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Wave Race - January Game of the Month
Topic Started: Jan 2 2018, 11:03 AM (538 Views)
stinger9142
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Endure and survive...
Wave Race is our winner after narrowly winning the vote off. Widely regarded as an N64 classic, and rightfully so, so I am glad to see it when.


At the time of its' release it had cutting edge graphics and great gameplay. I played it sparingly at a friends house. I always enjoyed it, but never was very good at it. I finally purchased a copy back in early 2011. I learned I was still not very good at it :lol:



**Breaking Game of the Month information coming soon**
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Grizzmeister
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Latter-day Nostradamus
Wave Race 64 is still one of my all-time favorite racing games. I like it so much that I sourced up a boxed Japanese Shindou version to add to my collection.

N64 Super Mario 64 & Wave Race 64 "shindou" Re-issues

I purchased the North American version of Wave Race 64 at launch and often demoed it for friends to show off the power of the N64. But the game is much more than just a tech demo as it has challenging tracks and spot-on controls. Truly a masterpiece that should be experienced by anyone who likes playing racing games.
"All truth passes through three stages. First, it is ridiculed. Second, it is violently opposed. Third, it is accepted as being self-evident." - Arthur Schopenhauer

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Cabanon
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what a fun game and still the top Jetski racing game of all time. Nothing beat it and a true successor is still needed by Big N.
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ItalianBaptist
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@Grizzmeister: which music do you prefer - the original or the shindou?
It must be exciting to never have played a Zelda game before - No64DD
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The White Falcon
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It's a shame we haven't gotten a sequel beyond Blue Storm. I like Blue Storm but the original has a special charm.
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Grizzmeister
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ItalianBaptist
Jan 2 2018, 05:59 PM
@Grizzmeister: which music do you prefer - the original or the shindou?
They're very similar but overall I prefer the original. This is probably because I played the original so much more since I didn't get the Shindou version until much later. I didn't even know about it until some time after 2008.
"All truth passes through three stages. First, it is ridiculed. Second, it is violently opposed. Third, it is accepted as being self-evident." - Arthur Schopenhauer

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ItalianBaptist
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The three games I got with my system were Mario 64, Wheel of Fortune and this. Of the three this is the only one of which I still have my original copy. (I lost Wheel of Fortune at college and I can't remember what happened to Mario 64)

As an elementary schooler I couldn't appreciate what Wave Race brought to the table in terms of water physics, but looking back I definitely see what an accomplishment it is. I'm not even sure future generations have done it better. They may be more realistic, but Wave Race 64's water had a crystal clear look to it that I just love.

Comparing Wave Race 64 to Blue Storm, for me, is like comparing the real-life water in the Bahamas to the water in the Chesapeake Bay.
It must be exciting to never have played a Zelda game before - No64DD
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Grizzmeister
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ItalianBaptist
Jan 3 2018, 07:27 AM
Comparing Wave Race 64 to Blue Storm, for me, is like comparing the real-life water in the Bahamas to the water in the Chesapeake Bay.
I own Blue Storm too but it just doesn't have the same magic that Wave Race 64 does. No other racing game impressed me nearly as much as WR64 until Gran Turismo 3 came out on the PlayStation 2 five years later.

I recall Sega had a game similar to Wave Race 64 in the arcades called WaveRunner but Nintendo's offering blew it out of the water - pardon the pun. :lol:
"All truth passes through three stages. First, it is ridiculed. Second, it is violently opposed. Third, it is accepted as being self-evident." - Arthur Schopenhauer

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Shellshocker18
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Another game I've only played for about 10 minutes. All I know about it is that the water is supposedly impressive as hell, even though I've forgotten what it looks like, and I remember the voices being surprisingly clear for an early game. It was one of the first 13 games ever revealed for N64 at Shoshinkai 1995 so it is an OG Player, and back then the game didn't use Jet Skis, it used weird transforming hovercrafts kinda like Diddy Kong Racing.

@ 46 seconds

I've never done any research on the game but I think Jet Ski's were a good decision for showing off water physics better. Hovering wouldn't be as cool as bouncing along with all the tiny waves. Maybe I'll have free time this year to play it.
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bluedogrulez
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I love the rumble version. Revving you engine and feeling the vibration is precisely the type of thing rumble was made for!
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buddy1983
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I could never get into this game back in the day and havent played much since then.
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D.J Cat
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I absolutely adore this game and have for over 20 years.

For its time, by far the best water physics ever seen, and still stands the test of time today.

