Review by smetloos

"Wave Race is a fast, smooth and beautiful racing game, even after 14 years."

Wave Race is the first game I downloaded from the Wii Shop Channel for the Nintendo 64 console. I was very curious about the graphics and gameplay. I read the original review from Glenn Rubenstein from December 1, 1996 that says "in many ways the best racing game ever seen on a home system" and the other 13 reviews with an average score of 9,2. A great score should mean a great game. Are those 1.000 Wii points worth the race even after 14 years?

The gameplay is simply great. The control stick on the classic controller is sensitive in a positive way and the tricks are easy to learn in the tutorial, called "Dolphins Park". A dolphin will guide through a small course with two jumps. On the bottom of the screen a text will show how to do your tricks. Do not worry if you are to busy following the dolphin, because a female voice will read it for you. For example, you will learn how to do a steep turn, a flip and a side flip. Great fun and well explained.

You can choose from 4 players. They differ in weight, which effects the controlling of the jet ski. After you have chosen your character, you can directly start the race or customize the watercraft settings. The grip can be set from loose to tight, the engine from dash to top end and the handling from light to heavy in twelve steps. So yes it is advisable to test your jet ski before racing the various courses.

There are eight courses in total. The last two are unlockable by winning one of the four difficulty levels: Normal, Hard, Expert and Reverse. These courses will give you a wide variety of sharp turns, day and night races, small and big waves and low and high jumps. From beach races to harbour races, they have done a great job.

The graphics are great. You can see that the programmers have put a decent amount of time in the looks and physics of the water. It looks smooth and you can see the reflection of the sun. The bouncing of the jet ski is just awesome and realistic. The water and jet ski's deliver the high score of the graphics rating, because the character and surroundings are not that good. Winning a championship results in an awkward award show with flat arms and a lost seagull flying around waiting for fish I guess. Pretty bad in comparison with the actual racing part.

The engine sound of the watercraft is nicely done. Everytime you get a power up, you hear the engine boost its powers untill it is on full speed. It truly is the sound of a jet ski. But, the music is not that good. The tunes you hear are forgettable and do not add a thing to the great race experience.

For its time and I quote: "If you place Wave Race next to the myriad racing games out on the market, subjectivity aside, racing games do not get any better than this."

Graphics: 8
Sound: 7
Gameplay: 8,5

Reviewer's Rating:   4.0 - Great

Originally Posted: 09/01/11

Game Release: Wave Race 64 (EU, 08/17/07)

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