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Everything posted by Cube

  1. F-Zero X - All N64 Games

    I've got a few to work. 64DD games I'm already planning. Speaking of F-Zero... F-Zero X JP release: 14th July 1998 NA release: 27th October 1998 PAL release: 6th November 1998 Developer: Nintendo Publisher: Nintendo N64 Magazine Score: 91% I loved F-Zero GX on GameCube, but I’ve never played the N64 version before. It turns out I love this version, too, even though it feels a lot more brutal than I remember GX being. This is Nintendo’s take on the sci-fi racer genre, and it does a great job at it. F-Zero X features a whopping 30 racers at once (each with a unique ship) and – even with some obvious rubber banding – they all move like actual opponents, making mistakes and reacting to your presence. The game goes a great job at remaining smooth by adjusting the level of detail as the framerate is perfect throughout. The tracks twist and turn and it’s all incredibly fast. One key part of the game is the energy bar. On top of representing your health, it’s also your boost. There are places to recharge on the track (usually near the end of a lap) so a key part of the game is deciding how much you’re willing to risk in order to go faster. Blow up and you lose a life and have to start the race again. The tracks in F-Zero X start out quite gentle, but things take a sudden turn in the last track of the second cup (there are four cups in total, with 6 tracks each) and you’ll start getting thin portions of the track with no edges – fall off and you’re not placed back like other games, you lose a life and start again. Just surviving the tracks becomes the main challenge until you start learning them. Not every choice is made against the player, though. You have barge attacks and a spin attack at your disposal. Take someone else and they won’t score any points for that round. To make good use of this, the game even highlights you rival (the opponent with the highest score) so you can try to target specific opponents and pick them out of the crowd. On top of the leagues (which have four difficulties) and multiplayer, there’s a few extra modes. There’s an unlockable X cup that serves you up procedurally generated tracks and a “death race” mode where you race around a short track trying to take out every other racer (I personally would prefer if you could do this on other tracks as well). F-Zero X is a great game that is quite full of stuff to do. It’s still a ton of fun today. Remake or remaster? A remake of F-Zero GX with all the tracks and features of F-Zero X added in would be amazing – although it shouldn’t be based on this version of F-Zero X, but we’ll get into that when I play the Japanese-only expanded version of the game. Official ways to get the game. There is no way to buy a new copy of F-Zero X, the only official way to play is to rent it via the Nintendo Switch Online + Expansion Pak. Re-releases 2004: iQue 2007: Wii Virtual Console 2016: Wii U Virtual Console 2022: Nintendo Switch Online (Subscription Only)
  2. After doing a few franchise playthroughs (Sonic, Star Trek and James Bond), I decided to pick something that would be a bit more varied by focusing on a console. I picked the N64 as I remember loving it, and I read about so many games in N64 Magazine that I never got to play. The number of games (419, including some prototypes) also makes it a reasonable endevour. For playing the games, I'll be using different ways to play. I'll mainly be emulating (using different emulators, as some work better in particular ones), plus using some ports/remasters. The ports/remasters are on a case-by-case basis and the game as a whole needs to have the same vibes as the N64 version, as sometimes the N64 versions had different level designs (and features) to other versions that remasters are based on. That said, some of those do kindly include the N64 mode as well. Some ports will be fan made and I will be allowing some graphical and QoL enhancements (mainly widescreen, textures that keep the right vibe and camera control). There was one game where I felt I went a bit too far on the graphical department, but a bit too late for that (it wasn't a big N64-specific one anyway). In the case of sports games, I'll be mainly getting a feel for them by playing a few matches rather than going insane while playing an entire season of each one. I also won't be shy in using cheats, mainly extra lives (they were pointless in most games of this era and losing them just wasted time as you walk back to where you were) and for games of genres I completely suck at - such as 1-on-1 fighters (I had no idea the N64 had so many). Some games only came out in Japan. I don't read or speak Japanese and I'm dreadful at understanding Japanese. For some games, there are fan-made translations that I will be using, for others, I'm relying on Google Lens (which, while some results are a big mangles, has been fairly successful and I get the gist of what things mean) . My reasoning for all of this is that this is for fun, not a serious challenge. For ordering the games, I've gone by the first release in any region, it seemed like the most logical way to do things. I've also inserted a few prototypes of games into the mix for checking out unfinished (or in a few cases, completely finished but unreleased) games. I'm already a fair amount of time into playing the games, up to number 150 on my list (an obscure game called Ocarina of Time). Out of the three Japanese launch titles, It would be rude to not start with: Super Mario 64 JP release: 23rd June 1996 NA release: 29th September 1996 PAL release: 1st March 1997 Developer: Nintendo Publisher: Nintendo N64 Magazine Score: 96% Starting off with a bang, one of the Nintendo 64’s launch titles just happens to be a revolutionary game that’s one of the best games on the system. It didn’t just show the world