Review by nintendogirl1

Reviewed: 02/16/07

A sequel or a port?

I feel a little mean comparing this game to its predecessor, but it's hard not to when you grew up playing it. And it does compare unfavourably, considering the passage of time.

The gameplay is identical, I can't fault that. It's just as solid as the original, with the return of all the old modes. Most of the old tracks also return and when I first put the disc in, I felt a rush of nostalgia that warmed me all up. I played around on Stunt Mode for a bit and sure enough it felt just like I was a kid again, enjoying Wave Race.

Soon after this, I decided to play the main section of the game, the Circuits. These are tournaments comprising of multiple races, getting progressively harder. I discovered at this point the flaw with Blue Storm; Nintendo racked up the difficulty a stupid amount. It was probably needed, after all, in Wave Race 64, I could comfortably win every race on Expert without thinking.

But the level of difference is astounding. The difficulty reached the point where I couldn't beat the first circuit until after hours of practice, despite knowing the layout of the courses backwards.

As well as this, bringing the old courses back was a great idea, but why not bring them all back? And why bother to change their names? If you’re going to play on nostalgia, at least do it properly please.

The graphics do look better and again, I’m probably being harsh, but they don’t feel like a whole generation difference. The waves don’t look all that much improved and nor do the characters or jet skis. The other graphics though, the background and the various sea-dwelling creatures do look improved, but it’s not enough to make you go “Wow!”.

The sound again is almost indistinguishable the same as the N64 version and by the time I started thinking about this part of the write-up it felt to me that the whole game was not so much a sequel as a port with a couple of minor changes and a difficulty increase. Going back to the sound, the voice-acting is just as cheesy and the sound of waves splashing is just as good. It was good in the original and it is good now. And once again we hit the snag, was it really worth buying this game?

So let’s address that, should you buy?

That depends, if Wave Race was a PC game, Blue Storm would only have been released as a patch or at the most an expansion pack. As a result of this, if you still own your original copy for the Nintendo 64, I’m going to say bring it out again and have some fun with it. If you never played the original, I would urge you to get this simply because as a stand-alone game, it is good. If you truly loved the original, but no longer own an N64, it is worth getting providing you’re willing to put the hours in to push your skills up. If you’re not, it’s easy to find an N64 and Wave Race 64 on eBay pretty cheap.

I’m sure if I hadn’t played the original to death I would have rated it higher, but when it comes down to it, I don’t there has been five years worth of improvements. It feels like a rushed conversion to GameCube.

Rating:   3.5 - Good

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