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on 17 March 2002
Any Nintendo fan will have played Wave Race 64; in fact anyone who calls themselves a 'gamer' should have probably played this amazing game before. Playability, depth, fun and easily the most realistic water effects that had ever been seen - this really was a classic N64 game. So, five years on can we hold Wave Race: Blue Storm in the same high esteem?
With a title like Wave Race, I simply cannot go to far without saying something about the water effects; after all they're an integral part of what makes this game tick. Put simply, if you thought Wave Race on N64 had good water effects, you're going to be blown away by Blue Storm - it's quite simply stunning. Examples of this brilliance include the opacity of the water actually changing along with the waters depth, and the huge waves that swells and surge across the sea based tracks. Equally impressive is the way that when a rival jet ski speeds past you, they actually leave a wake behind them which adversely effects the handling of your craft, and don't forget the real-time weather effects that regularly change mid-race! Heck, the graphical quality and attention to detail is so great that the degree of reflection cast on the waters surface by objects and light sources actually changes depending on the angle of your perspective. Also remember that despite this level of graphical detail and sheer quality, Blue Storm runs along at a constant 30 frames-per-second, even in 4-player mode, and has no pop-up what so ever - quite amazing!
In terms of challenge and depth (no pun intended!), Blue Storm offers an excellent learning curve that is backed up by quite a stern challenge, even for a skilled racer. When you start to play you have access to five tracks, each with its own unique setting and hazards. However, as you complete the various championship events you can unlock three additional tracks that'll challenge your skills even further. To add even more longevity to the proceeding each track features numerous shortcuts and alternate routes, plus if you're a real expert you can even perform a range of outrageous tricks as you race. Wave Race: Blue Storm also features eight playable characters, each with their own strengths, weaknesses, statistics and even voices! Plus it's worth mentioning that a few of the character make a welcome return from the N64 version of Wave Race, and as such should be instantly recognisable to gamers who've played the original.
Wave Race: Blue Storm really is an excellent game, boasting a perfect balance of top-notch graphics, superb gameplay, a great learning curve and the kind of playability that'll have you saying 'just one more go before bed' long into the night! Oh, and with regard to the question posed in the opening paragraph; Wave Race: Blue Storm is actually better than its N64 predecessor, which is high prise indeed!
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on 16 May 2003
this is a really great game. a lot of people will say that "this is a rubbish game," and "you cant control the racer," but thats because they dont understand the concept of the game. you're not controlling a car on a flat road surface, it's a wave race (hence the name, "wave race"!) Of course it's going to be bumpy and hard to control, thats the fun of it. when you play on the hard settings with the storm conditions, the waves get so big and strong they throw your racer about its a lot of fun to play, as is multiplayer (up to 4). make sure you have a big tv though, as multiplayer works in splitscreen.
in championship mode (the main mode of the game) there are 8 locales, each with about 3 variations and 5 weather settings, making for 120 different races! theres also time trial, free roam, and stunt modes, as well as the fun multiplayer! there are also many secrets and hidden routes to unlock. so this game will last you a long time.
it has good graphics, with some brilliant water effects, and a constantly smooth frame rate (ive never seen it drop, even in multiplayer). the commentary can get a little tiresome, although the sfx make up for it. the music isnt bad.
overall a great game. if you want a good (and different) racing game for your cube, then this is a good choice
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on 2 July 2004
WAVE RACE BLUE STORM SPLASHES DOWN ON GAMECUBE. IS IT AS GOOD AS THE ORIGINAL OR, LIKE MANY CONVERSIONS, A QUICK GRAPHICALLY ENHANCED REHASH?
Despite being one of the launch titles for the Nintendo 64, Wave Race 64 remained one of the consoles most innovative and graphically astonishing games. It's water effects were like nothing seen before and the game provided a refreshing change from all the endless driving titles out there. Well, if you thought the graphics in WR64 were good - you ain't seen nothing yet!
Those of you are not familiar with the WR format; WRBS is a jet-ski racing game where, like in any other racing game, your objective is to beat your opponents round various circuits. But racing on water means every race is different due to the unpredictability of the waves and varying weather conditions.
Red and yellow buoys are situated around each course, which must be passed correctly in order to keep your speed up and complete the course successfully; red buoys must be passed on the right and yellow to the left.
If you miss five buoys you are forced to retire from the race. This forces you to only miss buoys if you really have to (for example on the last few corners of the last lap).
