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Template:Infobox VG Wave Race: Blue Storm is a jet ski racing game released as a launch title for the Nintendo GameCube on November 18, 2001. A sequel to the 1996 Nintendo 64 game Wave Race 64, Wave Race: Blue Storm was developed by Nintendo-owned development studio, NST and published by Nintendo.

GameplayEdit

This section is only concerned with gameplay of the Championship mode. Short descriptions of other modes can be found below. Some aspects of Championship mode are carried over to some other modes. For example, the player navigates buoys in Time Trial mode in exactly the same manner as in Championship mode.

Players begin by selecting a character to use for the entire championship. Following this, the player is presented with a screen showing the courses on which they can race and a weather forecast for each day of the circuit. The more difficult the circuit, the more races (and thus, days) the player must complete. Players can select the order in which they wish to race the courses. This decision can be affected by aforementioned forecast. If the player finds a certain course to be more difficult when it is raining, he or she can elect to play that course on a day which is forecast to be sunny.

After the selection of a course, gameplay begins. Players begin in a field of eight racers. Position at the beginning of a race is determined by your finish in the previous race, e.g. a player finishing third in one race will begin in the third position before the starting line of the following race. In the first race, players begin in eighth. As the player waits for the race to begin, a stoplight changes from red to yellow to green, indicating the start of the race. If a player times it just right, by pressing the accelerator exactly as the light turns green, he or she will receive a turbo, which can be activated at the player's whim and which significantly boosts the speed of the player's craft for a short time.

The player then begins to navigate the course. In every course, buoys are set up in two colors: red and yellow. Red buoys are supposed to be passed on the right; yellow buoys on the left. Passing buoys correctly builds up your turbo meter. Other than the method mentioned above, which only works at the very beginning of a race, turbos can only be acquired by correctly navigating five of these buoys or by performing a stunt (see Stunt Mode under Game Modes, below). Each stunt, like each buoy, fills one-fifth of the meter. Incorrectly passing a buoy results in the loss of any built-up turbo stages. This leads to some degree of strategy. For example, a player might build up a turbo, then use it to cut off a buoy placed in an awkward manner, or one off a distance to the side, thus eliminating much of the time that would have been used to get to and correctly pass that buoy.

There are other, smaller red buoys which mark the boundaries of each course. Going outside of these buoys is not recommended, as staying outside of them for too long results in a disqualification.

During the race, the player is often bombarded (depending on weather conditions) with waves and rain which can force an inexperienced player off-course, or into obstacles or other riders. Successful navigation of these waves is essential. This is where the game's uniqueness in the genre comes to light. Waves are completely random and are affected by the weather, making for a different experience from that of most other games in the racing genre, such as the PlayStation 2's Splashdown. It also makes for an extremely challenging, some might say frustrating, experience.

Every race consists of three laps. Often during a race, shortcuts will be revealed as the player passes each lap. Spotting these shortcuts as they appear can be essential to victory.

At the end of each race, the player is awarded points proportional to the place in which they finished. A player needs a certain point total at the end of each race in order to advance to the next day. If this total is not reached, the player must begin the circuit again.

Victory comes when the player finishes first overall in total points at the end of the circuit.

Modes of PlayEdit

  • Championship: This mode is described at length above.
  • Time Attack: The player races alone through whichever course he or she wishes, provided that course has been unlocked (see Courses, below). The object is not to win, rather to finish is as fast a time as possible.
  • Stunt Mode: The goal of this mode is to achieve high scores by performing stunts. Stunts are performed by executing certain button combinations. Stunts can also be executed in any other mode, and can be used to build up one's turbo meter.
  • Multiplayer: For up to four players. Championship Mode and Stunt Mode may be played in this fashion.
  • Free Roam: Allows the player to roam freely through any unlocked course, with no time limit or other racers. This is useful for beginners to get accustomed to the controls of the game and the course layouts.

CharactersEdit

There are eight characters in Blue Storm, three of them from the previous game, and some of the rest named after 1080° Snowboarding characters. Each character is rated on a scale of 1-6 in five different categories which affect that character's performance, with six being the best. Each character also has his or her own crew chief, which is nothing more than a voice offering encouragement and advice to the player.

