One of the greatest titles to be released for the Nintendo 64, Banjo-Kazooie cemented Rare’s position as the top developer for Nintendo’s 3D console. Colorful characters and expansive levels gave this 3D platformer as sense of identity and personality. The simple story of Banjo and his friend Kazooie as they try to save Tootie, Banjo’s sister, from Gruntilla, the evil witch who lives in a castle, lays the foundation for a game that isn’t driven by its story but by it’s addictive gameplay and entertaining personalities. When it was released in the summer of 1998, the game was a big success and was praised for developing on what Super Mario 64 had established as the foundation for a third dimension platform experience. However, as games have evolved, how does the title hold up today?
Today, as I write this on September 29, 2011, is the 15th anniversary of the Nintendo 64 console being released in the United States.
What do you get when you have bone crushing wrestlers combined with the powerful Nintendo 64? What will you do when 64 bits of power is fused with the New World Order and the incomparable Hollywood Hogan? What will you do when three dimensional video games gets dominated by WCW professional wrestling? I’ll tell you what you’ll get! You get…an okay game. WCW vs. nWo: World Tour is one of the first games I can truly say is a wrestling title. Other games before were merely fighting games with some wrestling mechanics. This title melted together pressure sensitive button inputs, conditional actions and true squared circle action to become a best seller and multiplayer staple. So why do I say it’s only okay?
Arcade racing games are a lot of fun. Unlike games like Gran Turismo and Forza Motorsport, you don’t have to worry about braking for turns or shifting. You just push the gas button and never let go. Arcade racers are all about speed rather than driving ability. The thrill of it being assumed that you know how to handle a car and flying through different locals and passing your opponent after appearing out of seemingly nowhere. So zooming pass different monuments across America sounds like a great idea. So…what the hell happened?
As a big fighting game fan, I loved Killer Instinct in the mid 90s. Although it was rare for me to run into the arcade machine (for some reason, the arcades around where I lived didn’t have one), I was super excited when my mother drove me to the Best Buy out of town (we didn’t have a Best Buy either, for some reason) and I bought a brand new copy of Killer Instinct for the Super Nintendo. It also came with the game’s soundtrack on CD, which I still own to this day (although I lost the original case). When the second game was announced, I couldn’t wait to play it. So I waited and waited until I realized that the game had already been released in Arcades and it just never popped up around where I lived. Luckily, I soon heard about a port being developed for the new Nintendo 64, renamed Gold. So after the console was released and I acquired one, I rented Killer Instinct Gold. I enjoyed it very much and time has been kind to it as it’s the only 2-D fighter worth playing on the console.
As probably everyone knows by now, Netflix is separating their two aspects of service into different subsidiaries. The name Netflix will stay with the streaming service they provide and the DVD mailing service will be called Qwikster. The general consensus to this announcement seems to be universally negative and following the price increase earlier this year, Netflix is no longer as beloved as they make questionable decisions. The backlash is understandable. People don’t adjust to change well, especially when they enjoy the service the way it is as much as most do with Netflix. The software for the service is now being including into televisions directly as a result. I’m sure there are some manufacturer that are less than happy with the decision as it lowers the amount of people who would’ve associated Netflix with DVDs or had the service just because they had DVDs mailed to them.
Thank you for all of your responses to my Xbox 360 vs. PlayStation 3 post a few days ago. I’ve taken all of your opinions into account and I have made my decision. I’ve decided to get…drum roll…pause for dramatic effect…staring intensely…go to a commercial break…come back…repeat what I already said before…continue this joke until it isn’t funny anymore…
When it comes to video games before the 90s, I’m not too familiar with them. My first console was an NES but I didn’t have it for very long and I truly became a gamer when I received an SNES. However, I began looking back at older games around the PlayStation era, thanks in no small part to the Namco Museum series. Since then, I’ve returned to the NES and have played games I’ve missed in the past. The first Legend of Zelda game is actually what finally made me a Zelda fan, I got learned in the original Mega Man games after being a fan of the X series and I fell in love with the original Metroid game and is now one of my favorite games on the NES. One series that has never quite sparked my interest is the Castlevania series. When I had a SNES, I never played Super Castlevania IV. When I had a PSone, I passed on Symphony of the Night. Now I’m more aware of the series but I still haven’t actually sat down and played a Castlevania game for an extended period of time, except for some game on the Xbox. It sucked.
This generation of consoles has been a rough one for me. This is the first generation that I’ve been an “adult” and now that I have to worry about college, work (or lack thereof), and bills, I haven’t been able to stay up to date with many of the current titles being released. What’s worse is due to financial hardships that my mother and I have had to face, I don’t even own a current gen console now. I bought my first Xbox 360 console about a year after it was released. I bought my first PlayStation 3 and Nintendo Wii a little while after the holiday season. By that summer, all three were gone and by that Christmas, I had them all again. Unfortunately, by the end of the following spring, they would be gone again. Now, I’m at a time where this holiday, I’ll be able to purchase a new console (I hope) and return to the current generation of gamers. However, I can only afford one console. So the big question in my mind is which big name console should I get? Microsoft’s Xbox 360 or Sony’s PlayStation 3? Don’t say the Nintendo Wii. Let’s be honest: the Wii is dead and the only game worth caring about is Skyward Sword.
Remember in the late 90s when professional wrestling became extremely popular again? I do. I was a big fan of the WWF back then, now called the WWE. My favorite wrestler was The Rock. He was powerful, yet agile. Although I loved watching Raw every Monday and eventually Smackdown on Thursdays, the main reason why I was into wrestling was the games. Although at the time I focused on the WWF titles, I grew curious and not much later I tried the WCW games. Both companies made incredible games and their respective developers did a good job to distinguish the two. I will say however that THQ is the king of wrestling games and is why they continue to make them. Regardless of developer, wrestling games are an important segment of video game history and was a new genre for the medium. Some say wrestling games are fighting games or sports games. I think they’re their own genre. In any event, here are five of the best the wrestling genre has to offer. These are in no particular order; they’re just five great games you all should at least try.