Fifteen years of the N64

29th September 1996 the Nintendo 64 was released in the North America regions, the same console was released in Japan on the 23rd June and the EU got the console on the 1st March 1997.  So being European it’s not really the Fifteenth anniversary for us, nor is it the Fifteenth anniversary for the console but today it’s time to celebrate the N64.

Ah blank cartridge, my favourite game to play on my Orange N64.

I asked on twitter some thoughts of the N64 and here are the best three:

“I stayed up for 36 hours straight to get past the Fire Dungeon in OoT. the water dungeon took much longer.”

“Countless hours of WCW vs NwO Revange and the awesomeness that was Perfect Dark”

“goemon 64 mystical ninja!, ogre battle 64!, mario 64!, myschief maker!, mario kart 64, starfox 64, goldeneye! Great memories”

Great memories indeed, I’m sure many people will write about how great some of the games are: games such as Goldeneye which has gone on as one of the greatest FPS’ of all time, Mario Kart 64 which has gone on as one of the greatest racers of all time, Ocarina of Time which has gone on as one of the greatest games of all time or even Super Mario 64 which has gone down as one of the most revolutionary games of all time.  Quite impressive for a console that was out sold by a 32 bit unit!

Why was the N64 so special to me personally? Well it was a console that brought countless hours of play, it was one where the family played Mario Kart 64 together, it was one where I destroyed friends at Mario Kart 64. Add into that Goldeneye and the sheer rush of getting the golden gun and killing someone to go into first place. It just brings back memories whether it’s alone going through the great Hyrule field or Snowboarding down the side of a mountain or feeling that rumble in your hands for the first time.

Lets talk games shall we? I suppose everyone will list the games that are usually listed for the N64 so I’ll look at some others:

I'd watch that squirrel, there's something about him...

Perfect Dark Take a better storyline than Goldeneye, better visuals, better multiplayer mode and mix it together. Stick Joanna Dark as a female lead and tada.  Loved at the time and forgotten mostly inm retrospect it truly is an under-rated game.

Diddy Kong Racing I once called this game Diddy Kong racism due to the over abundance in racial stereotypes that aside it was still a darn good game. Add a great Adventure mode, some brand new characters who would star in two of the finest platformers for the console (Banjo and Conker) and then add a car/hovercraft and a plane and hilarity ensues!

WWF No Mercy The finest wrestling game ever made, nuff said really.

Majora’s Mask OOT is a hard act to follow but the unique game play elements, the brilliant story, the dark nature of it and the best collection of non-player characters in any Zelda game and you have this masterpiece.

Jet Force Gemini The best game ever made that never got a sequel, Jet Force Gemini was a third person shooter that was rather dark. The story mode was fantastic taking you across various worlds where exploration is key.

I love the N64, most people do. It was a time where multiplayer was Four mates sat on the couch having a laugh rather than taking abuse of 13-year-old Americans for your accent.

Happy Birthday N64 and keep rocking!

What are your memories of the N64? Let me know in the comments or the Facebook page or on Twitter.

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Posted on 29/09/2011, in Features. Bookmark the permalink. 1 Comment.

  1. The N64 had some of the best, most underrated games on a console. DKR and JFG were both brilliant, with DKR being better than Mario Kart in many aspects. Nothing beat zipping around on a plane and shooting your car-riding friends with missiles. Jet Force Gemini was a game I played through again quite recently and I was incredibly impressed with how well the visuals, sound, and atmosphere have all aged really well. It’s one of my favorite shooters to this day.

    Majora’s Mask…Well, there are lots of things I could say about Majora’s Mask as you know. It’s my favorite game of all time. The way it’s written, the dungeons, the sidequests, and especially the little touches make it an experience unlike any other that just doesn’t get the love it deserves (Though that seems to be changing in recent times). The three day cycle could have worked or flopped and thankfully it worked to create a tense, sometimes scary, always entertaining experience.

    One of the tweets mentioned Mischief Makers. I loved Mischief Makers! Released in a time when we were spoiled by 3D, Mischief Makers was a witty and fun platformer that made fun of all sorts of anime conventions and did it with style. The graphics and backgrounds were great, too. I was just getting into “Japanimation” at the time, so the game really appealed to me and I think it’s safe to say helped shape me into who I am in that respect. I never cared about whether a game was 2D or 3D as long as it was fun, had a hook, and Mischief Makers had great dialogue and was definitely very, very fun. All of the big boss fights are brilliant and rank as some of my favorite ever.

    Ah, the N64 was such a good system. It blew me away as a kid and it still does today. All I have to do is pop in Banjo-Tooie and I’m a kid again. Great article.

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