Character Nation Sex Age Crew Chief Stats Recomended for
Ryota Hayamiリョタ ハヤミ

(Ryota Hayami)

Japan Male 18 Jack Speed: 4.5

Accel.: 3

Handle: 4.5

Sunt: 3

Power: 4

Beginners to Experts
David Marinerデビッド・マリナー

(Debiddo marinā)

USA Male 32 Ray Speed: 6

Accel.: 1.5

Handle: 2

Stunt: 2

Power: 5

Experts only
Akari Hayamiアカリ・ハヤミ

(Akari Hayami)

Japan Female 17 Kyoko Speed: 1.5

Accel: 6

Handle: 3

Stunt: 5.5

Power: 1.5

Beginners
Nigel Carverナイジェル・カーバー

(Naijeru kābā)

England Male 28 Terrence Speed: 3

Accel: 4

Handle: 6

Stunt: 4.5

Power: 3

Advanced to Experts
Ayumi Stewartアユミ・スチュワート

(Ayumi Suchuwāto)

USA Female 21 Robin Speed: 4

Accel: 3.5

Handle: 4

Stunt: 3.5

Power: 3.5

Beginners to Experts
Rob Haywoodロブ・ヘイウッド

(Robu Heiuddo)

USA Male 20 Doug Speed: 5.5

Accel: 2

Handle: 2.5

Stunt: 2.5

Power: 6

Experts Only
Ricky Winterbornリッキー・ウィンターボーン

(Rikkī Uintābōn)

Canada Male 14 Russ Speed: 2

Accel: 5

Handle: 3.5

Stunt: 6

Power: 2

Beginners
Serena del Marセレナ・デル・マー

(Serena Deru mā)

Brazilian Female 19 Luis Speed: 3.5

Accel: 4.5

Handle: 5.5

Stunt: 4

Power: 2.5

Advanced to Experts

CoursesEdit

Counting Dolphin Park, there are 8 Courses in the game, one less than in the previous installment; Wave Race 64. Unlike the Championships of Wave Race 64, the courses in Blue Storm can be selected at the players will and not determined by a specific order.

  • Dolphin Park (ドルフィン パーク Dorufin Pāku). The practice course were an actual race can be played but does not count at all for any championship. This is the main course of the series and as the name implies, sports the Dolphin Mascot. It is a full course in Stunt Mode. This course is a direct return from Wave Race 64 and unlike this game, Dolphin Park can be used in Free Roam mode.
  • Lost Temple Lagoon. This course is very easy to travel. The setting of the day mirrors that of Sunset Bay back in the Wave Race 64 and also has boats and a few structures like it but otherwise a very unique and new course. The course has rocky formations and includes an elephant as depicted in the banner of the stage situated in a shortcut through a temple. This course is known as Ethnic Lagoon (エスニック ラグーン Esunikku Ragūn) in the japanese version.
  • Aspen Lake (アスペン レイク Asupen Reiku). This course is set on a Lake that may or may not include fog depending on the weather condition. Trees encircle the stage thus there is no course out or red buoys. It includes wooden sticks and rocky bumps through out the course. This design and part of the name heavily copies that of Drake Lake in Wave Race 64.
  • Ocean City Harbor. Simply known as City Harbor (シティー ハーバー Shiti Hābā) in the japanese version, this stage is set in the Harbor of a well lit city meaning it's always nighttime despite the sunny weather. Most of the course is enclosed by metallic or cement walls and includes many ramps and boats that fill the stage. There's even a shortcut through drainage pipes but taking it makes you miss 3 buoys instantly so do not attempt it twice or risk disqualification. This course is a redesign of Twilight City from Wave Race 64.
  • Southern Island (サザン アイランド Sazan Airando). As the name implies, this is a direct return from Wave Race 64. The course is nearly identical with the boat in the middle of the course. The wooden banners that rise once the water lever lowers and the ramp over the bridge in the first lap as well as under the bridge cross once the water lowers due to the ramp no longer being accessible. In Blue Storm, this is a common course while in Wave Race 64 it was the last (Master) course in all Championships.
  • Arctic Bay. Known as Cool Ocean (クール オーシャン Kūru Ōshan) in the japanese version, this is a course set in a frigid area, most commonly in the poles. Due to the setting, large chunks of ice (Icebergs) may fall an cause tidal waves throughout the race. Patches of ice must be crossed and ice ramps jumped in order to traverse the course. There's even and ice cave and orca whales and even a large luxury ship. It receives heavy fog and sight limiting appearance when adverse weather conditions are present. This is the last Main course in the Normal Championship but like Southern Island, it becomes a common course in Hard and Expert. This level is an exact copy and thus redesign of Glacier Coast from Wave Race 64.
  • La Razza Canal. This stage is set in Venice, the floating city. It is one of the hardest courses as the route in expert is plagued with tight routes and sharp corners. It crosses trough and around the city were you can break chairs and tables as part of the racing experience. This is a new and unique course and also the last Main course of the Hard Championship but like Southern Island & Arctic Bay, it becomes a common course in Expert Mode. This course is known as Aqua Maze (アクア メイズ Akua Meizu) in the japanese version of the game.
  • Strongwater Keep. Known as Victory Gate (ビクトリー ゲート Bikutorī Gēto) in Japan, this course is set around a Keep or sorta like a castle. The environment suggests somewhere in Europe. The course also has many small shortcut but can be traversed like a normal course without much problems. Due to the idea of a course around a Fortress-like structure and the fact that it's major shortcut involves a wall like structure raising in the second lap and making a noise to alert so heavily copies all these from Marine Fortress from Wave Race 64. This is the last course in the Expert Championship thus making it the only game forced course to be taken last because there is no other Championship after Expert, the last course to be unlocked and one of the hardest depending the character chosen.

