25 years in the past as we speak the Nintendo 64 was launched in Japan. It was the corporate’s final cartridge-based residence console earlier than the swap to optical discs and it launched gamers to the thrill of awkwardly-placed joysticks. And in fact there have been the video games: the soar to a 64-bit CPU meant you possibly can now expertise the worlds of Hyrule and the Mushroom Kingdom in superb 3D. However, whereas Super Mario 64, The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time and GoldenEye 007 could be the go-to titles when speaking in regards to the Nintendo 64, the tastes of the Engadget crew run a bit extra off the overwhelmed path, as evidenced by the recollections our employees shared beneath. — Kris Naudus, Buyer’s Guide Editor
Diddy Kong Racing
If there’s one Nintendo 64 title I want would make a comeback on the Switch, it’s Diddy Kong Racing. I spent hours of my childhood on this recreation and, to at the present time, it’s the one title that will get me to mud off my Jungle Green N64 and sit too near the TV.
Though Diddy Kong Racing was critically acclaimed for taking the dynamics of Mario Kart 64 and including in a narrative, I’ve virtually no reminiscence of the sport’s single-player journey. That’s as a result of the majority of my time taking part in was in multiplayer “battle” mode on the homes of associates (whose older siblings had conveniently performed by means of a lot of the primary story and unlocked the degrees already).
Back then, I didn’t care in regards to the recreation’s story or beating the bosses. The finest a part of Diddy Kong Racing was battling my associates for essentially the most eggs on Fire Mountain, or to be the final one standing within the Icicle Pyramid. And then doing it another time. As a lot as we performed, it appeared there was at all times some new diabolical technique to attempt.
Like lots of Nintendo 64 titles, the controls may very well be a bit difficult to grasp and the steering was… imprecise. But these constraints have been a part of the enjoyable, and made it that rather more gratifying once you completely aimed a rocket or nailed a well-timed drift. Maybe sooner or later I’ll return and truly play by means of the story. But even when I by no means do, I’ll at all times be up for a fast spherical on Fire Mountain. — Karissa Bell, Senior Editor
Harvest Moon 64
Like many video games from the N64 period, I found Harvest Moon 64 within the pages of Nintendo Power. The journal featured screenshots that made me fall in love with the artwork fashion, saving up my allowance to purchase the sport when it got here out within the winter of 1999.
I wouldn’t have recognized on the time, however Harvest Moon 64 was in some ways the top of the sequence. Gameplay was easy, however compared to a few of the extra fashionable entries within the franchise, that was the energy of Harvest Moon 64. It by no means acquired slowed down within the extra boring farming mechanics of its successors, as a substitute specializing in the social parts that stayed with you lengthy after you completed taking part in. A ticking clock and seasonal occasions at all times meant you had one thing to do away out of your farm, and made it in order that a number of playthroughs have been important to see all the pieces the title needed to provide.
The isometric presentation did such an incredible job of promoting the charming world of Harvest Moon 64. Ultimately that’s why I stored coming again — there was one thing comforting in regards to the recreation that made it the right recreation to play throughout a sick day or lazy summer season afternoon. — Igor Bonifacic, Associate Editor
The Legend of Zelda: Majora’s Mask
We all know The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time is a masterpiece, however I’m right here to inform you its sequel, Majora’s Mask, is objectively good. Nintendo may have performed it secure after releasing some of the essential video games of all time, however as a substitute the corporate created one thing totally different. It’s all of the methods Majora’s Mask breaks with the Zelda formulation that make it so memorable. There’s no princess to avoid wasting, no Master Sword to get well and, most significantly, you’re not up towards Ganon. Then there’s its most controversial ingredient.
Rather a lot has been written in regards to the recreation’s 72-hour construction by which you’re compelled to repeat the identical three days many times as you attempt to cease the Moon from falling on Clock Town. That cycle is Majora’s Mask’s best energy.
