(Wii Virtual Console / Nintendo 64)

Wave Race 64 (Wii Virtual Console / Nintendo 64)

Game Profile

Originally a launch game for Nintendo 64, Wave Race 64 immediately blew the competition out of the water with its impressive 3D graphics and gameplay that was anything but shallow!

In Championship Mode, race around nine challenging courses, from the tranquillity of Sunny Beach to the stormy surf of Marine Fortress, each packed with obstacles to avoid and ramps to launch into crowd-pleasing stunts.

Play against a pal in Vs. mode, choose Time Trials Mode to shave off seconds from your laps, or opt for Stunt Mode to practise your handstands, backflips and barrel rolls! And if you’re really good, you might even catch a ride on a dolphin!

Game Review

Review

USA USA Version

Posted by Damien McFerran

Originally a launch game for Nintendo 64, Wave Race 64 immediately blew the competition out of the water with its impressive 3D graphics and gameplay that was anything but shallow!

Given that Wave Race 64 was a launch title for the N64, and that it has now been over 10 years since that launch, it is all the more baffling to play it today. Comparison with modern games tends to put the graphical and physics achievements of older...

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User Comments (67)

Storm101

#2

Storm101 said:

This game is ok. I have fond memories of this game when I was younger but it doesn't stand out like it used to. If you're looking for another racer to buy besides Mario Kart 64 and F-Zero X, you should still get this, though. Just don't expect anything totally mind-blowing.

__Awesome Game!

#3

Awesome Game! said:

This game is an amazing example of the racing genre, in my opinion its better than just about any other waterskiing game. The graphics have aged very well, too - they're cartoony and have a nice bright colorful feeling to them. I love this game!

SKTTR

#4

SKTTR said:

Another one of the best N64 racing games announced! So it makes 'em now the big three with Mario Kart 64 and F-Zero X. It had great graphics in 1996 and some catchy tunes. The water physics were awesome at that time. The control is smooth and well balanced, if you get into it which could be a bit difficult in the beginning because they're more sensitive as in most racing games. 8 completely different courses, each with their own feature: during the beach race the flood comes, or during that mountain lake track the thick fog slowly disappears to let the clear blue sky through as the race goes on, or the sunset ocean while the sun is shining half of the track right in your face. great things really!
the gamecube version (also playable on wii) is technically better but this one's also pretty worth a look if you like racing games.

many cool shortcuts can be found,
the moving underground affects gameplay really good,
4 difficulties (more buyos and reversed courses), time trial saves and 2 player versus mode add replay

i loved it back then. has a good atmosphere. and if it wasn't already in my N64 collection i would definately get it to play through all that wonderful designed places again.

but remember. this was next to Super Mario 64 and Pilotwings 64 one of the very first N64 games so the graphics is a bit blocky and blurry.

__Mark

#5

Mark said:

I HATE THIS GAME! Everyone was a cheater! And you had to do all those tricks over again every time you restarted the game in order to ride the dolphin. This game was pretty good, but I hate it with a passion.

Ian_Daemon

#6

Ian_Daemon said:

YES! 'Wave Race' and '1080' are my two favorite N64 titles. The 'Wave Race' GCN sequel was very fun, but difficult. I wasted so much time on this N64 classic. The original 'Wave Race' on the VC is wonderful news.

sco0504

#7

sco0504 said:

this is coming out next week in japan so hopefully we will get it soon

__Jade Louise

#8

Jade Louise said:

What people forgot is this is the second game in the series. The first Wave Race was on the old Game Boy back in 1990. Anyway another game I want on the US VC as I can finally play the thing in 60hz.

zeeroid

#10

zeeroid said:

I love how probably about 80% of N64's all-time must-haves were released either at launch or within the first 6 or so months of its life cycle.

__Chris

#12

Chris said:

Great game. I used to waste so much time just on the warm up at dolphin park. Definitely a must buy.

mummydaddy

#14

mummydaddy said:

yup all we need now is 1080 to complete the holy trinity LOL (F-zeroX, Waverace and of course 1080)

__LiekosOfMobius

#15

LiekosOfMobius said:

Nintendo even added DS Lite and Wii signs throughout the game. Nothing like seeing the old and new side by side. It's beautiful.

