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By N64Memories On 17 Apr, 2017 At 08:26 PM | Categorized As Editorials, Featured, NINTENDO, Old School Otaku, Previews, ROG News | With 0 Comments

No GravatarBy Steven Smith

GoldenEye 007 remains one of the most popular all-time console games. I wrote for +Nintendo Life here as to why I replay it so much as well as this article about its never-released Xbox Live version and this article on the blog re-playing the Wii version.

It’s a seminal console FPS, proving the genre didn’t have to be PC-only if developers could find a unique slant. And this is exactly what Rare managed to do back in the mid-90s.
As you know, GoldenEye 007 has 18 main storyline levels and two bonus levels for completing Secret Agent and then the über tough 00 Agent setting. Below I have ranked all 20 levels based on how much I enjoy replaying them individually.

20. Surface 1

Its non-linear environment is a definite positive; being able to roam freely around helps make the stealth element more engaging. However, the environment is drab and sparse and the objectives through all difficultly levels aren’t anything to shout about. I only re-play this if I am recompleting the game.

19. Runway

I like how similar to the film its environment is but that’s as far as my enjoyment for this level goes to be honest. It’s a small, linear level really; the tank is slow and there’s no real skill involved in completing the objectives.

18. Surface 2

The redeeming feature from the first Surface is that the objectives are more of a challenge. It’s still drab though – a shame the Xbox Live version didn’t see the light of day because it really spruced up the visuals of this level.

17. Silo

I do like racing through for the target time cheat but it is far too linear and repetitive to have longevity in the enjoyment stakes. Scientists just get in the way too….

16. Bunker 1

Its semi-non linear structure allows for some stealth – picking off cameras and enemies hoping for minimal disruption. However, I just can’t get over the missing sections that suddenly appear in Bunker 2 and link the whole facility together. It just makes Bunker 1 not feel quite right…

15. Egyptian

It’s so far down my list because of the utter underwhelming feeling I got playing it for the first time once I had toiled through 00 Agent. It just didn’t feel worth the trouble at the time. Although facing off against Baron Samedi is cool and the level has so many nooks and crannies for enemies to pick you off from. Some skill is needed.

14. Jungle

Jungle reminds me of Turok’s opening quite a bit – the scenery and fogging create a foreboding atmosphere. A player does need to sneak through and carefully pick people off in the early stages in order to conserve health for later on. I like facing off against Xenia as a bit of a mini boss and the weaponry gets fun. The biggest challenge is the target time because your usual tactics have to go out the window.

13. Frigate

I can still get lost on this level! For some reason that’s why I like it and re-play it. I have never really managed to learn its layout off by heart and I probably won’t. However, for some, I can see why this level might be a bit drab and easy to fly through.

12. Statue

This is quite a clever level because of the designers’ use of repetitive scenery to confuse the player and get them lost. If one memorises some certain junk in the level then it isn’t too hard to whizz around, however. Bad guys can pop up from anywhere around you and the flight recorder can land in a few different places to keep you on your toes.

11. Bunker 2

A much better version – the player can roam freely through the corridors and rooms in any chosen direction in order to complete objectives as efficiently as possible. The challenge leaps between Agent and Secret Agent – one must decide on a tactic for completing it and stick to it. For example, I methodically pick off every bad guy in the level – there are 50-odd by the way – and happily let it take as long as it needs. Some like to race through completing objectives and killing when necessary. However, this doesn’t work for me.

10. Depot

What I like about it is that the level is linear in terms of completing the objectives and subsequently getting to the train yet there’s so much to explore and roam freely for if you’re on Agent, for example. I remember exploring every corner of every place looking for some sort of secret or Easter Egg. It also gets super tough on 00 Agent so a good level all round.

9. Streets

Driving through the streets in a tank, crushing anything in your path is still a lot of fun even if it is rather slow. Yet, on foot, there are back streets to explore and objectives to complete on harder settings. On foot is also the best way to complete the target time for a cheat – just get your head down, memorise the route and strafe your heart out!

8. Control

This is a brilliant level for many reasons: a mixture of linear and non-linear structure for completing objectives; a well-pitched difficulty increase; lots of different scenery in the facility with some good visuals still; and a hugely tense battle at the end both in protecting Natalya and the subsequent race to the end. Yes, protecting her is annoying and massively tough on 00 Agent but it makes the level what it is. It’s at number eight because it is one of the toughest levels in the game and will drive you insane on 00 Agent.

