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
Release date(s) Nintendo 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 (ウエーブレース64 Uēbu Rēsu Rokujūyon?) is a racing game developed and published by Nintendo for the Nintendo 64 in 1996, and a follow-up to the Game Boy game Wave Race. In the game, the player races on jet skis in many different weather conditions, on a variety of different courses. Wave Race 64 was re-released for the Wii Virtual Console in August 2007.[1] It received critical acclaim.


In-game screenshot of Wave Race 64

The objective of each race is to beat the other racers while also successfully maneuvering the jet-ski around various buoys. There are two types of buoys: red colored, which are signified by an R on them and must be passed on the right side, and yellow buoys, which are marked with an L and must be passed on the left side. Each time a buoy is correctly passed, a power arrow will light and the jet-ski will gain speed. Up to five arrows can be lit in order to obtain maximum power. As a result, maintaining the process will allow the player to maintain their power without any misses.

Failure to do either of these will result in a loss of power (though the arrows can be lit again) and missing five buoys over the course of a race will result in disqualification. Leaving the course (either by leaving the area limited by pink buoys or by leaving the water altogether) for more than five seconds will also result in disqualification.


Wave Race 64 was originally developed as a racing game featuring futuristic speedboats[2] that changed forms by retracting or expanding themselves, as shown in footage from the 1995 Nintendo Shoshinkai show. It is the successor to F-Zero.[3]


Aggregate score
Aggregator Score
Metacritic 92/100[4]
Review scores
Publication Score
AllGame 4.5/5 stars[5]
GameSpot 8.6/10[6]
IGN 9.7/10[7]

Wave Race 64 was a critical success. It was rated the 127th best game made on a Nintendo System in Nintendo Power's Top 200 Games list.[8] It received a rating of 9.7/10 from IGN,[7] and 9/10 on the Wii's Virtual Console[9] and in a list of 100, Wave Race 64 was rated, by IGN, as the 33rd greatest game of all time as of 2003.[10] In the 2005 IGN list, its position was #37.[11] GameSpot gave it an 8.6 and praised the game for its graphics and controls.[6] Sales were also high, with 1,950,000 units in the United States and 154,000 in Japan.[12][13]

Nintendo Power called it the best racing game, better than existing auto racing games.[14]


Like Super Mario 64, Wave Race 64 was re-released 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 re-release took advantage of the Rumble Pak (known as the "Shindō Pak" in Japan), as well as adding ghost functions for time trial.[15] In addition, some of the songs and sound effects in the game were altered as well.[16]

Wave Race 64 was released on the Wii's Virtual Console on August 6, 2007. Unlike almost all other Virtual Console games, Wave Race 64 was modified, with the in-game Kawasaki and Fanta banners removed, most likely owing to an expired licensing deal.[citation needed] They are replaced by Wii and Nintendo DS advertisements.[17] The Jet Skis themselves have been slightly modified and bear no Kawasaki logos. The Kawasaki logo on the title screen was also removed. However, when it was released on the Wii U Virtual Console on December 31, 2015 in Europe, and in North America on August 11, 2016, the Kawasaki banners and logos were restored.


  1. ^ "Wii-kly Update: Three New Classic Games Announced for Wii Shop Channel". Nintendo of America. Archived from the original on 2007-08-27. Retrieved 2009-12-15. 
  2. ^ http://www.gamezero.com/team-0/articles/industry/shoshinkai_1995/nu64-4.html
  3. ^ "What Next From Shigeru Miyamoto? How About a Wave Race Then!". Maximum: The Video Game Magazine. Emap International Limited (3): 108. January 1996. 
  4. ^ "Wave Race 64 Critic Reviews for Nintendo 64". Metacritic. Archived from the original on September 10, 2016. Retrieved September 10, 2016. 
  5. ^ Wave Race 64 - Review - allgame
  6. ^ a b Wave Race Review - GameSpot.com
  7. ^ a b Wave Race 64 - Nintendo 64 Review at IGN
  8. ^ "NP Top 200". Nintendo Power. 200. February 2006. pp. 58–66. .
  9. ^ http://wii.ign.com/articles/811/811278p1.html
  10. ^ http://top100.ign.com/2003/31-40.html
  11. ^ http://top100.ign.com/2005/031-040.html
  12. ^ "US Platinum Videogame Chart". The Magic Box. Archived from the original on 21 April 2007. Retrieved 17 April 2007. 
  13. ^ "Nintendo 64 Japanese Ranking". Japan Game Charts. Retrieved 1 July 2011. 
  14. ^ "Now Playing". Nintendo Power. No. 90. November 1996. p. 96. 
  15. ^ Wave Race 64 Info - Wave Race 64 Information - Wave Race 64 Release Date
  16. ^ Shindou Wave Race 64 Overview - allgame
  17. ^ "Wii, DS ads appear in VC version of Wave Race 64". Joystiq. 

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