Wave Race 64 is now 25 years old, and it still goes according to the rules

64 . wave race
Image: Nintendo

Over the holidays, we’ll be re-publishing some of our best features, interviews, opinions, and views from 12 months ago. from employees and contributors alike – articles that we feel represent the best of the year 2021. In them you’ll find our usual blend of thoughtfulness, vanity, nostalgia specialize, nostalgia for gaming, and – of course – enthusiasm for all things Nintendo. Interesting!

Let’s get rid of the controversial initial opinion, so that any pitchfork holder can start sharpening their tools right away: a lot Nintendo 64 Games hasn’t aged very much yet. Of course they didn’t, because it was the console where Nintendo was at the pinnacle of 3D graphics technology, a bold move that has taken its place in history as the company offers the ultimate console experience. Family controls define genres that simply don’t have. was possible before. In terms of consoles, it’s a system with games that set the 3D standard in puzzle games, first person shooters, action adventure games, you can name it. Mario, The Legend of Zelda and even good 007 mind blowing in the late 90s.

I’m 12 years old, and all normal the classics really stimulated me a lot. However, one of the games I played the most in that era was 64 . wave race, a jet ski racer and the sequel to a Game Boy title I’ve never heard of – and yes, dear readers, it’s very old.

Back in those days, it was one of the most arcade-like games I’ve seen on consoles; Remember this is an era where light gun games and SEGA Rally on Saturn is incredibly impressive – yes, times are simpler. I don’t live in a town with real video games, so whenever I see coin machines on my travels, I obsess over playing them (to my parents’ dismay).

The game will throw you around and tell you to respect the elements

Wave Race 64 has that vibe, for me, and it has that country. It might not be so wild these days when we have things like Sea of ​​Thieves reproduce the sea in stunning detail, but the idea of ​​a game with realistic waves and physics to match seemed far-fetched at the time. However, that is what the game achieves. You don’t race a jet ski as if it were a car on a flat surface; The game will throw you around and tell you to respect the elements.

Of course, as better players and speed runners know, the waves have opened up to some pretty fancy jumps and shortcuts, feel intentional. I’ll have luck getting through a run on ‘normal’ difficulty, but will sit and watch my brother tackle the toughest CPU AI and take every shortcut suggested. It’s a really hard game if you accept the challenge, so even today it’s still worth a good replay. You can be trash like me, or Actually grasp the mechanics and dominate – the development team has done admirably.

What really sticks in my mind, along with the joy of being on the air, is the soundtrack. It’s a shame that the soundtrack is pure ’90s video game, with perfect synth sounds and tunes that will stick in your mind forever. When a co-worker mentioned the upcoming anniversary on September 27, music started popping into my head, like a Spotify, one-off, cool intro. Kazumi Totaka, keep your head down.

All of these memories, of course, are formed on one poor version, despite my ignorance was happy at the time. While in the UK I used the 50Hz version of the PAL and didn’t realize it was faster and even better in other parts of the world until years later. For those wondering if this matters in the here and now, so hopefully Nintendo Switch Online won’t head that way – though, worryingly, looks like it just might.

Seriously, just look at the difference. I’m grateful young people I didn’t see this as I happily enjoyed the PAL version:

Wave Race 64 is currently not on the N64 list for Nintendo Switch Onlineand you have to go back a little to see hinting that the series could return Future. we somethings like that nodded at the idea of ​​going back Wii . Sports Resort, but I like a certain future racer this series has been inactive since the GameCube days. We’re at least hoping that this classic will eventually come to NSO, especially since it’s released on both the Wii and the Wii U. Virtual Console.

However, if it were the 50Hz European version, I would definitely download the North American app to play it. Up until that point, this was Wave Race 64 – a fun, relentlessly upbeat classic that’s still a blast to this day.

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