__FreddeX

#16

FreddeX said:

I have no idea why I bought this game back in the days, but I'm glad I did because it's one of my favorite games on the N64 and I've spent countless hours on in. I won't be downloading it though since I can just play it on my N64.

__Jade Louise

#17

Jade Louise said:

Nintendo did not add DS Lite and Wii signs because they wanted to. The signs were put in to replace the Kawasaki signs that were in the original version of the game. They were replaced as the deal with Kawasaki ran out long ago.

__Smack

#18

Smack said:

Dude, I didn't know Nima started writing reviews. Way to go, guy. I should really start posting on the forums more.

Anyway, Wave Race is the sheet. Luckily I have the N64 copy, but this is a great addition to the VC lineup.

JNoodles

#19

JNoodles said:

Really, really nice water racing game. Although, are their many?

Really, really nice racing game in general. K there.

__yo

#20

yo said:

Question
how did this get a better rating then mario kart 64?

__whiteshadow

#21

whiteshadow said:

Is this worth getting if you have MK64 and F-Zero X.I mean theres only so much racing a person can take right

__Ryan

#22

Ryan said:

if you look at the banners in one of the first levels the banners now show the wii and ds logos

#23

said:

This is due to the licence deal with Kawasaki running out long again so they put Wii and DS lite logos in to fill the spaces.

__josh t

#24

josh t said:

i never bought this for my n64 but i used to play it at my friends house all the time. now i finally get an opportunity to get it since i just got wifi. i'm getting this right along with paper mario as my first virtual console games.

Tim

#25

Tim said:

It's too bad the N64 add-on memory pak isn't emulated. The ghost in time trial isn't a big enough feature to miss but the wii is light years ahead of the N64 and one would think Nintendo would take the time to emulate it. I hope this doesn't mean all future N64 games won't support the memory pak. Other then that this game is a lot of fun to play even today.

JX75

#26

JX75 said:

Wave Race 64 was my favourite game on the N64, the game that made me go back to it years past its prime. if there's one game I REALLY want on VC, it's this one, and I REALLY hope it'll be out tomorrow for EU. I agree with other commenters regarding ghost data : instead of using emulators like many do, we dish out 10 euros / dollars to get these games, we should at least get full versions, no watered down stuff. I personally really enjoyed racing against my ghost, trying to shave off precious seconds in time trial mode.

Paulymate

#28

Paulymate said:

Truly great game, but it doesn't look to me like it's had the same optimisation applied to it that other N64 releases have - those black borders are just as huge as I remember :-(

__Robert

#30

Robert said:

It's in my opinion better, it feels more like real riding on the waves than the gamecube version (wich was not bad at all tough).

#31

said:

This is better than the Gamecube one. The slight frame rate lssues with the N64 version have been fixed as well.

SKTTR

#32

SKTTR said:

You never could save ghosts on Wave Race 64.

The Controller Pak feature was only used to copy a friends highscores to your cartridge / copy your highscores to a friends cartridge.

But beware: If your friend has better scores and times than you, you get kicked down from your own top spot on your hiscore list. :D

Anyway, this feature really was a bloody fight for me and two of my friends who also were masters at this game.

Still, I couldnt beat a perfect race from a friend, and a unebliavable high stunt mode score on one of the tracks. at last i'm rank no. 1 in every other track and mode :D

Blame Nintendo for not having an Online Leaderboard on this one, this would emulate this missing Controller Pak feature so well!

__daza

#33

daza said:

This is my second favorite Nintendo racer after Super Mario kart.