7. Caverns

A huge, sprawling level that can be raced through with expert marksmanship or taken slowly with stealth. Objectives’ challenge increase well like in Control but it feels more achievable on 00 Agent. Again, some good weaponry on display and it introduces some new scenery such as the doors and the corridors. I like how it can be tense at the end but not off-the-chart-tense like Control is.

6. Archives

Archives for me is fun because it is a race – get out of the room, get to Natalya, get out on to the streets. This race gets tougher and tougher as you up the difficulty and I don’t think there’s any other way to approach it. Stealth just doesn’t work on here and that’s tough!

5. Train

Probably the most linear stage, a criticism of mine earlier on, but its linear nature creates a great feeling of claustrophobia on the train. There’s nowhere to hide, no method of escape from fire other than ploughing forward. Therefore, one must be on one’s best form to pick off everyone as quickly as possible especially on 00 Agent. Although experts can memorise their appearance, I like how enemies pop up behind you, follow you and can cause loss of health if one forgets. Also, try to kill Trevelyan at the end – apparently it’s possible!

4. Dam

This one is a little nostalgia-driven because for 99% of us, it was our first experience with the game and the opening level epitomises my love for GoldenEye 007 because of this memory. It is still a good level – large and even larger when you have to explore what is going on underneath the surface of the dam. Some combination of blasting enemies and picking them off covertly is the best approach and, if you have an Action Replay, you can reach that fabled island across from the dam!

3. Cradle

Another race – this time in pursuit of Trevelyan once and for all. It’s tough because of the enemies ; they’re not your priority for once! Sometimes you need to get them if they’re in your way but ultimately the death of Trevelyan is your goal and this needs to be the focus. Well-placed head shots get him to say “Finish the job, James!” quicker and this is your aim. I like it because it has the right level of tension and a variety of FPS skills are needed to complete it. Chasing Trevelyan around is fun and the level is the right size for this kind of objective. Pitched well all round by the +Rare Ltd developers.

2. Facility

A fantastically well-pitched level. From picking off a faeces-full guard and dropping into the toilet, to blasting those bottling tanks, the level is full of great moments and challenge. It’s quite claustrophobic with little room to hide and pick off enemies. Racing through proves to be the best method and has to be in order to achieve that insanely difficult target time on 00 Agent. It’s so well-recreated from the film and is genuinely the most  I feel like James Bond in this and any other James Bond game on any console. Sublime for me.

1. Aztec

A superb level and a wonderful present from Rare for completing Secret Agent. In terms of reward satisfaction, this should have been given for completing 00 Agent but then not as many people may have got to enjoy it. It looks fantastic, it has an array of scenery and places to explore and it really challenges the gamer to use many skills to complete the objectives. Not only that, you get to battle Jaws. Jaws! Yes, you can just get face-to-chest with him and blast him to death but that doesn’t matter because it’s surreal to be battling him in the first place. We are introduced to the laser gun and your aim is to get that rocket into space. I love this level and happily replay it when I get the chance. It can still get me – I’ve never perfected it and this gives it longevity for me.
Steven Smith runs the N64Memories Twitter and Facebook pages as well as its blog – www.n64memories.blogspot.co.uk
By Jonathan Balofsky On 15 Feb, 2017 At 05:36 PM | Categorized As News, NINTENDO, ROG News | With 0 Comments

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Tomorrow’s Wii U VC game for North America is the long awaited N64 Classic Ogre Battle 64: Person of Lordly Caliber. It arrived recently on the European eShop and now is coming to North America.

It’s up to you to defeat the Empire!

Ogre Battle 64: Person of Lordly Caliber is a tactical RPG originally released for the Nintendo 64 system. The game tells the story of Magnus Gallant, a recently graduated officer of the Palatinean Army who is assigned to the troubled southern region of his native land. There he witnesses the plight of the lower classes – the victims of a tyrannical ruling elite whose only thought is for the preservation of their own lofty status. With civil war brewing, Magnus is faced with a terrible choice: to betray his own noble origins in the name of liberty, or turn a blind eye to the evils of his rotten society.

Will you be buying this game when the eShop updates tomorrow? Let us know!