Fans of the original will feel straight at home. Playing WRBS is like rediscovering an old friend. The game is very arcade orientated making it instantly playable with responsive controls, fitting the new controller perfectly.
There are five modes of play on offer: championship, time-trial, practice (free roam), multi-player and stunt mode. Championship mode provides the most fun and challenge following the same pattern as the original with three difficulty settings (normal, expert, hard), with more tracks being unlocked the harder the difficulty.
Most of the tracks are actually based on their N64 counterparts in all but name. For example, Artic Bay is basically Glacier Coast, Aspen Lake is Drake Lake etc. This could be seen as both good and bad. Good, because all the original tracks were very well designed, but you can't help but feel at least a little short-changed.
To be fair, most the tracks have been improved with new features and sections (not to mention graphically enhanced although this comes expected) but others, like Southern Island, remain virtually unscathed. There is no reverse mode this time round as well but some of the tracks are reversed in expert mode anyway.
The route you take around each track, weather conditions and buoy location changes each time the difficulty increases. This means, in a sense, there are three different versions of each course but they aren't different enough to argue the game has twenty-one tracks.
There are two brand new tracks: La Razza Canal and Strongwater Keep. La Razza Canal is inspired by Venice, while Strongwater Keep is set in and around a Castle. Despite a beautiful setting, La Razza Canal represents something of a missed opportunity for me being the WR equivalent of the Monaco grand prix with too many tight turns (esp. on expert) spoiling what could have been the games best track.
It features some nice touches (like the little short cuts - smashing through tables and chairs) and with lots of practice becomes slightly better, but should have been the games highlight. Strongwater Keep works well with touches of Marine Fortress and Port Blue evident although is perhaps a little short. As with all racing games, some tracks work better than others and the hard ones require lots of practice, which never hurt anyone.
A new Mario-Kart-style turbo feature has been added which can be used when your max power metre is full (after every five buoys passed successfully). It provides you with a short two-second burst of speed. Knowing when and, more importantly, when not to use it as your jet becomes hard to control, can be the difference between winning and losing.
It's a nice addition as you can leapfrog from the back of the pack to finishing in the top three on the last straight, earning valuable extra points.
Another new feature is the improved interaction with objects around each course. In the original, hitting a wooden stump would result in your rider falling off his ski - losing you valuable seconds. But now many off-track obstacles can be smashed through becoming hidden short cuts.
The original was criticised for only having four characters to choose from and race against but this problem has been eradicated with new faces Serena del Mar, Nigel Carver and from 1080 Snowboarding fame, Rob Haywood and Ricky Winterborn. With old favourites Dave Mariner, Akari Hayami, Ryota Hayami and Ayumi Stewart, this brings the total of characters to a respectable eight creating a greater diversity of characters.
New tricks for Stunt mode have also been added including the Motor cross inspired Superman, Cowboy, Bullet, Flip Sub, Nac-Nac and Heel-Clicker.
All in all, WRBS is a highly enjoyable racing title with realistic water physics. But with only seven courses it's lastability is questionable, especially if you owned the original. It does it's intended job of showing off the Gamecube's graphics but has been rushed a little one feels to meet the Cubes release date. A few more (new) tracks isn't too much to ask...is it?
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on 14 April 2003
For those people who haven't seen the game in action, Wave Race is a racing game where 8 racers, including yourself, take part in a number of racers depending on what difficulty level you are playing on. You need a set amount of points to qualify for the next race and at the end, the racer with the highest number of points wins. Oh, and did I mention that it takes place on water? Yes, water. On watercraft!
Each racer has his/her own design of watercraft with different characterises in a number of different fields including Top Speed, Acceleration, Manoeuvring, Stunt skill and Strength. Each racer requires a different style of racing to be able to win a race. There is a racer for every type of person!
There are quite a few options on the main title screen. There is Championship mode were the main races take place. Free Roam were you can explore the track without any limitations. Time Attack were you race to get the best times. Stunt Mode were you try and score the highest score on a course. Tutorial were you are taught the basics and advanced features of the game. Multi-Player were you can race against up to four of your friend and finally Options.
