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Wave Race 64: Kawasaki Jet Ski (Nintendo 64)

Critic Score
100 point score based on reviews from various critics.
User Score
5 point score based on user ratings.

User Reviews

Finally! An interesting racing game that isn't Mario Kart! Pixelspeech (955) 3.8 Stars3.8 Stars3.8 Stars3.8 Stars3.8 Stars
The best physics i've ever seen in a video game! Matthew Bailey (1140) unrated

Our Users Say

Category Description User Score
AI How smart (or dumb) you perceive the game's artificial intelligence to be 3.7
Gameplay How well the game mechanics work (player controls, game action, interface, etc.) 4.1
Graphics The quality of the art, or the quality/speed of the drawing routines 4.3
Personal Slant How much you personally like the game, regardless of other attributes 4.0
Sound / Music The quality of the sound effects and/or music composition 3.7
Overall User Score (43 votes) 4.0

Critic Reviews

MobyRanks are listed below. You can read here for more information about MobyRank.
Entertainment Weekly
Jet skis, driven by Mighty Morphin-type characters, are the vehicles of choice in this silky smooth slalom race; the first thing you'll notice are the waves, which have never looked as realistic in any 32-bit or PC title. The game's easy learning curve, complete with a practice level, inspires instant addiction. Hotdogging isn't essential to winning, but you won't rest until you've mastered handstands and flips on your watercraft.
GamePro (US)
Even without an ultra-hip hook like Wipeout XL's high-tech sheen, Wave Race's phenomenally fun, addictive jet-ski racing will captivate gamers with in-depth, challenging gameplay. The two-player split-screen action rocks, too.
With a game like this, the good outweighs the bad to such a degree that every minor weakness is forgivable, and the gameplay, control, replay value, and graphics are superb examples of Shigeru Miyamoto and team's enormous ability to create great games in every category they choose. Simply put, Wave Race 64 stands shoulder-to-shoulder with Wipeout XL and Sega Rally in the pantheon as one of the best racers ever.
Gaming Age
I've been an avid participant in the sport of jet skiing for a few years now, so I certainly fell in love with Wave Race for it's attention to realism. But placed next to the myriad racing games out on the market, subjectivity aside, racing games do not get any better than this. Even if you aren't a big fan of racing games, Wave Race really is something different, and should definitely be experienced by even the most casual gamer.
Game Freaks 365
Wave Race 64 revolutionized the racing genre with its graphics, physics, and gameplay. The lush graphics and unmatched controls help to make this an easy classic for the Nintendo 64. Of course, its accessibility is another factor in the success that it achieved as well.
Game Play 64
Le soleil, la mer, la plage... ah... l'été ! Vous brûlez d'envie de surfer sur les vagues les plus agitées de la planète ? Vous n'avez pas les moyens de vous offrir un Jet Ski ? Pour remédier à la situation c'est très simple : achetez-vous une Nintendo 64 et Wave Race 64.
Total! (Germany)
Mit Wave Race 64 definiert Big N den Begriff Rennspiel neu. Ein vergleichbares Spiel gibt es auch auf den 32-Bit-Konsolen nicht. Doch nicht nur die phantastische 3D-Grafik, sondern besonders die Spielbarkeit ist famos, wie man es von Nintendos Inhouse-Titeln mittlerweile schon gewohnt ist. Genre-Fetischisten sollten sich die feucht-fröhliche 64-Bit-Raserei auf keinen Fall entgehen lassen. Ein innovativeres und technisch beeindruckenderes Rennspiel ist momentan nicht in Sicht.
There are far too many racing games on the N64. It has always been an overkilled genre on the console. Yet if someone had only one racing game they wanted to purchase for their N64 library, it shouldn't be 1080 Snowboarding, Extreme-G, a Cruis'n title, or even Mario Kart 64. Wave Race 64 should be the choice. Even four years later, the game remains a graphic marvel and is perfectly balanced in terms of gameplay.
Officiel Nintendo Magazine
Nintendo frappe très fort avec WaveRace, qui allie plaisir de jeu et beauté. Amateurs de sensations, à vos pads.
The Video Game Critic
The main problem with Wave Race 64 is its annoying announcer, who never has anything interesting to say, and will not shut up. Get used to hearing him shout the same words over and over: "Good!! Nice!! O-kay!! Okay!! Maximum Power!! Okay!!" Despite having a full options menu, there's no way to shut up that frickin' idiot. Despite this unfortunate audio flaw, Wave Race is a fantastic water racer and a must-have for all serious Nintendo 64 fans.
Video Games
Wollte hier vielleicht jemand damit angeben, daß das Nintendo 64 Wellen und Lichtbrechungen nicht nur in Echtzeit, sondern auch während eines Rennspiels berechnen kann? Es gab ja bisher nur wenige (zumeist klägliche) Versuche, Rennspiele zu Wasser zu realisieren. So gut wie Nintendo hats aber bis heute noch keiner geschafft. Wave Race ist eine richtig “runde Sache“ geworden. Die Steuerung stimmt, die Einstellmöglichkeiten geben keinen Grund zur Klage und Grafik sowie Gameplay gehören mit zum Feinsten, was Konsolen derzeit zu bieten haben. Das Spiel ist auf alle Fälle vielseitig genug, um auch längerfristig zu motiveren.
