Where do you think Billy ran first at E3 2001? Wave Race of course! First impressions live from the floor inside!
Of course, out of all the games that I needed to get to first on the show floor, Wave Race was my destiny. The second they opened the gates I sprinted in to be the first person to play Wave Race at E3 2001.
I was second behind someone from Rare who was already inside the show floor. He noticed I had a look on my face like I was about to explode, so he decided to pass me the controller. Hells YEAH! The moment of truth. Is Wave Rave all that it's cracked up to be?
I’ll have separate controller impressions posted shortly, but in a nutshell…this controller felt completely comfortable. As if I had used it already. I quickly read the instructions, pressed the start button, and I was on my way to Wave Race heaven.
There seemed to be some disappointment with the footage shown yesterday at the press conference, (cough Justin) but two seconds in, all doubts are out the window.
The control feels just like Wave Race 64. Dead on. A=Gas, B=Tricks, L + R Shoulders are for sharper turns, and the Z-Trigger, X and Y buttons are for Boost. What you say? Boost? Yep! Once you fill your speed up at the bottom (passing 5 buoys on the correct side) you can boost! This will give you a very quick burst of speed. But, this will also empty out your speed as the bottom, so cautious use is very necessary.
I got to play two tracks which mimicked 2 of the tracks in the original Wave Race. Drake Lake is now Aspen Lake, and I also played a level that was a little like Marine Fortress.
Graphically the game is wonderful. The water effects we’re drop dead gorgeous. Aspen Lake had almost all the things Drake Lake did, and more. The posts that stuck out of the water are intact, and still tricky to maneuver through. The reflections off the water will floor you. Drake Lake never looked this delicious.
The Marine Fortress level had rain! The rain drops splashed on the camera and dripped down. It’s an effect that is absolutely excellent! The rest of the level had some of the same short cuts (gate opening after 2nd lap), had sunken boxes and a lot of the same obstacles. But it all looks a lot better.
The sense of speed was a little hard to judge. I think this was like a 50cc circuit, so this may explain why it was a little slower. Once you drop the boost, look out….
Overall, I can’t wait to play this title more. They’ve got stations that have 2 and 4 player multiplayer split screens. I haven’t had a chance to play multiplayer, but it looked very clear, and didn’t have any slow down apparent. If you loved the original, the sequel is what you’ve been waiting for. Eat wake baby!