Choose a format:
Wave Race: Blue Storm
Platform: Nintendo GameCube
Publisher: Nintendo of America, Inc.
Developer: Nintendo Software Technology Corporation
Style(s): Boat/Watercraft Racing
Synopsis: Hop aboard your high-performance personal watercraft and leave the competition in your wake with this successor to 1996's Wave Race 64. One of only three titles available for the September 2001 Japanese launch of the Nintendo console, this tweaked-out jet ski racer is designed to offer fast-paced action and comfortable control. Like the N64 original (and other earlier titles such as the PlayStation's Jet Moto or the Dreamcast's Hydro Thunder), Wave Race: Blue Storm blends a sophisticated physics model of realistically dynamic water surfaces with an accessible control scheme for the powerful craft that race across them. Though the goal is to be first to the finish, racers who can perform impressive stunts and tricks along the way are rewarded with turbo boosts. In turn, turbo boosts can allow the racer to blast through to otherwise inaccessible areas and shortcuts. The game features completely revamped versions of all of the courses from the original Wave Race 64 as well as new levels designed especially for this 128-bit generation sequel. Modes of play include a single player story mode, in which new tracks and other special features can be unlocked, and multiplayer options that allow up to four racers to compete at once. ~ T.J. Deci, All Game Guide
Package Contents: Precautions Booklet
The colorful manual explains all of the modes and controls needed to perform, but there's also a built-in Tutorial set in Dolphin Park (carried over from Wave Race 64). ~ Scott Alan Marriott, All Game Guide
The water effects are wonderful and the courses beautifully detailed, from seagulls flying overhead to fish swimming below the surface. ~ Scott Alan Marriott, All Game Guide
One of the most technically impressive games on the Nintendo 64, if not the best racing title, has been remade for the GameCube's launch, courtesy of American-based Nintendo Software Technology. As was the case with the N64 game, the realistic wave effects are the star attraction, made even more impressive by the use of real-time reflections and the ability to see stingrays, dolphins, and fish below the surface as well as course-side animals, such as inquisitive polar bears and trumpeting elephants. The slick presentation and extra technique required in dealing with the unpredictable water effects makes Blue Storm a refreshing change of pace from racing on asphalt. Most of the courses are remakes of those found in Wave Race 64, but with considerably more detail. This detail may even be <I>too</I> great in some cases, as the water is rarely what you'd expect to find in your "typical" lake or ocean. Instead of merely creating blue or gray water, the developers wanted to show off the GameCube's power by allowing players to see lights reflecting off the surface or straight down to bottom as if the water were glass. It's a great technical achievement to be sure, but one that could be a distraction while you are jockeying for first place. New additions to gameplay are slight, but offer more strategy during the race. For one, you can't freely alter individual abilities like you could in the original. Players can only adjust sensitivity of steering at a cost of overall acceleration. There's also a button for turbo boosts, so players can make decisions instead of having an automatic surge of speed after passing five buoys. Performing tricks also awards players with turbo boosts, so stunts can actually pay off instead of being there for show during the competitive races. Overall, a much better system, though it's sometimes hard to hit the narrow Z button on the edge of the controller when you need it most. The best part of Wave Race: Blue Storm is the variety of locales, though the number of courses is lacking. Fortunately, the featured courses are all winners, from relatively serene tropical beaches to dangerous races through the arctic, with the potential for nine-foot waves and avalanches causing enormous wakes after crashing into the water. Computer opponents are competitive as you advance but beatable, especially when figuring out the clever shortcuts available on each course. You'll duck under piers, scoot up ramps, jump over ships, break through barriers, and more as you zigzag your way past the red and yellow buoys. Shortcomings include stunts that are still difficult to pull off and not well integrated in the main game, as in titles like SSX. This is because tricks are often done while you are steering or accelerating instead of performed in the air after jumping off a ramp. While the stunts are realistic, this mode isn't as fun as pure racing. Another problem is the relatively brief Championship Mode. Although the four circuits get increasingly difficult with inclement weather and better opponents, there's no career mode or season, so you simply race in a short series of five or six courses until you win the event -- if you don't score enough points to advance to the next course, the game ends. The other modes, Time Trial, Free Roam, and Training are straightforward time killers good for learning the courses but not much else. The biggest incentive for beating times on each course is for posterity, as the game does keep track of the top finishers and individual laps for each of the courses. In the end, Blue Storm does an excellent job in mirroring 1996's title in modes of play and features, to both its credit and to its detriment. With stunning graphics and realistic waves, Blue Storm will quench a player's thirst for quick racing excitement but may leave those looking for added depth high and dry. ~ Scott Alan Marriott, All Game Guide
Factor in the ability to race each course in different weather conditions and wave heights, and you have a new experience each time you rev the engines. A limited Championship mode and added depth in other modes hurts this area. ~ Scott Alan Marriott, All Game Guide
The music changes to fit each locale, and each rider has his or her own coach to offer some words of encouragement during the races (complete with accents depending on where the rider hails from). ~ Scott Alan Marriott, All Game Guide
The game is certainly a blast to play, especially when racing in inclement weather. The presentation is excellent, but there should be more courses, modes of play, and more depth to the Championship. ~ Scott Alan Marriott, All Game Guide
the game requires Joystick/Gamepad.