Review by Y2JkicksRVD

"One very underappreciated game."

This game is one of those hidden gems. It has everything it takes to be a huge success, yet for some unknown reason, it just isn't. For those of you who may not know what “Wave Race” is, it is a jet ski racing game. It features decent racing, great visuals, and is an extremely underrated game. It is a solid racing game, yet it isn't the racing part that makes this game. By far, the best part about this game is just performing tricks while in practice mode. I used to just play practice mode for hours on end, and for some reason, it never got boring. If only, games were like that today.

Wave Race 64 game features some of the Nintendo 64's best graphics. This is saying something, because this was one of the earliest gamed for the system. It features great water effects, great lighting, and each level has unique weather effects. One level has some fog, which makes everything very difficult to see, another level takes place at sunset, and the large sun makes the water bright orange. Easily, some of the best graphics that the N64 had to offer. With all-around great everything, this category gets a 9 out of 10.

The sound and music are both fairly good, yet there is a lack of content. The sounds of hitting the water, revving the engine, and smashing other riders are good, but there is not much else. Each racer sounds the same, and all splash sounds are the same. Whether wiping out, or performing a perfectly executed trick, it sounds the same. The music is less than stellar, but it suites the game well, so I shouldn't be griping. It just would not fit unless in this game. So, for what effects the game has, they are very good, it is just there is so few of them, I really can't give it more than an 8 out of 10.

I have nothing bad to say about the controls at all. They are perfect. I don't care if you say “Perfect is Impossible”, these are perfect. You accelerate with A, brake with B, and perform tricks with the Control Stick. You may think that driving and doing tricks on the same stick would be a hard task, yet it is not at all. It is very easy, and very good. I like when controls are both simple and good. Not hard at all to learn, but it takes some time to master the tricks, I will admit that. Easily, some of the best controls in any game…ever. A perfect score is deserving here.

As I said above, the racing is not what makes the game. Sadly, I must lower the score, because it is indeed a racing game. When racing is not the main feature of a racing game, something is not right. I'm not saying that the racing is bad, but it is not what makes the game. Single-Player Racing only allows you to do a tourney type thing, which has very few courses. Multi-Player racing can be fun, but still that is not where it is at. I said above, performing tricks in Practice mode is what it's all about. Sadly, there is no multi-player trick mode, but what my friends and I always did was just find a straightaway with a ramp at the end, and keep doing tricks off of that. The racing is good, but not great. Obviously, the tricks are what makes this game. With less than great “pure racing” I give Gameplay an 8 out of 10.

Rarely, do games keep me playing years after their creation. A few examples would be all the Sonic games, Madden ‘92, and this game. I hardly ever play the main game, though. It is all tricks and free riding. That is what this game was meant for. Every so oft, one or more of my friends will play some competitive multi-player races, but it always ends the same, us just doing tricks, forgetting the race altogether. I don't think that is what the creators had in mind, but it is definitely what I have in mind. I've been playing this game since it's release, and I don't plan on stopping anytime soon. So, what does that say about Replayability?

Wave Race 64 is a great game, and is well worth the price (Maybe $5). If you still play your N64 from time to time, then you should pick this game up. There was also a Game Boy version of Wave Race, though I never played it. Also, as most people know, there was also a sequel, called “Wave Race: Blue Storm”, which was a release title for the GCN. I sadly, have not played that, either. All in all, though, Wave Race 64 is one pretty cool game.

Reviewer's Rating:   4.5 - Outstanding

Originally Posted: 03/16/06

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