Wave Race 64 Forum  /  Wii U Virtual Console release - Review
  analogismanalogism
(edited: )

I just purchased the new release of WR64 on the virtual console. I'll do a little review on my first impression and initial thoughts.

First off, I of course bought the US Wii U version. I actually don't know for sure, but expect there's a PAL and JP version. My guess would also be that all three are the same version (the original version in each region). It seems this new WiiU release is the same as the original version, (v0.1 from my version guide). Everything thing is the same as the original, original music and original Kawasaki advertisements. Its strange that they used the OG ad's, because in the Wii VC release, they had changed all of the original Kawasaki ad's to just Nintendo ad's and anything Kawasaki was removed from the game; jet ski skins with the logos etc. For this one all the Kawasaki stuff is back, and they decided to go with the original version for whatever reason.

The game is very laggy compared to the N64 versions, i.e. display lag, the time it takes for your eye to see what your finger did. I literally cannot get immediate Max Power by timing the throttle input on the green light. My muscle memory is tuned perfect into the N64 max power timing, and as such the Wii U version is much too far off for me to come anywhere close to hitting it. It takes me 20+ tries sometimes to get it. The input and display lag comes at no surprise as the first VC Wii version was equally as bad. I honestly feel using the Wii U game pad may be the version with he laggiest inputs. Its noticeably better using the classic controller pro for the Wii, plugged in through a wiimote. I am using my Wii U on a 144hz refresh rate Benq monitor with very low response time. I haven't tried using the Wii U on a CRT but I'm sure it would be similar lag, maybe a bit less. It's unfortunate that the VCs are known for input lag, but that's pretty standard to expect at this point.

The control stick sensitivity and deadzones were mapped decently I suppose, but the Wii U controllers sticks are much much more sensitive than the N64 stick, very similar to the previous Wii VC release again. In my opinion a very large handicap, but you could argue that if you started with that sensitivity and control stick you would be used to it. It's playable but again in my opinion not optimal.

Interestingly enough, the WiiUVC version comes with a digital copy of the original US WR64 instruction booklet, which I thought was pretty badass as I dont own a copy, and had never read it.

Something I found even more interesting, is that the WiiUVC has a save state function built into it. It works the same as a save state on an emulator. Though this is a nice feature for casual play, it introduces some run validity issues when posting competitively. In my opinion we should essentially have a rule that save states are banned on WiiUVC. As well if its a really good time and proof is required/requested, it must be a full video to know the player did not use the save state functions.

The visuals are decent, I cant tell the frame rate difference at all and it seems the game runs at the same resolution. Waves and rendering is clear and looks good, but the text layer is a bit palpitated due to the low resolution of text bitmap rendering now being shown in clear digital 1080p output. All in all it looks pretty decent. Would be interesting to see if load times changed at all, and if real time frame rate is actually similar, things to later look into. Nothing I'd rush to find out as the control sens. and other things already break the deal for me playing seriously with this version.

Overall glad I bought it, but nothing too surprising or attention grabbing. I think it's cool that Nintendo still picks this game as something to re-release and I'll support that.

Melwing17Melwing17, grimyagrimya and GhillieGuideGhillieGuide like this.