The Nintendo 64 Buyer’s Guide

Originally posted on GamingPrecision.com

It’s a sad, familiar situation. It’s the future. You’ve just gotten your copy of Star Fox 64 for your 3DS and your friends want to play multiplayer on it. However, they don’t have a 3DS because they didn’t want to spend $250 on a DSi with poor battery life and can potentially make you blind. So you decide to get Star Fox 64 on your Wii but the dog buried your Wiimotes. You try to get him to tell you where they are but he won’t because you didn’t feed him for three days. Also, because he’s a dog and he can’t understand you. Your friends are disappointed. They’re frustrated with you and threaten to drop kick you in the face because they can’t play Star Fox 64 multiplayer. What should you do? DON’T PANIC!

Would Goldeneye 007 panic? NO! It would tell you to suck it up and quit being a baby! But then again, it’s okay to be a baby. Banjo says it’s okay. Kazooie will then tell you to just buy a Nintendo 64, the original console these games were introduced on, geek boy. Or girl. You decide to take the video game bird’s advice and buy a Nintendo 64 but you don’t know which games and accessories to get. Your life is a whirl of hard decisions and tribulations. You don’t know how you got yourself into this mess. Well, that’s where this guide comes in. This Nintendo 64 Buyer’s Guide was design to prevent ridicule from video game characters and drop kicks to the face.

Console

Right off the bat, there are different colors of the system. No one model is different from the other except the color so this is a judgment call. Jungle Green is cool because it makes it looks radioactive. Grape makes it look like it belonged to Prince. Fire Red looks like it’s always on fire! Whichever console you buy, it’ll always get you the same console that’ll play Star Fox 64.

Accessories

One of the key features of the N64 is that it has four controller ports right out of the box, a feature neither of its contemporaries, the Sega Saturn and Sony PlayStation, had. So you’re going to want to get a total of four controllers. Unless you don’t have a lot of friends. I’m sorry. Also, you want to make sure that the Analog stick is tight because they tend to degrade over time and they don’t stay centered. Another accessory you’ll want is a Rumble Pak. It’ll make the controller shake. Also, you should get a few Controller Paks. Some games will have built in save batteries to save your game but others will require a Controller Pak. They tend to fill up quickly so you’ll need two or three. Finally, you’ll need an Expansion Pak to play certain games, like Donkey Kong 64 and The Legend of Zelda: Majora’s Mask. There isn’t enough memory in the console to play some games or at least access some features so the console needed a boost.

Games

Super Mario 64

One of the best games EVER, Super Mario 64 brought Mario into the 3D world with flying colors. This game was a launch title for the console and was revolutionary. Each level is very well created and the controls are extremely responsive. Finding each star is fun to find and some can be extremely challenging (I’m looking at you, 100 coins on Tick Tock Clock). My favorite Mario game of all time, I can’t recommend this more.

Banjo-Kazooie

Rare was one of the greatest game developers for the Nintendo 64. Here’s the first example. Banjo-Kazooie set the standard that all future platformers for the generation were measured by. Banjo-Kazooie expanded on Super Mario 64’s initial blueprint and added more exploration. Along with some great comedic writing, Banjo-Kazooie added personality to the platform genre.

Conker64pic1Conker’s Bad Fur Day

To answer Conker’s question, it’s because the Nintendo 64’s lifespan was almost over and Rare stopped giving a fuck! After being developed for four years, it turned this cute squirrel character from Diddy Kong Racing into a drunk, money hunger degenerate trying to find his way home after getting wasted the night before. An expansive world like Banjo-Kazooie with linear gameplay like Rayman 2, this was different from Rare’s other games. Varied multiplayer modes (including the extremely fun Heist mode) increased the replay value. How could you not love this game?

Wave Race 64

A jet ski racing game isn’t what you would call a candidate for the best racing game except that IT IS! Fast gameplay, well designed tracks and responsive controls make this a great racer even today. Graphically, it looks wonderful with its wave physics and high contrast, as well as it’s innovative weather conditions. Also, you can ride a dolphin. A DOLPHIN!

Mario Kart 64

Mario Kart = crack cocaine. No one can resist the charm of Mario Kart and it all started here. Although Super Mario Kart on the SNES was a great game, Mario Kart 64 made it the party game that we all know it as today. Memorable courses, different kart physics and the introduction of the blue spike shell laid the ground work for the great Double Dash several years later.

Goldeneye 007

What can be said that hasn’t been said about this game already? This game is the bee’s knees. Like Mr. Bojangles and the Three Stooges in a cotton candy factory. Bet no one’s ever said that before! The first FPS to be playable on a console, the deal was sweeten by the excellent multiplayer. You should have bought this game yesterday. So go get it now before it shoots you in the ass (you don’t mess with 007).

Super Smash Bros.

