Nintendo 64

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ratsoalbion
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Nintendo 64

Post by ratsoalbion »

Get your memories and opinions of the N64 in, folks!

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Chaos9001
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Re: Our next Console Special podcast recording (3.4.21) - Nintendo 64

Post by Chaos9001 »

Nintendo 64 holds a special place in my heart because it is the first console that I purchased myself. I remember putting it on lay away at my local Wal-mart (essentially they would hold the item until you were able to pay it off completely). It took a few months but I was finally able to get ahold of this by pooling my paper route money. This made this system almost a holy relic in my mind. I even kept the box for this system on my shelf for about 4 years.

I spent countless hours that summer doing barrel rolls and throwing Bowser. These games kept my busy until I could get ahold of the absolute pinnacle of my childhood gaming experience, Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time. The 3 weeks between the game releasing and my birthday was one of the most painful times in my life. Not just for me, but for the poor kid that I kept pestering every day in gym class to recount his Hyrulian adventures over and over until he finally just said "SHUT UP ABOUT ZELDA!"...Sorry Ryan.

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NoMoreSpearows
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Re: Our next Console Special podcast recording (3.4.21) - Nintendo 64

Post by NoMoreSpearows »

Over the years, I've learned that a more unconventional way to enjoy the Nintendo 64 is to find games that support the control pad. Side-scrollers like Mischief Makers and Kirby 64: The Crystal Shards are enjoyable because of its large size making for easy movement, and puzzle games like Pokémon Puzzle League benefit from an extra boost of accuracy during those make-or-break moments.

But for the best results, you'll want to revisit Mario Golf.

The control stick lets you adjust the aim for the ball, to be certain, but there's a slipperiness to it; you let go of the stick, and you go just a touch farther than you actually wanted. The control pad's movements are a lot slower in comparison, making it a lot easier to get an exact (well, as exact as it can be in a golf simulator) idea of where your shot will be headed. I managed to get at least a birdie in all 108 holes last year, and had it not been for the control pad I'd probably still be banging my head and/or controller against the wall after landing in yet another sand trap. Just goes to show that sometimes a revolutionary feature can still be humbled by an improvement to its predecessor.

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matten zwei
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Re: Our next Console Special podcast recording (3.4.21) - Nintendo 64

Post by matten zwei »

When I was 7, I've never felt a urge to play game in 3D at the time. I found games like Pilotwings & Starwing always felt confusing & unfair, as if they were never meant for the super nintendo .

The N64 launched and my best friend at the time got a grey console with Mario 64. Me being a massive fan of super mario world, castlevania 4 and super street fighter 2, was quite dissapointed when I first saw gameplay of the launchtitles. I thought the graphics looked horrible and weren't even nearly as lovely and colorful, as the 16-bit-graphics. The worlds of Turok were covered in a grey fog, which made the game just look dull and uninspired. With my 7 years, i thought gaming had lost me forever, when games forced me to use the analog stick. And this new rumble-feature was as convincing to me in 1997 as it was to Sony in 2006.

So I got a PlayStation and kept on playing 2D games like Abes Oddysse & Heart of Darkness and was happy. But then other titles launched for the N64. 3D-Games that looked impressing & made me understand why 3D was a thing. Games like Operation WinBack, Lylat Wars and Golden Eye, were games that felt impossible for the playstation. As a kid, local multiplayer was a keyfeature in every game. And playing Turok 3 with four players at the same time, felt much smoother, fresher than crawling at 05, fps in Rainbow Six on PlayStation.

Twenty years after the launch of the N64, I bought a used console for my collection. Even today, I felt a bit like the N64-Kid when I see the Box of the N64 showing a Stormtrooper and Bowser. Even if the PlayStation in many ways was the superior console and had almost unlimited variety of game in every genre, for me, the N64 felt more like a next step, at least gameplaywise.

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Re: Our next Console Special podcast recording (3.4.21) - Nintendo 64

Post by Alex79uk »

Aged 18, I was faced with a decision I'm sure many gamers pondered upon around the dawn of the 32-bit era. PlayStation or N64 (erm, or Saturn I guess...) I ultimately went down the PlayStation route, which meant I only got to play on an N64 when my girlfriend at the time's younger brother got one. We'd play Goldeneye death match and a bit of Mario 64, but that was all I really experienced in and around the first year or so of the N64's lifespan. I did eventually buy one for myself many, many years later to see what I'd been missing out on, and whilst it may be bordering on treasonous to say, I thought to myself "not much". The controller, the graphics and sound, and infamous vaseline smeared look to everything never really sold the console to me. Despite being aware there are some all time great games on the N64, it's a console I've just got no nostalgia for at all really.