I still get the urge and so indeed play through a cup on Expert, try and win every race, while trying to do a helicopter flip on every lap on Glacier Coast...😎👍

I loved Jet-Skis as a result of this game.
Finally got a chance to ride one a few years ago.
Was absolutely bloody excellent! 😃
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Milage007
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Great game and such a worthy winner!
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Grizzmeister
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bluedogrulez
Jan 3 2018, 03:57 PM
I love the rumble version. Revving you engine and feeling the vibration is precisely the type of thing rumble was made for!
Agreed, the Shindou version of Wave Race 64 is undoubtedly the definitive version of the game because of the Rumble Pak support. Also, having the dolphin as the lap ghost in Time Trials is a nice touch too.

By the way, if you don't have your N64 hooked up but you want to play Wave Race 64 again, I can't recommend the Virtual Console version on the Wii strongly enough. It plays great with the GameCube controller and it even looks good when stretched to the 16:9 aspect ratio.

For a potentially improved graphical experience (depending on your PC's graphics card) Project 64 does a good job with Wave Race 64 and the game even plays great with the ubiquitous Xbox 360 controller if you decide to go that route.
"All truth passes through three stages. First, it is ridiculed. Second, it is violently opposed. Third, it is accepted as being self-evident." - Arthur Schopenhauer

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ItalianBaptist
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Was gonna mention the virtual console version also. Agreed that it plays great with the GameCube controller. Also technically itís its own version of the game since Nintendo lost the Kawasaki license and replaced the banners with Wii and Nintendo DS Lite posters. And itís only available for a limited time as the Wii Shop Channel is shutting down (The Wii U version retains the Kawasaki brand).

Played the US cartridge version last night. Two things stood out to me:

I love the music in this game; that was Totakaís doing correct? I also noticed some parts of this injected into the Wii series, namely Wii Sports Resort.

The water shines on all of the levels, but special props go out to Drake Lake. By the last lap, thereís a near perfect reflection in the water that just looks gorgeous :)
It must be exciting to never have played a Zelda game before - No64DD
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Grizzmeister
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The only negatives you ever hear about Wave Race 64 are that it's too short and that the graphics take a major hit in two player mode. Sadly, the Shindou version didn't do anything to address either of those two niggling complaints.

Regardless, Nintendo still sold roughly 3 million copies of WR64 and I'm sure the Virtual Console version has been popular too when you consider how well the game holds up. My friend Doug who never owned the Wave Race 64 cartridge for his N64 bought the VC version as soon as he got his Wii. That more than attests to the game's long lasting appeal.
"All truth passes through three stages. First, it is ridiculed. Second, it is violently opposed. Third, it is accepted as being self-evident." - Arthur Schopenhauer

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Cabanon
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Shellshocker18
Jan 3 2018, 08:40 AM
Another game I've only played for about 10 minutes. All I know about it is that the water is supposedly impressive as hell, even though I've forgotten what it looks like, and I remember the voices being surprisingly clear for an early game. It was one of the first 13 games ever revealed for N64 at Shoshinkai 1995 so it is an OG Player, and back then the game didn't use Jet Skis, it used weird transforming hovercrafts kinda like Diddy Kong Racing.

@ 46 seconds

I've never done any research on the game but I think Jet Ski's were a good decision for showing off water physics better. Hovering wouldn't be as cool as bouncing along with all the tiny waves. Maybe I'll have free time this year to play it.
looks like Hydro Thunder to me but never played it.
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D.J Cat
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Just played through a Championship on Reverse.

I do enjoy how it is more difficult, with the signs facing the wrong way, the jumps facing the wrong way and the awkward buoy placement.
I got equal first on 37 points...and the game gave the win to Dave Mariner instead!
I actually prefer this. Makes you come back and do it better!


I think the Options (and the options menu music 🎶) are an under rated part of the game.
Being able to rename the racers, change the laps from 3-9 and have varying wave conditions (default, calm, wild, random) helps add more variety.

I used to play 9 laps on expert with wild wave conditions.
Probably a part of how I got so good at the game.

I think I should do it again, but turn the bouy misses down from 5.
3 sounds about right, 1 would be too frustrating...
Edited by D.J Cat, Jan 12 2018, 11:24 PM.
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ItalianBaptist
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Just watched Glenn Plantís review of Hydro Thunder to get a good comparison of the water between the two; itís not as muddy as I remember - Midway attempted to get some reflection in the water where they could, for example - it just does not compare to Wave Race. The main thing is that though Hydro Thunderís boats bump around in the water weíll enough, there donít seem to be any visible waves.