Nintendo Difference
Un jeu culte à posséder absolument ! Un must tant au niveau du gameplay que des graphismes, une production Nintendo 64 de haute volée qui propulsa à un très haut niveau la réalisation des jeux de courses aquatiques.
Podsumowując polecam tą grę każdemu z czystym sumieniem – gra jest wyśmienita. Posiada extra oprawę audio-wizualna, a do tego potężną dawkę grywalności – pomimo że na początku sprawia odmienne wrażenie. Dodatkowym atutem gry jest to że można ją kupić za dosłownie grosze, 10-15 PLN za sam cartridg’e to nie majątek. Ten tytuł można postawić naprawdę tylko nieco poniżej Zeldy czy Mario64 - każdy szanujący się fan Nintendo64 powinien posiadać Wave Racer 64 w swojej kolekcji.
Réellement innovant et très réussi. Un course très ambitieuse. Jouez à Wave Race.
Classic. Unparalleled. Fun. Three words that best describe Wave Race 64. It has the whole package, and the fact that I can say this more than a year later is astounding. I anticipate the next Wave Race type game, 1080 Degrees Snowboarding, with greasy fingers, but for now... Wave Race 64 suffices. Well done, Nintendo.
Wave Race 64 se convirtió por méritos propios en uno de los mejores dentro del catálogo de Nintendo 64. Fresco, veloz y divertido, el hecho de recrear con tanta perfección las carreras en el mar ya merece una mención especial. El control y las sensaciones que transmite al competir son los grandes aliados de un título que todavía hoy tiene pocos rivales con los que medirse, su única continuación en GameCube no alcanzó las espectativas puestas en él y no ha destacado tanto frente a los lanzamiento de su misma generación, aunque netamente sea superior en todos los sentidos.
For a launch window game to not only remain one of the finest games on that system, but to retain the crown in its sub-genre is quite phenomenal, but that is the power of Shigeru Miyamoto and his team of experts. Wave Race 64 is the pinnacle of water-based racing and a contender for the Top 10 best racers ever, full stop! Do not be put off by its lacklustre GameCube successor...
All Game Guide
What is here is greatly enjoyable too. The selection of tracks (of which there are nine in total) makes for varied racing. Races are closely competed, thanks to the computer-controlled racers' well-programmed AI. What really propels Wave Race 64 into great status, though, is its gameplay. Minute inputs make all the difference: controlling a jet-ski in Wave Race 64 is an art as well as a precise science, but it's fun too.
Owners of imported Nintendo 64s have had a long, long wait since the release of the machine back at the end of June. They may have invested in the world’s most controversial videogames system – but they’ve only had four games available (and that’s even if you take into consideration a dodgy Japanese chess and ported PC puzzler Endorfun re-titled Cu On Pa). Carts may be thin on the ground but N64 owners have been taking solace from the ranks of potential classics being assembled in the Kyoto firm’s headquarters. If all the new games are all of the calibre of WaveRace 64 the wait will have been more than worth it.
Wave Race 64 is the first in what is sure to be a series of superior N64 titles. The graphics are better than what you'll find in 95 percent of games, and the analog stick makes play control a breeze. With the release of the N64, gamers everywhere are salivating in anticipation of getting their hands on each succulent title as it hits the shelves. Delays are causing a number of titles to be pushed back, and gamers may be frustrated that so few titles are coming out. To combat that hunger, buy Wave Race - it will satisfy your appetite nicely.
Wave Race 64 gagne facilement son pari de faire la démonstration des capacités graphiques de la Nintendo 64 grâce à des décors somptueux et des vagues criantes de réalisme. Il parvient également à ne pas tomber dans la catégorie des simples démos techniques grâce à un gameplay à toute épreuve qui demandera d'être dompté pour profiter pleinement du jeu. La seule ombre au tableau peut être sa durée de vie, bien inférieure à ce à quoi nous sommes en droit d'attendre. Mais elle se fera vite oublier et le jeu pourra être ressorti à maintes reprises : par mauvais temps, il est toujours agréable de surfer une vague assis confortablement dans son salon, le ciel se couvre et la mer s'agite, un murmure se fait alors entendre à l'horizon. L'entendez-vous ? C'est Wave Race 64 qui vous appelle. Etes-vous prêt à vous jeter à l'eau ?
Game Revolution
You really won't be disappointed with this title. It's a great addition to the Nintendo 64 library, and is probably going to be one of its classics. It is also a solid racing game. Considering how poor some of the other new titles on the system are - buying Wave Race may not be a bad bet at all.
Le Geek
While car racing games are a dime a dozen, good water racers are harder to find—making Wave Race easy to recommend.
Wave Race 64 is the first Nintendo 64 game I ever played, so I hold it close to me; but I think others would like it, too. The controls aren't complicated, the music keeps a beat going, and the harder levels provide a challenge. Setting records in the time trials is a fun competition with friends. Wave Race 64 is definitely a great multiplayer game, and it has a lot of replay value.