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Rhaegyr
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Re: Our next Console Special podcast recording (3.4.21) - Nintendo 64

Post by Rhaegyr »

Two of my most cherished gaming memories both involve the N64. The first involves the greatest bargain I ever had as a kid (I was 11 years old).

I received a fair bit of birthday money for my 11th birthday in December 98 - £60 in total (which was a lot to me and anyone that age back then). I'd had an N64 since September but only had GoldenEye and Diddy Kong Racing for it - both great games but I'd already rinsed them beyond belief and really wanted another game.
I'd had my eye on Banjo-Kazooie for over twelve months and desperately coveted it. I knew where my £60 was going before I'd even received it.

My mum took me down to the inside market where the local dodgy games trader/swapper had a stall (which I frequented every Saturday to drool over games I couldn't afford). Not today though; today I was buying Banjo-Kazooie.

We got to the stall and I couldn't see Banjo-Kazooie anywhere. There were no other games shops in town and I felt absolutely crushed. As a last roll of the dice I asked the stall owner when he would be getting a copy in and to my amazement he says "We have a copy here but unfortunately we don't have the box for it". I was overjoyed; a box didn't matter to me, playing the game today did. I asked him how much for it without the box and he told me "£30". I was gobsmacked - I only had to spend half my money to get the game I wanted! I simply had to ask;

"Do you have any other unboxed games?"

"Only two". He then goes on to pull out Super Mario 64 and Lylat Wars, two more games I wanted.

"Um, how much for these ones?"

"£15 each".

I can't adequately describe what this meant to 11 year old me. Everyone remembers how tight money was as a kid and this felt like a bounty had been laid at my feet. I came home with three stone cold classics and Banjo-Kazooie was even better than I'd built up in my head. Three fantastic N64 games for £60, what a birthday!

My second memory was playing Zelda OoT for the first time. This was my first Zelda and since playing this it's become my favourite video game series. A friend lent me his copy of Ocarina; his save had all the 'young Link' dungeons complete and he was just about to become adult Link.

After 30 minutes of playing the game I was more absorbed than I'd ever been whilst playing a game. This game showed me that games could be so much more. My age was definitely a factor but the game itself was also that good.

A week later I gave my friend his copy back with all the adult dungeons done on his save file (with only Hyrule Castle and the fight with Ganon remaining). He wasn't too happy.

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Re: Our next Console Special podcast recording (3.4.21) - Nintendo 64

Post by Alex79uk »

Rhaegyr wrote: February 1st, 2021, 12:21 pm was overjoyed; a box didn't matter to me, playing the game today did. I asked him how much for it without the box and he told me "£30". I was gobsmacked - I only had to spend half my money to get the game I wanted! I simply had to ask;

"Do you have any other unboxed games?"

"Only two". He then goes on to pull out Super Mario 64 and Lylat Wars, two more games I wanted.

"Um, how much for these ones?"

"£15 each".

I can't adequately describe what this meant to 11 year old me. Everyone remembers how tight money was as a kid and this felt like a bounty had been laid at my feet. I came home with three stone cold classics and Banjo-Kazooie was even better than I'd built up in my head. Three fantastic N64 games for £60, what a birthday!
Excellent! Love that story :)

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Rhaegyr
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Re: Our next Console Special podcast recording (3.4.21) - Nintendo 64

Post by Rhaegyr »

Hah - thanks!

I can't remember if I'd let slip I only had £60 and he was doing me a massive favour or if it was just a happy coincidence.

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Re: Our next Console Special podcast recording (3.4.21) - Nintendo 64

Post by edhall »

The N64 is very special to me. I was 10 when it launched, by which time my older brother and I had shared an Amiga 1200, a Master System, a Game Gear and a couple of 286 and 486 PC's for gaming. Being 6 years older than me, my brother had gone solo with his PlayStation, leaving me with the Master System all to myself. But, after sharing consoles for years, the N64 was the first machine that I felt a personal connection to, it came around at the perfect time, it was made for me and my friends.

Looking back, I don't think I was aware of it's launch straightaway, but the spinning 3D 'N' that featured at the end of the TV ads must have embedded itself into my brain at the time. On Boxing Day 1997, I walked into to my best friend Dave's house to see the very same spinning 'N' as he loaded MarioKart 64. It's a really vivid memory for me, he and his five brothers and sisters got an N64 for Christmas with 4 controllers and half a dozen games and accessories. Needless to say, I spent the next few days, weeks, actually, year at his house as we blitzed through Mario, MarioKart, Ocarina of Time, and of course, GoldenEye.

