Review by Wolfvie
"One of, if not the best racing game on the N64"
Here's my verdict on Wave Race 64...
Great, easily one of the better looking games of the N64's library. The water physics are amazing and look and moves just how you would imagine it to in real life, very realistic, especially for the N64. The water ripples, changes in sizes, reflects light and foams into waves as they brush over you. It all look's spectacular. The water has a variety of different colors. From the crystal blue waters of Sunny Beach', to the vibrant orange waters of Sunset Bay', to the foggy waters of Drake Lake', the diversity in colors is astonishing.
The Environments look great and Nintendo really did do a great job on the game's level design. The detail is amazing. Dolphins will fling up out of the water and you can see fish of all different shapes and sizes swimming bellow the water's surface. While they're a bit on the foggy side it's nothing that you would not expect from a N64 game. The game itself looks great in motion and not once did I ever experience a drop in the game's frame-rate, there's no slowdown or choppiness whatsoever.
The Character models also look great, if not a little blockey, and they move fluently reacting the way the water moves. If a character is wiped out, they're flung off the side of their Jet Ski sending it out of control spinning, you can see them swimming up before they resurface jumping back on and speeding away. Nothing short of amazing.
The Music is average at best, it's fairly typical for a racing game. At the very best, it fit's the game's different locations and themes. Thankfully the game's Sound- Effects are a lot better. The revving engines on the Jet-Ski's as they speed across the cool blue water, and the sounds of the waves as they crush against you, knocking you off your Jet-Ski sounds great. Very Good overall, but the music could have been a bit better.
Wave Race 64 is definitely racing at it's finest. There are fives modes in the game with three difficulty levels (Each with different tracks and courses), I'll take you down with a brief rundown of each of them
Basically the standard GP mode. The aim of the game is not only to beat all of the other competitors, but to weave in and out in-between the buoys which have been placed around the track. Miss a buoy and your Jet-Ski will power down, successfully weave around the buoys however, and your Jet-Ski's motor will power up allowing you to gain speed. If you fail to weave around the buoys you are given five chances use all of them up and you will be disqualified from the competition. Very Fun.
Warm up, allow you to hone up on their Jet-Ski skills. Basically the game's training mode. Very useful, especially when your playing the Time Trail mode
Basically the games Time Attack mode, which allows you to select a track to try and beat their high score. This is where I spent most of my time playing the game, as I was constantly playing this mode to shave a mere quarter of a second off my previous high score. Great Fun.
In this mode, the player has to try and race along the track pulling off tricks and passing through hoops, before the time runs out. Good Fun.
The Game's Multiplayer mode is a very solid addition to the game's overall package. Unfortunately, the game only supports two-player multiplayer. Still, very fun and it's still a lot of fun to play today.
There are four characters in the game, each with their own strengths and weaknesses although, you can alter and tweak their statistics to your liking. The Tracks are fantastic, each with amazing design. Each have their own and advantages and dis-advantages to the riders. Waves that form, can be used at an advantage by the player by performing tricks off them, and sand banks can be also used to the players advantage which can provide a perfect short-cut for skilled-players. Very Solid.
It seems as if the N64 Controller was built for racing games, as the controls in the game are handled flawlessly. Tilting the Control Stick turns your Jet-Ski, tilting it forward results in your rider leaning forward and vice-versa when tilting back. A is for accelerating while holding B allows for braking, and you can perform tricks by tilting the stick in various directions when approaching ramps and jumping over waves. Simple yet, so smooth. It's a breeze to power down the course manoeuvring your Jet-Ski in-between the buoys. For this control gets a 10.
Now a quick revision
- Gorgeous Graphics
- Solid Arcade-like racing
- Well-designed courses
- Very Good Sound-Effects
- Great Controls
- Average Music
- Only supports two-players in multiplayer
All in all, this is a fantastic racing game. While Mario-Kart 64 might have the edge over it in Multiplayer and Sound/Music, Wave Race 64, definitely has the edge over it in single player, graphics and controls. Highly recommended, a must-have title for anybody's N64 library.
Reviewer's Score: 9/10 | Originally Posted: 12/04/08
Game Release: Wave Race 64 (US, 11/01/96)
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