Wave Race: Blue Storm GameCube Review

Most people probably remember Waverace from the N64. That game was released near the launch of the system, and lots of people bought it. That game was really different from other racing games, the controls were pretty simple, but the water changed the way you handled your jetski and made for a totally new experience. I remember playing this game even after GameCube was released. Most die hard fans probably also remember the first time Nintendo unveiled the sequel at Spaceworld. It was only a few seconds, but it was enough to get most fans extremely excited about the title. It was released at launch and received mixed reviews, some saying it was good, some saying it wasn’t as revolutionnary as the original. Well, let’s just say it is between the 2.

First of all, the game is a lot deeper than the original. There’s still only 7 races, but there’s enough variations for each of them to keep you busy. You are now 8 people at the same time beside of 4, and it makes the game a little more challenging. You still have to finish at a certain position and have enough points to get to the next race,and if you don’t have enough, you’re out. You still have to unlock hard and expert, and you still have a stunt and time attack mode. Heck, you even have some races from the previous game! So, is there anything new to warrant a purchase here?

It all depends if you’re fan enough of the Waverace games. There’s more racers around this time, some from other games like 1080 Snowboarding. You can’t customize them though, but there’s enough difference between them all to get the exact stats that you need. One thing I didn’t really like though and I think it is the reason why most people didn’t like this game, is that the game is a lot more difficult than Waverace 64, and not only because of the difficulty setting, but also because of the controls and weather conditions, but I’d say it is mostly because of the controls. What I liked about the original is that you could pick up the game on your first time and be good at it, easily finishing the game. It might sound stupid because it made the game too easy, but we all like it when we can be good from the start, and then challenge our friends and see if we truely have the skills or not. On Blue Storm, it seems like they wanted more of a simulation feel to it, so you’ll really have to practice and master the controls before conquering the game. I found myself picking the character with the best maneuvering stats but also the slowest because I couldn’t play with the others because I missed every turn! Sure, with lots of practicing, I finally was able to pick other characters, but it took time, lots of time! It makes the game a lot more complicating, but it also makes for a more satisfying experience.

Now onto the main modes of play. First of all, there’s the champioship mode, where you’ll have to finish a certain number of races in order to win. The harder the difficulty level, the more races there are, to a maximum of 7. If you fail to meet a certain number of points, you’re out of the competition. What makes this mode different from the latest game is that you have different weather conditions (Sunny, Cloudy, Light Showers and Storm), and you see them 3 days in advance. You also get to choose in what order you do the races, so if one of them is easier to do when it’s sunny, you’ll keep it ofr that day. There might be a storm, but maybe you are really good on that race and know you can win it, even with a harsh weather, so you’ll do that race on the storm day. So you’ll have to decide in what order you’ll do them to be able to get as much points as possible to be able to win the championship. There are also lots of shortcuts in there, and depending on the weather, some might be easier to do since the water level and the waves change. Also good to know is that the races are different depending on the difficulty level, so the expert races are longer than the normal ones.

Then, there’s the time attack and stunt mode. both are exactly like in it’s predecessor, except for stunt mode. Well, it is basically the same thing, except that you get a lot more moves that you can perform, and like I said before, the controls in this game aren’t easy to master, and it’s the same thing with the stunts in the game. the old moves seemed easy to do, but I had difficulty doing the new ones, but it,s probably just a matter of mastering the game. Finally, there’s the multiplayer mode which is basically multiplayer races, and a free roaming mode where you can just go around any race and try to find all those shortcuts.

Another thing that’s worth mentionning is a Tutorial mode! You are explained every move in the game, be it how to turn, how to jump, how to perform stunts… So if you’re having difficulty playing, just go there and they,ll explain it all to you. You can even practice it and try to do all of the tutorials.

This game, I think, offers enough new content to please both fans of the original and new comers. It might be a lot more difficult to play though, but it’s still just fun to play, and you don’t have to always play on the harder difficulty levels. Since it’s now a player’s choice, it might be a good thing to think about it as I think NST did a really great job here, even under all that pressure to make something worthy of the Waverace name.