There are 8 different courses in total. The actual path of each course will change depending on what difficulty you are playing on, this means that different parts of the same course open up and close. A right hand turn on Normal difficulty might be a left turn on Hard and might be bypassed completely on Expert by another turning that wasn't accessible on the Normal or Hard racers. You must start off from the bottom and must race to unlock the difficulty levels and the locked course. The courses are set on wide and sometimes very open stretches of water, the "track" is roughly set out by coloured buoys. You have to pass the red buoys on the right-hand side and the yellow buoys on the left-hand side. If you miss 5 buoys then you are forced to retire from the game.
Another factor in a race is the weather. As many racing games have incorporated weather effects in their games Wave Race really makes the weather count. On a calm day, the water is calm and there are hardly any waves. Top speeds can be reached and turning is uncomplicated but during a storm waves can be 4 metres high. This means, depending on which way you face the waves, you will be bouncing up and down on top of big waves. Turning is quite hard, especially if you're turning head on into the waves. The degree of which the courses are effected by the weather depend on what course you are on.
The whole look of the game is very bright and colourful. The backdrops and surroundings of the course are bright, bold and well modelled. Like the environments the models of the characters and watercraft themselves are well above average. They are well suited to the game and fit well with the surroundings. The game really shines with the animation of the water. While racing the water is partially see threw which is an amazing site when you are riding just behind a huge wave and can see the distracted track ahead. When it is raining the raindrops hit the screen similar to the way they do in Metal Gear Solid. Also the splashes from the watercraft itself throws water onto the screen which then trickles down it.
Even the loading screens are worth looking at. While the game loads you can see the name of the course under a shallow pool of water. If the forecasted weather is sunny the waves on the screen will gently cross the screen and in rainy weather little drops of water will hit the whole pool distorting everything. The water defiantly steals the whole game and so it should!
The music is a constant feature in the game. While it isn't going to reach number 1 it's not going to end up in the bargain bin either. The music is toe tapping and very attractive, the music on the title screen puts you in the mood to hit the surf and get some racing done. It is also present in the courses, all of which are done well.
The sounds are also a major plus. Most of the effects will be you splashing the water and it is expertly done, it really draws you into the game. Spoken advice from the tutorial guides you threw the basics of the game. Also during the game your "crew pit" member gives you a ranging level of advice depending on your difficulty. This means your not given basic advice while racing on expert.
The only major complaints I have about the game is that it can be very harsh. All it takes is one mistake for you to lose the race. While racing if you hit something and fall off you could easily lose the race, this is especially true on the harder difficulty levels. It can be near impossible to regain your former position, as there are only 3 laps. Also when you start the race and on shorter races you tend to be shadowed and trailing numerous racers. These racers can easily send you into a spin or even knock you off you watercraft, which again could cost you the race. On racers where there are boundaries it is possible to "stick" to these should you collide with them and can be difficult and annoying to pull away from. These are minor problems but can be very frustrating.
This game is a great deal of fun to play. The game only gets better when multiple players race against each other. I can easily recommend this game for any racing but non-racers should also take a look but it can be difficult at times.
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on 31 March 2003
For those people who haven't seen the game in action, Wave Race is a racing game where 8 racers, including yourself, take part in a number of racers depending on what difficulty level you are playing on. You need a set amount of points to qualify for the next race and at the end, the racer with the highest number of points wins. Oh, and did I mention that it takes place on water? Yes, water. On watercraft!
Each racer has his/her own design of watercraft with different characterises in a number of different fields including Top Speed, Acceleration, Manoeuvring, Stunt skill and Strength. Each racer requires a different style of racing to be able to win a race. There is a racer for every type of person!
There are quite a few options on the main title screen. There is Championship mode were the main races take place. Free Roam were you can explore the track without any limitations. Time Attack were you race to get the best times. Stunt Mode were you try and score the highest score on a course. Tutorial were you are taught the basics and advanced features of the game. Multi-Player were you can race against up to four of your friend and finally Options.
There are 8 different courses in total. The actual path of each course will change depending on what difficulty you are playing on, this means that different parts of the same course open up and close. A right hand turn on Normal difficulty might be a left turn on Hard and might be bypassed completely on Expert by another turning that wasn't accessible on the Normal or Hard racers. You must start off from the bottom and must race to unlock the difficulty levels and the locked course. The courses are set on wide and sometimes very open stretches of water, the "track" is roughly set out by coloured buoys. You have to pass the red buoys on the right-hand side and the yellow buoys on the left-hand side. If you miss 5 buoys then you are forced to retire from the game.