Source

 

By Jonathan Balofsky On 25 Dec, 2016 At 12:03 AM | Categorized As News, NINTENDO, ROG News | With 0 Comments

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Almost two decades after its release, new test levels have been found within Bomberman 64. Skelux made the discovery and posted his discovery on youtube.

The stages are included in a “Test World”, are incomplete and lack music, but are still really cool. How many other hidden secrets are there still to be found in retro games.

 

By N64Memories On 15 Aug, 2016 At 08:59 PM | Categorized As Editorials, Featured, News, Old School Otaku, ROG News | With 0 Comments

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The Nintendo 64’s library of games was always bemoaned for being tiny. However, many gamers in the late 1990s and early 2000s still would not have had the money or time to really experience all the excellent games the console did have despite its relatively small number. Classic games such as Super Mario 64, Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time and Mario Kart 64 were in most people’s collection, of course, but casual N64 gamers might not know of all the excellent alternatives to commonly owned classic games that are out there. Below, Steven Smith (aka @N64Memories on Twitter) suggests 20 alternative N64 games you might want to try instead of your usual go-to games…

Mario Kart 64/Diddy Kong Racing South Park Rally

Mario Kart 64 and, some might say, Diddy Kong Racing are the kings of the kart genre. However, South Park Rally is certainly worth playing if you need to refresh your racing fix because it not only taps into what makes the aforementioned games great, but adds in a classic dose of South Park humour as well as unique challenges not found elsewhere. Trying to collect and hold onto an antidote that will cure you of Mad Cow’s Disease is a unique way of using the karting skills honed in Mario Kart 64. It is a well-crafted game, bundles of fun and different enough not to just be a clone.

GoldenEye 007 The World is not Enough

file-2A lot of what made Rare’s GoldenEye 007 the seminal console first-person shooter is shamelessly plagiarised here in TWINE, but ultimately that’s not a problem. This is because the developers, Eurocom, have reused these features exceptionally well to create another immersive Bond adventure that is just as exciting as GoldenEye 007. In fact, there are a few aspects of TWINE that are better than GoldenEye, which I outlined here in an article on my blog. With this article, I wasn’t saying it is the better game but that it has taken the successful GoldenEye 007 formula and added good gameplay elements to it. Definitely worth playing if you haven’t already.

International Superstar Soccer/FIFA Michael Owen’s World League Soccer 2000

Released in the USA as Mia Hamm Soccer 64, this soccer sim is definitely on a par with the N64 FIFA games and just shy of the brilliance of Konami’s ISS series. The British-based developers used varied camera angles, tight responsive controls and a range of player moves to try to offer an alternative to the dominance of EA and Konami. It sold fairly well but was unfairly overlooked because of the likes of FIFA and now is the time to tell people to give it another chance!

Wave Race 64 Hydro Thunder

Surprisingly, the success of Wave Race 64 early on in the N64’s life didn’t cause of flood (pun intended) of replica games onto the system. Maybe developers knew they couldn’t match its success, who knows. However, Midway’s release is a viable alternative as it is a great conversion of the arcade game. The graphics are gorgeous, the tracks are numerous and varied enough to repeatedly enjoy, and it handles responsively too. Although it isn’t a Wave Race 64 beater, it is similar and it is very accomplished. There’s no harm in putting down Wave Race for a little while if you haven’t tried this yet.

Yoshi’s Story Mischief Makers

2D gaming was going out of fashion in the late 1990s and it took something extra special on a 3D console to get gamers to take notice. Although not as deep as Yoshi’s Island on the Super NES, Yoshi’s Story was a popular 2D platformer on the N64 and clearly had a sprinkle of that Nintendo magic that got people fawning over it. A few other alternative 2D platformers exist to Yoshi’s Story but none as exciting as Mischief Makers. You are Marina, a robot out to save her creator who has been kidnapped. Levels are unique because you SHAKE SHAKE your way up, down and through the semi-2D levels. The story line is bonkers but the levels and worlds that occupy the game are lovely and it gets pretty darn challenging towards the end. To extend longevity, each level can be completed in a time frame to earn awards and there are plenty of secrets to uncover. With 2D back in fashion, there’s no better time to rediscover this one.

