Wave Race 64

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Wave Race 64
Wave Race 64 Coverart.png
Developer(s) Nintendo EAD
Publisher(s) Nintendo
Director(s) Katsuya Eguchi
Shinya Takahashi
Producer(s) Shigeru Miyamoto
Composer(s) Kazumi Totaka
Platform(s) Nintendo 64, iQue Player
ReleaseNintendo 64
  • JP: September 27, 1996
  • NA: November 1, 1996
  • PAL: April 29, 1997
iQue Player
  • CHN: November 2003
Genre(s) Racing
Mode(s) Single-player, multiplayer

Wave Race 64 [lower-alpha 1] is a racing video game developed by Nintendo EAD and published by Nintendo. It was released for the Nintendo 64 in 1996 and is a follow-up to the 1992 Game Boy title Wave Race . Most of the game involves the player racing on a Jet Ski on a variety of courses while successfully manoeuvring the vehicle around various buoys. A multiplayer mode where two players can compete against each other on a chosen course is also included. The game supports the Controller Pak, which allows players to transfer saved data from one game cartridge to another.

Racing video game Video game genre

The racing video game genre is the genre of video games, either in the first-person or third-person perspective, in which the player partakes in a racing competition with any type of land, water, air or space vehicles. They may be based on anything from real-world racing leagues to entirely fantastical settings. In general, they can be distributed along a spectrum anywhere between hardcore simulations, and simpler arcade racing games. Racing games may also fall under the category of sports games.

Nintendo Entertainment Analysis & Development division of Nintendo

Nintendo Entertainment Analysis & Development Division, commonly abbreviated as Nintendo EAD, formerly Nintendo Research & Development 4 Department, was formerly the largest software development division inside of Nintendo. It was preceded by the Creative Department, a team of designers with backgrounds in art responsible for many different tasks, to which Shigeru Miyamoto and Takashi Tezuka originally belonged. Both served as managers of the EAD studios and were credited in every game developed by the division, with varying degrees of involvement. Nintendo EAD was best known for its work on games in the Donkey Kong, Super Mario, The Legend of Zelda, F-Zero, Star Fox, Animal Crossing, Pikmin and Wii series.

Nintendo 64 1996 video game console

The Nintendo 64 (officially abbreviated as N64, model number: NUS, stylized as NINTENDO64) is a home video game console developed and marketed by Nintendo. Named for its 64-bit central processing unit, it was released in June 1996 in Japan, September 1996 in North America and Brazil, March 1997 in Europe and Australia, and September 1997 in France. It was the last major home console to use the cartridge as its primary storage format until the Nintendo Switch in 2017. The Nintendo 64 was discontinued in mid-2002 following the launch of its successor, the GameCube, in 2001.

Contents

Originally referred to as " F-Zero on water", the game was intended to feature high-speed boats with transforming capabilities. However, these were ultimately replaced with Jet Skis as producer Shigeru Miyamoto felt that the game would not be differentiated enough from other titles on other systems. Wave Race 64 received acclaim from critics, who praised the game's satisfying controls and dynamic watery environments. The game is credited for helping Nintendo effectively make its paradigmatic leap from the 16-bit 2D graphics of the Super Nintendo Entertainment System to the Nintendo 64's 3D capabilities. It was re-released for the Wii and Wii U's Virtual Console in 2007 and 2016, respectively. A sequel, Wave Race: Blue Storm , was released in 2001.

<i>F-Zero</i> (video game) The first video game in the F-Zero series

F-Zero is a futuristic racing video game developed by Nintendo EAD and published by Nintendo for the Super Nintendo Entertainment System (SNES). The game was released in Japan on November 21, 1990, in North America in August 1991, and in Europe in 1992. F-Zero is the first game of the F-Zero series, and was launched alongside Super Mario World for the SNES in Japan; but was accompanied by additional initial titles in North America and Europe. It was emulated for the Virtual Console service on various Nintendo platforms over the years and as part of the Super NES Classic Edition in 2017.

Shigeru Miyamoto Japanese video game designer

Shigeru Miyamoto is a Japanese video game designer and producer at Nintendo, where he serves as one of its representative directors. He is the creator of some of the most acclaimed and best-selling game franchises, such as Mario, The Legend of Zelda, Star Fox, F-Zero, and Donkey Kong.

