitstop over Absorbing. Then again maybe I'm completely wrong and will get the chance to play it and will hate it. I have played 2097 / 64 though, and in my opinion it felt more balanced than HD, more exciting too since eliminations could happen quickly and easily if you made one good mistake. The difference between high and low shield energy also felt significantly different between ships.

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    Well, playing with the right people, I find a balance. I've been beaten before while beating my personal best record by 5 seconds on numerous occasions! For weapon hoarding problems in a room full of equally matched pilots, usually who starts in first wins, and it doesn't matter what ships are being raced. In general though, to get past a weapon hoarder, you have to change up tactics. You can go for a harder barrel roll that isn't typically in your safety range, or make sure to hit speed pads instead. If someone is right ahead of you, remember that you can pass them when they go for a weapon pad by hitting the speed pad instead. I do stand behind my comment about dropping back to hit a weapon pad though; it has won me a race more than a few times. You also have to remember "hidden stats" when comparing ship strengths and weaknesses.

    Each ship has its own hidden abilities or stats that are unique. There has been much debate on this topic, but to give an example: HD Icaras is more nimble in terms of handling than the Fury counterpart. True that it has less acceleration and handling on paper, but the actual mass of the ship is also factored in. Simply put, there are niche barrel rolls I can land with the HD that I can't with the Fury. The HD version also rolls slightly faster and is slighty easier to maintain lines (largely due to the handling stat). So while the Fury model handles better for last minute line corrections, the stiffer handling of the HD can be used to an advantage given your play style. That is just one example, and I don't know all the differences. Truth is, when you get to the level of ability where you've mastered a ship, it doesn't matter what ship it is. You win races because you play to a ship's strengths, and by being aware of other ships innate strengths. The actual track also holds some weight here. I get much better times on technical courses with a Feisar and a Harimau, or even an Assegai. You won't see those same ships winning as often on tracks like Moa Therma Reverse or Talon's Junction that are less technical and have longer straights. There are just so many variables to consider that you can't simply discredit one ship over the other. Once again, this is with the assumption that all pilots are equal. If you are losing to an Icaras pilot , it may just be that they are a better pilot than you.

    One last thing to consider too: if there were pit lanes, wouldn't the same problem exist or even be amplified? The ships with the highest top speed would outclass slower ships even with a pit lane. I guess your argument is that some ships with higher shields wouldn't need to stop as often, which is a thoughtful consideration, but then the higher shielded ships would have an unfair advantage, in which case the Piranha would easily outclass all other ships were that the case. But those entries in the series that included a pit lane didn't have ship energy differences enough to be much of a consideration. That is to say that the ship energy differences between an Icaras and a Piranha weren't enough to make much of a difference. Long story short, there is a balance, it is just among the top tier pilots. The level of ability for most average pilots isn't typically enough to embrace the subtle differences between the individual classes. It takes a good pilot to be able to find those differences and find a ship that matches their playstyle.

    As far as Fusion goes, I recommend playing it if you haven't (since that was the original point of the thread afterall). It has more of a Pod Racer type of feel to it than Wipeout in terms of handling and track design. It isn't as fast as HD at Phantom though. All of the end game challenges to me felt more like HD on Rapier. The handling will definitely take some getting used to, especially if you've recently played any other Wipeout games recently. You'll also quickly discover that once you start unlocking more ships, it is one of the least balanced entries in the series. Even fully upgraded, the Feisar has only minimal advantages in handling over the Piranha, and the Piranha far exceeds every other aspect. However due to the nature of purchasing upgrades and what not, when you finally get the "best" ships, you'll feel like you've earned them. You likely won't go back to using a different ship, but there is something to having that sense of accomplishment that doesn't exist in the other games (with the exception of WO3). It is like taking your favorite game franchise and radically altering it almost to the point of being a different game but at the same time being a unique and satisfying experience that you can't get from the rest of the series.

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    Fair enough. But I personally think that starting position shouldn't determine the result of a race, that doesn't really seem like a fair game. If combat had a slightly larger impact in races I think it would be better. Eliminations would happen more too and it would justify the huge amount of energy you regen from absorbing. WipEout isn't just a racing game with weapons, it's a racing game where you can literally blow up your opponents and it would be more fun to see those moments happen more often.

    bigsnake recently revealed the "hidden stats" behind the game to me. Basically the only factor that isn't relayed to us in the stat screen is traction. Feisar, Mirage, Harimau, Auricom, and Icaras have a traction stat of 100 and everyone else has varying degrees less, Furys all seem to have less traction as well. So that explains that.

    I see your point, but if Piranha has low handling and acceleration it would be balanced out by losing time in the corners. I believe from my experience with WipEout 2097 and 64 that the stats were more intense in their effect on the given stat. I haven't played it in a while but I remember the handling on Qirex being incomparable to Feisar. I remember Qirex having immensely more potent shields than AGS. Qirex had high speed and shield compared to the others but thats it. It was like an endurance challenge to get through the game with Qirex since it's handling and traction was so poor, and its speed didn't help the whole turning thing. You could collide with walls multiple times if you got disrupted by your opponents or if you were not skilled enough to use it. You would end up having to use the pits just as much as a low energy craft. Yes skill experience would help to nullify this effect, but since combat was such a constant threat in those early games, it would really hold anyone back from being too perfect at the game.

    One last thing: You say Icaras is your ship of choice. How many people do you know who's ship of choice is Qirex? Triakis? Anyone who prefers Piranha over Icaras? That answer alone should represent an inherent imbalance imo.

    As for keeping this thread on topic with Fusion, I think the game has a great sense of speed, just looking at how fast the scenery fly by makes it all worth it to me. I'm not sure how you can say it feels like Rapier because it looks so fast. Do you mean it's as easy as HD's Rapier?
    Last edited by AGgamer; 8th July 2015 at 03:37 AM.

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