"Wild 9 is a true Shiny game"
"Tantalising platformer that looks like raising the graphical stakes
to yet another level
-Total PlayStation (UK)
"It contains the best 3D animations we've seen"
"Explosive platform action - the Wild 9 are here and they're packing
weaponry.. Levels are huge, varied and gorgeous to look at as well as play...Graphics
to die for, loadsa adrenalin"
"The graphics and animation of the backgrounds is surely breathtaking....basically
everything the Playstation has to offer in graphical prowess seems to be thrown in
Back to the Playstation Page
The story of Wild 9 is well known to gamers
following the saga of Shiny's Dave Perry.
When the game initially started production
over two years ago, the span of progress
failed to meet with Perry's strict vision of what
he wanted the game to be and was headed in
wrong direction. The game, as it was, was
mostly scrapped and a new team of designers
and programmers were hired to both speed up
the process and make Wild 9 meet Perry's
exacting standards. And under the tightest of
deadlines, the team succeeded in producing a
Wild 9 is an action/platformer, in the strictest
sense of the term. With its main emphasis on
the torture of your enemies, as Wex (the
leader of the Wild 9) you must traverse a
universe of planets in search of your
kidnapped friends. While doing so, Wex must
use his "Rig" (a weapon attached to his arm
that emits an electric lasso of sorts) to capture
enemies and use them in multiple ways that
will help him progress.
The ways in which you can use an enemy are
usually comprised of some seriously brutal
torture. The Rig can lasso an enemy like a
long rope or strong wire and can then be used
to smash, carry or throw them around, much
to their dismay. In fact, not only are you
encouraged to torture your enemies, but you
must do so at certain intervals in order to
unlock puzzles or access a new area.
Enemies are used to break spiked turbines,
stop flame throwers, cross spiked gaps and
countless other things by using their flailing
bodies as stoppers and "switch throwers." At
the end of every level you are also awarded
points for how well you tortured your
enemies. This is definitely not a platformer in
the Super Mario or Sonic sense.
Visually, the game is incredibly solid. Utilizing
a high range of colored lighting effects,
countless character animations and very
clean textures, Wild 9 convincingly depicts
an industrial, space-age upgrade of any
platformer that has come before. Though
space and depth are given a 3D look, gameplay is designed much like Crystal
Dynamics' Pandemonium, in that you are usually given only side-scrolling
directional movement from one side of the screen to the other. The
exceptions are the special modes of the game: falling, bike and boss.
At different points in the game you'll encounter a special level where
falling down a shaft while an enemy tries to smash him into a wall. At other
key points (like confronting sub-bosses), there is a speeder bike mode (much
like Return of the Jedi). Finally, some of the bosses inhabit a wide open area
that you must run around while the boss (invariably huge) chases you. There
is no point that the game utilizes full 3D environments, however. While this
may come as a disappointment to those accustomed to 3D titles like Croc or
Tomb Raider, this approach serves to keep the focus on action and
gameplay, not exploration.
With very simple and responsive controls, Wild 9 allows the gamer to
practice some old-school arcade skill. But at times, the controls for
manipulating the enemies with the Rig can feel a little loose and makes
torture, well... often torturous. If you don't use the enemies as stoppers or
tools for accessing a new area or destroying an obstacle, you can destroy
them by simply smashing them from one side to the other around three or
four times. This motion is slowed and made somewhat awkward by the loose
clumsiness of the back and forth motion on the D-pad. But aside from this
problem, the actual controls for Wex are smooth and very responsive.
There is a distinct and predictable formula to platformers like Wild 9.
across a level, take out the enemies and figure out how to get past
progressively harder obstacles. Then move in on a boss. This is a formula
that has survived through the 8-bit and 16-bit eras, and Wild 9 respresents
its predecessors wonderfully. The game borrows the great gameplay aspects
of past side scrolling platformers, adds the visual flair of 32-bit, and delivers a
technologically topnotch, but familiar, gaming experience that should give
veteran gamers a nostalgic experience.
Unfortunately, this formula may not be what today's gamers are accustomed
to. Beyond the torture elements in Wild 9, there really isn't much else beyond
the draw of the genre (which is becoming a niche gameplay category with the
saturation of 3D gaming on the market) to really attract gamers and keep them
for the long run.
With a very high starting difficulty level, you are only be granted a continue
by collecting 99 Gears throughout a level. While this is not impossible or
incredibly difficult, it's fairly brutal for the casual gamer looking to pick up
and play a game easily off the bat. Only those who are dedicated to
completely beating the game and immersing themselves for the long run will
be encouraged to forge ahead and continue. Add to this a lack of distinct
variety in levels and many gamers may not find Wild 9 to present enough
depth. And this is the dividing line between those who will love Wild 9 and
those who will hate it. If you take the game at face value and enjoy it as pure
entertainement, you won't be disappointed.
This can take awhile but its worth it. In the Centerscape level, the first pylon that blocks your view of Wex has a 1-Up in it. Just
jump up and get it. Now press START to pause the game, then hit SELECT to quit the level. Enter the Centerscape level again
and the 1-Up will reappear. Repeate as desired up to a maximum of 99 lives.