NOTES: Due to the availability of the courses in specific game modes they may not always be present. Arctic Bay is always present but La Razza Canal cannot be selected in Time Trial under Normal as well as Strongwater Keep unavailable under both Normal and Hard in Time Trial. All 3 courses are otherwise subject to selection once the player finishes them in any possition in their respective Championship appearances. Dolphin Park is unavailable in Time Trial at all. But all course are available in Stunt Mode and Free Roam, again subject to previously being unlocked.

TriviaEdit

  • There is no "Reverse" Championship in Blue Storm unlike in WR64. Reverse and mirrored coursed are scattered in the Hard and Expert Championships.
  • In Wave Race 64, racers used a helmet for protection. In Blue Storm, the characters wear nothing sacrificing safety for character model diversity.
  • From course designs that draw heavily or inspired from Ware Race 64 only 2 courses do not have similar or familiar areas in Blue Storm, these are Port Blue and Sunny Beach as there is no "Beach" course in the game.
  • Despite almost everyone from the N64 version returning, Miles Jeter did not. It is unknown why he didn't make it. Possible characters substituting him; Nigel or Rob.
  • From the 3 Characters that returned Dave Mariner had his name altered slightly to "David" Mariner in Blue Storm.
  • The game has one less course than it's predecessor.
  • The blue spikes on several courses in Wave Race 64 that caused fall downs and total knock overs if rammed against at high speed do not return in Blue Storm at all.
  • "Serena del Mar" a Character's name in Blue Storm means "Calm of the ocean" crudely translated or "The calm one from the Ocean" properly translated. If one changes the first "e" for an "i" her name would be "Sirena del Mar" which directly translates into English to "Ocean Siren" The fact she is a female, quite beautiful, is racing in the Ocean or water and her banner includes "Maracas" (A type of music instrument) might allude to her Spanish name to "Siren" a female beautiful woman that dwells in the water and charms men with her voice or harp music and beauty.
  • Ricky Winterborn is the youngest competitor in all the series overall.
  • Based on the scale of 6 in the characters performance everybody seems to have a sort of weakness or reach up to 3 in the scale were if 6 is perfect or the best and 3 being half or "Average" then Ayumi Stewart would be the "Best character because all her performances are past the 3 unlike the closest match to her; Ryota Hayami who has 3(Average) in acceleration and stunt. Opposed to Ayumi Stewart that has three 3.5 performances making the .5 (Above average) from all other 7 racers making her the best with all Above average stats and none Average or below average stats.
  • In Wave Race 64, Ayumi was the only female character, now in Blue Storm she is accompanied by Akari and Serena.
  • Nigel Carver and Serena del Mar are the first "Dark Skin" characters in the series of games making the game more balanced in skin color options.
  • In this game, Arctic Bay, La Razza Canal & Strongwater Keep host the Championship results in these stages depending which is the last course as opposed to Wave Race 64 were regardless of the Championship, results and trophy giveaway were all done in Sunny Beach.

PraiseEdit

  • The game was almost universally praised for its water effects, weather effects, and physics.
  • The water in the game is transparent, translucent and reflective simultaneously. This often varies over the course of a race if, for example, it becomes stormy, the water becomes appropriately less transparent.
  • The weather effects in the game, most people agreed, were outstanding. They caused wave height to vary and often came on slowly, or would let up surprisingly in the middle of a race. The weather also affected course layout, adding to the game's variety.
  • Finally, the physics in the game were unmatched by any other water-based game at the time. Waves that varied in height and intensity, wakes from other riders and more all attributed to the overall feel of the game and was usually mentioned as one of the games positives.

CriticismEdit

  • Most negative criticism centered around the difficulty of the game.
  • The criticism regarding the difficulty of the game was mostly to the controls, which were more twitchy and required a delicate touch on the control stick and proper use of the GameCube controller's L and R buttons. The control system in Wave Race 64, by contrast, was slower and smoother and as a result, less demanding.
  • Regarding the similarity to Wave Race 64; professional critics and casual gamers alike point out that some of Wave Race: Blue Storm's courses are copies or re-designs of courses from Wave Race 64, and as such, the game felt a little bit "over-familiar"
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