Review by blue miles

"Monster waves, extreme weather, a great update!"

Wave Race: Blue Storm is definitely a niche title. I was a bit surprised at how difficult of a game this is. Quite different from most 1st party Nintendo games, but a welcome change. Control-wise, it is the Gran Turismo of jet-ski racing. Most will hate it when they first pick it up,
simply because you are given so much control over weight distribution, which greatly effects turning performance.

If you are looking for a game to pick up and play, look elsewhere.

If you are looking for a game which is rewarding to those who practice, buy it. I personally am really into games like this, but many look for quicker gratification.

Graphics:
Somewhat of a mixed bag. The backgrounds, while not ugly as others have said, but leave something to be desired. But at fast speeds, most of the shortcomings are unnoticable. The water is absolutely beautiful. Coming from a person that has spent a lot of time out on the water, I can tell
you that it is quite realistic, much more so than Splashdown. There are, however, some downfalls in the water effects.
First of all, the wakes generated from other jetskis seem to do little to the water dynamics. That is a bit of a let down. But what most bothers me is the way the edges of the water looks - ie at shorelines, off of your
jetski when idle, and off of various rocks, wooden stakes, etc. The water leaves no residue or anything, as it would in reality. It doesn't foam at the beach, or drip off a dock after soaking it. Perhaps I am asking too much from this generation of consoles, but this would add a really nice bit of realism to the game. Otherwise, the water is beautiful. The weather effects are really nice too. My favorite setting is actually not the all out 'storm' mode, but 'rain.'
The weather actually changes each lap in this setting. The sky darkens, the waves grow, etc. In all of light rain/rain/storm modesthe water height changes each lap, making ramps, shortcuts, etc accessible onlyduring certain laps. Sweet.
One thing I found odd: this is the first racing game I have played where, in my opinion, the in-game footage looks better than the replays.

Sound:
First off, the announcers are annoying. Luckily you can turn it off. The music is fitting. There are some nice salsa beats in a few tunes. The sound effects are nice too. There could be a bit more water sound, in my opinion. When there is some wave sounds, it is nice, but perhaps it is not done enough.

Gameplay:
Awesome. The different wave heights really effect how you must play. Racing through the troughs of the waves and then jumping off a 9 ft wave is like nothing else. I love this game.

Control:
It is too bad many will put this game down after a few minutes simply due to the complexity of the controls. Basically you just need to learn how to use forward/back on the control stick. To turn really sharp, just pull back while turning. This shifts your weight to the back of
the 'ski enabling a sharp turn. The controls are great once you learn them, and let you have really good control over your jetski while racing through the bigger waves.
In this area, the game kind of reminds me of Sega Rally, one of my other favorite racers.

Fun/Replay:
This game is a blast. Out of the GC titles I own : RL, SMB, WR, this is my favorite. It is a hard game also, lending itself to some good replay value. Multiplayer is a blast too.

Summary:
Give it some time, play around with the controls a bit. It is a great game. It is probably my favorite racer, but since there is definitely room for improvement in the background graphics and shoreline water, and so I give it a 9.


Reviewer's Score: 9/10 | Originally Posted: 11/27/01, Updated 11/27/01


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