Turok 2: Seeds of Evil Armorines: Project S.W.A.R.M

From the same development company came an alternative first-person shooter in a similar vein to the Turok sequel. However, Turok 2 was a hugely popular game and Armorines also had GoldenEye 007 to contend with. This means it was overlooked by many casual N64 gamers and shooter enthusiasts. This is a shame because Armorines is a nifty little shooter: swapping dinosaurs for bugs as well as prehistoric settings for futuristic ones. It plays and handles exactly the same as the Turok series and anyone who is a fan of Turok would adore this as well.

Resident Evil 2 Castlevania: Legacy of Darkness

Resident Evil 2 was the ultimate survival horror game for the N64 and PlayStation. However, a decent alternative is the second N64 Castlevania game (the game the first release was meant to be). It is survival horror of the more action variety as you battle giant skeletons, werewolves and chainsaw-wielding maniacs. The levels are vast, the puzzles are solveable but not too easy and there’s plenty to unlock. It’s not as tight a game as Resident Evil 2 but seeing as RE2 was quite a short experience, it’s probably time to think about alternatives and Legacy of Darkness is worth a go.

F-Zero X San Francisco Rush 2049

file-1Lots of futuristic racers exist on the N64 but this is the most worthy alternative that many have probably missed out on. The third N64 instalment of the Rush series is great because it gives you lush futuristic cityscapes with maximum speed and adrenaline-filled racing. The challengers in a race are hard to beat and there are secret passages packed into every track to take advantage of in order to win. F-Zero X is king but here is your prince.

 

 

Banjo Kazooie Rayman 2: The Great Escape

Although not a Banjo Kazooie beater, Rayman 2 is a solid platformer that owes a lot to Rare’s great game.  It shares similar types of non-playable characters who speak oddly, focus on collectables, great variety in locations, puzzle solving and cut-scenes. It never reaches the heights of Banjo Kazooie’s quality because of its linear nature and lack of save points. However, for those who like the Banjo type of platformer, then this is definitely an option.

WWF No Mercy Virtual Pro-Wrestling 2

The N64 is home to many a great wrestling game: mostly thanks to THQ/AKI Ace and, to a lesser extent, Acclaim. These mostly come with a WCW or a WWE licence but there was this Japanese-only release that rivals them all. VPW2 was also AKI Ace produced and featured the great grappling with no sluggishness or over-complicated bout types that come with American Sports Entertainment. This was fast-paced wrestling at its best and has the added bonus of some whacky Japanese commentary. If you have a NTSC-J N64 and love wrestling games then definitely play this as an alternative to WWF No Mercy.

Legend of Zelda: Majora’s Mask Hybrid Heaven

Comparisons between these two games are numerous: action/adventure mixed with RPG, a more sinister storyline with darker environments to explore as well as a host of idiosyncratic characters to meet along the way. Konami’s Hybrid Heaven was a great attempt at producing something the N64 didn’t have at the time and while they are not all successful, it does well at gripping you from the outset with its curious main character and storyline. If you have exhausted Majora’s Mask on the N64 and 3DS then Hybrid Heaven is your next point of call.

Rogue Squadron Battle for Naboo

Battle for Naboo was the spiritual successor to the fantastic Rogue Squadron before Rogue Leader came along on the Nintendo GameCube. It has a lukewarm reputation because of the lacklustre film it is based on. However, if you can see past its Episode 1 links (like you can with Episode 1: Racer) then you will have an enjoyable Star Wars shooter on your hands. It not only sends you to the skies but has you grounded too in various machines doing battle. In addition, you are treated to a lush graphical upgrade as well as maintaining the medal challenges of Rogue Squadron. A worthwhile alternative.

Snowboard Kids Snowboard Kids 2

A little bit of a rarity this sequel but if you are a huge fan of the first and haven’t played the second then you must look this up. In terms of gameplay it is identical, but you have a whole new set of tracks, some new racers, improved graphics and even a little hub world to explore. Only for serious fans.

Perfect Dark Turok 3: Shadow of Oblivion

The threequel starts off in a world not too dissimilar to that of Perfect Dark’s; the similarities in location, non-playable characters and futuristic weapons are too hard to ignore. Clearly, Iguana Entertainment saw how stupendous Perfect Dark was looking and went for it! Therefore, Turok 3 is a nice little alternative initially to sink your teeth into before you start to see its roots in the two prequels coming through. For me, it was the best of both and is certainly a game to find and play if you haven’t before.