how platform games could work in 3D, but it set the standard for movement in 3D as well. Despite its legendary status, Nintendo have never given us the port that this game deserves. Super Mario 64 doesn’t need a full remake, just a little bit of sprucing, widescreen and an updated camera. Luckily, fans of the game have done this themselves by fully recreating the game’s engine on PC, with lots of options to set it up the way you want. There are some much more graphically impressive options than what I chose, but I wanted it to look similar to the original game, with just crisper textures and some of the 2D objects replaced with 3D ones. The movement of Mario still feels amazing all these years later. His move set is brilliant with all of his moves (minus the special hats) available from the get-go, it’s just a case of learning it and figuring out the best way to move. Most people will start off doing taller jumps by doing the backflip, but then transition to the quick turn jump to get up to the tall platforms. Even now, it’s an absolute joy to control. The camera from the original game is the main part of the game that now feels clunky. It was pretty amazing when the game came out, but it’s one aspect of games that has improved over time. Luckily, the version I played lets you turn on a more modern analogue camera, which (along with widescreen) is really all Super Mario 64 needs to feel modern. The levels are small, but it’s a style that really suits the game. They’re packed full of secrets, with six stars to find in each one (plus an extra star for collecting 100 coins). Once you collect a star, you’re thrown out of the level, which does mean you have to re-do parts of levels multiple times, but there are sometimes changes to the level depending on which star you collect. There is a mod that lets you remain in levels, but I feel like this alters the game too much, and is itself fiddly as you need to work out when you need to manually leave the level. Each level has a very distinct feel to it and I enjoyed every level in the game, except for two of the water levels. While some have generic themes (lava, water and ice), the levels are still built in unique ways, and even matching themes (like the two snow levels) don’t feel like a reuse due to the level design. Other than a couple of stars that include the wing, metal and invisible caps, you can also complete levels before moving on, or just do a couple of stars and try somewhere else. You only need 70 out of 120 stars to complete the game (far fewer if you choose to do glitches), but it’s enjoyable collecting them all. To unlock different sections of the castle (and access more levels), you need to complete Bowser’s levels. There are three in total (the last one being to save Peach) and these are much more linear platform challenges, which creates a nice change of pace. At the end of these you have to face off against Bowser, grabbing his tail and spinning him to throw him into bombs, and I’m still absolutely dreadful at aiming my throws. The final section of the game has some outstanding levels. Wet-Dry World is the third water level of the game, but this one stands out much more due to the mechanic of raising and lowering the water levels. There are different ways to move upwards depending on the water level, and you’ll need to make use of these to collect all the stars. Tiny-Huge Island has you using pipes to swap between a giant Mario and a mini Mario. You get to see cute tiny goombas or have to fight ones that are much larger than Mario. It’s not Mario’s size that actually changes, but the level itself. It’s an absolutely adorable level full of joy. Tick Tock Clock is actually a lot smaller than I remember, but is focused on well timed jumps. The unique aspect of this level is that the level entrance is itself a clockface, and where the minute hand points alters the speed of the objects in the level, or even stops them completely. I have quite strong memories of trying to figure out what was happening when this happened as a kid. The final main level, Rainbow Ride, is more linear than most levels, with different segments connected via magic carpets. You’ll need to jump off the carpets to avoid obstacles, but if you take too long, the carpets will vanish. This level requires you to have learnt how to master Mario’s moveset. Super Mario 64 is still an absolute joy to play, especially so with an updated camera. I think a full remake would alter the game too much, as the level design and movement is integral to its identity. It just needs a bit of sprucing up, and I really hope we get an official version that does this at some point. This was an amazing start for the Nintendo 64. Not only was this game integral to the development of 3D games as a whole, but the gameplay and levels still hold up today. Games keep trying to be bigger and better, but smaller and varies levels are also a great approach. Remake or Remaster? As the fan-made PC version shows, Super Mario 64 still holds up really well and just needs some basic improvements. A remastered Super Mario 64 would be perfect. Official Ways to get the game There is no way to buy a new copy of Super Mario 64, the only official way to play is to rent it via the Nintendo Switch Online + Expansion Pak. Re-releases 1997: Super Mario 64 Rumple Pak Version (Japan Only) 2003: iQue (China Only) 2006: Wii Virtual Console 2015: Wii U Virtual Console 2020: Super Mario 3D All Stars (Switch, temporary release) 2021: Nintendo Switch Online (subscription only) Other versions 2004: Super Mario 64 DS. This version featured altered levels, more stars and extra playable characters. The extra content was well received, but forcing previous stars to certain characters was frustrating. The controls also don’t work very well on the DS. The touch screen minigames were a brand-new addition and were well liked.
  3. F-Zero X - All N64 Games

