Review by MechaMrEd
"Water good game! *dies*"
One of the few launch titles for the N64, Wave Race is one of the most overlooked racers. I'm not a fan of ''real'' racing games, but I found this game extremely good fun.
The graphics are amazing even today. They are even superior to arcade cabinets at thousands times the price and the latest water based releases (Hydro Thunder on the DC), making them look rather feeble. Okay, the graphics are far from perfect, the water looks more like a thick gel, and there are no waves that look like the big ones you'd surf on top of, but the power needed to do realistic waves must be immense, so these'll do for now. Also some of the riders have quite noticable seams in the polygons, but overwise the tracks and the rest look incredible.
The gameplay options are quite vairied. There's the token Championship mode (with 3 difficulties), time trial and multiplayer (more on that later), but there's also the brilliant stunt mode, where you zip round the tracks doing tricks on the ramps, handstands, going through rings and sitting on the ski backwards earning points.
The controls are excellent. There are four racers to choose from, and you can change their names (with hilarious concequences). They come with their own strengths and weaknesses, but you can customize them to suit you best. The riders are very responsive, and the tricks are statisfying to pull off.
You have to weave through bouys on the course, miss 5 and you retire. There are 9 courses, which range from desert islands, cities, still lakes to the artic. They are all brilliantly designed, with shortcuts and the like. You can use strategies like submarining under the waves to save time. Some of the cpu players on the higher levels are annoying cheaters though.
The sound is average, with some quite nice tunes, and the always present annoying shouty commentator (Get Rrrready! Nice! Keep it! You almost had it!). The jetskis make nice brumming noises though.
The multiplayer is tremendous fun, although it unfortunatly only accomadates for 2 players. Still, it's great fun to bump each other out of the way, and show off by doing pointless stunts (and falling off and looking stupid).
To finish, this game is excellent. You don't see it much now, so make sure you snap it up second hand. You owe it to yourself. Oh, and I am really, really sorry for the pun in the title.
Reviewer's Rating: 4.0 - Great
Originally Posted: 03/11/00, Updated 03/11/00
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