The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time Hercules: The Legendary Journeys

Similarities between the two extend further than using a colon in their respective titles. In fact, I suspect the Hercules development team played Ocarina of Time throughout the game’s creation. By no means is Hercules a like-for-like game – both in terms of content and quality, because it is not. However, casual fans of both the TV series it is based upon and Ocarina of Time will enjoy sinking their gaming teeth into this one if you haven’t already. There are many locations to explore, fighting on your journey to be had, bosses to battle and items to collect. The RPG elements are by no means as in-depth as Ocarina of Time but they do exist and it has a Zelda-like feel to its graphics and music.  Worth a sniff.

Super Mario 64 Rocket: Robot on Wheels

This was the best third-party platform game on the N64. fileThe storyline is fun, engaging and unique – having to scupp
er the evil JoJo’s plans to ruin opening day for the theme park; the graphics are sublime, with a lovely frame rate and easy-to-use camera (essential for a 3D platformer); and it is mightily innovative because a lot of puzzle solving needs Rocket to apply the laws of physics. What makes it familiar to fans of Super Mario 64 is the fact that the worlds and puzzles do seem to take inspiration from the portly plumber’s adventure. But this is not a negative because it is highly enjoyable. Fans of Super Mario 64 that haven’t played this, must!

Jet Force Gemini Body Harvest

Both are third-person shooters involving bugs to blast. Jet Force Gemini has the unique Rare charm and sublime polish but Body Harvest, for me, is the more immerse game and certainly more challenging. Ignore the poorly-aged graphics because the game is full-to-the-brim with content – so many vehicles to drive, puzzles to solve, places to explore and bugs to squish. If you haven’t experienced it, please do so, but be prepared to sink many hours into Body Harvest. Great value for money right now.

Excitebike 64 Top Gear Hyperbike

If you’ve exhausted Excitebike 64 and love this type of racing game then Top Gear Hyperbike is the next best thing. More accessible then Excitebike was, Top Gear Hyperbike is an easy game to pick up and throw yourself into. The gameplay is solid, the graphics and frame rate are fine, and the races are as fast and furious as they would be in real life. This hasn’t got Excitebike’s depth but if you need some new tracks to race around then you should purchase this.

Super Smash Bros. Rakuga Kids

file (1)Despite the many beat ‘em ups on the N64, there’s no other alternative to Nintendo’s masterpiece than Rakuga Kids by Konami. It’s the only other dedicated game where cutsey characters can wage war on each other. The characters look like they’re right out of a Bust-a-Move game yet the amount of variety on offer, both game options and beat ‘em up moves, means this is nothing like one of those games! Where Super Smash Bros. has Star Fox’s pistol, this has water guns! Rakuga Kids did a great job back in the day of refreshing the genre and probably didn’t enjoy the success it deserved. If you’re a beat ‘em up fan, you have to find this!

Banjo Tooie Conker’s Bad Fur Day

Despite both games being developed by Rare and releasing very late in the N64’s lifespan, Banjo Tooie well out-sold Conker’s Bad Fur Day. Therefore, many gamers haven’t had the chance to really enjoy Conker’s eventual adventure for the Nintendo 64. This is made even more difficult because even a cartridge on its own is around $100/£80. Both are platformers and both are graphically gorgeous, otherwise they are quite dissimilar in tone and action. I consider Conker an alternative to Banjo Tooie because they both require an investment from the gamer to really maximise the satisfaction you will get from playing them. They are large, explorable worlds to immerse yourself in. Try finding a ROM if you cannot afford to invest in a Conker’s Bad Fur Day cart.

 

Steven Smith runs the #N64Memories Twitter feed, Facebook page and blog – www.n64memories.blogspot.com

By otakuman5000 On 30 Jul, 2014 At 09:26 PM | Categorized As Editorials, Featured, NINTENDO, Old School Otaku | With 0 Comments

No GravatarGames, at their roots, are a social hub. From board games to arcades to home consoles: there has always been a social aspect. Unfortunately the social aspect of video games is, for the majority, met by a microphone strapped to your head. While the ability to play with friends from around the globe is great, some couch multiplayer is still wonderful. Unfortunately as video games become more and more popular with consoles in more homes every day, local multiplayer is beginning to slip. While I do not think the transition to online social links is at all bad, I still love local multiplayer. One of the prime examples of a system designed for social gaming is the Nintendo 64.

