N64 Knocking on heavens door again

Gamestyle Archive intro: here’s the second and final part of our Nintendo 64 summary from 2001

There plenty of N64 bargains to be had in retailers and on the various Internet auctions sites at the present time.   The console itself must number one when it comes to the different variations available.   We’ve had Mario, Pikachu, Goldeneye and Donkey Kong to name but a few.   In the previous article I mentioned the limited Mario console version currently on sale and as I found out Nintendo have cut a few corners on this version.   While not evident to everyone this version does not support the S-Video signal and the controller lead and connections don’t look as sturdy as earlier versions.   You won’t notice these till you plug it in at home and Nintendo have obviously cut costs on the final version.

Jet Force Gemini                                            
Rare                                                             
1-4 Players

A unique space adventure that unfortunately wasn’t to everyone’s tastes and didn’t sell as well as it deserved.   You must save the world by blasting various bugs all over the galaxy.   A top adventure by Rare with plenty of challenges and extras to work for however a disappointing multiplayer mode that just doesn’t work in third person.   Features some of the unique Rare humour that was so evident in Conkers Bad Fur Day, fancy going down the alien disco anyone?

Mischief Makers                                            
Treasure                                                            
1 Player

Took me ages to track this one down but it has been worth the effort.   Yes it’s a 2D side on view title, which doesn’t push the N64 to any degree however it’s by Treasure and that means a skyscraper of gameplay.   A unique refreshing experience, if you give it time.

Mario Golf                                                     
Nintendo                                                     
1-4 Players

I hate golf, I hate the whole dumb idea of it, I hate those quiet crowds and officials, golf is nasty and evil, yet I love Mario Golf.   Set on golf courses that should be built, the game injects life into a boring and mundane genre.   As with most Mario games the premise is simple as are the controls but you soon become aware of the fantastic depth and skill on offer.   Plenty of challenges are on offer in the single player mode and the multiplayer option will create as many arguments as Goldeneye.   The game also links up to the Gameboy version, which by doing so, opens up new characters, and can improve your statistics.

Mario Kart 64                                    
Nintendo                                                      
1-4 Players

Whether or not you believe the SNES version to be superior, there is no denying what a fine game this is on your own or against friends.   Don’t judge it by its cartoon looks and try it out for yourself.

Mario Tennis                                                  
Nintendo                                                     
1-4 Players

I hate tennis, I hate the whole boring idea of it, bland, uninspiring, Cliff Richard, and Wimbledon should be burned down.   Yet this game along with Virtua Tennis is one of the most enjoyable and addictive games that I have played in recent times.   The simple control method hides a great amount of depth and with plenty of hidden extras and a fantastic multiplayer mode creates a great game.   Even better than the real thing.

Perfect Dark                                                   
Rare                                                              
1-4 Players

A game that had too much to live up to and struggled to meet the hyped expectations of those who had waited for so long.   Perfect Dark does have a strange storyline, which perhaps overshadowed the excellent level design and ideas on show.   Forget about its predecessor, this is still one of the finest games of last year and has a multiplayer mode to die for.   The expansion pack was needed to fully play the game.

Pilot Wings 64                                   
Nintendo                                                        
1 Player

At times an addictive and relaxing game that could suddenly become infuriating due to the almost impossible challenges that you could undertake.   As with many Nintendo games this was often copied but never beaten and the visuals are still good when you consider the age of the game.

Ridge Racer 64                                              
Namco                                                         
1-4 Players

A long time in coming but finally the N64 had a decent arcade driving game in its ranks.   The game moves at a frantic pace and everything is solid although the analogue stick just didn’t feel right.   Still with your mates around, this game is worthy of your time.

Sin & Punishment                                          
Treasure                                                            
1 Player

A Japanese only release, earlier this year from Treasure who with the help of Nintendo take their first steps into a fully 3D game.   Once you get past the unique control method and start coming to terms with the difficulty you will regard Sin & Punishment as one of the best titles not to make it out of Japan.   With so much happening on the screen (all in 3D) it may look like a gun game but its not.   A true test of ones gaming skills, decision-making and reactions.   Blast your way to victory but are you good or bad at heart?

Super Mario 64                                              
Nintendo
1 Player

Easily one of the finest games ever created and the first fully 3D world that we had the opportunity to play in.   It’s hard to describe my feelings on first seeing this game and the amazement in others when it was first released.   The visuals may have become dated but it still has that undeniable gameplay and is laden with ideas and innovation.   It’s a sad reflection on others that the camera system here has yet to be equalled and the next instalment from Miyamoto on the Gamecube will set another precedent.

In general I dislike games with platform elements but here the design is flawless and Mario is tuned to perfection.  The control system feels so natural and covers a wide range of moves.   A classic that will keep you occupied for months.   Press start to play!

Wave Race 64
Nintendo
1-2 Players

The only realistic looking on water racer still to date often copied but never equalled.   As you’d expect from Nintendo, fantastic game design and implementation.   Once mastered you can show off to your hearts content, great stuff.

Zelda: Majora’s Mask
Nintendo
1 Player

Features some of the ideas that just couldn’t be put into Ocarina and is more of a side story rather than a completely new game.   As you would expect there is plenty to see and do in order to save the world from certain disaster.   For some the time travel feature will be the highlight but sometimes it feels like you are making no progress at all.

Zelda Ocarina Of Time
Nintendo
1 Player

This one was in development for so long that many began to wonder if the N64 would have a Zelda game or that it would ever be finished.   What we have here isn’t the envisaged game due to time constraints but my god, what a game Zelda is.   The world of Hyrule is brought to life with a great storyline, soundtrack, design and with so much to see and do, the Zelda experience is one that you will never forget.

Close but not good enough

There are plenty of games, which didn’t make it onto the above list for one reason or another yet they do deserve a mention and are well worth picking up.   So just behind the front-runners we have:

Banjo Kazooie

Body Harvest

Diddy Kong Racing

Donkey Kong 64

Lylat Wars

Mystical Ninja

Quake II

Rogue Squadron

Shadowman

Silicon Valley

Snowboard Kids

The World is Not Enough

Wipeout 64

We’re on the highway to hell

An N64 cartridge has a million and one uses if the game isn’t that much cop, from propping up a wobbly table to becoming a dangerous missile – the cart is useful if the game isn’t.   Even with this in mind, you would have to be certainly mad to pick up one of the following and don’t believe that Nintendo seal of quality:

Aero Gauge

Army Men: Sarge’s Heroes

Carmageddon 64

Clayfighter

Daikatana

Fifa 64

Fifa ‘98

Fifa ‘99

Fighting Force

Mortal Kombat Mythologies

Paperboy

Power Rangers

Rampage World Tour

Rampage Universal Tour

Rugrats in Paris

Rugrats Treasure Hunt

Superman

What Next?

Even with titles such as Dinosaur Planet disappearing off the release schedule no doubt to rise again on Gamecube, the N64 does have some titles worth watching out for in 2001.   Such games as Paper Mario, Indiana Jones and finally Excitebike will be (hopefully) welcome additions and there is always the chance of importing some great Japanese releases.   At the end of the day, not much beats an N64 and 4 pads when your mates visit.

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