    Interesting, I had no idea about that arcade unit, I may test out how they emulate (looks like the ones that use odd controllers have a patched ROM to accept a regular controller) and sneak them somewhere into my playthrough, something interesting to look at.
  4. F-Zero X - All N64 Games

    Star Soldier: Vanishing Earth JP release: 10th July 1998 NA release: 15th December 1998 PAL release: N/A Developer: Hudson Publisher: Hudson (JP), Electro Brain (NA) N64 Magazine Score: 62% Star Soldier: Vanishing Earth is a very traditional style sci-fi scrolling shooter. While it features some nice 3D graphics, it doesn’t try to utilise 3D in its gameplay or camera usage, it just keeps things simple. I was quite surprised that this game worked well with widescreen, as with the fixed camera, you would expect everything out of view to be removed. However, keeping things simple works for this genre. You can pick between a few ships that have different weapons – all of which can be upgraded by collecting power-up, which level down if you get destroyed. Everything is fast, smooth and feels polished. Outside of the main mode – which has some hidden paths to unlock bonus missions – there’s also a couple of timed modes for quick high score challenges. It’s a decent example of its genre. Remake or remaster? A regular re-release would be fine. Official ways to get the game. There is no official way to get Star Soldier: Vanishing Earth
  5. @Darren , you might find this thread interesting:
  6. F-Zero X - All N64 Games

    Penny Racers JP release: 30th June 1998 NA release: 4th February 1999 PAL release: 5th March 1999 Developer: Locomotive Corporation Publisher: Takara (JP), THQ (NA/PAL) N64 Magazine Score: 58% Known as Choro-Q in Japan, this racing game is base on a series of pullback toy cars. The all have a cute deformed style and the racing game brings that to life, with upgradable cars and weapons to use against other racers. The customisation and upgrades are a key part of Penny Racers. There’s a lot of different vehicles to choose from and you can alter the with colours and different components – some change your stats and others alter your appearance. As you finish races, the top three racers can steal components from the bottom three racers. While the game is cute and charming, the actual racing is unfortunately not much fun. It takes ages to get up to full speed and other racers coming near you will knock you about. I also found my car to just roll over a lot, particularly on long turns and I really couldn’t work out what I was doing wrong. I eventually learned to anticipate the rolls so I could plan the quick turns and performed fairly well – unless I got stuck in the middle of the pack and bashed about by others. There’s also a nice track editor in the game, with a few options for different kinds of straights, turns and curves. Unfortunately, there’s only one (fairly hideous) style to the track, so they’ll all look the same, but it’s a really nice feature. I wish I could enjoy Penny Racers more than I did, the setting is adorable and I like some of the ideas. Hopefully the sequel will sort out some of the issues. Remake or remaster? There’s a bunch of Choro-Q games, so some kind of compilation could be interesting – just with improved gameplay. Official ways to get the game. There is no official way to get Penny Racers.
  7. F-Zero X - All N64 Games

