Review by Turbotjuto

"A worthy sequel..."

Back in 1997 when Wave Race for the N64 was released, it made a big splash when it comes to realizing believable water physics. This was not the first aqua-racer, but certainly the most realistic from that point. Although i haven't yet taken a spin with such a thing 4real in the big world.
Anyway, now fast forward to 2002, Wave Race:blue storm for Nintendo's next-gen system has arrived. So how does it stand up? Here's my summary:

Naturally the water plays a great part in a game like this, and the developers sure put a lot of effort in it to improve the water-physics over its predecessor. Realistic waves, transparent water so that you can see the flora and fauna including sharks and other fishes on the bodem.
Other graphical highlights are how the weather-aspect is implemented and effects the race obviously, and the nice particles of splashing water etc. It's true that the jetski-riders and some background onshore objects could have used a few more polygons, but in the heat of the waves you have other things on your head.

Braking the sound-score up in music and effects, then its it is well, uh both quite good actually. The music is very soothing for this type of game: upsweeping, funky tunes which some of them originally were folklore? The sound-effects are equally matched, from vrooming jetski-sounds to blathering sheep. O yeah, there are also voice-overs(coach), where from each driver has his own. Some of them are quite annoying, but fortunatly, you can set the voice-over down in the options menu, or select an other driver of course.
Turnin' down is btw not a wise option, because then you may miss some useful info.

The controlls feel a bit tricky when you play the game for first time, especially when you are unfamiliar with the Gamecube controller. But he, as the saying goes: practice makes perfect, right? But one thing could have be done better in my opinion, namely the accelerator. You give gas with the A-button, digital, so you miss a bit of nuance in it. Personally i had major trouble thanks to this in the ''Venice Course''. I never got higher than 5th place, and slowin down for corners by hanging forward didn't help much either.

The game modes can be split up in championship, stunt mode time trial and free mode.
The game can be played with up to 4 players, so go get an extra controller!
Those who played the first Wave Race in this continuing? franchise will be familiar with the game, because its gameplay is basically the same. Race 3 laps against 7 other jetski-drivers without missing to many bouys. Strategically plan your races, there's a weather forecast for the upcoming 3 days, so that you can decide which race you do on which day. One thing is new though, you now have a turbo in your pesesion which you can use after you succesfully passed a few bouys. This is probably introduced to make the game and the outcome of the race a little more exciting. It actually makes the gameplay deeper then before.
There are a total of 8 courses,5 at the beginning of the game and 3 difficulty levels of where you can unlock 1 course after winning that championship-difficulty-mode.
Stunt mode, for this mode you can practice in the tutorial mode. Nice, but i prefer the championship mode.
Time Trial, here you can improve your lap-time, or practise a course which you have difficulty to race in championship mode, free mode is also handy for this, only then there are no Buoys.

-The Lowdown

- nice visuals, great waterphysics
- multiplayer moe up to 4 players
- weather conditions

- no analog accelerator
- a bit sparse on courses

Rent or Buy
I say, if you liked the original, then you can't go wrong with this one. If not, and you do have a swimming diploma and don't mind getting a bit wet then i would say get a copy of this...

Reviewer's Rating:   4.0 - Great

Originally Posted: 07/18/03, Updated 07/18/03

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