Action sports title and wave runner simulator Wave Race 64 is now available on the Nintendo Wii U’s Virtual Console store. The game can be played by up to two players and can be purchased at a price of $9.99.
A somewhat forgotten classic, Wave Race 64 was among the Nintendo 64’s launch titles when it released in North America in 1996. The title rolled out just ahead of a flurry of action sports games that briefly dominated the medium for nearly half a decade, including Tony Hawk’s Pro Skater, Mat Hoffman’s Pro BMX, SSX, and 1080 Snowboarding. Unlike its peers, however, Wave Race 64 was entirely developed and published by Nintendo, which does not normally engaged in the business of realistic sports games, and did not feature any real athletes or celebrities.
The game (as well as its GameCube sequel Wave Race: Blue Storm) may not be lauded today as much as other N64 classics such as Super Mario 64, Banjo-Kazooie, and The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time, but it was every bit as popular when it came out. The game sold nearly 2 million copies in the United States alone and received a myriad of rave reviews. For example, IGN gave it a 9.7/10 and named it the 37th greatest game of all time in its 2005 list. Blue Storm, the GameCube successor, was also highly praised at its release and hasn’t really received much love lately.
Nintendo doesn’t seem to be particularly interested in reviving this once-beloved franchise, but its presence on the Wii U Virtual Console at least shows that the Big N hasn’t completely forgotten about it. Perhaps enough people buy this port and talk about it the way the Xbox One Red Dead Redemption port revitalized interest in the game. Action sports games to mostly be a thing of the past, however, and there doesn’t appear to be much demand for games like Wave Race anymore. Still, this N64 game is a classic and you might want to check it out.
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Picture Above: YouTube