    Off Road Challenge NA release: 30th June 1998 PAL release: 15th September 1998 JP release: N/A Developer: Midway, Avalanche Software Publisher: Midway (NA), GT (PAL) N64 Magazine Score: 21% Developed by Midway and Avalanche (the ones who made the Tak games and Hogwarts Legacy) is another port of an arcade racer, this one has you driving large 4×4 trucks across some very bumpy environments. Off Road Challenge is very clearly an immensely ugly game. Everything looks low quality and messy and there’s a load of pop-in and gaps in the world. The game does mange to make its 6 tracks feel distinct (there’s also two bonus ones which look similar to some of those), but when none of it looks good, that doesn’t matter much. However, even though the game is nowhere near good, I found it to be rather enjoyable. The handling is surprisingly good – one of the most responsive I’ve encountered in a car game on the N64 and there’s such a great sense of fun with the game. Everything surrounding this is bad, but the core driving is just entertaining. One bizarre thing is that your car starts off as not good enough to win, you need to collect money found in the level (and awarded if you place high) to buy upgrades for your car, which then help you out in later races. One huge problem – if you leave the game to swap vehicle or turn the game off, all these upgrades are on and you need to do a few races to catch up again. It’s ugly and has some rather odd features, but it’s still kind of fun. Remake or remaster? Being another Midway racer, a collection of their racing games would be nice. Official ways to get the game. There is no official way to get Off Road Challenge.
  8. F-Zero X - All N64 Games

    Yup, it's a reference to the song. I can occasionally beat Mr Vile, but do still occasionally get the Turbo Trainers.
  9. F-Zero X - All N64 Games