In the history of computer and video games, the fourth generation of game consoles began on October 30, 1987 with the Japanese release of NEC Home Electronics' PC Engine. Although NEC released the first console of this era, sales were mostly dominated by the rivalry between Nintendo's and Sega's consoles in North America: the Super Nintendo Entertainment System and the Sega Genesis. Handheld systems released during this time include the Nintendo Game Boy, released in 1989, and the Sega Game Gear, first released in 1990.

Gameplay

The player races an opponent on the Sunny Beach course. The arrows at the bottom right corner of the screen indicate the Jet Ski's current power. N64 Wave Race 64.jpg
The player races an opponent on the Sunny Beach course. The arrows at the bottom right corner of the screen indicate the Jet Ski's current power.

Wave Race 64 is a racing game in which players race on Jet Skis in different weather conditions and on a variety of courses. The game features three single-player modes (Championship, Time Trials, and Stunt Mode) as well as a multiplayer mode for competitive play. [1] In the Championship mode, the player must race opponents through a series of courses and win the first place. [2] Up to four levels of difficulty can be chosen: Normal, Hard, Expert and Reverse, the latter being Expert with the tracks oriented backwards. [2] Hard, Expert, and Reverse must be unlocked by completing an earlier difficulty. [3] The difficulty also determines the number of courses played: six in Normal, seven in Hard, and eight in Expert/Reverse. [3] When the player completes a course, points are awarded based on the rank they finished. If the required quantity is not met, the player will be disqualified and the game will be over. [2]

Jet Ski brand of personal watercraft

Jet Ski is the brand name of a personal water craft (PWC) manufactured by Kawasaki, a Japanese company. The term is often used generically to refer to any type of personal watercraft used mainly for recreation, and it is also used as a verb to describe the use of any type of PWC.

A single-player video game is a video game where input from only one player is expected throughout the course of the gaming session. A single-player game is usually a game that can only be played by one person, while "single-player mode" is usually a game mode designed to be played by a single-player, though the game also contains multi-player modes.

A multiplayer video game is a video game in which more than one person can play in the same game environment at the same time, either locally or online over the internet. Multiplayer games usually require players to share the resources of a single game system or use networking technology to play together over a greater distance; players may compete against one or more human contestants, work cooperatively with a human partner to achieve a common goal, supervise other players' activity, co-op. Multiplayer games allow players interaction with other individuals in partnership, competition or rivalry, providing them with social communication absent from single-player games.

While racing opponents, the player must successfully manoeuvre the Jet Ski around various buoys. There are two types of buoys: red colored, which must be passed on the right side, and yellow buoys, which must be passed on the left side. [3] Each time a buoy is correctly passed, a power arrow in the game's HUD will light, allowing the player's Jet Ski to gain speed. [3] Up to five power arrows can be lit in order to obtain maximum power. Therefore, maintaining this process will allow the player to maintain a high speed. Failure to correctly pass a single buoy will result in the loss of all the player's accumulated power (though the power arrows can be lit again one by one) and missing five buoys over the course of a race will result in disqualification. [3] Leaving the course area limited by pink buoys for more than five seconds will also result in disqualification. [3]

Buoy Floating structure or device

A buoy is a floating device that can have many purposes. It can be anchored (stationary) or allowed to drift with ocean currents. The etymology of the word is disputed.

In Time Trials, the player can freely race on a course to perform the best times, which are recorded in the game's data. In the Stunt Mode, the player must earn points by executing stunts and passing through rings. [3] The points depend upon how many rings the player passes through without missing, as well as the class of stunt that has been performed. [2] The multiplayer mode uses a horizontal split-screen and allows two players to compete against each other on a chosen course. [1] Only the courses that have been unlocked in the Championship mode can be played in the Time Trials, Stunt, and multiplayer modes. [3] The game offers four personalized racers for players to select from, each having their own strengths and weaknesses. [2] A Nintendo 64 Controller Pak can be used to transfer saved data from one game cartridge to another. [4]

Split screen (computer graphics) display technique in computer graphics

A split screen is a display technique in computer graphics that consists of dividing graphics and/or text into non-movable adjacent parts, typically two or four rectangular areas. This is done in order to allow the simultaneous presentation of (usually) related graphical and textual information on a computer display. Split screen differs from windowing systems in that the latter allows overlapping and freely movable parts of the screen to present related as well as unrelated application data to the user, while the former conforms more strictly to the description given in the paragraph above.

This is a list of accessories for the Nintendo 64 video game console.

