Once again, I'm left feeling lost with how much time has passed. A few days ago, Sonic Adventure 2 turned 15 and now the Nintendo 64 is 20? It just feels so unreal. However, the Nintendo 64 has quite a legacy that we can dive into. This article will be showcasing all the good, the bad, and the remastered the N64 has given us in its 20 year run.
The Great Memories From The N64
The Nintendo 64 library is home to many great titles, some of which spawned franchises and others that continued franchises. While the most memorable of these are Zelda and Mario, a lot of Mario franchises spawned on the N64. The following titles are N64 exclusives that never received a remaster as of writing this.
Mario Party is currently at its ninth installment. However, Mario Party got its start on the Nintendo 64 with Mario Party, Mario Party 2, and Mario Party 3. After this, the franchise jumped to the GameCube for Mario Party 4 to Mario Party 7. Mario Party 8 was on Wii and Mario Party 9 is now on Wii U.
The franchise also has a DS version and a Gameboy Advance version. That's quite a few games and trying to imagine how the franchise got this far is a bit overwhelming. However, I can say that a large part of my childhood was playing Mario Party 6 and 7 with my younger sibling on the GameCube. So I have the Nintendo 64 to thank for those memories.
Mario Kart 64
This game took a major leap from its predecessor Super Mario Kart for the Super Nintendo Entertainment System (SNES). Since then, the series has continued to grow with different iterations from Mario Kart: Double Dash on GameCube to Mario Kart 8 on Wii U. While the game itself has not been remastered, some courses have been revived for use in Mario Kart Wii and Mario Kart 8.
Super Smash Bros
I honesty wish trailers were more like this nowadays, but there's only so many times that something as revolutionary as this can be introduced. While fighting games were not anything new, Nintendo characters fighting each other was an unheard of idea at the time. Now, we have three more iterations in the Smash Bros. series and Super Smash Bros. Brawl still has a dedicated fan base eight years after it was first released.
The Best Reaction Video Ever
You've probably seen this video at some point in your life. This video is one of thousands of viral videos that can be found on YouTube, but it definitely fits on this list. That kid most likely wishes that video had never been recorded, yet it's provided laughs to a lot of people in the years since it went online.
This kind of reaction to a game console isn't as common now what with the multitude available and with new editions being announced almost yearly, so this also shows a small sliver of how popular the Nintendo 64 was in its prime. It has also spawned a number of parodies - one of which will be linked later.
The Horrors Of The N64
No system is perfect by any means and the Nintendo 64 is no exception. There are a number of games that could have been put here, but I felt that there was no need to put poorly designed games targeted at young children (see Sesame Street and Winnie the Pooh). Instead, I want to talk about the legendary game that everyone remembers:
I'm honestly not sure what's more horrifying: how poorly designed and clearly rushed this project is or that it's the third highest selling game for the Nintendo 64. Yes, you read that right. Superman 64 is the third highest selling game for the Nintendo 64. According to NPD Group, Superman 64 was the highest selling game in North America during June 1999 (the month it was released) and the developer, Titus, went on to boast the next month that it was the third highest grossing game on the N64. If you've never experienced the game for yourself, check the video above to experience the gameplay first hand.
The Most Terrifying Parody Ever
There are very few times I've laughed and been scared at the same time. For most of those 19 seconds, I was feeling both. If you go back and watch the original video, it does actually sound like the kid is screaming in pain. However, I still haven't forgotten about this video after seeing it for the first time three years ago, so its lasting impact is pretty fitting for this article.
The Games We Loved Brought Back To Us
Some games are just too memorable to leave behind and Nintendo understands this. That being said, a multitude of games have seen a remaster in the past few years whether it be on a handheld device or the actual console.
Kirby 64: The Crystal Shards
My first introduction to Kirby was when I played Super Smash Bros Melee and since then, I've been in love with the pink ball of joy! Lucky for me, Kirby 64: The Crystal Shards is part of the Kirby Dream Collection which was released a few years ago on the Wii. As part of Kirby's 20th "Birthday," Nintendo released a collection of Kirby games and the collection contains six remastered games that span the NES to the Game Boy Advance and every platform in between.
Star Fox 64
Star Fox 64 is a classic game for the N64 which was recently remastered for the Nintendo 3DS. I'm not personally a fan of these kind of games, but I do know that Star Fox has rich stories to add on to the third-person shooter action and the 3DS remaster revives the classic game with better graphics and improved gameplay.
Super Mario 64
The amount of time I put into Super Mario 64 on DS is probably somewhere around what I do now for games like Mass Effect and Elder Scrolls V: SKyrim. Thankfully, this game was remastered for DS in 2004 with the addition of Wario, Yoshi, and Luigi as playable characters each the an ability that Mario had in the original Nintendo 64 game. Speaking from experience, the game is quite rage inducing and I'd venture to say it rivals that of its predecessor. The advantage of having it on DS is that you can rage wherever instead of being confined to the room in which you had the N64. This makes it easier for people to enjoy your struggle.
Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time and Majora's Mask
Two classic Legend of Zelda titles that are part of the ever expanding number of continuities for the Legend of Zelda series. I have not had a chance to play much of Majora's Mask 3D, but I've done a few runs with Ocarina of Time 3D. I enjoy the game as I have the other Zelda games I've played; however, it's clear that these games have come a long way from where they started which is why I included a comparison between the two games. It's amazing to look at these games and see what a decade between the games has done for the technology involved. I do not own a "new" 3DS XL, but I'm sure the games look even better on that system than my original 3DS.
So those are my thoughts on the Nintendo 64. While the system was a bit before my time, I still appreciate all that the system has given us over the past two decades. While this system did not have a profound impact on my life, I guarantee I'll be more than a little upset when I see the "GameCube Turns 20 Today!" post in a few short years.