Only one of two launch titles published by Nintendo themselves--the other is Luigi's Mansion--Wave Race: Blue Storm is a follow-up to the extremely impressive N64 racer, which until this sequel appeared still had the most realistic simulation of moving water ever. The sequel, naturally, looks even more impressive, with huge rolling waves, water splashing on the camera screen and beautiful reflections everywhere. This is the one to impress your non-GameCube owning mates with--if you think they're not going to become excited by a ghost-themed vacuum cleaning simulator. Although the graphics have certainly been improved, some of the other changes in Blue Storm are more controversial. The biggest problem is the extremely heavy handling of the jet skis. It's no doubt more realistic but to the average player it initially seems like you're driving a water-borne milk float, such is your craft's total inability to take corners at speed. Things improve with practice--especially if you choose the English guy's jet ski with the improved handling--but it does severely limit the game's initial appeal. The cheaty, Mario Kart 64-style AI doesn't help matters either. All this isn't enough to ruin the party, though, and this is still a top notch and, most unusually of all, original racer.--David Jenkins
- Weather and time of day plays a huge role in Wave Race: Blue Storm, as untamed nature challenges you to the max with glaring sun, shadowy moonlight, whipping rain, blinding fog, clouds, wind, snow and more. Wave Race: Blue Storms fully interactive environments mean that in a big storm, you may have to cope with waves taller than Shaquille ONeal while eluding crates tumbling from a freighter. Water drops on the screen and crystal-clear sound add tremendous realism to a game thats truly immer
- Each rider is rated for acceleration, top speed, maneuvering, stunt skill and strength. While riders with good acceleration and maneuvering are ideal for short, quick bursts through closely spaced buoys, riders with lots of strength should just try to run over rivals. Bump against a rival and youll automatically kick them into the water. Ah, but watch out for those buoys that have been cleverly placed by Zelda creator Shigeru Miyamoto!
- Wave Race: Blue Storm offers five modes. Take on all comers and unlock new tracks in the single-player Championship Mode. In Free Roam Mode, you can scout the waterscapes and discover shortcuts without having to worry about a clock, buoys or rival riders. Trick to your hearts content in Stunt Mode. Race your ghost (which takes the form of a bright yellow helicopter) and top your best time in Time Trial Mode. Finally, put the pedal to the metal against as many as three friends in Multiplayer M
- Championship Mode offers four difficulty settings. Clear the Dolphin Park course on the easy Exhibition setting and youll be able to race for five consecutive days at Normal setting, six consecutive days at Hard and seven consecutive days at the extremely challenging Expert setting.
- In Stunt Mode, your dual challenge is to race through a course as quickly as possible while completing jaw-dropping backflips, can-cans, nac-nacs, heel clickers, barrel rolls, handstands and more. Catch suborbital air off ramps taller than a tsunami. You can even leap off a ramp or wave, plunge underwater and submarine beneath docks, bridges and other surface obstacles. Glub glub!