Do you know what made Super Smash Bros so great? Not that you finally had the chance to beat up Pikachu but it also gave you the chance to beat up Jigglypuff! I didn’t even know I wanted to do that. The kickoff to the series may seem slower than its predecessors but multiplayer here is still addictive and fun and chaotic. Also, Star Fox’s level is still one of the best in the series and they need to bring it back for the next game!

40230-Star_Fox_64_(USA)-21Star Fox 64

Branching pathways, intense firefights, diverse maneuverability, teammates, and great multiplayer on top of a well crafted single player. No wonder your friends were going to drop kick you in the face for not being able to play this game. However, if they still try to, just DO A BARREL ROLL!

Paper Mario

People wanted a new Mario RPG after the SNES classic but Squaresoft, the developer of the first one, had separated from Nintendo. So Intelligent Systems took the RPG concept and made something completely different. Paper Mario is so endearing and charming, you can’t help but fall in love with it. If Mario is a Italian stereotype, then Paper Mario is an attractive Italian that women melt for (in the 90s).

The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time

This is a list of games to buy but if you get only one game, make it this one. The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time is an epic adventure game with temples to clear, puzzles to conquer and atmosphere to spare. Z-targeting revolutionized how to do 3D combat in games and the industry as a whole hasn’t been the same since. An epic storyline, beautifully design locals and wonderment brought to the ocarina instrument; you can never stop praising this game. To quote CGR Undertow, “This is the video game industry’s answer to Citizen Kane”. The greatest video game ever.

Other Great Games

Rayman 2: A platformer that was a pre cursor to the genre today.

Yoshi’s Story: A 2.5 platformer that, while easy to complete, hard to perfect.

Cruis’n World: A traditional racing game that the first should’ve been.

Extreme G: A fast futuristic racer that’s has weapons ala Mario Kart for accessibility.

Killer Instinct Gold: The only 2-D fighter worth getting for the N64.

Mortal Kombat 4: The only 3-D fighter worth getting for the N64.

NBA Hangtime: Fans of NBA Jam will enjoy the arcade gameplay and create mode.

Perfect Dark: Rare’s follow up to Goldeneye 007, a futuristic shooter.

Donkey Kong 64: If you like collecting from Banjo-Kazooie, you’ll like this scavenger hunt.

1080 Snowboarding: Imagine Wave Race 64, but a snowboard except of a jet ski.

Pokémon Stadium: Your favorite Pokémon are now in 3D. That should be enough for you.

Banjo-Tooie: The sequel to the first game is twice as big and you can turn into a dinosaur.

WWF Attitude: The follow up to the first 3D WWF game improves it in every way.

Turok: Dinosaur Hunter: The first game that showed the promise of a console FPS.

The Legend of Zelda: Majora’s Mask: A strange game in the franchise with a darker tone.

Games to Avoid

Earthworm Jim 3D

Love the first two classic games on the Genesis? Then you’re gonna hate this. Jim looks like a bodybuilder’s bicep and he controls awfully. Enemies constantly regenerate and the story is preposterous. Even if you love the Earthworm Jim series, still don’t get this.

Fighting Games

Except for the aforementioned Mortal Kombat 4 and Killer Instinct Gold, fighting games on the Nintendo 64 are horrible. It doesn’t matter which one you pick, you’ll be disappointed. Dark Rift, Mace: The Dark Age, War Gods, BioFreaks, Mortal Kombat Trilogy, it’s all bad. Personally, I also like Clayfighter 63 1/3 but I’m well aware it’s not a great game.

_-Aidyn-Chronicles-The-First-Mage-N64-_RPG Games

Unfortunately, RPG games suffer the same fate of fighting games. However, part of the reason for that is there aren’t hardly any RPGs for the console. Paper Mario is the sole RPG that is worth your time so avoid Quest 64, Aidyn Chronicles, and Hybrid Heaven.

gfs_14039_2_5Pilotwings 64

Here’s a controversial pick. Many say that this game is great but I’ve always felt that the game is a glorified tech demo and gamers enjoyed the game because there was nothing else at the launch of the console. Trust me, you won’t enjoy this game.

Superman

NO! I WILL NOT SOLVE YOUR MAZE BECAUSE IT’S JUST A BUNCH OF FLIGHT TESTS WILL THE WORSE CONTROLS EVER!!! One of the worse games ever made, it’s like this game was released to counter balance The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time.

There you go! This should keep you busy for awhile. Of course there are other games that you should check out, like Jet Force Gemini, Star Wars Shadows of the Empire, and Excitebike 64, but this should get you started and keep your friends happy and at bay. Also, the Nintendo 64 will make you a better person. You’ll be able to find the Wiimotes in the back yard, under the table by the screen door (I’m telling you where it is). You’ll remember to feed the dog so it won’t happen again. You’ll even get better friends that don’t threaten you when you don’t spend your money for them. Happy Gaming!

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