Nintendo 3DS Review: Aqua Moto Racing 3D

Look, ma! One hand!

Look, ma! One hand!

By: Uma Smith

One of the games for the Nintendo 64 that really stood out for me was Wave Race 64. The courses and environments taking place in the nice, sunny outdoors with the water splashing brought a warm sensation to my soul. To be racing in paradise with all the beautiful colors filling the screen gave the game its lasting appeal.

Well now, it seems that Zordix may very well end up bringing back this same experience over to the Nintendo 3DS with Aqua Moto Racing 3D. Will it be as exciting and uplifting or will the game just end up getting doused with fail?

Basically in Aqua Moto Racing 3D you are racing on a jet ski against other opponents. The tracks are fairly large and easy on the eyes. As you go around the laps, you’ll need to maneuver around buoys as well as pull off stunts in order to fill up your boost meter. Once a sufficient amount is achieved, you’ll be able to accelerate temporarily with a simple press of the X button. Movement is quite easy with the use of the d-pad or the shoulder buttons. So there’s no excuse for missing the buoys. In fact, if you miss three, you’ll be disqualified.

As you progress further, you’ll be given plenty of opportunities to collect cash during your races. So by participating in various tournaments, you’ll not only be earning money, but you’ll also get to upgrade your jet ski. It’s an effective way to keep players entertained and addicted to its gameplay. The learning curve and difficulty is pretty adequate: it doesn’t get extremely easy nor do the challenges lead to frustration.

During the championship mode, you’ll be able to achieve trophies by finishing in the top three, similar to Mario Kart. It’s a familiar reward system to gamers that pushes their skills to the limit. Considering how most cups consist of three tracks, they take approximately 10 minutes to complete. On top of getting a stellar performance, you’ll also be unlocking new tracks. These can be accessed within the quick race mode, thereby prolonging the game’s longevity.

While the gameplay is as good as Wave Race 64, the issue lies in the presentation. Have one look at the frame rate for Aqua Moto Racing 3D and you’ll notice a big difference. Not only does the action fail to run smoothly, but the overall appearance can look convoluted, especially when viewing in 3D. The huge amount of stuttering is evident in the water splashes. In fact, this could be one of the main reasons for the lagging frame rate. While the visuals are not pleasing to look at, there is enough color to keep the presentation bright and sensational.

OVERALL (3.5/5)

If you are longing for a game similar to the Wave Race series from either the Nintendo 64 or GameCube, then you’re in luck as Aqua Moto Racing 3D is here to deliver… for the most part. Don’t expect the graphics to satisfy you, but the simplistic yet addictive jet-ski racing should be enticing enough for you to experience it on the Nintendo 3DS.

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About Herija Green

Avid gamer, adventurous lover and all-around damned handsome man...
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