Some time ago I told you about the relationship I have with the Nintendo 64-bit console. I remember that when I began to see its advertising I really liked the idea that it still had cartridges and that it had 4 ports for controls. I think Nintendo sent a very clear message only with the architecture of the system: we are not going to let piracy attack us and we are going to bet more than ever on the local multiplayer. I think the formula worked, since although the console catalog did not even come close to that of the first PlayStation, it gave us real gaming gems that served as a reference for later proposals. In this space I have complained a lot about his control and how badly many of his titles have aged, but today I am in a good mood, so we are going to talk about the best exponents that we can play in this ninth system. In no particular order, here we go …
Mario’s jump to the third dimension
There were many franchises that moved to 3D in this generation. To some, like CastlevaniaThey did not like the change so well, but Nintendo’s spoiled pet served to consolidate (again) as one of the most endearing and recognizable characters in the history of video games. With a track record of 3 strong NES titles, a couple of SNES masterpieces, and a portable trilogy in his canon, Super Mario 64 marked a before and after when it comes to three-dimensional platform games. Several titles that would later appear both on the same console and on other systems would follow the level design and mechanics chair established by the father of the collectathons.
It is the game that I have played the most in the system. I remember friends who had it finished it with all 120 stars relatively early. Once the frenzy subsided a bit, they gave me a chance to take control (yes, the one with the ugly stick) and I had fun like a dwarf. So much so that I finished it several times and it even became a vice. As an additional and completely irrelevant data, Super Mario 64 it was the first digital game I ever bought.
The ocarina that took five years to arrive
With A Link to the past the bar had been set very high in the universe of Zelda. In the 16-bit title, Nintendo experimented with mirror dimensions and how Link had to move between them to unwind the story and discover different secrets. The structure proposed by this title was repeated in Ocarina of Time, but it was taken to the extreme with out-of-this-world graphics, setting, music, and gameplay. Link’s adventure that made 1998 unforgettable also set a precedent in the industry and for many to date it remains, if not the best, at least one of the best games ever.
Having found good results with the dark and light worlds, the developers chose to use time as a canvas to tell one of the best stories in the series. The twist we witnessed when we first encountered the Master Sword in the Temple of Time still gives us goose bumps. The ocarina, of course, is essential not only in terms of narrative, but it also becomes an indispensable tool for Link during his long journey. The tunes that can be played with it are the most memorable and very well accompany the key moments of the game. Many fans of the franchise agree that this exponent is the best. What do you think?
Irreverence made a video game
After Donkey Kong 64 Y Banjo-Kazooie, Rare ventured the stitch of taking a cute squirrel and ushering it into a dark world filled with racy humor and awkward moments. Conker’s Bad Fur Day It’s a pound chickpea from the console and one of the British studio’s biggest dares. Curiously, the original idea was to create a game with a much more familiar theme, but during development criticism arose and it was decided to give it a complete twist. The result was more than welcomed by the players, who laughed and were surprised to see such a title on a Nintendo console. It also has great references to pop culture, with which users feel identified and much closer to the peculiar squirrel.
Perhaps its only weak point is that it came out in the twilight of the Nintendo 64, so that it did not sell what was expected, in addition to that its classification, in the best of cases, prevented it from reaching the hands of many boys and girls who were not of playing age (although many did, of course).
Mario Kart 2
Here we have another franchise for which Nintendo threw all the meat on the spit. The original Super Nintendo installment served as a springboard for us to have one of the best iterations in existence to date. It is one of the titles that get a lot out of the local multiplayer and my friends and I extracted the pulp from it. The template of characters, tracks, music and power ups were combined to give us a fun experience. Even solo it is very entertaining, with great replay value and considerable difficulty.
I remember that the only thing I did not like is that the GP mode is only available for 1 or 2 players. I suppose it was done that way for memory reasons or something like that, but it would have been really nice to have that possibility. On the other hand, the multiplayer is so good and addictive that any shortcomings are forgiven. It is still one of the best games of the genre and of the saga.
Rare also made a Mario Kart
In the same year (1997), Rare released Diddy Kong Racing. Although it didn’t get as good as Nintendo’s development, it did get too close. Mobility is very good, as is the variety of vehicles and characters. I remember that it had a very funny story mode and that the challenges with friends were very good. I really liked the runways on which a plane was used, which in my opinion were the most difficult.