Development and release

Wave Race 64 was developed by Nintendo EAD and produced by Shigeru Miyamoto as one of the very first Nintendo 64 games. [5] It is a follow-up to the 1992 Game Boy title Wave Race . [6] Development of the game was led by Shinya Takahashi, who had been working with Nintendo since 1989. [7] Takahashi, along with Yoshiaki Koizumi, who worked with Miyamoto on Super Mario 64 , is credited for helping the company effectively make its paradigmatic leap from the 16-bit 2D graphics of the Super Nintendo Entertainment System to the Nintendo 64's 3D capabilities. [7] Since the game's engineers only had experience with the 2D graphics of earlier Nintendo consoles, Takahashi had to guide them through the first stages of development. [7] While experimenting with the Nintendo 64's Silicon Graphics technology, one of the programmers created a tech demo that served as an example of the game's wave programming. The tech demo caught the attention of Miyamoto, and soon the team began to figure out a way to create "something fun" from it. [7]

Game Boy 1989 portable video game console

The Game Boy is an 8-bit handheld game console developed and manufactured by Nintendo. The first handheld in the Game Boy family, it was first released in Japan on April 21, 1989, then North America, three months later, and lastly in Europe, nearly a year after. It was designed by the same team that developed the Game & Watch and several Nintendo Entertainment System games: Satoru Okada, Gunpei Yokoi, and Nintendo Research & Development 1.

<i>Wave Race</i> 1997 video game

Wave Race is a 1992 personal watercraft racing video game developed by Nintendo EAD and published by Nintendo for the Nintendo Game Boy. It is the first game in the Wave Race series. The game is relatively simple, in that the player controls a jet skier around a track aiming to beat the computer or up to three friends using the link cable accessory.

Yoshiaki Koizumi Japanese video game designer

Yoshiaki Koizumi is a Japanese video game designer, director and producer. Working for Nintendo, he is the Deputy General Manager of the company's Entertainment Planning & Development division. He is known for his work within the Mario and The Legend of Zelda series.

Originally, the game was referred to as " F-Zero on water" and would feature high-speed boats, as shown in footage from the 1995 Nintendo Shoshinkai show. [8] These boats were expected to have transforming capabilities, allowing players to switch from a stable catamaran-style form to a more streamlined canoe-style version. [5] However, the boats were ultimately replaced with Jet Skis. According to Miyamoto, "Boats looked pretty good at the show, but I didn't think that Wave Race 64 would be unique from similar games on other systems if we used boats. Jet Skis can show many maneuvers that work well in the realistic water of Wave Race 64." [9] The use of Jet Skis was suggested by Rare's Tim Stamper. [10] The game uses the Nintendo 64's alpha blending feature to make the water simultaneously transparent and reflective. [11]

Wave Race 64 was first released in Japan in September 1996 on an 8-MB cartridge. [12] [13] In the United States, Wave Race 64 was released as the third Nintendo 64 game in November 1996, featuring voice changes and renamed levels. [14] It was the first racing game developed for the Nintendo 64 and the first to use the Nintendo 64's hardware capabilities to "create a believable and engaging water environment unmatched by previous games", IGN noted. [14] In the United Kingdom, the game was released in April 1997, shortly after the launch of the Nintendo 64. [15] Like Super Mario 64, Wave Race 64 was re-issued in Japan in July 1997 as Wave Race 64 Shindō Pak Taiō Version(ウエーブレース64 振動パック対応バージョン). This version takes advantage of the Nintendo 64 Rumble Pak and adds ghost functions to the game's time trial mode. Some music and sound effects were altered as well. [16]

Reception

Reception
Aggregate score
AggregatorScore
Metacritic 92/100 [17]
Review scores
PublicationScore
AllGame Star full.svgStar full.svgStar full.svgStar full.svgStar half.svg [18]
CVG Star full.svgStar full.svgStar full.svgStar full.svgStar empty.svg [19]
Edge 9/10 [13]
EGM 9.3/10 [20]
Game Informer 9/10 [21]
GameSpot 8.6/10 [22]
IGN 9.7/10 [1]
N64 Magazine 90% [2]
Next Generation Star full.svgStar full.svgStar full.svgStar full.svgStar full.svg [23]
The Electric Playground 100% [24]