Another factor in a race is the weather. As many racing games have incorporated weather effects in their games Wave Race really makes the weather count. On a calm day, the water is calm and there are hardly any waves. Top speeds can be reached and turning is uncomplicated but during a storm waves can be 4 metres high. This means, depending on which way you face the waves, you will be bouncing up and down on top of big waves. Turning is quite hard, especially if you're turning head on into the waves. The degree of which the courses are effected by the weather depend on what course you are on.
The whole look of the game is very bright and colourful. The backdrops and surroundings of the course are bright, bold and well modelled. Like the environments the models of the characters and watercraft themselves are well above average. They are well suited to the game and fit well with the surroundings. The game really shines with the animation of the water. While racing the water is partially see threw which is an amazing site when you are riding just behind a huge wave and can see the distracted track ahead. When it is raining the raindrops hit the screen similar to the way they do in Metal Gear Solid. Also the splashes from the watercraft itself throws water onto the screen which then trickles down it.
Even the loading screens are worth looking at. While the game loads you can see the name of the course under a shallow pool of water. If the forecasted weather is sunny the waves on the screen will gently cross the screen and in rainy weather little drops of water will hit the whole pool distorting everything. The water defiantly steals the whole game and so it should!
The music is a constant feature in the game. While it isn't going to reach number 1 it's not going to end up in the bargain bin either. The music is toe tapping and very attractive, the music on the title screen puts you in the mood to hit the surf and get some racing done. It is also present in the courses, all of which are done well.
The sounds are also a major plus. Most of the effects will be you splashing the water and it is expertly done, it really draws you into the game. Spoken advice from the tutorial guides you threw the basics of the game. Also during the game your "crew pit" member gives you a ranging level of advice depending on your difficulty. This means your not given basic advice while racing on expert.
The only major complaints I have about the game is that it can be very harsh. All it takes is one mistake for you to lose the race. While racing if you hit something and fall off you could easily lose the race, this is especially true on the harder difficulty levels. It can be near impossible to regain your former position, as there are only 3 laps. Also when you start the race and on shorter races you tend to be shadowed and trailing numerous racers. These racers can easily send you into a spin or even knock you off you watercraft, which again could cost you the race. On racers where there are boundaries it is possible to "stick" to these should you collide with them and can be difficult and annoying to pull away from. These are minor problems but can be very frustrating.
This game is a great deal of fun to play. The game only gets better when multiple players race against each other. I can easily recommend this game for any racing fan but non-racers should also take a look. But it can be difficult at times.
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VINE VOICEon 15 March 2002
At a first look this game underwhelms slightly. And that is not becuase the front end presentation is lacking because it certainly isn't, and its certainly not because the graphics and more importantly the water effects are not good enough becuase that is not the case either. In fact it's hard to put a finger on exactly what it is that means that this game doesn't have the instant appeal you would hope for, but if you're willing to give this game a chance then you are in for a real treat.
There are two factors that make this game what it is - the water and the weather.
The water effects are superb. The graphics make it look like the real thing and the physics make it feel like the real thing. As you progress through the game and the conditions get worse you will find yourself fighting a battle just to stay on track as the realistic water movements affect both yourself and the bouys you have to negotiate. And if you get caught on the wrong side of a wave or in the wake of a group or other riders you can guarantee you won't be able to go where you really want to. This impresses rather than annoys though, and as you get better you learn to use the waves to your advantage.
As you progress through the game the weather effects will get worse. This is not just cosmetic though as changing weather will not only affect the waves you have to deal with, but the level of the water. Some tracks such as Aspen Lake are actually easier to negotiate in a heavy rainfall as the water level rises and covers most of the hazardous rocks. You can use the weather to your advantage in this way as you are able to select the order in which you race the tracks in Championship mode and so can choose the tracks to suit the weather on each day of the championship.
The only real downside to this game is the small number of tracks, especially as some of them are taken from the original game. I would not let this put you off though, as each is well designed and beautifully detailed, with everything from trout in Aspen Lake to Killer Whales and falling ice in the Arctic.
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on 13 May 2003
Waverace: Blue storm (WR-BS) was one of the original release titles of the Nintendo Gamecube, so it has been around for quite a while. With this in mind is WR-BS still a good game, and is it still worth the £30 asking price?
GRAPHICS:
There is no denying that the water effects in the game are great, the best efforts probably being the menu screens and player interface, as the in game water effects have been lessened, I think, to link seamlessly with the 3D environment. An example of over doing the realism of the water can be seen in Jet Ski Riders for the PS2 which looks amazing, but seeing it along with the surroundings is rather strange, WR-BS gets this balance between the two just right.