It would be the following Christmas when I got my own N64. It's still in my memory as one of the best Christmases ever. What's incredible is that I practically spent every day and night of 1998 at my friend Dave's house as we rinsed his collection of games, and yet, I still couldn't wait to play them on my own machine!

The funny part of this story is that my Mum and Dad had just separated at this point (no, not the funny bit), and in the run-up to Christmas my Dad was hiding my main present at his house; an N64 + GoldenEye Bundle. One Saturday morning, he went to work for a few hours while my brother and I were staying over. It was at this point that my brother revealed that he'd been to GAME with Dad to buy an N64 earlier in the week. He knew it was hidden in the bottom of a wardrobe, and he persuaded me that it was a good idea to sneak a look. We proceeded to carefully unbox it; scoring the stickers with a sharp knife to open the box seamlessly, unwrapping each piece of cable meticulously and taking careful note of how it all went back together.

With me having already rinsed GoldenEye at Dave's, we plugged it in and blasted through the entire game on '00 Agent' that morning, passing the controller between us. We then placed everything back exactly how it was to cover our tracks. I'd never done anything like it before, and never did again (it just shows the influence that an older brother can have). I remember on Christmas morning, my brother grinning at my best attempt to look surprised as I unwrapped it, and his shifty-looking face as we loaded the GoldenEye cart in front of my Mum, only to see an almost fully completed and unlocked game. My love affair with the N64 continued to grow from there.

I could go on and on about my memories of this console, but some highlights are:

Pepsi and Haribo-fuelled 4-player WrestleMania 2000 (the pre-teen equivalent of beers and FIFA).
GoldenEye multiplayer on a loop, shoving the controller into the hands of anyone who entered the house.
Heated MarioKart fist fights with friends (thanks rubber-banding).
Getting lost in the world of Zelda, the first game I found properly difficult.
Waiting for Perfect Dark to come out and trying to fool myself into thinking it was better than GoldenEye.
Bouncing off 1080 Snowboarding because I just couldn't get the hang of it.
and
Tripping AT-ATs on Hoth in Shadows of The Empire.

The N64 basically took up all of my time from 1998 until I got my hands on a PS2 in 2001. It came everywhere with me in its carry bag, even caravan holidays. Now, it's a console that I'll dig out once a year (of the very same box I snuck it out of that Christmas) and play on for a couple of nights. I still get pangs of nostalgia when I see the loading screen of each game, and it's fun to jump onto a multiplayer with a friend for a couple of hours. But then the novelty wears off, the resolution and draw distance frustrate and it's safely back in its box for another year. I loved it, I still love it, I'll always love it, even if it's just as a piece of nostalgic ephemera and my first and only foray into criminal Christmas activity.

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Miririn
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Re: Our next Console Special podcast recording (3.4.21) - Nintendo 64

Post by Miririn »

This was our TV console growing up, and the only TV console I owned until I got my Switch twenty years later (!). I had to go to my friends' houses to play Sega or PlayStation, but I was pretty okay with with the situation because I loved our N64 (...technically my sister's N64 which she sometimes deigned to allow me to use - older sisters, eh) and at the time I couldn't conceive of ever getting bored of it.

Games were expensive for me and my sister as two kids in the nineties also wanting to buy CDs and videos and Pokemon Cards, so we had a handful of N64 games that we played incessantly for years and years until we knew them back-to-front. "Diddy Kong Racing" (shockingly we never had a copy of "Mario Kart", so Diddy Kong remains my unconventional nostalgia-kyptonite when it comes to racing games), "Super Mario 64", "Pokemon Stadium" and just a few others.

N64 was also the console of how to make friends with the kids of your parents' frends. Whenever our parents' friends came round and brought their kids and a group of us all at different ages were ordered to go somewhere else and get along, we'd just end up sitting in front of the TV playing multiplayer N64 games for hours. There were lots of games on this console perfect for kids at different ages. We used to especially love to play the plane egg multiplayer mini game in "Diddy Kong Racing".

