Review by Ofisil

"Ride the waves baby!"

Wave Race 64 is a Racing game developed by Nintendo. This classic gem went unnoticed by me when it came out for 3 reasons. #1 it was in the N64, (not a great fan of the console). #2 it is a jet ski racing title, (not even close to being a fan of the genre). #3 I'm allergic to hype and Wave Race 64 was hyped way too much for just a simple Arcade Racing game. After some time I managed to find it and give it a try and you know what? It was AWESOME!!!

Gameplay: 7.6/10
Replay Value: 5/10

Wave Race 64 is a veeeeeery simple racing game, a pure celebration of the good ol' Arcades. But what has Wave Race 64 to give you that the thousands of Arcade racers out there haven't given you already? Well there are no real innovations here, nothing new and exciting… however Wave Race 64 takes what makes a good Arcade racer and perfects it. First of all, the most important aspect of every racer: CONTROLS!!! WR64 simply has the best control quality I've ever seen in a racing game and is probably one of the best analog-controlled games of its era, very natural and precise. The next thing I love about it is how your Jet Ski moves in the water. The courses aren't static… you race in the water so there are waves… many waves of different heights, widths and speeds! The physics are wonderful making you feel as if you are truly riding the waves and if you think that the chaotic gameplay due to that will annoy you, think again because that's what makes WR64 unique and is implemented quite good.

But why the low score? Well the game is very close to perfection but it misses one very important thing: Replay Value! There are 3 things you can do in this game. Play a tournament again 3 CPU racers, play in the Time Trial mode, play along with your friends, or play a Stunt mode where you ride alone doing stands of all sorts to gather points. Apart from the Stunt mode, the other modes are very simple and don't really make you replay the game more than a week\month, which is a real shame since the actual game is very, very good…

Graphics: 7.5/10
Design: 7.5/10

Despite being old Wave Race is one of the best-looking N64 ever. Its beauty lies not in its level of detail but in how it manages to make you feel as if you are truly sunny tropical beach! A thing that a gamer will instantly observe in Wave Race is how beautiful the waves are… simply the best ones of its era. Apart from the sea the rest of the game manages to look quite good although the overall design is quite simplistic… it's an old N64 game title after all. There are only a few courses available but each one is quite unique like sunny beaches, wonderful sunsets, misty lakes, arctic landscapes and a city full of lights, etc. Now the 4 available racers look quite lame I got to admit but their animation makes up for it since it looks great.

Sound: 6.7/10
Music: 7/10

Generally Wave 64 sounds good without being something to get excited about. The waves, the Jet Ski engines, etc sound ok. The splashing sound is even better since combined with the wonderful graphics makes you feel the cool water in your face. Now I can't say the same thing about the quality of the voice acting, since we have a guy who must be one of the most annoying announcers in the history of racing games… and the problem is that you can't disable him! The music is also quite decent consisting of typical easy going Japanese-pop tracks that are ok to listen to while you play but won't stay with you when you move away from the controller.

[+]:
-Excellent controls, very natural and precise
-Great Graphics
-Great physics regarding the waves

[-]:
-Very low Replay Value
-Irritating announcer

Also Play:
Colin McRae Rally 2.0 (Playstation & PC)
F-Zero X (N64)
Wave Race: Blue Storm (GC)

Overall: 6.9/10

While I don't share the same fanatic passion that most fans of the genre have, I've got to admit that Wave Race 64 despite being just a simple Arcade Racer is awesome. Be sure to check it out!


Reviewer's Score: 7/10 | Originally Posted: 07/18/11

Game Release: Wave Race 64 (US, 11/01/96)


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