GAMEPLAY:
This is far and away the best point of this game. WR-BS is the only Jet-Ski game available that boasts fast paced and accurate game action. Watch as your rider gets caught in the swell of large waves. The game allows you to choose all the weather conditions (from sunny – full on storm) for each stage, and each course can be ridden through night or day.
LIFESPAN:
As with every game there is a low point and this is it. I have never played a game that took such little time to complete. The main area of the game is the championship mode, with three difficulty settings, Normal, Hard and Expert. Anyone who has played the original Waverace 64 will breeze through the first two difficulties winning every race, and the Expert difficulty should take no longer than two attempts. I completed this game in less than 1 hour and I would not rate myself as a great gamer. All that is left after these three modes is the multiplayer and that is another disappointment with this game, although the inclusion of four-player compatibility is a good step up from the original, the fact that there are still only 7 playable courses (all based on those from 64) and not much variation means it tires quite quickly.
OVERALL:
If you like Jet-Ski based games then this is a must have title. However, if you owned the original for the 64 you will probably be disappointed by the lifespan of the game. Although if you were never that good at the original but enjoyed it anyway this is a great game. All in all this is still a good game and worth the asking price but it could have offered a lot more.
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on 11 July 2002
I got this game during it's first week of release and totally HATED it. The jet-ski was virtually impossible to control,and it was so frustrating that I gave up almost instantly and left it on the shelf gathering dust!! Until 3 days ago, when after completing another game I was stuck for something else to play, so I gave Wave Race Blue Storm another go and after a while I LOVED it. With a little patience and a bit of practice, this game REALLY grows on you and becomes very addictive as you race to beat your best times, and win the tournaments unlocking secret "tracks" as you go.
Yes, it is hard to control at first, especially turning - but stick with it and you'll be in for a treat. The graphics are amazing - the water/wave effects are probably the best ever seen on a console. Unfortunately you speed along so fast that you rarely have time to admire the jaw-dropping visuals, shame, cos this is a VERY pretty game indeed - I think it has the best graphics of any Gamecube title currently available.
The music isn't up to much, and some of the voices can easily become annoying - but that's really the only moans I've got.
If you've got this game and hate it, give it another whirl, you WILL like it after a while - HONEST. If you haven't this a great racer and a lot of fun to play - I recommend it to all Gamecube owners.
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on 5 July 2002
I don't understand some of the poor reviews I've seen of this game. Especially the Amazon.co.uk review, it seems the reviewer hasn't read the instruction manual properly at all because to say the jet ski's handle like a milk float is just plain misleading and wrong. You can turn them 360 degrees extremely quickly if you learn the basic controls, it's not hard, even for a beginner. The graphics are good enough to make your jaw drop, it plays just as well as you would expect a game created by Nintendo to do, the pad rumbles and bumps to every wave and collision and the audio is excellent. Special mention must go to the British jet skier in the game, who has the funniest accent you've ever heard ! This is a truly brilliant game, worth buying a Gamecube for.
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on 30 March 2004
This is the first game I got for my Cube, and it's perhaps still my favourite. Obviously I love racing games; if you can't stand them, then this isn't going to win you over. In fact, the main criticism that's been levelled at this game is that it's inaccessibly challenging, putting off more casual race game fans. This might have some truth in it, particularly for the younger gamers, who have been brought up on easier games.
For those who choose to stick with it, the game is incredibly rewarding. There is a massive amount of depth to the handling of the craft, and it is possible to become a real master at the game. The difficulty curve is perfectly pitched as well; Expert setting takes some real time and commitment to crack, and there's a real sense of achievement when you finally polish it off. There's also good scope for time trialling, once the championship is beaten.
A potential downside is that there is nothing in the way of secrets to unlock; you have to be happy playing a game solely for the sense of accomplishment that comes with overcoming a tough challenge. Also, there are only seven different environments to race in, although they are very varied, all but one have multiple routes for the different difficulty settings, and most become unrecognisible under the more extreme weather conditions. Some of the weather effects in the game are truly spectacular, and they make a massive amount of difference to the way the game plays.
Presentation is of a high standard; the much vaunted water effects are truly amazing, and the sound effects are fantastically atmospheric, particularly when running through decent speakers.
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