My absolute favourite N64 memory, however, is playing the incredibly age-inappropriate "Mortal Kombat Trilogy", which my pretty hands-off parents let us all play when we were far too young. Me and my best friend were obsessed with the game - as well as almost wearing out his game cartridge (which we "shared"), we would "play" imaginary MK story games (Kitana, Mileena, Jade and Raiden were our characters of choice), we would read the character descriptions in the game in a very earnest way the game almost definitely did not intend, and his mum even telephoned my mum for permission to let me watch the MK movie at his house (rated 15 etc etc). He even texted me this week to demand I drop everything and watch the new MK movie trailer Holidays with his family in Wales consisted largely of us kids playing tournament mode and getting into squabbles when someone won by playing as Sheeva and "cheating" by "fluking" with the up-down-up-down jump smashy move. If someone offered me an N64 with an MK trilogy cartridge today I'd immediately drop all my other games to play, that's how potent the nostalgia is for me. I've never found another fighting game that has scratched the itch for a fighting game as happy as MK Trilogy made me as a nine-year-old. So the N64 is mainly that game for me!

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Re: Our next Console Special podcast recording (3.4.21) - Nintendo 64

Post by DomsBeard »

I'll apologise for the long post now Jay :D

N64 has about 4000 memories for me but I will put the main ones here.

I wanted a N64 for Christmas 1997 with Goldeneye 64 and asked for that and nothing else. Christmas morning arrived and I went down to open my presents with my 10-year-old sister.

Absolutely ecstatic when I opened up Goldeneye 64 early on knowing full well that I would get to the machine itself eventually however I was struck that there was nothing N64 box-shaped and my parents were never the kind to go ''oh there's one more''.

All presents unwrapped and no N64. I remember sitting with the box open reading the instructions on Goldeneye not wanting to ask where it was when my Mum said ''oh your Gran has bought you the computer for that she wants you to have it for your 18th birthday. My 18th birthday was the 30th of December. I spent Christmas Day reading the instruction booklet for Goldeneye 64 cover to cover :x

After winning £150 in vouchers in a work competition a few weeks later I invested in another 3 n64 controllers to get the full Goldeneye experience. I and several friends used to spend every free period at sixth form playing Goldeneye (I lived 100m from school) so many hours sat curtains closed playing deathmatch over and over, none of us did especially well at A Levels and that probably had a bit to do with it.

March 1998 I started courting my first proper girlfriend. Sadly for her I turned up regularly up to 30 minutes late to our first few dates, the reason? Ocarina Of Time. She said to me I had better buck my ideas up or it was over before it began. Thankful to say 23 years and 2 kids later I bucked them up a little.

I was working unsociable hours in a fast food place in the late 90s too and another guy there had a n64 plus 3 controllers. Him, his then GF at the time and another friend would spend maybe 6 or 7 hour stints playing Mario Kart 64 multiplayer. Main draw was always Wario Stadium, would play this dozens of times just for the lightning trick where you jump over the track. If you time it right you can dump the leader from 1st to last with a perfectly timed strike. We still meet regularly to play over 20 years later the last being Arcade Club Leeds in the summer.

Paying £70 for Turok, Diddy Kong racing causing me to smash a pad, seeing 3d Mario for the first time I could go on forever but yeah probably for me the best console ever made.

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Re: Our next Console Special podcast recording (3.4.21) - Nintendo 64

Post by Jobobonobo »

Yeah sorry, this one was very hard to stay brief on. This is as good as I could do to sum up my feelings on this legend of a console.

This console is very important to me on multiple levels. This was the first console I ever properly owned, the last console we owned being the Commodore 64 which really belonged to my older brothers. On the summer of 97, we rented one during the summer and I still remember my first time with it so vividly. I was playing Super Mario 64 and was trying to control Mario with the D pad. Weird, it was not working. What about this stick in the middle of the controller? Aha, there we go! I remember just messing about in the courtyard outside Peach’s castles for ages trying all sorts of slick moves. This feeling of freedom in a video game was absolutely unparalleled to me, the sheer fun in moving Mario made me realise that this was a huge step for video games and that I was playing something destined for the history pages. This excitement did not stop when I went in the castle. I was wandering around until I came across a picture with some bombs on it. I ran up to it and noticed it rippling. Then I wondered if you could jump into the picture and sure enough you could! This game left such an impression on me that I decided it had to be my Christmas present that year. Sadly, it was the year after that I finally had one wrapped up under the tree on Christmas morning. It came with two controllers and two games, Super Mario 64 and F-Zero X.

The latter game was a portal for me to one of the N64’s most memorable features, its legendary multiplayer. A friend of mine would often come with his two controllers so we would spend countless evenings playing multiplayer on F-Zero X, International Superstar Soccer 64, Mario Kart 64, Pokemon Stadium, Mario Party and Conker’s Bad Fur Day. There were so many great memories associated with all of these whether it was battle mode on Mario Kart, waging war on Conker or celebrating alongside the demented commentator whenever we scored a goal in ISS 64.

