Review by Mech Master
"Realistic and Fun at the Same Time!"
Back when the Nintendo 64 launched there were a few good games that came out with the system. The main game that people think about is Super Mario 64. But when I think about the N64's launch I think about Wave Race. The original is still today one of my favorite racing games of all time. Well, the sequel improves on what is already a great game.
Racing games aren't known for any amazing storylines. Wave Race: Blue Storm looks like it is going to keep with that tradition. There are no character relations. You don't know any backstory of the characters. And you don't know why you are racing in the first place. What story it does have (if you can consider it a story) is that you are racing to win championships...I...guess. Yeah, that isn't too much of a story is it? Nope. But a story isn't the reason that you play racing games is it? If that is the reason, you aren't going to find many racing games like that at all.
Wave Race: Blue Storm is just an amazing looking game. It is also very innovative with its weather effects. For example, if it is raining, rain drops will actually hit and splatter against the television screen like it is a camera following your rider. I haven't seen any other game follow in Wave Race: Blue Storm's footsteps in that context. The visual effects in this game are just awesome. But it is not just the effects that are amazing. The actual character models and environments look absolutely fantastic. The water is also looks really good as well. The Splashdown games are the only other jetski games that look better than Wave Race: Blue Storm. And also, the framerate never drops one little bit. Overall, the graphics in this game are just top-notch.
The audio however, is not as good as the graphics. The voice acting in this game is pretty good. It is sort of hard to tell because the voice acting doesn't really occur that often during the game. The sound effects are good. The noise of your jetski's motor sounds really great. I really like the sound of a splash when you come off a big ramp and hit the water real hard. The music in the game is pretty good. It is definitely not the best music I have heard in a game, but it will do. The audio quality is pretty average in Wave Race. It isn't that revolutionary, but at the same time the audio is decent. Even Sega could have done a better job. And you know how Sega is. They are the guys that have horrible voice overs.
Wave Race: Blue Storm is just plain fun to play. Even if you are losing in a race you can still have loads of fun. The best thing about the gameplay are the tracks. After each lap, the course will change in some way. For example, after you complete one lap of a foggy course, on the second lap some of the fog clears so you can see and then on the third and final lap, all of the fog is gone. The only other game to do this is the new Splashdown that was released only recently. There are also your typical racing modes that you have to choose from like Championship and Time Attack. There is also a good learning curve to this game. After you beat courses with certain weather effects you can use them in different game modes for more of a challenge. Another really good thing that the developers did was really giving you the sense that you are actually out on the water. It is the waves that really help that factor out. When the waves are choppy, that is when you really feel like you are actually out on a jetski. This game perfectly keeps the game fun and realistic at the same time. The only problem I had was that there were not any unique racing modes.
The controls in Wave Race: Blue Storm take some getting used to. They are more realistic than arcade. But that really isn't any fault of the game. It is a fault of the player if he or she doesn't like realism in racing games. Once you get used to it, you will be right at home. The buttons are all placed in good places and the response of the buttons are really good. Wave Race: Blue Storm is a great controlling game. I wish the D-Pad worked with the game. Even though the D-Pad on the Gamecube controller is really small you may push the analog stick diagonally instead of down to do a trick, it would have been nice to use the D-Pad.
Wave Race is a great racing game. It is great to play with friends. It is still my favorite gamecube racer. In fact it is one of my favorite racing games PERIOD. I hope the next one if there a next one has some online play. That would be great. Wave Race: Blue Storm should be cheap since it has been two years since the Gamecube's launch. You can get it for about 29.99.
Reviewer's Rating: 4.5 - Outstanding
Originally Posted: 08/15/03
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