What makes Manor Top the pilots choice?

What is it about Manor Top that makes it stand out from all other tracks in Wipeout 3?

For a start it’s dark. Secondly there’s a several hundred foot drop off of several edges of the track. The combination of those two should be enough to make any pilot decide that they’ve had enough for one day and head to the bar for a night of tall tales involving the time he ducked into the pit lane at Terminal and rocketed to victory with the extra speed boost.

Surely that would be preferable to the darkness and big drops, not to mention the sheer hard work involved in negotiating seven ninety-degree corners in just one lap of the Manor Top course?

Well, no. One look at the course and you decide that, actually, you cant really see the height of the drops, so they cant be that bad - and secondly, there are a load of neon signs about, so it’s not really that dark either. And look - I can see myself on that screen at turn two. And there’s a big cat and some fireworks just after turn five. Wow - there’s a jump between skyscrapers...

And on it could go. There are just too many things to like about Manor Top. It’s probably up there with the most technically difficult of all the anti-gravity race tracks. Sure, Stanza Inter and Pmar Project are tech, but are they fun?

Manor Top is fun - by the barrel load as it happens - maybe only Mega Mall can rival it for fun with its spiral through the shopping center. Or is it because there’s a cat in that too?

The difference is, I could have a game of Wipeout 3 without playing Mega Mall or Terminal or Stanza Inter. But I must have had at least one go of Manor Top every time I’ve played the game. And that’s the difference between a good track and a great track.

Manor Top is like Formula 1’s Belgian grand prix at Spa. Sure, the weather there isn’t always nice - and it’s a bit of a trek out into the country side. A perfect lap is hard to come by also. But of all the races in an F1 season, Spa simply looks fantastic fun to do.

Why not Monaco? I hear people ask. Surely that’s the Formula One track that’s most like Manor Top? Well, no. Not really. You cant really say there’s a load of overtaking at Monaco and Manor Top has that.

When you’re in the zone - when you’re not even thinking about every little action - when you realise you’re coming into the right angle section too fast at the wrong angle, but you’re flying so smoothly that you’ve corrected it and you’re half way through them before you’ve noticed - Manor Top is the track to do. Yes you can impress your mates at Porto Kora, going at Phantom and making it look like a blur. But for sheer exhiliration, Manor Top at Phantom is the only Wipeout 3 track that brings it all together.

Speed, reflexes, turning, overtaking and timing are skills you’ll know you have if you can do a perfect lap at Phantom. And when you’ve done one, you’ll want to tell someone. Be it your family, your girlfriend or boyfriend, or the other pilots on the forum, or your cat who’s probably called Feisar, you just have to tell someone. That’s how good it feels.

Go on, treat yourself to a lap of Manor Top tonight.