While multiplayer was a huge part of the appeal of the N64 it just scratches the surface on what I loved about this machine. While in the long term, sticking with cartridges was a very unwise move on Nintendo’s part the quick loading times possible with cartridges certainly aided in making experiences such as Mario 64 and Ocarina of Time some of the most immersive experiences in gaming back in the day. The Rumble Pak especially in association with Lylat Wars only added to that immersion with the controller feeling every bullet that Fox McCloud’s ship did. Lastly, this was also the golden age of Rare and wow, did they ever make an impression on me. Blast Corps, Banjo, Conker, Diddy Kong Racing, absolute blinders the lot of them. I remember my sadness as they were bought by Microsoft in the next generation and while they have certainly produced some great stuff in the last two decades, the N64 era is still the high point of that developer for me.

In hindsight, the N64 was far from perfect. Its lack of third party support resulted in a very impoverished library in comparison to the PS1 and the system was almost completely void of certain genres such as RPGs and fighters, especially compared to what was on the SNES. There was also a real paucity of 2D titles at the time due to the mistaken belief of both game publishers and the press that 2D was now completely outdated and could be resigned to the dustbin of history, an attitude that I am delighted to see be completely absent nowadays. But despite its relatively small library, there are a lot of stone cold classics on this machine and 4 player multiplayer ensured that the N64 could stand out from the competition as the ultimate party machine. Analog sticks, rumble, Z targeting, console FPS, among a host of other innovations, it all started here. The N64 has had a massive impact on the games industry and was the origin of many of the things that we take for granted nowadays in modern gaming. On a more personal note, it has to this day greatly influenced my gaming preferences. I will always prefer local multiplayer over online shenanigans, open world 3D platformers are still a genre that is among my favourites and I like my racing games arcadey and silly fun, no Forza for me! The innovations introduced on the N64 enabled gaming to handle the third dimension more smoothly than it could before. These radical changes along with the blossoming of new genres and more mature storytelling on the PS1 combined to make the fifth generation one of the most exciting periods of gaming and one that is unlikely to be replicated in the future. I’m just glad I was there to witness it all.

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Re: Our next Console Special podcast recording (3.4.21) - Nintendo 64

Post by DomsBeard »

One of my gaming regrets is never finishing Body Harvest. Need a N64 mini please Nintendo!.

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Re: Our next Console Special podcast recording (3.4.21) - Nintendo 64

Post by Magical_Isopod »

N64 is kind of a weird console for me. Unlike most of the world, for one reason or another, I didn't know many other kids with PS1s back in the day - I had one, but everyone else seemed to have an N64. So I'd go over to a friend's house, or be dumped in the basement of a parent's friend's house, or be at a babysitter's, and everyone had an N64. So even without owning the console, I became quite familiar with the likes of Goldeneye, Mario Party, Yoshi's Story, Ocarina of Time, all the big Nintendo stuff.

It wasn't until my teenaged years, sometime around 2004 perhaps, that I first got an N64, buying one second-hand for $25 cash. It was an interesting period of time where N64 games were still in rental stores, and it was easy to find used games on the cheap. But games are kind of where the N64 falters for me... Outside of the stuff Nintendo made, quality third-party releases are few and far-between. I've owned and sold the N64 twice at this point, and with the Zelda Collector's Edition disc for GameCube (the one with Majora and Ocarina) and WiiU virtual console offering most of its best games, I really see no reason to own one. Perhaps in a strange twist of fate and a testament to Nintendo's bizarre product release habits, I find myself playing N64 titles on a PlayStation Classic with an Xbox 360 controller these days. How's that for corporate diversity?

If I had to identify the best titles on the console, I'd probably have the two Zelda titles and Pokemon Snap as my favourite titles, with strong honourable mentions to Pokemon Stadium 2, Star Soldier: Vanishing Earth, Sin & Punishment, F-Zero X, and a really ambitious port of Resident Evil 2. But for me personally, I'm really not fond of the 3D platformers on the system, which seem to be the most beloved. They're not bad by any means they're just not my jam. I've never found the likes of Mario 64 or Banjo particularly compelling, especially compared to PS1 contemporaries like Crash and Tomba.

A couple of other trivia I feel worth highlighting:

The Controller - I don't hate the N64 controller by any means... But I hate its joystick. Or more specifically, the lack of durability, and the difficulty in finding one in good shape in the period between Nintendo discontinuing official production and third party manufacturers making reproductions in recent years. It really just junk if I'm being honest, and used accessory bins were absolutely packed with N64 controllers with joysticks flopping around like broken limbs.