__tank2tank

#35

tank2tank said:

It's amazing but... the frame rate on the EU version is almost unbearable! After playing it for a while I decided to play blue storm cos i hadnt played it in a while and it nearly made me feel ill with the sudden change in frame rate! (and blue storm's frame rate isn't that good anyway!)

sashaboo

#36

sashaboo said:

I always enjoyed playing Wave Race for my N64. The graphics are very colourful and the water looked and felt realistic. The handling was really good and i loved the way you have to adapt to varying weather conditions. However, i wont download it simply because i am the proud owner of its sequel Waverace Bluestorm for the Gamecube. In my opinion Bluestorm retained all the elements which made the N64 version such an enjoyable racing game such as the brilliant handling of the jet-ski over varying water conditions, the sunny colourful feeling to the game and the challenging gameplay. Bluestorm is an improvement over the N64 version but its still a classic racer and i highly recommend it to anyone looking to download a decent racing game.

alvieao

#38

alvieao said:

I still have the original N64 version and it is so tough to beat the Expert track. The graphics and gameplay were and still great. Even the physics are real; the wave effects are accurate despite how difficult they were programmed on the system.

__Leon Ahoy!

#41

Leon Ahoy! said:

Wave Race 64 is my favourite videogame. I would never have imagined that a Jet Ski title would be my no1 game before 1996, but that's what makes gaming so interesting and exciting.

The game is simply magical. From the start-up to the end-sequence, every aspect of the experience is designed to perfection.

The graphics are ultra bright, colourful, and fun. Everything gels together so well. The wave effects have always been brilliant, and they're still immensely satisfying. Each course has a very distinct atmosphere- with exceptional design that will leave a very positive impression.

The audio keeps up with the rest of the game. The start-up tune will stick in your brain forever, and each course has a very fitting infectious melody too. Even the commentator isn't irritating with his enthusiatic support.

The game is 11years old, and it is a bit rough around the edges these days, but the quality and sheer magnificence of the design still shines through.

Download this now... the waves are waiting :D

__Monsteroids

#42

Monsteroids said:

God of racing games. It doesn't need a major mascot to be good either. The water is awesome. Riding with the dolphin. I could do it all day! OMG Its like heroin hero lol! No really its excellent.

JNoodles

#43

JNoodles said:

I wrote the review before I played the VC version. It would normally be a good game but the controls are horridly unresponsive if you play them with a GameCube controller (and I don't own a classic controller). So... 1 STAR.

__Tim

#44

Tim said:

great! would be better with mario characters but still great definatly buying this game the controls are terrible on emulators

JZLAM

#45

JZLAM said:

I downloaded this due to all of the enthusiastic reviews. Frankly, I've never had a tougher time progressing with a game than I have had with this, even on the easiest setting. I don't know if it's my Classic Controller or if I just stink. Is there some trick that I need to figure out to control it well, is the learning curve really steep or should I just give up fast racing games and play chess on-line instead. A tuttorial mode in the game would have been great.

Ho11oWxxMaN

#46

Ho11oWxxMaN said:

Wave Race 64 is very unique, especially for the time it was released. I was worried upon downloading this game, there really would be no nostalgia, or I would not enjoy the game as much as I did when I was younger. That is not the case at all! The game is just as fun as you remember it. I was amazed at the wave physics, they were way ahead of their time.

The game is a pretty good challenge, but ends up falling a bit short in number of racers and tracks. Its a nice departure from games like Mario Kart and F-Zero if you are a big racing fan. The stunt portion is fun for just fooling around and racing with a dolphin. I suggest this game if you are looking for something to play that is a bit different than what you are used to when it comes to racers.

4/5 stars. It is pretty much flawless at what it does(intense racing, amazing water physics), but the lack of racers and tracks lowers the score a bit.

Plan_B

#47

Plan_B said:

I don't like the slippery controls or the overdone gravity...
but funny thing is... in the wii version, at the trophy awards scene, they show banners for the Wii & DS!
still, ok game, 3/5...

