Friday, 10 May 2013

Gaming's great intros part IV: Wave Race 64

During the mid to late 90s, video game intro sequences had become big news, and it was unusual for any major release not to be accompanied by a flashy FMV/CG based movie. Nintendo's decision therefore, to persist with cartridges as opposed to shiny CDs as the preferred choice of storage medium meant that the newly released N64 needed to show the world that flashy intros were not just the preserve of the disc spinning Playstation and Saturn.

Enter Wave Race 64, with its outrageously uplifting (and not to mention cheesy) music, ridiculously accurate physics and the most impressive water effects of the entire generation...which actually look a lot better than much of the subsequent generation.

From the moment the camera first sweeps around the gloriously designed Dolphin Park (check out that lens flare!), you are left under no illusion that something truly special is unfolding. Watching the riders blast through the sparkling azure waters with squeaking dolphins in tow, gives some indication of just what the N64 could do in the right hands. The supreme attention to detail, coupled with those mind boggling physics and and huge grin factor made Wave Race 64 a real jewel in Nintendo's crown, elevating it above its main rival at the time; Jet Moto on the Playstation (which often felt strangely numb), and making it the premier jet ski game of the day (niche section, I know!).

Wave Race 64 remains to this day, one of the most feel good games I've ever had the privilege to play and own, and even now, just watching this intro makes me feel fantastic. It's also one of the few games that still has me almost slack jawed in awe at just how pretty and well designed it is. So with summer (supposedly) approaching fast, it's the perfect time to break out the Kawasaki jet skis and get racing!

1 comment:

  1. Wave Race 64 really does have the best water effects. The physics of the waves seem accurate and cruising over them is such a soothing, exciting experience.