The Expansion Pack - Majora's Mask is one of the N64's best games. It requires a RAM expansion kit to work. Let me tell you, until more recent years, finding these things in the wild for a fair price was an exercise in frustration. I actually owned Majora's Mask for over a year before I found an expansion pack for sale anywhere - a beat-up third-party one for $30. Nowadays, they're cheap and easy to find. But for such a necessity of a component, man oh man was thing thing hard to find. And only a handful of games even used it! Majora's Mask was the only one that was designed with the thing in mind, DK64 needed it due to a bug Rare couldn't nip before production, and a small handful of games - chiefly, Perfect Dark and Rogue Squadron - used it in a limited capacity to enhance graphics or performance. This thing continued a long trend of Nintendo releasing bizarre add-ons that locked casual gamers out of great games - following the likes of the Famicom Disk, Satelleview and the 64-DD. But none of those left Japan.

The 64-DD - While I understand why this thing never came out in the west from a perspective of commercial viability, I'm disappointed it didn't... While I've never played it myself, I've seen streams of various games this thing hosted, and man was this an ambitious device! The Mario Artist series offered some really refined creative utilities not previously seen outside the PC space, the F-Zero expansion provided some great new tracks and even a really clever track editor, and games like Cubivore, Majora's Mask and Doshin the Giant began development on the DD before moving to the N64 or GameCube. It was a good piece of hardware, but sharing the fate of most console add-ons, was a difficult purchase to justify with beefier core hardware on the horizon.

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Re: Our next Console Special podcast recording (3.4.21) - Nintendo 64

Post by Quiet Paul »

I love the N64. It was my waking up on Christmas Day console surprise (“NINTENDO SIXTEH PHOOOAR”). Which was amazing with how difficult it would have been to actually get one! Sitting for at least a couple of hours in my jammies playing Super Mario 64 and Star Wars: Shadows of the Empire. My little mind boggled, thinking “Wow! Video games surely can’t get any better than this!”.

I still have that machine to this day along with a whole bunch of games and I still love it! Here are a few of many memories of it:

I recall one night lying in bed and my mum randomly comes in and gets me up and takes me downstairs. This must be about midnight which was well past my bedtime. My dad was playing FIFA 98 and handed me the second controller and we played until about 1am trying all the different teams and him scudding me in just about every game.

I never owned Goldeneye but my friend did and used to always play it at his. We could never get past Jungle but most of our time was spent in multiplayer (no Oddjob). I did own Perfect Dark however and it was around about the time I started taking an interest in music. As good as Grant Kirkhope’s soundtrack was, although I get the feeling he started every track on PD by throwing his synthesiser off a wall, as I was pushing into the Perfect Agent mode I’d just turn the sound down and listen to albums from such bands as Limp Bizkit, meaning I was saving Dr. Carol and infiltrating Area 51 to the sound of Fred Durst rapping and swearing in my ear and thinking it was awesome. Simpler times. I ended up preferring Perfect Dark to Goldeneye as even when my friends weren’t there I could use the sim enemies and pretend I had friends. Who needs friends when you have Meatsim!? (No Elvis).

I don’t remember if it was Christmas ’98 or my birthday in ’99 but unraveling white paper round a gift that said on it, something along the lines of, “Do you have what it takes to be the hero of time?” Then underneath that paper was a box with the words “To save Hyrule and the princess…” written on it. Then opening the box to reveal Ocarina of Time. This has always been a special memory of mine. Getting such a game and my dad, who has little interest in video games, putting in the effort and research to make it just that wee bit extra special. I don’t even remember much of my first play through of the game but I remember unwrapping it quite vividly!

I still remember my first ever ‘rage-quit’. Finally, after many (many) tries I beat the first boss of Turok: Dinosaur Hunter; the Longhunter. He had me down to my last life and I remember spamming the auto shotgun into his face and finally killing him only to die a couple minutes into the next level leading to a Game Over and having to start all over again because I forgot to save! A few flailing limbs, sweary words and a good few hours later I tried again and managed to beat him with a couple of lives left and saved as soon as I could. Although I’m pretty sure my save fashionably corrupted after a while. Playing the Turok games on the updated current gen consoles makes for a much more enjoyable experience and would recommend that instead.

