The first racer to be released on the N64! It is definitely a good one too as it does nearly everything to perfection and heck… It came out only a month and a half after the system did. Right off the bat, I noticed that there were a lot of game modes to choose from. Championship, warm up, time trials, stunt mode, and a 2 player VS mode. You have 4 racers to pick from all with their own distinct feel. I preferred Ryota Hayami, as he seemed to be the most balanced character. Also I noticed that Kawasaki and Fanta had advertisements throughout the game, which to me gave it a more authentic feel. If you download Wave Race on the Wii’s virtual console, then you will notice all the ads have been replaced with Nintendo ads.
First off let me say it… The graphics are gorgeous! The waves look amazing and apparently, according to Mr. Miyamoto, the game only uses 80% of the power that the N64 has. Everything in this game looks good, from the sky to the dolphin, I was simply amazed. Wave Race 64 and Super Mario 64 were the games to show off the system back in the day.
While all the modes are fairly straightforward, standard stuff, I do like stunt mode the most. Stunt mode encourages you to do handstands and barrel rolls are for… What do kids say nowadays…. The “LOLZ”? The Jet Skis handle really well and it really feels like you are racing on water, fighting waves, and going up ramps all just feels so right. Once you get the controls down then you can really start enjoying the scenery. The night lights in Twilight City, the fog in Drake Lake, the reflections and blinding glare of Sunset Bay, and just simply crystal clear water that makes you want to go for a swim.
The sound is simply fantastic as well. The music is nothing to write home about however, the engine sounds, the seagulls, the dolphin, and the crashing waves are all ear candy. If I was to close my eyes and listen to someone just race in this game, I would have no idea it was on an older system like the N64.
The closest PS1 comparison that I could find to this game (that had been released before November of 1996) was Jet Moto and… That game is childs play in comparison. No contest whatsoever. It is truly a shame that the only sequel to this game was on the Gamecube but, Nintendo seems to be doing their own thing since the Wii came out so I do not expect another sequel anytime soon.
– Wave Race
– Jet Moto
Easter Egg – Dude you can ride a dolphin in this game! You can find out the old fashion way or just google it… you cheater!
The Bottom Line