XG3: Extreme G Racing (PS2)
Extreme G Racing is a futuristic racer in the mold of Wipeout, and with the prospect of the newest Wipeout in the US still in limbo, Extreme G looks like it could be the next best thing, and when you don't have any options you have to make due. Not only is XG3 an adequate substitute for Wipeout Fusion, it could be even better. XG3 builds on what XG2 did on the N64, and takes out most of the graphical and gameplay flaws leaving nothing but a great racing game.
What Extreme G definitely has going for it is it's crazy frame-rate and sense of speed. XG3 has the most intensive speed of any racer you'll get on the PS2 right now, and screenshots can't do this game justice. This, I assume that the sense of speed and solid frame-rate is a direct result of XG3's sparsely detailed backgrounds. There's not much in the way of track-side detail, but you have to make some sacrifices for the speeds these cycles reach; even if the backgrounds looked better you wouldn't notice it because you're too busy trying to stay on the track.
Another sacrifice that Acclaim made for the sake of speed is track design. The tracks are mostly smooth lines (with a few loops and drops in between), and thankfully so. If the tracks had more tight turns or other bells-and-whistles you wouldn't be able to stop hitting into the walls at all. Staying centered on the bikes is difficult as it is already. This brings us to a big problem in the gameplay, the control.
The most frustrating issue I have with the game is the oversensitive control. The cycles go so fast that with a slight tap on the directional button you go flying into the side of the track.
Career mode is the heart of the game. XG3 gives you the choice of 6 different teams with 6 different bikes, though each team and bike combination only differ cosmetically. After that you and your team progress through 10 different courses and 4 different speed classes (250G, 500G, 750G, 1000G) gaining cash and trophies along the way. Cash is earned by winning races and is used for improving your bike, (i.e., gaining speed and handling) and buying weapons.
Weapons are purchased between races and weapon ammunition is collected during the race. In order to replenish your ammunition for all of your weapons, which is in the form of universal energy, you need to go to an on-track pit stop. You have a wide range of weapons at your disposal: a mini-gun, homing missile, rear-firing missile, mines, an EMP blaster, rail gun, and mortar (among other weapons).
Acclaim has had a sub-par track record on the Playstation, but the've finally made an effort to redeem themselves with their PS2 projects. XG3 is one of those games.