A game I’d love to see on current gen hardware is Mystical Ninja starring Goemon. Although OOT may be the historical 3D adventure game that everyone knows and loves, a lesser known title from earlier that same year came out that has much of its own merits in 3D adventure history. Taking place in the whole of Japan, it has towns; mountains; open green lands and deserts; NPC’s and enemies; a dragon; dungeons and bosses; FOUR playable ninjas with their own stories and styles; an AMAZING OST and a story where you don’t just save the damsel, you save the whole country from a group of villainous theatrical producers trying to turn Japan into a stage for their musical show. I mean, if this brief synopsis isn’t enough to get you interested then I doubt this game would be for you. I don’t necessarily have a specific memory with this game, maybe the elation of beating the first giant mech boss the “Wartime Kabuki Robot, KASHIWAGI” as I seemed to struggle with it. This is definitely one of my favourite games on the N64.

I was someone who grew up on the horror genre. From a very young age I thrived on horror films old and new and to finally get a horror game was mind blowing to me as a wee nipper. Although Shadow Man, even then, was never jump-scary, it always left me a nervous wreck after playing for a while. It was one I stopped playing for a long time as my most vivid memory of that game was learning that my gran had passed away and for a time that’s all I could think about when I played it. After many years I eventually did revisit it and with guide from YouTube I got every dark soul and upgrade there is to get and, despite how arse it looks graphically, I’d still recommend it! There’s potentially a remake/upgraded version coming at some stage so might be best to wait for that.

There are more good and bad memories I have with this console but these are just a few of my more vivid ones.

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duskvstweak
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Re: Our next Console Special podcast recording (3.4.21) - Nintendo 64

Post by duskvstweak »

We got an N64 for Christmas 1998, with Ocarina of Time. This was my first experience with that console generation, I didn't play a lot of games at friend's houses, N64 or otherwise. So, when the game opened with that first person view of Navi's flight through the forest, I was floored. It felt like my whole world was changing. I'm not sure I've had an eye opening experience like that in gaming since.

I loved my 64 and it's where I experienced new genres of games. Goldeneye was my first FPS, Ogre Battle 64 was my first tactics and it felt like the 64 was my first experience with party games. With those four controller slots, Mario Party, Pokemon Stadium, Smash Bros were late night staples with friends and family. And I'm not sure I ever felt like I wasted a weekend rental the way I did after borrowing Superman 64!

I've got a lot of favorites and memories with the 64 (I know GX has all the love, but F-Zero X was the coolest game in the world). And maybe the games haven't aged as gracefully as other generations, but, 25 years later, I find myself being pulled back to it again. Watching friend's stream games I missed back in the day, like Doom 64 and Shadow Man, has me thinking I have a bit of unfinished business with that console and I wouldn't mind that being the case at all.

After all, I never did get around to Glover...

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Jamesmckone
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Re: Our next Console Special podcast recording (3.4.21) - Nintendo 64

Post by Jamesmckone »

Been waiting for this one as the N64 is my childhood nostalgia console of choice. I remember opening Shadows Of The Empire for Christmas in 97/98. I wasn’t too sure and was thinking what is this? My parents then realised I’d opened the wrong gift and pointed me in the direction of the final big present which of course was the Nintendo 64 along with Mario 64.

Mario 64 blew my mind. This being my first console, I was so engulfed by the world created by this game, everything was stunning. 'Inside the castle walls' still rings around my head just thinking about it.

Shadows Of The Empires had a slightly different outcome, the opening level was unbelievably good but my younger self struggled with the later levels. I have a fond memory of playing with my dad who never plays video games, but he enjoyed it so much me took my Nintendo to his studio and a client ended up completing the game, to my surprise!

Being a 90s baby, I don’t remember specific dates and times, but from what I can remember, Mario 64, Mario Kart and Lylat Wars were the big ones in my house, and Banjo Kazooie was the next game I was completely obsessed with.

But that was all before...

My next big memory was demanding that I wanted South Park for my birthday and being upset that a relative had got me Ocarina Of Time. I was unaware of this game and had never really been into fantasy/magical style media.

Ocarina Of Time changed and shaped my whole gaming life. The depth of the game is still unmatched to me. I guess since I was young and the fact I had time on my hands made it just perfect for me. I, like many others, have spent countless days sat in front this game.

Majora’s Mask wasn't as quick to grab me but as I got a bit older I found it just as amazing and the darker vibe is a really nice change from OOT. In 2016, I was shocked to hear what I thought was a song from Majora’s Mask on a train jingle in Kyoto, later founding out that Nintendo and Miyamoto had roots in this town.

