Review by JPeeples
"An unforgettable racing game for N64 owners."
Wave Race 64 was released in late-September 1996 by Nintendo as one of the
launch titles for the N64. Many racing fans and magazine writers wondered if this game would lead racing games into the next generation. I’m glad to report that not only did it lead racing games into the next generation; it still does, thanks in most part to great track design and amazing wave physics that still know no equal.
Graphics-10/10- They are simply amazing, the water physics in the game are executed to perfection. No game on any system since has seen water move as realistically as it does in this game. The lens flare in the game is used perfectly, it really adds to the feel of a level and helps to immerse you in the game. The only downside is the polygon tearing on the characters, but it’s a racing game, and was a launch title, so it doesn’t matter. Overall, excellent, overall, it’s the best looking racing game on the N64.
Sound-8/10- The music is good, it fits the levels perfectly, but it is a little bland for my tastes. The sound effects are great, the announcer is good, everything he says makes sense and is clear, unlike some racing games, the announcer isn’t annoying. The other sound effects are great as well, the engine noise is well executed as are the dolphin calls. Overall, the sound is great, it’s not perfect, but it is amazing seeing as how it was a launch title.
Control-10/10- The control is amazing, it takes a little getting used to though, but once you get the hang of it it’s great. Everything is very easy to execute, from the stunts to the navigation of sharp turns. This game really shows what the analog stick is capable of, it helps to have the extra sensitivity when you’re going into a tight turn, in this game it’s really noticeable, there are quite a bit of tight turns (mainly trying to clear the buoys) and none of them are chore to go through as in the other games. Overall, the control is about as close to perfect as one could expect.
Gameplay-9/10- This game really gives you a lot to do, you can go to the stunt race or practice the tracks, or you could dive right in (no pun intended) and go for the championship; the possibilities are virtually endless. The game also added a nice feature by making you pass by buoys in order to stay powered up, for each one you miss your power goes down by one, if you miss 5 buoys, the race ends. Overall, there is a lot to do in this game, it’ll take you quite a while to master this game.
Replay Value-9/10- The replay value may not be inherantly high, you can always try to beat your top score, or beat the game on a higher difficulty level (doing this will yield some surprises), but in this game, that doesn’t matter, this game is such a joy to play, you don’t need any incentives (i.e., secrets) to keep playing for years after you buy it, it’s one of the bestracing games ever produced and never gets boring.
Presentation-9/10- The presentation fits the game’s theme perfectly. Everyhing looks like it belongs in the game, nothing looks out of place. Overall, excellent.
Overall-10/10- This game combines wonderful graphics, great sound, pefect control, and excellent gameplay to make a game that you’ll not soon forget.
Rent or Buy?-Buy- This game is a classic and deserves to be played by every N64 owner, it shouldn’t cost much and it is definitely a game you’ll never regret buying.
Reviewer's Rating: 5.0 - Flawless
Originally Posted: 08/01/00, Updated 08/01/00
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