    Banjo-Kazooie NA release: 29th June 1998 PAL release: 17th July 1998 JP release: 6th December 1998 Developer: Rare Publisher: Nintendo N64 Magazine Score: 90% Banjo-Kazooie is possibly my favourite game, something I utterly love. I play it around Christmas every year and never get tired of it. But why is this? What makes Banjo-Kazooie such a lovable game to play? For starters, Banjo-Kazooie has a lot of character, from Banjo-Kazooie themselves to the worlds, settings and music. Even characters like Colliwobble (a giant cauliflower with googly eyes) has a magical style and charm to it. I think it’s Rare’s love for googly eyes, so much stuff has it, including boulders, blocks of ice and boxes of TNT. The world of Banjo-Kazooie is just alive in a joyful way. Then you have the heroes Banjo and Kazooie. Banjo is a fairly straight character. For the most part he’s kind and gentle and wants to do good. If he was completely on his own, he may be a bit bland, but luckily his trust friend Kazooie lives in his backpack. Kazooie is rude, sassy and will mock anything. Together, it makes for great banter between them and other characters. And all dialogue is text with grunts, which helps make their world remain unique. I really hope any (if there are any) future games keep this as I’m not sure how I’d feel about proper voice acting. Banjo-Kazooie is a 3D collect-a-thon platformer, which doesn’t go overboard on its collectibles. Banjo and Kazooie have a lot of moves crammed onto a controller, but they all work really well. There are some slight niggles, like trying to change the camera while aiming an egg can activate your golden feathers, but the platforming itself feels extremely precise, with any missed jumps never feeling like the game’s fault. The camera also functions fine for the most part, but there’s a couple of areas with some forced angles that don’t work, such as the path to Mad Monster Mansion which is a narrow walkway that can be difficult to see. There are 9 worlds in Banjo-Kazooie. These each have 10 jiggies to collect, 100 notes, two honeycomb pieces (which increase your health). One jiggy in every level will be finding all five Jinjos hidden in each level. The levels will be considered small by today’s standards, but I think that they are ideal. It’s a size where you can search for everything without tedium or growing tired of it. Each world has its own charm. Mumbo’s Mountain is a great introductory world. It’s a great introduction to how jiggies are hidden. Some are out in the open, some given to you by characters, some by activating switches and some by smashing things or just trying to shoot eggs into any hole you find. It sets you up for handling the later levels. It also introduces the important Talon Trot move, which allows you to use Kazooie’s legs to traverse steep slopes, and the layout of the level encourages heavy use. Also here is the first Mumbo Skull. Enter here and you’ll find the crazy shaman Mumbo Jumbo. If you’ve found enough Mumbo tokens, he’ll cast a spell on you and you’ll turn into a termite. These transformations are another wonderful thing about Banjo-Kazooie. They’re not in every level so aren’t overused, but they turn you into different animals (or objects), which is required for certain jiggies. They’re all wonderful to use and are simply a joyous thing to have in the game. After Mumbo’s Mountain, we get Treasure Trove Cove, a beach level filled with crabs. Mambo’s Mountain also introduces you to a pound attack (using Kazooie’s beak), which is used here for enemies and tasks. Flying is also introduced, as Kazooie can use red feathers to fly around the map. Treasure Trove Cove is quite open, with a jiggy that encourages flying around it. There’s also a very scary shark in the water. It’s a really wonderful level. Next up is the weakest part of Banjo-Kazooie: Clanker’s Cavern. It’s a murky underwater level, and looks fairly dull. I do like Clanker – a big whale that has been turned into a horrifying trash disposal monster, but is actually a nice but depressed individual, but there’s a lot of swimming in this level, including a very deep dive that terrified me as a kid. That said, I grow more and more fond of the level each time I play the game. Bubblegloop Swamp swiftly returns to form, especially because of adorable crocodile Banjo. This level is split up into segments, and then croc Banjo can traverse new areas, including a fairly difficult minigame with Mr Vile, sneaky crocodile (although a move from a later level can make this easier if you wish). Then the wonderful wintery world of Freezeezy Peak, a level revolving around a giant snowman. One slight niggle for me with this is that you can’t finish the level initially, so I’d recommend a quick trip into the next level to grab the speed trainers, but it’s only a minor hassle. In Freezeezy Peak you get to climb the giant snowman’s scarf, have aerial fights with aggressive smaller snowmen, turn into a Walrus and take part in races – WAHEEEY! From the snow straight to the sand of Gobi’s Valley. This is one of the more challenging levels, with pyramids, temples and sphinxes holding challenges you need to complete. One of these requires a perfect run with the speed boots, and still takes me multiple attempts each playthrough. That said, there is still a load of fun and charm. Up next is for some halloween fun in Mad Monster Mansion, a haunted house and grounds. Initially, I found this level to be incredibly daunting, but traversal isn’t as difficult as initially seems, and getting around the level is quite fun. There’s lots of rooms to explore and even a toilet to explore. Brilliantly, the toilet itself is also a character called Loggo. Oh, one thing I forgot to mention is that Banjo-Kazooie loves puns. Some people may pretend to groan at puns, but everyone loves them. Rusty Bucket Bay is the penultimate level, with some very tough challenges. The water in this level drains your air much faster than previous levels, so even though there’s a lot of water, you only spend small stints in it. There’s lots of hidden rooms to find, with some fun and cute details hidden in them. The transformation in this level is also super adorable. And last is the seasonal Click Clock Wood. This is split into four “sections” that you open up over time, each is the whole world in a different season, and some jiggies require doing parts in each season, although if you fully explore each season before moving on, you don’t have to go back and forth. It’s lovely to see all the changes throughout the seasons. Connecting these together is Grunty’s tower. Grunty is an evil witch who wants to make herself beautiful (by stealing the beauty from Banjo’s sister, Tooty, who became a staple of all future Banjo games…either that or she was relegated to a missing person’s poster and forgotten about). You explore the tower, finding jigsaws to fill in with the jiggy pieces you collect to open the main worlds. There are also 10 jiggies hidden here, which require you to hit a switch in each level to reveal (except for one, which is given to you at the start of the game). And once you get past all the levels and go to defeat Gunty, it doesn’t go straight into a boss battle (that comes later), instead you have to complete Grunty’s Furnace Fun, a trivia board game where you have to answer questions about the game (or complete some mini games from previous levels). These questions could be about Grunty herself, pictures of places in levels to identify, trivia about characters or identifying sound and music. Music. That’s a very important part of what makes Banjo-Kazooie work. Composer Grant Kirkhope did an absolutely phenomenal job of creating some tunes that you will be humming for the rest of your lives. They also work with the levels extremely well, adding to the magical experience. The music will also vary slightly based on different locations of each level or going underwater, all with perfectly smooth transitions between them. The music to Banjo-Kazooie is simply heaven for your ears, and will put a smile on your face for the entirety of your playthrough. Even other people in your house will start humming the tunes. Replaying Banjo-Kazooie takes between 6 and 10 hours, although this will be a lot longer the first time. It’s a great length for annual revisits and is an extremely well-contained piece of media. You can follow it by its sequel, Banjo-Tooie (as I do every few years), but it works extremely well on its own. The entirety of the game is just full of joy, accompanied by very happy tunes and a sense that everyone working on the game was enjoying themselves. There are two versions of this game, the original on N64 and a remaster version on Xbox. I highly recommend the Xbox version, as the better controller design helps a lot, and the widescreen HD image is much nicer to see. The main other difference between the two is that the Xbox version is easier, as it saves what notes you have collected. In the original, you need to collect all 100 in one go, which I believe was mainly due to memory limits on the N64 and not the original intention. Banjo-Kazooie is my perfect game. Remake or remaster? The Xbox remaster is pretty great, although releasing on more platforms and a few fixes and refinements would be great. Official ways to get the game. Banjo-Kazooie is available on Xbox One/Series and is included in Rare Replay. You can also rent it on Switch via Nintendo Switch Online Re-releases 2008: Xbox Live Arcade 2015: Rare Replay 2023: Nintendo Switch Online (Subscription Only)
  10. F-Zero X - All N64 Games