I played a lot Diddy Kong Racing. I still have it and it is very likely that when I finish writing this text I will start playing it. I remember that the first time I finished it I felt like a true ninja and I kept wanting to perfect my times and do better each time.
The father of FPS
One more from Rare. GoldenEye 007 it was the best game of 1997 and with good reason. It revolutionized the industry in many ways, gifting us with one of the best multiplayer modes ever, as well as a lesson in how to make first-person shooter games. Although its greatest value lies in the game as a whole, it has an excellent campaign with different levels of difficulty that are essentially distinguished by the objectives to be met. It also has a wide variety of weapons, as well as a curious cheat system. It is usually said that the parent of the genus is DoomBut many of us agree that this Rare masterpiece easily takes the title.
It would be great if it got an HD revision or something much better than the reimagining that came out in 2010, which is good but lacks the overflowing charm of the original. My favorite weapon? The proximity mines.
Corneria, fourth planet of the Lylat System
With one of the best intros that exist, Star Fox 64 took McCloud and company to another level. Everything that was good about the Super Nintendo title was taken and added in combination with the console’s great processing power. One factor that always captivated me was that the characters spoke. The conversations between Fox and Falco are invaluable and add dimension to the characters. Peppy’s advice and patience are also worth remembering. So much so that if you go to Google and type “do a barrel roll” the screen rotates.
The multiplayer consumed long hours of my time and that of my friends, although to a lesser extent than Mario Kart 64 The GoldenEye 007. The phrase that James says to Fox marked me forever: never give up, trust your instincts. It made me want to free the Lylat System… once again.
The first appearance of the paper Mario
We are now facing one of my most precious acquisitions in the now defunct Wii virtual store. The combination of the Mario universe with an RPG was already known, but on this console it reached the level of mastery. The music mesmerized me from the get-go and the art direction is the most sophisticated thing Nintendo has ever done. The characters, the story and the dialogues are also important, especially due to the genre of the title, but they develop in a very friendly way involving the player more and more.
The story is very similar to that of Super Mario RPG: Legend of the Seven Stars, but it is the least. It is a delight to walk through the different scenarios and discover what is behind each corner. Intelligent Systems did an excellent job, although Nintendo’s initial idea was for development to be handled by Square, but they were a bit busy making the best of it. Final Fantasy for many, so it is perfectly understood. This fabulous saga is still valid and the Nintendo GameCube version (Paper Mario: The Thousand-Year Door) is also an absolute marvel.
A very light work of art
For this generation Nintendo decided to follow up on the great Super Mario World 2: Yoshi’s Island with an equally cheerful title but with a greater focus on the child audience. I remember that when I met him he made me the most cheesy and paste-like game in history, but when I played it I was struck by how light it is and the great effort they put into its development. For the first time Miyamoto was not involved in a dinosaur game, but still the result was outstanding.
Unlike seen in the Super Nintendo version, Yoshi’s Story it focuses more on puzzle solving than platforming, but that doesn’t detract from it at all. Perhaps its weakest point is the low difficulty, especially since it is an area in which its 16-bit counterpart gave a lot to talk about and caused many of us to throw the control to the ground full of frustration.
The first console RPG in our region
My last selection may seem strange to you. I am aware that Quest 64 It was not as popular as the previous titles, but for me it has a very special value because I played it with dear friends and every time I visit it I remember those times. Beyond my feelings of nostalgia, this is a very simple but interesting title in which you control a boy named Brian who must rid the land of Celtland from evil. It has the typical structure of an RPG, but at the same time it has a very special personality and the music season the experience very well.
The skills system and how they improve is very simple and understandable, as well as the menu of objects and the interface in general. When exploring the different areas, one feels like in a strange combination between Super Mario 64 Y Donkey Kong 64, which is completely understandable for being the style that prevailed at that time.
Few titles, but a great legacy
According to the Virtual Game Library, the Nintendo 64 has a total of 388 games in its catalog, a figure that pales compared to its predecessors, but without a doubt we are talking about a great system that marked an era and filled childhood memories with great memories. and teens by many of the readers of this site. Would the history and fortunes of the console have been different if it had chosen to use discs instead of cartridges? It is impossible to know, but what is a fact is that the Nintendo 64 has earned a very important place in the showcases of Nintendo and gaming in general.
I probably left out a game that you expected to see, so I ask you to express it in the comments. Thanks for reading and see you on the next #FridayRetro.