N64

Tangled mess = Good night

The Nintendo 64 may not be the best Nintendo console (the worst in my personal opinion), but the gems it did have are truly gems. I am going to pick the top 5 multiplayer experiences I had on the system. I did not play, nor do I have any intention of playing, every game on the system so this is far from a definitive list. With that disclaimer let’s start:

#5 Mario Party 3

MP3            

This game is a staple for the system. I chose this entry before Mario Party 1 and 2 for one reason: more mini games. Since this series is made by the mini-games this only makes sense. I hate to include a Mario Party game on the list because it is the “Monopoly of videogames” in that it is a very realistic possibility to lose friends to the sheer level backstabbing that forms the foundation of this game series. Boo may as well be the grim reaper.

Boo

The “lost friend” count is only rivaled by the “dead friend” count.

That aside: it is a blast. Whether it is you and one friend or a room full. The constant zany actions of characters and the mini games is enough to entertain you for hours. Assuming the fun is not interrupted up by the need for first aid attention.

#4 007: The World is Not Enough

WINE

I know that 007: Goldeneye is generally regarded as the best fps of the N64, and maybe of all-time, rivaled only by Perfect Dark on the system. If anyone were to ask me? The superior fps is Goldeneye’s younger brother: it did everything Goldeneye did and more. Granted in its own right Goldeneye was iconic and it has inspired many creators The World is Not Enough aged much better than Goldeneye and it is far more tolerable in terms of gameplay and graphics. Controls are just as awful thanks to the inbred octopus of a controller that the N64 has. Also worth noting is that none of your friends can play as Odd Job now, so now everyone wins. Except for the one that picks Odd Job, now everyone knows how bad they are. Sorry.

oddjob shot

You can’t help anyone who mains Odd Job.

#3 Mortal Kombat 4

mk4

Mortal Kombat is an influential series for me. It is the game that made me a fan of fighting games and real virtual competition, and maybe a little spine ripping out of the body action. This was a saving grace for the Nintendo 64. The N64 had a weak market of fighting tolerable fighting games composed mainly of Mortal Kombat: Trilogy, Killer Instinct Gold, and Clayfighter 63 1/3. Mortal Kombat 4 was a game I did not originally own on the system, but one that I picked up after I began collecting older games from my youth. That being said this is a game that I am glad I picked up. It keeps the Mortal Kombat charm and is entirely suitable for a few rounds of fun. It is by no means as defining as a fighting game that is soon to be mentioned. It was nice to find that the game had a nice character roster too. That is always nice to be able to swap in between fights to a better color ninja.

characters

Ah yes I love yellow ninja way more than blue ninja.

#2 F-Zero X

fzero

As far as racing games for the Nintendo 64 went: a lot of good ones existed. The Crusin’ series, Mario Kart, and Diddy Kong are a few prime examples. This game is another that I didn’t own in my youth. Upon playing it more recently I feel I can say without wearing nostalgia goggles that it is the pinnacle of racing for the system. The game is entirely based on speed. No lucky items, just pure racing skill and a mix of irrational and nonsensical speed. Along with 29 competitors. Yes 30 racers in a single race going faster than one reasonably should, even in a race. Games are all about nonsense like that. I love that nonsense.

fzero screen

757 km/h is almost as fast as a falcon punch.

The game is really content heavy as well, look at this select screen for the vehicles alone.

machine screen

What goes great with all those vehicles? How about a samurai to drive them? No? A dinosaur maybe? That’s right you can’t say no to a dinosaur. If you somehow are not into totally rad sentient dinosaurs you can choose the always punching Captain Falcon. Or a multitude of other character, but who cares because dinosaurs driving fast cars.

fzero char

This is not a godly evolution line.

With so much pure awesome packed into so much cartridge, how could you go wrong? Other than some sharp turns. It is sure to be a great use of a few nights to fly through this game with some friends.

#1 Super Smash Bros

ssb

I’m sure this surprises literally no one. Super Smash Bros is the series that makes the N64. It may have some other great games, but this is it. If all else fails you can always return to this. I could babble about this game for pages, but you already know. Everyone knows.

ssb2

Where arguments are really settled. If for some reason you don’t know, just know this: some of the best Nintendo characters on one screen fighting it out for supremacy. Controlled by you and 3 friends. If you lose you want to prove yourself, if you win you want to stay on top. It’s a never ending cycle of always coming back to this game.