    Dezaemon 3D JP release: 26th June 1998 NA release: N/A PAL release: N/A Developer: Athena Publisher: Athena N64 Magazine Score: 82% For the N64’s first sci-fi scrolling shooter, this is a bit of an odd one, as it isn’t a specific game, but rather a creation kit for making you own sci-fi shoot-’em’-up game. The software itself is quite complicated and isn’t easy to use, even with a translated manual and Google Lens – although I don’t think it’s the game’s fault. There is a whole host of editing features, you can modify textures, modify models, modify the level layouts with effects and enemies and even design your own music. There are a bunch if icons and I imagine you can do a fair amount with it once you got used to how it worked. The best I could do was do was some kind of takeaway food (the model is already in the game) shooting above water that moves around in waves. I did try to do a bit more, but I somehow accidentally reset all the custom data. Dezaemon 3D does come with a couple of built in games, presumably made using the creation software of the game as examples of what you can do. This is a vertical scrolling shooter and near the start you come across a boss and an immense amount of bullets, but the detail is quite impressive. The second game changes viewpoint depending on what stage you’re on, with a top down view on stage one and a side view on stage 2. This is rather fascinating software, and it seems like it could do a lot. Remake or remaster? I don’t really know enough about games creation software to see how this sits now of if there’s anything similar available. Official ways to get the game. There is no official way to get Dezamon 3D
  11. F-Zero X - All N64 Games

