Best of ND 2013: Top Ten: Forgotten Nintendo Franchises That Need Sequels

You don’t need an ocarina for this trip to the past!

By Robert Marrujo. Posted 12/24/2013 15:00 Comment on this     ShareThis

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5) Wave Race

Last Title: Wave Race: Blue Storm (GameCube, 2001)

Though there hasn’t been an official release since Blue Storm, fans did get some watercraft fun in Wii Sports Resort, so at least it can be assumed Nintendo isn’t averse to jet skis still making an appearance on its consoles. Wave Race actually made its debut on Game Boy as an overhead racer similar to Rare’s R.C. Pro-Am. The series really made a splash (a pun!) when it landed on Nintendo 64 with the seminal Wave Race 64. Wave Race is about racing around courses while piloting jet skis and maneuvering past alternating red and yellow buoys in the correct order. The two console iterations of Wave Race were notable for their uncanny water physics and vibrant, realistic graphics. While Wave Race doesn’t scream for attention the way some other Nintendo titles do, it’s a rock-solid racing game that is notable for being one of the more grounded and accessible of the company’s franchises.

The smartest way to bring this series back is to draw from its best installment. While Blue Storm was fun, Nintendo has yet to top what it did with Wave Race 64. The Nintendo 64 classic was a more energetic and creative game than its GameCube successor, with memorable races between behemoth cargo ships and past tropical paradises. A return to the unforgiving physics and fun of that game would be the perfect way to land the franchise on the map. Embrace the horsepower of Wii U and bring fans some incredible water effects, stunning environments lush with detail (day/night cycles, meaningful weather variety), a killer soundtrack, and perhaps an even more robust and rewarding in-race trick system, and this is a series waiting to explode. Plus, Nintendo just has to bring back the N64 announcer– don’t even try to argue.

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