By Sean Jacobs On 12 Jan, 2014 At 01:08 PM | Categorized As Editorials, Featured, NINTENDO, Old School Otaku, PlayStation, ROG Fashion | With 2 Comments

No GravatarIt was all good just a few gens ago…

jamies 037

Doesn’t flow off the tongue like Jay-Z Hard Knock Life Vol.2 song “A week ago” unlike the timeless Rap classic album Nintendo’s reputation amongst gamers has been a tumultuous one & hasn’t really been good to look back on. Though while the “gamers” have rallied against big N’s relevance in gaming today. Nintendo has continuously remained profitable and as a business that is the core thing for a company to remain successful. Gamers as fickle as we are as a whole are nothing to scoff at. The gaming community rallied around all that was Nintendo throughout the 3rd and 4th generation but, as the 5th generation reared its head. It seemed as if throughout all the years this company has gotten right they have lost what essentially made them great. Let me dust off the history books and take a peep into them to see what the catalysts was that landed them into this peculiar situation. Generation 5 when Nintendo 64 was released by the big N there was so much hype surrounding what could be. There was its new weird looking controller introducing analog control stick tech into console gaming along with 64 megabits of power. It seemed as if things were all good except for the fact Sega’s Saturn & newcomer Sony’s PlayStation was a CD based platform. That to me was Big N’s major 1st misstep because we all know Nintendo stayed with the old ways of console gaming mediums, Cartridges. I believe this is why Nintendo started to lose its grip on the gamers. Though, a long time ago for most of you modern gamers the gamers whom are in their late 20’s to mid-30’s should remember how the N64 was a wasteland of 3rd party titles rarely seeing jewels that were popping up on the competitions CD based platforms.

n64 titles

Though, the games that did show up by Nintendo’s efforts to collaborate with 3rd party developers & utilizing & acquiring new in house ones. They were able to remain profitable and provide us gamers with classic titles like Mario Kart 64, Star wars Rouge squadron, Mario 64 and let’s not forget the title that made the FPS genre popular on consoles James Bond’s Golden eye to name a few. Those weren’t enough to steamroll the legions of developers from leaving Nintendo home console behind. The flexibility of CD wasn’t the only reason they left Nintendo in the corner. It was their overall business practices that seemingly drove a lot of business away because of that but, it took the likes of the new challenger of the throne Sony’s PlayStation that gave them a place to call home. In return the Sony PlayStation won the 5th console generation. Along with that stole a good portion of the market share Nintendo had for years. During Gen 5 games like Banjo-Kazooie while fun and enjoyable could not bring in new adult gamers into the fold when there were mature titles being released with cinematic experiences unseen for the most part on the N64.

gaming-nintendo-64-playstation

As Generation 5 came to a close and new gamers of a higher age bracket came into the market. Sony Playstation had experiences and cutting edge technologies that you couldn’t find in Nintendo’s home console. Though like a well primed company that it is Nintendo still remained profitable even after losing significant market share along with maintain some of the fiercest fans out there. Granted their profitability wasn’t all hinged on their home console efforts all the while Nintendo is an game company so, as they somewhat floundered their market share Nintendo has the portable gaming market in their pocket protector. Pulling in gangbusters of cashola into their bank accounts later to be infused with some of their future home consoles. Titles like some of their tried and true franchises and new IP’s like Pokémon flourished on this platform but, also new gadgetry and technologies sprung up throughout the Game Boy’s lifetime. Though the portable market is virtually owned by Nintendo for the most part the home console side of things is where Nintendo should start to tighten its grip. From here on out Big N had an uphill battle going into the 6th generation. Stay tuned for the second half of my vision in “Double-edged sword Part 2: Now you’re playing with power”

By otakuman5000 On 22 Mar, 2011 At 02:55 PM | Categorized As Editorials, Featured, Old School Otaku | With 2 Comments

No GravatarThere are some games that should not be allowed to die. They Must Live!!!

Here is a list of games and franchises that deserve to be brought back.

These days, there are a lot of game franchises that are getting reboots and/or re-envisions. Game developers and publishers understand that people will buy a game if it is something that they have enjoyed in the past, especially if they grew up playing a specific game. This is why were are now starting to see more and more game franchises get revived from the vaults of gaming’s past, and be brought to a new generation of gamers that will experience them for the first time. But are all the games getting rebooted deserve to be so? Aren’t there other games that have been long lost to the sands of time that need to be brought back into the spotlight again? I believe so, and I think it’s about time someone put them out there for everybody to see. Here is a list of five games/franchises that game developers need to give the reboot they so thoroughly deserve.

