This sensation permeates the game's presentation as well, which has some decent qualities, but also gives the sense that lots of corners were cut. The most glaring visual problem lies with Spanx and Redmond themselves, in addition to how they move. Since Spanx is in control, Redmond is forced to follow. Most of the time he'll try to keep up the pace by running and jumping on his own, where necessary, but sometimes he just ends up getting dragged along. The problem here is that the physics involved with two objects that are tethered together is a hard thing to get right, and Crystal Dynamics is off by just a bit. It seems like Redmond and Spanx are constantly in motion. Even when they're standing still, they're constantly performing little dances or just kind of tweaking out, so a lot of the animation looks a bit jerky. The Genron facilities, where the game takes place, mostly consist of various laboratories and vaguely sciencey-looking rooms. Save for the copious hallways mentioned above, the game manages to steer clear of too much repetition.
The PlayStation 2 version looks pretty severely dumbed-down when compared to the Xbox version. On the PS2, textures look washed-out and flat, aliasing is pretty severe, and the lighting doesn't look convincing. Furthermore, particle effects or colored lighting--coupled with some somewhat intense action--cause the frame rate to suffer severely, and Spanx and Redmond seem to have even less frames of animation than they do in the Xbox version. The visuals in the Xbox version are passable, but they've degraded enough in the transition to the PS2 that it's quite noticeable.
It may look edgy and crazy, but Whiplash is a pretty standard platformer.
Though the humans you encounter tend to only have three or four little phrases that they repeat over and over again, the rest of the game's voice acting--which comes up quite frequently in cutscenes and occasionally from Redmond during the game--is good. Spanx is the silent type, but Redmond talks almost nonstop. Thankfully, what he has to say is usually funny, and his manic, neurotic, squeaky delivery helps sell it. The game's score is largely inspired by film composer Danny Elfman, thus creating a nice balance between a dark tone and a sort of manic, frenzied energy. All told, the sound design in Whiplash is one of the game's most fully developed and satisfying components.
Beneath its seemingly twisted veneer, Whiplash is really just a cut-and-dried platformer. A good sense of humor can make up for a lot, and this fact is what makes Whiplash significantly more endearing than it otherwise would have been. That it's a relatively straightforward platformer isn't a bad thing, but the game's rough edges and its overall presentation of seemingly unfinished work are much more detrimental. It's funny, but it's also short, thus making it a fine candidate for a weekend rental--but not much else.