A low-key legend returns



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Wave Race is back. Kinda.
Back in ‘97 there was nothing else like it. Those remarkable 3D visuals, the spectacular environments, and the sheer joy of movement that Nintendo had always excelled at, now amplified by genuine analogue control. I am of course talking about Mario 64. But there was another game that launched around the same time, a slightly more low-key release, for which all of those things apply; Wave Race 64.
Understandably, in the early N64 days it was difficult for most games to step out from under Mario’s formidable shadow. Nintendo’s flagship title was a bonified game-changer, and deservedly stole the limelight from anything that came near it. But even though it remains a wonderful game to this day, I’m sure most people can agree that it has been bettered by at least one of the two Galaxy games and/or Odyssey in the years since its release.
Wave Race 64 has simply never been bettered. No, not even by its own GameCube sequel.
Unlike most games from that early 3D era, Wave Race is still just as impressive now as it was back then. In fact, as time marches on and still nothing has emerged to challenge it - nothing has matched that magical feeling of bobbing, weaving, and diving through actual water - Nintendo’s achievement becomes even more apparent. Wave Race is arguably even more impressive now than it was back then.
And so the news this week that it would be launching on the snappily-named Nintendo Switch Online + Expansion Pack service brought a huge smile to my face. Game ownership and subscription services are a thorny and divisive subject covered a few times already in The Week in Games (and it would be lovely to have the option to buy these games individually), but right now I’m just happy to have easy access to one of my favourite - one of the best - racers I’ve ever played.
It may not be the new entry fans had hoped for - but an upscaled, portable Wave Race 64 will do very nicely indeed thank you. And just in time for the weekend, too.
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  • As PlayStation’s Summer Sale comes to an end, Sony has introduced another Games Under £20 sale, with hundreds of games reduced to, well, under £20. There’s also a huge (and unadvertised) sale on Bethesda games on the PS Store too. See all the games and prices here.
  • Sony are still offering 7-day free trials for their new Extra and Premium PlayStation Plus tiers, if you’re not already a subscriber.
  • Xbox are running a Ubisoft Publisher Sale with up to 75% off new and backwards compatible Ubisoft games, as well as a Quakecon sale, an Ultimate Game Add-on Sale with up to 50% off DLC and season passes, and a Summer Spotlight promotion with new games and deals added every week.
  • There’s no specific promotion running on the eShop at the moment, but there are still hundreds of games on sale, including mini-masterpiece Inside for just £1.79.
  • Fanatical’s Summer Sale is still on, with offers on thousands of PC games.
  • As always there are plenty of games on sale at the Epic Games Store and Steam, which you can find here and here.
  • Finally, you can currently pick up 11 Resident Evil games plus a 50% off coupon for Resident Evil Village for less than £30 in Humble’s Decades of Horror Bundle.
  • Filmmakers Without Cameras
The crowdfunding campaign for Issue 3 of Filmmakers Without Cameras launched this week. This excellent film and games journal comes highly recommended, and if you missed the first two issues, Filmmakers Without Cameras: The Trilogy is also available, consisting of all three issues in one hardback book. You can back the project here.
  • The SEGAGuys
After a bit of a hiatus, this week saw the return of the SEGAGuys. A wonderful podcast featuring two huge gamers talking about their love of all things SEGA. It’s interesting, informative, and entertaining. You can catch the podcast live on Radio Sega on Mondays, or listen to previous episodes over on Apple, Spotify or Google.
This week’s main release saw Rollerdrome land on PlayStation and PC. OlliOlli developers Roll7 look to have another classic on their hands, with the game receiving universal praise across the board and a coveted Essential badge from Eurogamer.
(Switch, PC) – August 16
(PS4, PS5, PC) – August 16
(Switch) – August 17
(PS4, PS5, Xbox, Switch, PC) – August 18
(Switch) – August 18
(PS5, Xbox Series X/S, PC) – August 18
(PS4, PS5, Switch, PC) – August 18
(PS4, PS5, Xbox, PC) – August 19
(PS4, PS5, Xbox, Switch, PC) – August 23
(PS4, PS5, Xbox, PC) – August 23
(PS4, PS5, Xbox, PC) – August 25
(PS4, PS5, Xbox, Switch, PC) – August 25
(PS4, PS5, Xbox, Switch, PC) – August 26
(PS4, PS5, Xbox, PC) – August 26
A randomly selected game each week! Any and all games are eligible for selection regardless of age, platform, popularity, or otherwise.
This week, the honour goes to…
Donkey Kong Country: Tropical Freeze (2014)
Beautiful and meticulous, Donkey Kong Country: Tropical Freeze is a highly accomplished platformer by a Retro Studios team at the very top of their game. It’s so good in fact, that it betters any side-scroller Nintendo themselves have produced in modern times.
The updated Nintendo Switch version released in 2018 features various bonus items to help players who may have struggled with the notoriously difficult Wii U original and its hard-hitting bosses, and is the definitive version of the game.
By Christopher Dring - GiBiz
Team Asobi’s Nicolas Doucet on the success of Astro’s Playroom, growing to 100 employees, and the importance of a dedicated R&D team.
By Jazmin Murphy - OpenMind
Players often develop intense relationships with virtual characters. If those relationships go awry, the resulting traumas can become all too real.
By Colin Campbell - GiBiz
Leading writers discuss how video game storytelling has evolved as the medium has advanced.
By Derek Hill - The Verge
The fascinating story behind the long road to putting Ocarina of Time on PC
By Various Staff - IGN
From Guilty Gear Strive to Ultimate Marvel vs. Capcom 3, here are IGN’s picks for the best fighting games of all time.
More for your inbox!
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(The Sample and Refind are part of a cross-promotion. Any clicks/sign-ups directly help The Week in Games to grow)
Game Boy & Virtual Boy Anthology
Geeks Line - Campaign ends August 21st
Red Right Hand - Campaign ends August 24th
Nara: Facing Fire
Glowing Glade Studio - Campaign ends September 2nd
Old School Gamer Magazine
Ryan Burger - Campaign ends September 14th
Filmmakers Without Cameras: The Trilogy
Eryk Sawicki - Campaign ends September 14th
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…and that’s it for this week!
I hope you enjoyed this issue of The Week in Games! I’d be delighted if you would consider forwarding this email to anybody you think may like it, by sharing this link on social media, or simply telling people about it!
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