The music still brings me back to my parents’ house. I love the slightly dodgy midi and cheesy sounds. Today, anything with the 3D rendered art you would see in promotional stuff still fills me with excitement.

Although I do still swear by the N64, unfortunately it just doesn't hold up in the same way anymore. I don't think it would be as enjoyable without the nostalgia – countless attempts at getting my girlfriend to play have proved this. I am still amazed at how long I did play the console for, deep into my teenage years, when me and all my friends would spend many a hazy night playing Pokemon stadium mini games or License to Kill mode on Goldeneye.

I do still have my original console and games, although having an Everdrive means they don't often get a look in. I try to play when I can and have enjoyed loads of the rom hacks that have been released in the last few years. I do miss the days of going to Shekhana in Wood Green or begging my mum to buy a £50 (!) game in Woolworths.

Obviously all the big hitters were amazing and can't really think of many games that I really bounced off. In more recent years I've bought some more random games off eBay but nothing really compared to that first hit.

My wireless brawler 64 controller arrived this week so I will be spending an evening reminiscing very soon.

Thanks!

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DaveParky84
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Re: Our next Console Special podcast recording (3.4.21) - Nintendo 64

Post by DaveParky84 »

I was 10 when I first saw a N64. I was on a family holiday in the USA with my parents and my younger brother and as a surprise we visited a Toys R Us store one evening after dinner. There on display was the brand new N64 with Super Mario 64 playing on the TV above. I remember thinking “how is that possible?” A completely 3D world to explore, truly astonishing! We’d never owned a console at this point but my parents totally surprised us and said we could choose a console and some games. Best Holiday Ever! Funnily enough they were sold out of N64s and Sega Saturn’s and so we ended up with a PS1, not a loss at all but that memory of seeing Mario 64 for the first time is still crystal clear in my mind. A few years later we traded in our PS1 for a N64 with Mario64, Ocarina of time and Banjo Kazooie. The next few months playing these games with my brother are my most cherished video gaming memories.

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Iain[Ian]Ianson
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Re: Our next Console Special podcast recording (3.4.21) - Nintendo 64

Post by Iain[Ian]Ianson »

As a 13 year old, the run up to the Nintendo 64 launch was the most excited I have ever been a gaming console launch.



I remember painstakingly creating a 1:1 scale papier-mâché model of the console, from all the various graphics and photos in Edge and other magazines. A similarly enthusiastic new friend of mine begged me to let him have it so he could keep it on top of his bedroom telly.



I'm glad I let him, as he turned out to be an extremely lucky friend who’s parents bought him basically anything he wanted.

This meant that a mere day or two after the US launch, I was top of the list to be invited round his to play on his freshly-imported, incredibly expensive wonder console. This was also the first time I had seen an NTSC console running in the flesh, and through a scart/s-video cable on a lovely Sony television to boot! It was revelatory.



We ended up doing a full two-day sleep-over binge on Super Mario 64, (still my favourite game of all time), and made similar efforts to do the same each time he got a new game release imported on day 1. It really was an amazing few months.

Unfortunately the UK launch arrived when my own family’s financial situation was particularly dire, so there was no way of getting hold of one. I had a plan though! I entered a competition in N64 magazine, to design a DINO-BOSS for Turok, and win a console with a copy of said game.

I went all-in, and essentially produced a multi-page design document, complete with wireframe, untextured, and textured drawings of the beast. A full design for the boss arena, the works. It took me days, and cost me a small fortune to send in the mail, but it would be worth it. Surely I would win!

When the issue announcing the winners finally hit the shelves I was crushed. A VERY AMATEURISH drawing of a T-Rex, with what looked like some tinfoil stuck on it’s head, won the top prize! I can only assume my entry was lost in the mail, or they thought my mum helped me do it, and angrily threw it in the bin.



OR it was just so painfully unoriginal a design, that no amount of effort or artistic chops on my end could overcome it.

It wasn’t until a few years later that I got a second-hand N64 of my own, and so I largely missed out on all the shared Mario Kart and Goldeneye exictement of my peers. But there was still plenty of fun to be had. I particularly enjoyed lazily gliding my way through Pilotwings 64.


I really love the console still. Looking at it now, I really enjoy the the contrast between the excellently sketchy graphics of the PlayStation/Saturn, which seem to crackle and fizz onto the screen, as if passing through some Neuromancer-style hack-deck, and those of the N64, which look to almost ooze and bleed onto a CRT, giving them a lovely smudge-y oil-pastel-ly look.

I really miss when the graphics of rival console were so distinct from each other.

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