EDIT: Also watched some footage of Blue Storm. I admit that my initial thoughts on it were a bit unfair, as the water really isnít ďmuddyĒ in that game, but something still felt off to me. It could definitely be the nostalgia goggles preferring 64 though. The water seemed almost gel-like in the GameCube game though, and I didnít particularly care for the ďXTREMEĒ presentation compared to the original. Also a very minor nitpick but I also prefer the buoys in 64 :p
Edited by ItalianBaptist, Jan 15 2018, 12:32 PM.
It must be exciting to never have played a Zelda game before - No64DD
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Pimpin Mainer
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You know what, I wanna play some wave race today!!!
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D.J Cat
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Jan 15 2018, 12:40 PM
You know what, I wanna play some wave race today!!!
I'm certainly going to, as soon as I have time.

Absolutely can not get enough of Wave Race, 1080, Excitebike and F-Zero X.
Those N64, non car extreme sport racing games 😍
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Pimpin Mainer
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Well, I was so excited to play it I beat the game!!! Just got my everdrive and this was the first game I played on it (actually it was "Lets Smash" cus I wanted to see what this Japanese game was about).
My Nintendo Collection

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D.J Cat
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Jan 15 2018, 09:06 PM
Well, I was so excited to play it I beat the game!!! Just got my everdrive and this was the first game I played on it (actually it was "Lets Smash" cus I wanted to see what this Japanese game was about).
Beat the game?

On Expert and Reverse?
And unlocked the Dolphin? 🐬 😀
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EnvyFox
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Wave Race 64. Now there's a game that brings back childhood memories. It was one of the first N64 games my brother and I got after getting the system itself and we absolutely loved it. From trying our best to beat the game on expert mode (and failing) to our 2-player head-to-head races and even doing tricks while we "follow that dolphin" in Dolphin Park, the game gave us years and years of entertainment.

A couple of years back, I came across a large stack of N64 games which were being sold for $1 (or was it $2?) each and Wave Race 64 was amongst them. I could not believe just how well the game has held up. It's legit just as much fun today as it was in the mid to late 90s. Oh and I still can't beat expert mode. :lol: Seriously, how have my skills not improved after all these years? Oh well. I love it and I'm glad to have this game back in my collection. GotM worthy for sure. :yeah:
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Pimpin Mainer
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D.J Cat
Jan 16 2018, 06:55 AM
Pimpin Mainer
Jan 15 2018, 09:06 PM
Well, I was so excited to play it I beat the game!!! Just got my everdrive and this was the first game I played on it (actually it was "Lets Smash" cus I wanted to see what this Japanese game was about).
Beat the game?

On Expert and Reverse?
And unlocked the Dolphin? 🐬 😀
Yes I did!!! Beat the whole game, Expert and Reverse, and I saw my little friend the Dolphin. The game brought back so many memories I couldn't stop playing. Took about 2 hours to do, I only lost one circuit. I still got it :)
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D.J Cat
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I guess I never really stopped playing the game.

At least once every few years I would run through the Expert Championship a few times.
It's still so fun and fresh, thats why I keep coming back.

Still gotta have another run through on Reverse, try and get more wins.

Fun Fact:
On Southern Island, the killer whale does a few laps with you.You may notice sometimes it has baby whales following it.
Well, the number of baby whales following is based on how many championship points you have up until that point!
More points, more whales! 😊
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Cabanon
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MAMAMAMAMAAXXXXIMMMUUMMMM POOOOOOOWWWWWEEEEEEEERRRRRRRRRRRRRRR
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Pimpin Mainer
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BOOOOONNNNNSSSIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIAAAAAAAA!!!!
My Nintendo Collection

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Nintendo Friend Code: SW-8019-6333-1909

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D.J Cat
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You finished first and got 7 points! Great Race!

Just checking in on this topic before having a crack at the Reverse Championship. 🏄🏁

Here I am listening to the intro music and watching the title screen for a bit.
I think the intro music is fantastic and all the little touches in the game like the sound of the water thudding down and the lens flare...
And how good is that little bump noise when you hit a buoy!? 😀

Time to start playing I'm getting too excited.
Getting wet just thinking about it ⛲🏄😉


Ooh, does everyone do like me and do a handstand or ride backwards and attempt to crash over the line when you have the win in the bag? 😅

EDIT: Just noticed you can see the Slippery Fish swimming under the water in Drake Lake!
Don't think I've ever really noticed them before!
Edited by D.J Cat, Jan 17 2018, 12:15 PM.
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Grizzmeister
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Wave Race 64's Expert mode isn't too hard to beat if you use D. Mariner. You just gotta do a little custom tuning of your settings. I suggest setting Handling three or four bars from the far right (Heavy). Then set Engine all the way to the right to Top End and Grip all the way to the right to Tight.

Since you're using Dave Mariner you eliminate him as an opponent which makes the game much easier.
"All truth passes through three stages. First, it is ridiculed. Second, it is violently opposed. Third, it is accepted as being self-evident." - Arthur Schopenhauer

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