Wave Race 64 was a critical and commercial success, selling more than 154,000 units in Japan by December 1996 and more than one million units in the United States by December 1997. [17] [12] [25] As of December 2007, the game had sold 1.95 million copies in the United States. [26] At the time of its release, some reviewers considered it to be one of the greatest racing games of all time on a home console. [1] [22] [24] GamePro described Wave Race 64 as a "phenomenally fun" racing game that captivates players with its deep and challenging gameplay, [27] while Next Generation regarded it as one of the first quality titles released for the Nintendo 64, along with Super Mario 64 and Pilotwings 64 . [23]

Graphically, Wave Race 64 was praised for its fluid animations, realistic physics, clean waters, and textured polygons. [20] [22] [27] IGN's Doug Perry commented, "The way in which jetskis cut into the ocean's surface, lift off ramps, bounce into and off oncoming waves, or slide on icy surfaces is not only believable and engaging, but simply unparalleled." [1] Writing for The Electric Playground , Victor Lucas highlighted the game's distinct environments, saying that each course offers players something to get excited about. He also gave high marks to the game's satisfying sound effects, particularly when players submerge under the waves, but felt the music was shallow. [24] GamePro agreed, describing the music as juvenile and the announcer's voice as irritating. [27] In contrast, AllGame's Jonti Davies felt that the game's "cheesy" and "distinctly '80s theme" soundtrack combined with the announcer's "hyperexcited cries" gives the game a light and arcade feel. [18]

N64 Magazine journalists described Wave Race 64 as "one of the deepest racing games" they had played, stating that the game's dynamic waves "constantly tests and re-tests" the player's control and that the buoys system offers "tactical decisions about whether to spend time taking a wide corner or dash straight on to catch the leader before it's too late." [2] Similarly, Game Informer remarked that the waves can strike players on every turn and that "one mistake can mean the difference between victory and defeat." [21] Edge highly praised the game's believable watery environments and satisfying controls, stating that each of the game's four crafts feature different handling characteristics, which is accentuated by the way they interact with the water. Although the magazine criticized the game's lack of courses, noting that most of them can be seen in a day's play, it ultimately concluded that Wave Race 64 "is a perfect example of how Nintendo's approach to game design still remains markedly different from almost every other videogames company in the world." [13]

The controls were generally praised, [1] [22] [13] although Todd Mowatt of Electronic Gaming Monthly (EGM) noted that getting used to them can take some time. [20] Glenn Rubenstein of GameSpot also praised the controls, stating that Wave Race 64 "makes the best use yet" of the Nintendo 64 analog stick. Although he highlighted the multiplayer mode for offering a "fairly good competition", he criticized its small split-screen play areas for detracting from the drama. [22] Alex Huhtala of CVG felt that the game was too short, but admitted that the multiplayer and stunt modes give the game longevity. [19] In March 1997, EGM editors named Wave Race 64 their Sports Game of the Year and a runner-up for their Nintendo 64 Game of the Year award (behind Super Mario 64), citing the realistic physics and variety of tracks. [28]

Legacy

After its release on the Nintendo 64, Wave Race 64 has been included in several top lists. IGN editors ranked the game 33rd in their 2003 list of Top 100 Games of All Time, [29] and 37th in their 2005 list of Top 100 Games of All Time. [30] They remarked that Wave Race 64 "incorporated water physics into racing unlike any game before it, or any since. The simple concept of racing on jet skis was complicated by changing wave patterns, swells, and rising tides, and Nintendo added its trademark depth to broaden and deepen the unique racer." [30] Similarly, in 2006, Nintendo Power placed Wave Race 64 at 127th in its "Top 200" games list. [31] Video Game Canon, a 'statistical meta-analysis of 53 “Best Video Games of All Time” lists,' currently ranks Wave Race 64 as the 258th best game of all time. [32]

In 2003, Wave Race 64 was released in China for the iQue Player console. [33] A 1-hour demo of the game was also included with the console. [34] On August 6, 2007, the game was released on the Wii's Virtual Console. [35] Unlike the Nintendo 64 version, the Virtual Console release does not feature Kawasaki banners due to expired licensing deals. [35] These were replaced by Wii and Nintendo DS advertisements. [35] However, when the game was released on the Wii U's Virtual Console in 2016, the Kawasaki banners were restored. [36] The Virtual Console versions of the game were generally very well received, with reviewers considering the game to be just as much fun as it was on the Nintendo 64. [35] [37] [36]

A sequel, Wave Race: Blue Storm , was released in 2001. [38]

Notes

  1. Japanese:ウエーブレース64 Hepburn:Uēbu Rēsu Rokujūyon ?

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