7. WipEout HD
WipEout doesn't look like it's going to be a mega-fast game when you first start it up. It's impressively smooth, sure, and the craft reach some nice speeds as they glide serenely around the tracks. But it's just lulling you into a false sense of security. It's waiting for you to get used to how it plays, before it lets you try Zone mode.
The idea is simple. The game accelerates for you and you haven't got any brakes. That's it. You just have to avoid the walls as much as possible until the game gets too fast for any human to be able to control. The expert in this video isn't human. He's actually the cyborg offspring of an olympic athlete and Data from Star Trek.
How fast is it? Top speeds in Zone mode have been known to breach the 1,600kph barrier. So that's as fast as 50 real-life roadrunners. Not the animated fella who 'meep meep's at Wile E Coyote, that would be silly.
How fast does it feel? Alright, about as fast as the animated Roadrunner.
But it's not just current-gen tech that lets you reach insane speeds. Check out this little beauty:
Domark's sensational Formula One racer is still one of the fastest games ever made. The main game moves at a fair lick of pace, especially on higher skill levels. This is despite the 16-bit machine having to render true 3D scenery objects without any kind of DSP chip to accelerate the graphics (geek mode cancel).
So check out the full-screen single player mode, which is, in its own right, smooth and vroomy.
Looks pretty quick, right? Yeah, but I know what you're thinking - there are loads of games faster than this. Ah, but have you seen the game's Turbo mode? Didn't think so.
Basically, this takes the game engine from the 2-player mode (smaller car sprites and reduced scenery) but runs one whole screen of it. That leaves the top half of the screen showing nothing but sky and the track map which, when coupled with some rather large black borders, allows the processor to concentrate on making the remaining 30 per cent of the screen run like greased lightning. And it absolutely does:
How fast is it? F1 cars of the day used to reach 200mph on the long straights. But Turbo mode easily moves another 50% faster than that. So... one and a half Nigel Mansells? Possibly even more.
How fast does it feel?Like someone strapped a NASA-engineered rocket to your arse, lit the fuse and said 'try not to hit anything'.