Pathos permeates virtually each story you bump into within the recreation, together with that of antagonist Skull Kid. Majora’s Mask invitations you to assist out the characters you meet all through your journey, regardless that what little good you carry out is undone on the finish of the present cycle. Even as a child, I bear in mind being struck by how Majora’s Mask dealt with selection and consequence in a manner that no recreation I had performed earlier than had. At each second, it reminds you that there’s a price to doing nothing. — IB
One recreation my associates and I performed typically was Perfect Dark. Rare adopted up the wonderful GoldenEye 007 with a good higher first-person shooter. For a 2000 console recreation, it seems to be nice and performs like a dream. A frantic, action-packed dream.
The multiplayer mode is a precursor to many present shooters. You begin every spherical unarmed, and you want to discover weapons — similar to many fashionable battle royale video games. There’s a wide selection of choices for match customization, and it’s at all times enjoyable to cook dinner up recent situations. I’d at all times attempt to ensure there have been sentry weapons I may deploy to take out my opponents.
Sometimes, we’d frankenstein collectively two televisions and a sign splitter, flip off the mini map and canopy our opponents’ sides of the display screen for an actual problem. It was about as shut as we may get to a aggressive multiplayer expertise on a console again then. I solely want I had my very own N64, so I may have practiced and never get stomped each time we performed. — Kris Holt, Associate Editor
Star Fox 64
Nintendo likes to hold its followers ready. It’s been 14 years for Metroid Prime followers, however Star Fox gamers have had it even worse: we have not seen a superb title within the sequence since 1997. Yes, there was Star Fox Adventures and Star Fox Zero, however these titles are pale reflections of the glory that was Star Fox 64. I lately performed the 3DS model of Star Fox 64, and it’s nonetheless an incredible recreation, however on the time it was mind-blowing. The first Star Fox was modern, but it surely strained the Super Nintendo to its limits, and nonetheless solely managed blocky graphics devoid of texture and element. Star Fox 64 stored the core gameplay however added detailed environments, hordes of enemies and was the primary Nintendo title to characteristic haptic suggestions, courtesy of the Rumble Pack.
The core gameplay loop of “shoot, charge, lock-on, blast, dodge” continues to be addictive even now. Even the marketing campaign design was modern. The ranges branched relying in your actions in-mission, however this additionally served as the issue degree. Do a superb job blasting enemies, discovering secrets and techniques, and saving your squadmates (dammit Falco, get again right here!) and the sport shunts you in direction of tougher missions. On-rail shooters are decidedly old school, and the space-sim style normally has seen higher days, however till we get phrase of a brand new entry within the franchise, I’ll nonetheless be right here with my 3DS port nailing 100 factors in Sector Y to unlock the trail to Aquas. — Christopher Schodt, Video Producer
WWF No Mercy
I by no means owned a Nintendo 64, so my recollections of it are actually of taking part in video games with my associates after we have been children. During most faculty lunch breaks, we’d go to one in every of their properties, hearth up WWF No Mercy and play a couple of matches.
After attending to grips with the controls, studying every character’s intensive moveset was a blast. The reversal system works properly, too. You may by no means be certain whether or not you’d join with a devastating slam or powerbomb.
The wealthy profession mode has a number of paths and branching narratives that rely on the match outcomes. Where No Mercy actually shines, although, is in its deep customization. Not solely are you able to fine-tune your personal character, you’ll be able to modify the present roster in virtually any manner you select.
It’s nonetheless the very best wrestling recreation up to now, although WWF SmackDown: Here Comes The Pain and Fire Pro Wrestling Returns are worthy contenders. The blocky character fashions with their horribly flat faces could look dated, however you’ll be able to’t beat that No Mercy physics engine. — KH
Gallery: Nintendo 64 twenty fifth anniversary | 10 Photos
Gallery: Nintendo 64 twenty fifth anniversary | 10 Photos
Bonus Round: Super Smash Bros.
No specific reminiscence to share right here, I simply actually like this industrial. — KN
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