Review by FFrulz2000

"An awesome aquatic racer..."

Wave Race 64 was one of my all time favorite Nintendo 64 titles. I've invested many many hours playing that game, and when I played this game and saw how good it was, I was thrilled.

Graphically, Wave Race: Blue storm is amazing. The environments are bright, detailed, full of vibrant color and are very good to look at. You will race across tropical islands, arctic isles, foggy bays, and many more wonderfully detailed areas. However, some of the environments look eerily similar to ones from Wave Race 64, almost to the point where it feels like the same levels. A little more originality in the level designs would have been nice.

One of the best aspects of the graphics is the water. It looks just like real water, and is simply breathtaking. You will see reflections of the environments on the surface of the water, as well as the sparkling reflection of light off the water's surface. This is a very nice effect and makes it look that much more real. You will also be able to see sandy sea floors, coral reefs, rocks and stones and more underneath the crystal clear water. I have never seen water looking this good in any other videogame.

For the audio, it is nicely done. The jet ski's sound very realistic, and the sounds of jet ski's crashing through waves also sounds very true to life. One aspect of the sound that wasn't a part of Wave Race 64 is the voice of your ''coach'' who will give you pointers, let you know when you have turbo, tell you to get a move on, etc. Ultimately i found this very annoying as it can get pretty repetitive during a race as each character's coach will tend to say the same lines over and over again.

During gameplay, the main mode of the game is Championship mode where you will compete in 3 seperate circuits, Normal, Hard, and expert. Each circuit is broken down into a set of races where you earn points at the end depending upon your rank. The winner of the circuit is the one who has the highest total of points after the final race. Other modes include Time Attack, where you compete for the fastest time on a track, Stunt Mode, where you try to score the highest amount of points by going through rings and doing huge tricks, Tutorial, where you'll learn the basics of the game, Multiplayer, where you can challenge your friends, and Free Roam where you can hone your skills without worrying about missing boueys and racing other opponents.

During a race, you will need to weave back and forth through Red and Yellow buoeys. Red you pass on the right, and Yellow you pass on the left. You can only miss 5 buoeys until you're disqualified from the race. Something new to the Wave Race series is the use of turbo. When you successfully pass by enough boueys your turbo meter will fill. When it is filled you can unleash a fast boost of insane speed in which you will burn by opponents.

The control in WR BS will take a lot of time to get comfortable with. This is understandable due to the fact that you're riding on wavey water. Speaking of that, the water physics engine is so incredibly accurate, you will feel like you're actually riding a jet ski. Turning can either be smooth and predictable, or sloppy and unpredictable all due to the height of the waves on the course. The higher the wave, the harder it is to turn and control your rider. This is what makes WR BS so challenging.

Another improvement upon the previous version is the greater number of tricks that can be done. Now, there are many more aerial tricks and a few more jet ski stunts to be performed. Some of the aerial tricks are very motocross like with moves like Nac Nacs and Heal clickers as well as usual backflip and barrel roll. Jet Ski stunts include the usual hand stand and riding backwards and some new tricks like the bullet and flip sub, among others.

Wave Race: Blue Storm is ultimately a very challenging game. It will take a long time to master the controls to the point where you will be able to handle the challenge of Expert mode. This game is unbelievably harder and more challenging than the first one on 64. I would go as far as saying Hard Mode in WR Bs is harder than Expert Mode from Wave Race 64. Expect to practice the courses a lot if you want to beat the game.

Overall, WR BS is an awesome experience. It is one of the best racers that have come out this year, and easily the best aquatic racer to EVER come out. If you're looking for a fun and challenging racer for your Cube, look no farther than Wave Race: Blue storm because it is a truly awesome game.

Reviewer's Rating:   4.5 - Outstanding

Originally Posted: 02/25/02, Updated 02/26/02

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