FalloutBR

#49

FalloutBR said:

Excellent game for the N64, in my opinion it still holds very well for today, maybe because I haven't played any other decent Jet Sky games after this one :P. The graphics are very nice, if a little blocky, and it's great to see it scale to 480P via component!
A funny thing is that, like many other older games, I'm really really good at it now, I was able to finish Expert and Mirror mode in a few days. Not easy by any means, but I remember that I sucked badly in the original N64... I don't know if something's changed or if I have just got better as a gamer ;)
Overall, a great game, but I think that it's not a great value for your Wii points... back in the day when I only had Mario 64 and Wave Race to rent, and nearly all the time in the world, I could play this for weeks straight, but now, it seems to get old quickly after a while. 5 stars game, but skip it if you need to make those Wii points last a long time!

Manicfatty

#50

Manicfatty said:

Another masterful Ninty game, full of tight game-play, incredible water physics, and tons of replay value. It all depends on what sort of gamer you are. If you are the sort that only needs to 'beat' the game, or in particular only the 'main' mode of the game, then you may tire of Wave Race. If you are the sort that must 'master' all modes of the game, pulling off every trick effortlessly, then there are more than enough hours of game-play in here to keep you happy. If this is you and you ALSO happen to have friends, then you must not pass this game up. This game was made with you in mind... with love... by Miyamoto san and Co. Me likey!

PoisonedV

#51

PoisonedV said:

3/5 The graphics were good for its time, and still look great, but the gameplay is not so good. The tricks don't work well, and the driving isn't great. A plus, however, is it actually feels like you are on water- unlike most modern watercraft games.

sym1

#52

sym1 said:

Best game on virtual console 5/5. As good today as it ever was and much better than bluestorm on GC. Wish it supported an online leaderboard to push those times!!!

waldojeffershead

#54

waldojeffershead said:

A smooth enjoyable game. Outstanding with multiple players post pub with a little bit of lager to keep the buzz going. Smooth and fluid, a true N64 classic, worthy of at least 4 stars., 5 may be pushing it...

-WALDO

Holicool

#55

Holicool said:

Are you sure the game is in 60Hz mode ?

I've downloaded the European version (English / German) and there are some black stripes at the top and the bottom of the screen. And to be honest, the animation is far from being smooth, especially when I compare with the video posted in the above article...

Can anybody confirm the ROM is in 60hz ?

Terra

#56

Terra said:

I just bought Wave Race: Blue Storm from Amazon quite cheaply (About £6.00). If i like it, i will definetly get this

MVP

#58

MVP said:

One of my favorite games, I passed all categories, the gamplay is great, and I love the water effects, absolutly better than the GC version. Recomended.

Beau_Skunk

#59

Beau_Skunk said:

Right up there with Mario Kart 64, and F-Zero X, this is one of the best racers for N64. Sometimes it's fun to just relax, and ride around the practice "Dolphin park" stage for no reason.
It's also amusing to see your racer fly off their jetski sometimes when you crash. (Don't worry they get right back on.) I also dig the game's soundtrack.

Eltigro

#60

Eltigro said:

I always hated this game for some reason. It just never was fun to me. I preferred games like Mario Kart 64, and Episode 1 Racing and Wipeout.

Betagam7

#62

Betagam7 said:

Can someone confirm what PAL optimisation has been done to this? I've heard people say borders, then no borders.
Nintendo really missed the boat if they did nothing and they won't be getting my 1000 points if theyve done nothing

Nintendork

#63

Nintendork said:

Why does everybody like this game!?! when I downloaded this it was so horrid I didn't even care to put it on the SD card before deleting it.

Cally

#64

Cally said:

Waverace64, as far as I know, isn't really contested as a water-racer with great water physics (how was Hydro Thunder? The only other remotely significant one I can think of.)

The water physics make this a really immersive experience. The courses are fun and interesting and, best of all, I felt like I was actually being raced by A.I. this time--I hope I was right.

8/10

PatcherStation

#67

PatcherStation said:

Yes, the Euro release had black borders, a poor conversion by Nintendo. The Rumble version only got released in Japan, another poor move by Nintendo. But the sequel on the GameCube wasn't very good, it wasn't done by the original team. Shocking that there was no Wave Race on the Wii. But looking at how many games Nintendo releases these days, I can't see it happening on the Wii U.

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