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A.P.I Review: WILD 9's
Developer: Shiny OPTIONS: S.SHOT
No.1   No.2   No.3
Distributor: Interplay 1 Player
Game Type: 3rd Person Action Memory Card
Review Date: October 1998 Dual Shock

Setting the Scene

Oh boy!  Check this out...Wild 9 is a game that actually encourages you
to torture your enemies.  So much so in fact that it actually keeps
track and tabulates how many enemies you tortured per level...and then
rewards you for it!!   

After over two years in the making and reading endless articles
regarding the fate of this title, I was pleasantly surprised to actually
see Wild 9 materialize on store shelves.   Now is my chance I thought,
to really start inflicting some pain and suffering on those video game

You play the role of Wex Major, would be hero and all around nice guy.
Wex is on a mission to save his Wild 9 teammates who have been captured
by the evil Karn.  Along the way you will have to do battle with legions
of Shocktroopers that have vowed their loyalty to Karn.

Wex is not exactly powerless though.  He has been outfitted with the
most powerful weapon in the known universe...the Rig.  Strangely enough,
it seems that Wex is the only person that is able to operate and use the
Rig.  Word begins to spread that perhaps Wex is the "chosen one" and the
galaxy's grand champion.

Think you've got what it takes to bring down Karn and his Empire or will
you just roll over and die and prove that fairy tales really don't come


Wild 9 is basically a side-scrolling 2-D action game that uses some
fancy camera angles to give a nice illusion of depth and


The graphics in Wild 9 are incredible.  From the beautifully presented
levels to the gorgeous special effects, this game does an excellent job
pushing the Playstation's graphical prowess to the extreme. 
Right from the start of the game you just know that you are in for an
eye-candy festival.  The color scheme that is used is a fine mixture of
blacks and solids with extremely vibrant combinations of greens, reds
and blues.  The resulting explosion of colors is startling and totally
appealing to your optical senses.

Wex and the rest of characters are nicely detailed and very well
animated!  Even the background is alive with movement from wherever you
look.  I was marveled by the overall smoothness, as Wex appears to be
almost running through a dream world, which pans and plays out
wonderfully before your eyes.   I never noticed any slowdown, clipping,
seaming or pop-up during the entire time I played the game.

Sounds and Effects

The background music is spacey and therefore fits in perfectly with this
otherworldly title.  There is also a nice assortment of hard rock
soundtracks that accompany the other music in the game.     

One of the big show stealers though is the sound about
over the top.  You are basically assaulted by sound effects throughout
the entire game.  There are constantly noises and various sounds going
on at all times around you.  To say this is a lively environment would
be an understatement.  

There are sound effects for everything; weapons, gears, gadgets,
machinery, aliens, name it, it's in there.  The best news
though is that they all sound great!  Everything blends to perfection
and completely wraps you up in the game.

There is also a few sound bytes thrown in for Wex's voice.  It's a
rather nerdy nasal discharge that doesn't associate itself well with the
word "hero" and comes across as rather dorky, but isn't totally without


The gameplay opens up with Wex beginning his adventure on the planet of
Bombopolis.  This world is a series of platforms and provides ample
opportunities to really get you familiar with the capabilities of your
Rig.  It also introduces you to the Shocktrooper's and your unique brand
of torture that you are able to inflict on these creatures.  Hehehe.

Wex has the ability to jump and grab onto platforms, as well being able
to use the Rig.  When used together at specific locations, they will
enable Wex to reach previously hidden areas in the game.  You also have
missiles and grenades at your disposal that can be replenished by a
helicopter that appears in specific locations throughout the game.

The Rig is a marvel in engineering.  It enables you to grab onto items
or enemies and toss them around like dirty dishrags, pounding them on
the surface until they break apart or explode.  Creatures can also be
dragged around and neatly deposited onto all sorts of things.  There are
floor grinders that mash the bad guys into pulpy green mush...throw
enough bodies in there and eventually it overloads and explodes.  You
have nice spiked pit traps that you can toss bodies onto and then use
those same bodies as a carpet to safely allow you to cross the spikes.
There are also fires that occasionally need extinguishing...A few bodies
tossed on top usually does the trick to put out those pesky flames!
After all, you should never forget that this game is all about torture
and inflicting as much pain and suffering onto your hapless victims as
possible.  Ah, life is good....

The main core of the game is made up of these 2D platform style levels
that fling you through nasty environments filled with all sorts of
strange and imaginative things.  To break things up a bit though the
designers have decided to include some other levels that take off in a
whole new direction.

One such level is the hover-bike... Here you get to navigate a floating
speedbike through swamp infested woods in an effort to bring down
another biker.  Along the way you collect missile power-ups and try to
avoid slamming yourself into a tree! 

The other unique level is Free Falling.  On this level you begin by
jumping off a platform into a bottomless pit.  As you are falling into
this void you are paired up with enemies falling along with you.  It's
your job to pummel them to death and stop your decent or end up another
dead hero...splat!

Analog or digital control of Wex is superb and right on the money.
Couple this with a damn good game camera and you're in game control
heaven.  About the only thing that I found to be too difficult for its
own good was using the Rig as a rope to slingshot the character to other
platforms.  I found this particular part of the game to be rather
unresponsive and it probably cost me a few gears because it just got too
frustrating to try and reach the platform that they may have been
sitting on.         

Overall, Wild 9 is clearly another gem in Shiny's sack.  It features
wonderfully challenging gameplay and steroid driven graphics all wrapped
up into a nice little platform package.  I wouldn't say that it is
terribly innovative, but it certainly takes several tried and true
approaches, melds them seamlessly together and delivers gaming enjoyment
in a big way.  Hey, isn't that what it's all about anyway?

Value for Money

The replay value on this title could be rather high.  There are lots of
things to discover, gears to collect and people to torture. Until you
receive perfect scores in gear collecting and torture, you may be
tempted to continue going back until you get it right.   
The levels are also rather large and difficult to complete...especially
when the difficulty is set to hard.  Total gameplay time varies by
individual of course, but the game should provide you with plenty of
enjoyment while it lasts...
GRAPHICS: 19/20 Wild 9 is indeed a wild ride through space-aged futuristic environments. It has been a long time in the making but it was clearly worth the wait.

The graphics are totally happening and showcase the majority of special effects the Playstation has to offer and the sound effects are truly spectacular.

I can highly recommend this title as I believe it will offer gamers endless hours of torturous enjoyment!
SOUND: 8/10
VALUE: 17/20


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