Nintendo Reviews Rating:
Age 6+
Posted: April 6th, 2004
Wave Race: Blue Storm was released with the Gamecube's launch. Is this an updated version of Wave Race 64, or just a
waste of game design effort? Read the review here!

This is probably the first game to have Dolby Surround. Does this help? Yes, the sound is blended well, but the sound
effects are basically just water and players' engines. I actually think that the effects are bad to be honest. The engines
seem too loud, and the water effects are just okay. This game needed the Surround, because it basically stinks. There are
some other little bells and whistles like the buoys, wave effects, some background noise and even player's grunts. There
isn't much to the voice samples, but they are better than nothing. The announcers get really annoying after a while. They
repeat phrases constantly. The pre-race announcer actually says different things than just 'welcome' which is an
improvement over the last game.
The music samples are also not so good. This is mainly because the sound effects seem to drown the music. Sometimes the
music doesn't even seem to fit the level. I think the music is not as original as it could be. One plus is that each level has
a different theme to it, and each racer has a different theme. The bunch of music samples however don't make up for the
poor quality. Overall, sound is pretty lame, and there should have been more thought put into this aspect of the game.

The control scheme is very similar to Wave Race 64, so I don't need to explain it. There are again some flaws. First...well
this isn't really a flaw, but I think it's weird how I seem to mainly control with L and R without touching the Control
Stick. Secondly, it doesn't seem responsive at all. When you turn, the game seems to take a while to turn your player.
Although sometimes this is a property of the waves' effects, it doesn't seem logically correct in this game. The loading is
slow and also annoying to sit through. This is an old game, so it isn't that big of a deal. What is annoying is that when
you're done with something like Time Attack and Stunt Mode, the game loads the results screen, slowly loads the initials
screen, slowly saves your data, slowly loads the course select then slowly loads the level again. Like Mario Kart: Double
Dash, it should automatically save and there should be a 'Retry' option! Mario Kart has the right idea-this doesn't.
There are some good stuff. The control is like Star Wars: Episode One Racer. One mistake, and you're out. This makes it
frustratingly hard, but that's the point. I think players will get over it and learn where they can improve for next time.
The buoys point out where to go and are big enough that it's hard to not see one. The problem is they can be hard to get
by, but that's another point of difficulty. The racers all seem to ride together, so if you were in first and you nearly fall off,
you'll see seven people fly by. It seems that it should be stretched out more, but this once again makes for more close
races. Overall, the control could have been much improved. The 'difficulty' cannot justify everything.

The graphics are also not first-rate. Everyone thinks the water
effects are excellent, but I disagree. I think the water effects are
great, not excellent. The framerate keeps up most of the time,
and the resolution is decent (could also be better). What bothers
me is that the artwork seem bland. The characters don't seem to
be very high-polygon, and neither do the levels. I think they
spent more time on the water effects than anything else. The
lighting effects are decent, but don't appear realistic. This
includes the night and day effects. The graphics really look like
an N64 with an Expansion Pak. I feel that not enough effort was
put into it. I know others liked the graphics in this game, but I
think they are average.

Once again, this is average. There are six levels in the Normal Championship, seven in the Hard, and eight on Expert. Few
will even get to Expert without boredom. There really isn't much game here. There are eight levels. Big deal-Mario Kart 64
had twice as much, and Wave Race 64 had two more. The levels aren't great in length, and although they slightly change
depending on difficulty, it isn't enough to keep me satisfied.
The Time Attack is a basic feature any racing game has. The Free Play should have more options; why should you have to
unlock weather conditions? The Stunt Mode however is very fun. There are more stunts than the last game, and they are
more fun to execute. It seems possible that some of these new ones could have been there in the old version, but they are
here. This puts a spin on the game. You can be bad at racing, but be excellent at performing cool stunts. I actually thought
they should have put more time into this, than the actual races, because it is a lot of fun. You can even play Stunt Mode in
Speaking of that, the four-player multiplayer is also a nice addition. Most people will get bored, but if you can get four
people who will stay at it, then you'll find multiplayer a lot of fun. It's a good thing there's eight people to choose from
now. Overall, there probably a little more here than Wave Race 64, but after several hours or play, you'll probably get
bored. This game would have benefited from LAN.

The Design is really the only good part of this game. The goal is to race eight people over eight courses while staying inside
the buoys. This idea made Wave Race 64 so great. What really impresses me is how true this has stayed to the franchise.
Not much changed, but that's what is good. The system you use to race is fun and challenging. There are more
environments, but some are from the Wave Race 64, and that's where this starts to downfall.
I felt like a lot of the levels were almost exactly like Wave Race 64, unlike Mario Kart: Double Dash, which seemed to
have more new levels. Even some that are slightly different seem to have the same properties. At least there's a decent
map to look at, and symbols change is somebody's close behind you. Another bad thing is the lack of ingenuity. The
players seem similar to the previous game, and there aren't any new features really. Multiplayer and Stunt Mode are
upgraded, but still nothing new.
One final comment is actually good. The game really depends on where you use the Turbo. Sometimes, you may want to
skip a buoy if it's worth giving up collected Turbo power to take a shortcut. The AI isn't very nice. They always seem to
pass the buoy right, and don't seem to fault their racer. They seem too tough, but not challenging tough, I mean unfairly
tough. Still, this is definitely the best wave racer out there are still fun to play, but most will want to save this for a rent. It
seems Nintendo predicted that the sales would be bad for this, so they even got advertisers, which is annoying. McDonald's
in a Nintendo brand game doesn't seem right.





Final Words

This is the worst game I've reviewed thus far, and is definitely an average game. It may have personality and more
upgrades, but compared to other GCN games, it doesn't deserve anything higher. I still can't believe they had
advertisements. It almost makes me think less of Nintendo for having to resort to ads for revenue. I think Wave Race 64
was just as good as this. They are both enjoyable, but not nearly as enjoyable as they could be. You must know that there
are some redeeming aspects, such as the very good design. It also is enjoyable for a rent, but nowadays, you can't find this
game in stores, even if you did want to buy it.