Aqua Moto Racing Utopia
For all of Aqua Moto Racing Utopia’s light sense of fun and nostalgic reminiscence of past games like Wave Race 64 and Jet Moto, the act of taking to the waves is unfortunately tarnished by some frustratingly aggressive AI and a general lack of polish.
In the end, Aqua Moto Racing Utopia is one of the best watercraft racers out there.
Overall, as a huge fan of the Wave Race series, I’m a bit split down the middle on Utopia. There are things it does quite well and it gets points for bringing big waves to the party with some technically-challenging tracks you’ll need to maneuver well in to win. Most of the tracks are good, some are a bit lacking, but a few also move in the direction of brilliance. The most troubling issue is definitely with the frame rate while in docked mode. It isn’t constant and it isn’t crippling, but it can be difficult to miss in places. Thankfully if you don’t mind or even prefer handheld mode that becomes far less of a concern. While it isn’t a replacement for the series I love I’ll give it credit for ambition and not being a game where you race on a blue track like many other series have done. If you understand what you’re in for and have a love for racing in the waves it is certainly worth your consideration.
So, a Wave Race substitute this is not. Aqua Moto Racing Utopia tries to imitate Nintendo’s classic racer but it never comes anywhere close to it in all honesty. Which is a massive shame because this could have filled a gap for a lot of Nintendo 64 and GameCube era Nintendo fans like me. This is an improvement on the developer’s other recent racing game, Snow Moto Racing Freedom, but I think that might only be because racing on water with a jet-ski is much better than racing in the snow on a snowmobile. The main thing that this game does more than anything, is that it makes me want a new Wave Race game more than ever.