VECTORMAN

Back in the awesome days of the Sega Genesis and Mega Drive, there was another guys hanging along side Sonic and the gang, that guy was Vectorman. He was a robot hero made up of spheres who transported cargo across different parts of the galaxy, taking on all sorts of enemies armed with his proton gun hands and transformation abilities. It was a blast to see all the different kinds of things Vectorman can transform into in all of the levels across the two games he stared in. From drills and helicopters, to fish and rolling time bombs, Vectorman was able to blow up enemy robots in all sorts of different ways. The boss fights in both games all had different crazy and weird variety to them, forcing players to come up with different ways to take them down. There was a ton of cool stuff going on here, and it’s a shame that the planned reboot for this franchise never too off the ground. This is a hero that should have never been forgotten.

FORSAKEN

The N64 was populated with all sorts of great shooters, some of which set up a few of today’s popular FPS games. But besides Turok, Goldeneye, and Duke Nukem being present on the platform, there were a couple under the radar titles that were just as good if not better. Forsaken was an FPS that centered around mercenary death matches that took place in space. The game itself allowed players to pilot different machines and race around different locations, such as ships and carriers, taking out their competition. The game itself allowed players to float and move around in full 3D at a fast pace, and also gave players a huge arsenal of sci-fi weapons to hunt others with. This was a very multiplayer heavy game, even though there was a single player campaign that allowed for obtaining various unlockables and cheats. A reboot of such a game would be a blast to play online with friends and/or foes, and make for some crazy game night stories to tell everyone. Take a look below.

 

BEYOND OASIS
In the 16-bit days, there were many RPG’s that had turn based combat systems that were accompanied by epic story-telling. There were few games that attempted a real time battle system because of the success of games like Final Fantasy. Beyond Oasis was a fantasy story where the overall story telling was as epic and colorful as a Final Fantasy  game, but with the fighting mechanics of a “beat-em-up” game. The battles took place in real time, with much more feed back to the player then other RPGs that came beforehand. There were dungeons to explore and weapons/items to discover in a world with inspiration from games like The Legend of Zelda. This was a fun RPG epic that was released once and never brought back again after the Genesis-era. A full 3D reboot with similar, if not expanded classic elements, would be a great addition to the current generation library of games. This series was created by the great video game composer Yuzo Koshiro.

JET FORCE GEMINI
Many consider this game to be one of the best N64 games released during its time. It was a fun third person action game that contained collection elements from some of the great plat formers of the time, such as Super Mario and Banjo Kazooie. Aside from the great single player campaign with a great and easy to follow story, Jet Force Gemini also had a fun and robust multiplayer mode for up to four players. There was something fun back then about getting together with three friends and shooting it out in any sort of deathmatch mode, only adding to the mix was the ability for each player to use a separate skin of any of the many characters found in the game. Many people have held this game close to their hearts alongside other FPS greats like Goldeneye and Perfect Dark, as that this was one of the few games that could possibly go toe-to-toe with them back then. If a reboot for this game is done, it would be an injustice not to include online multiplayer. The single player campaign was great in it’s own right, and can be expanded upon and improved for current-gen consoles.

ETERNAL CHAMPIONS
It is no secret to anyone that Street Fighter and Mortal Kombat dominated the arcade scenes back in the 16-bit days. There were hardly any 2D fighters that could compete with them in home consoles as well. But because of that, there was a huge deficit in variety for fighting games released in that time, as that everyone wanted to do what Street Fighter and Mortal Kombat did best. Eternal Champions was one of the few fighters that got just enough unique style to make it stand out from the rest. With a whole cast of interesting characters that oozed with personality, as well as the venues each fighter battled on, Eternal Champions was a great fighting game for the Sega Genesis and Megadrive. However, it never got a sequel following it’s release. With all the classic fighters getting reboots and revisions, it would be nice to see a fighter that does not have a Capcom or WB logo on it get some spot light. The game itself was very hard to play, maybe harder then Street Fighter and Mortal Kombat, but it’s style and presentation in the many moves and kill blows just had to be loved by all who played it.