Whiplash PS2 Review

May 31, 2010 by  
Filed under PS2, Retro Content, Retro Reviews

Whiplash received some unfair criticism around its release, all due to cartoon violence with animals, we’re guessing they’ve never watched Tom and Jerry then, or a whole bunch of other animated violence involving animals. The game is amusing and rarely ever takes thing too far, but perhaps hamsters being shot out of a cannon, resulting in one unlucky rodent plummeting to the ground and then bouncing in an almost brutal manner is taking things just a little bit too far, hell you almost feel sorry for the little fellow.

Whiplash follows the exploits of Spanx the mute Weasel and Redmond the wisecracking Rabbit, two unfortunate test subjects who have managed to escape from their prison inside Genron, an animal testing facility. However the two are chained together, the bunny and the weasel use this to their advantage, Spanx uses his rabbit buddy as a makeshift weapon to take out those “evil” humans as well as to trash the Genron empire along the way. There’s no better term to use here then “revenge is sweet!”

Whiplash is a fairly formulaic Platformer, which is by no means a bad thing, but ultimately it will leave the cult who has just completed the inventive Jak II unsatisfied if some of these people happen to be looking for another fresh experience. You fight, you swing and of course you jump, all things that the average gamer has most probably done a million times before. But at least it’s executed solidly here and the fighting is probably some of the most satisfying in a game of its type, swinging Redmond around to take down enemies is an amusing and pleasing form of attack and destroying the environment is appeasing and never gets old.

And then there’s the outrageous humour, which sadly isn’t used as much as we would have liked. Much of the jokes come from Redmond in game but the problem is that our floppy eared friend is far too talkative and doesn’t have anywhere near enough vocal expressions, resulting in wisecracking that rapidly gets old. Apart from this we also feel that it could have done with a few more story sequences to make us chuckle even more as these are some of the highlights of the game. However there’s still amusing signs littering the area, which are almost sure to raise a smile and many rooms feature a hilarious announcement. It’s in no way childish and is the sort of dark humour that anyone can laugh at disregarding their age.

Whiplash may very well be an uninventive platformer, almost devoid of any new ideas, but that isn’t to say that it has nothing of its own whatsoever. Spanx and Redmond can both level up in the style of an RPG; a feature that we believe hasn’t been utilized in a game of this type before. To achieve this you must first find hypersnacks, most often discovered by beating up bad guys and then assign them to the desired character. Levelling up Spanx will grant more health, while doing the same with Redmond will make you stronger. There’s an auto assign option too, which allows you to get on with the game with minuscule pauses in the gameplay, which we much prefer.

A fairly fresh, but not totally original element is the use of Redmond to solve puzzles by doing such sick-but fun things like setting the bunny ablaze to free some animals from a particularly tough barrel or freezing him to shatter those cruel humans into pieces.

Sadly Whiplash is never anything startling to look at and is actually pretty poor. The two main stars are detailed enough, but there’s slow-down in abundance, which is bad enough to seriously affect the games final rating, furthermore, some rooms look all too similar, making it a pain to find your way around at times. Besides this, there’s also some awful glitching that allowed us to walk through the sky, and not be able to return to the ground. On the plus side, there’s nary any real camera problems and the game thankfully never looks hideously ugly, just not particularly great.

We enjoyed Whiplash immensely; the game has pages of comic appeal and an outrageous theme running throughout. In the end it’s just a shame that some serious technical faults had to get in the way of the crazed enjoyment. If not for the latterly mentioned problems the game would have easily scored an eight out of ten rather then a less impressive seven, still nice though.

7/10

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