How much mist aggregates under the elusive solace of a calming spray of mist such as Six Flags in the middle of a summer’s day? My brother and I when we were younger, used to spray each other with water guns, soaking each other in the calmness of the water. What makes water so calm when people bathe in its alluring hypotonic and hypertonic solutions? Aqua Moto Racing Utopia spreads out this mist on the elusiveness of the skin when others go through the waves of life. Does water hold only physical attributes, or also, an enchanting calm during tribulations and storms in life? It is a known fact that water for ages has calmed the soul as well as relaxed the mind to reach its stable conditional state. Aqua Moto Racing Utopia provides us this same peace which is rare to find in the clamor of normal day-to-day life in the real world.
What separates Aqua Moto Racing, making it unique are the nine different environments included as maps in the game. It ranges from clear blue water to dark water with a combination of low waves closer to sea level, then those extreme waves in which force you to keep your balance to make it on top of the leaderboards. Environmental examples are Aquatic Dream, Metropolis Trip, Inside the Dome, Oil Rig, Exotic Waters “ Jungle River,” Tricenter Arena “ Triple Ripple,” Mangrove Mania “ Alligator Swamplands” and much more. It is a blend of Wave Race 64 with the water physics of Hydro Thunder Hurricane, although more improved. How will it stand up compared to other games in its genre? Let’s now dissect it to find out.
The objectives differ in comparison based on the game mode you select from the main menu. There are a variety of different modes from single races, time trial, tournaments ( water boat and jet ski), racing cups, and, of course, your final stunt championship competitions. When entering Aqua Moto Racing Utopia for the first time, you may want to get yourself familiar with all the controls, actually write down all stunt combinations, having a cheat sheet on hand in dire emergencies. The tutorial does not do the game the justice and praise it deserves because it forces you to perform types of air stunts when it is a course that has the smallest amount of waves in height, making you unable or very hard to steer, control when pressing LT to execute the stunt across an inclined ramp. Usually, with racing games, I skip the tutorial and head over to the actual game modes, the meat of the whole game in itself. Races pit you aside seven other computer controlled players at different difficulties of beginner, novice, advanced, pro, and expert. The objective normally is to steer carefully around markers called buoys on their designated correct side; red, right; yellow; left.
The level of difficulty determines how many of these buoys will be placed in the water. Usually, they are either placed diagonally in a zigzag pattern or evenly spread out around each lap. There are three laps in the tournament, career mode. Every lap is the same as the previous one and follows a general pattern of buoy placement. Water physics play a huge role in this game by controlling the speed and velocity in which you travel. The water, of course, controls the motion of your jet ski, water boat determining which maps and sections of each environment will give you the best advantage in racing to perform stunts of your choice and get air time. A boost meter fills up when you perform stunts, having hang time through hopping across ramps, and when maneuvering around the buoys. You are rated on your performance right after you turn through either a rating of great or perfect.
Luckily, you can auto reset your waterboat and jet ski if you need to, in case, you get into an area where you get stuck or are not out of bounds in which the game will automatically reposition you within three seconds of time. I find that the advanced cups in the racing championship are the most challenging so far because it is the first time you have players bumping against each other, railing each other similar to all Dirt games made by Codemasters. I can only imagine the rage that would be induced if later I intend to try to play Aqua Moto Racing Utopia online with people bumping me right and left so I purposely miss the buoys and become disqualified. You are automatically disqualified from a race if you miss three buoy points. Now, sometimes, as is the case with one particular map variation called the Oil Rigs, you will have too much hangtime sometimes where it drifts you to the sides of the map, thus missing a couple buoy points when heading towards getting in the top three placement at the end of the championship cup. This is rather unfortunate but is something that has always been included in rally racing games as well as games like Split/Second for consoles back on the PlayStation 3 and Xbox 360.
The last notable feature of each race, are the obstacles you encounter. Mainly, only in the swamplands where you have to drive through marshlands to beat the rest of the crowd. Sometimes, you can accidently make the mistake of peering off to the side, hitting branches and twigs, completing wiping out and resetting your position. Racing is the easiest of all modes and is fair, accommodating to gamers. We can customize our primary, secondary colors on our water boats and jet skis from a whole color palette of natural colors used in painting, art. The second mode besides racing is the stunt mode. The stunt mode places a time limit much like Dirt 3 did within one of its modes. In this, you have to generate as many stunts across ramps, either air, water stunts or a combination of both in the allotted time limit provided before us.
The graphics are on par with the Wii U according to modern-day standards. The developer has stated this is the very reason for the lower video ram recommended requirement. They are able to use far less out of video ram sources for the Wii U, the main system the developer is developing this game, for their target audience. They have pushed back the release date by a week to advertise and market the game properly. I support Zordix AB in their marketing and advertising decision, too few games these days get the proper publicity and marketing needed when they are not made through the famous AAA game studios. My only complaint when it comes to this is, I see a game like this having much more success if released in the summer time when people enjoy the water and feeling of wanting to embrace the cool atmosphere of water parks.
The visuals use bright colors on the water levels with real-life rocks, corals, and true to life piers, sand. Imagine all great water-themed Nintendo 64 games reimagined with new state-of-the-art graphics that complement the year 2016. The splashes of water can be heard when dolphins come up and go underneath the water. Palm trees are lush, clustered together. The soundtrack is filled with relaxing zen music that calms and soothes the soul. Interestingly, it is perfectly aligned with good audio that reminds me fondly of great water; summer themed games on the Nintendo 64. Replayability Length- This game is very replayable with new vehicles to unlock and the higher difficulties of advanced, professional and expert.
Verdict – Auto Moto Racing Utopia is a highly fun wave racing game that holds up on its own. You need no previous knowledge of wave racing games to be able to enjoy your experience. The graphics are the best I have seen for a racing game on the Wii U; I would argue, even better than Mario Kart and Sonic & All-Stars Racing Transformed. The best part is the mist that hits your countenance when going through the waterfall environment.
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