    Cruis’n World PAL release: 25th June 1998 NA release: 30th September 1998 JP release: N/A Developer: Midway, Eurocom Publisher: Nintendo N64 Magazine Score: 38% While still nowhere near a good game, Cruis’n World has significant improvements over Cruis’n USA. It’s still an arcade-style racing game with a lot of courses, although this time it’s based across the world instead of just the USA. This gives us a much bigger array of visual variety. The visuals of the levels are very stereotypical, but it means the locations are very easy to identify and they all stand out from each other. The track design is also much more varied and isn’t almost entirely 4-lane roads. With the amount of tracks – including one on the moon – it’s certainly one of the stronger N64 racing games when it comes to tracks. There’s also a really nice variety in cars, mostly knock-offs of real ones, but also fun ones like a double-decker. Unfortunately, it’s all let down by the handling. One slight touch of the analogue stick and you swerve wildly across the road, with a drift that makes it even harder to control your vehicle. Winning is also very difficult because the other racers are so bad – they’ll often crash and you’ll end up in the pile up (well, more a bunch of cars spinning wildly in the air) as they block the road, letting the cars up front get ahead in such a way that you can be perfect for the rest of the race and not be able to catch up. I got fed up of this pretty quickly and resorted to using cheats. Strangely, the only track I won legitimately was one of the “expert” ones. It’s a shame because with better handling, it would be a very enjoyable game. Remake or remaster? A collection of the tracks and vehicles from these games with some better gameplay and handling would be an interesting package. Official ways to get the game. There is no official way to get Cruis’n World
  12. F-Zero X - All N64 Games

    Mortal Kombat 4 NA release: 23rd June 1998 PAL release: 15th September 1998 JP release: N/A Developer: Midway, Eurocom Publisher: Midway (NA), GT (PAL) N64 Magazine Score: 84% The big Mortal Kombat game for this generation of consoles, and this one brings the graphics into full 3D. After experimenting with a few styles of graphics and gameplay with their earlier N64 fighting games, Mortal Kombat 4 settles on polygon models that manage to capture the spirit of the 2D sprites pretty well. The gameplay also feels quite solid to me. It sticks to working from a 2D point of view with some slight 3D movement from dodging. One new feature is the ability to use items like rocks to throw at opponents, and each person can bring out a weapon with a special move (which the opponent can also use if dropped). There’s a few modes such as an endurance mode fighting random opponents, the standard arcade mode and some tournament options for multiplayer. The practice mode also gives you a move list, but this is only on a static screen and you can’t pin one to try. This seems like the N64’s most solid fighter so far, although it doesn’t try to do anything special either. Remake or remaster? A Mortal Kombat collection would be good. Official ways to get the game. The PC version of Mortal Kombat 4 is available on GoG.
  13. Little Kitty, Big City looks like fun, more than any of this "Silksong" stuff.
  14. F-Zero X - All N64 Games

    Mike Piazza’s Strike Zone NA release: 18th June 1998 PAL release: N/A JP release: N/A Developer: Devil’s Thumb Publisher: GT Interactive N64 Magazine Score: N/A Not knowing the name Mike Piazza, the name made me think of bowling. Unfortunately, this is another baseball game, and by far the worst one so far on the N64. It’s definitely not helped by the horrific and extremely ugly graphics, either. In Strike Zone, there’s no indicator for aiming the bat. I’m not entirely sure you actually able to aim as I really couldn’t tell any difference when moving the analogue stick. This doesn’t help with hitting it though, as the strange angle used makes it very difficult to judge where the ball is. Fielding is also a mess, as it doesn’t change to the closest fielder until far too late and it feels like you’re just yelling at the players rather than directly controlling them. There is a cheat where you can turn almost any hit into an instant home run, and the game can be amusing to see the unrealistic distances it produces. Remake or remaster? There’s much better baseball games. Official ways to get the game. There is no official way to get Mike Piazza’s Strike Zone
  15. F-Zero X - All N64 Games

    Virtual Chess 64 NA release: 10th June 1998 PAL release: July 1998 JP release: N/A Developer: Titus Publisher: Titus N64 Magazine Score: 76% I wasn’t expecting much from Virtual Chess as it’s just chess, but at least you can’t mess up chess – or so I thought. Against all odds, Titus have managed to achieve the impossible and create a chess game that looks bad and controls poorly. The analogue stick or d-pad move the cursor, but way, way too fast so you need to perform the quickest tap or move the stick immensely slightly. With the 3D view, you expect the c-buttons to control the camera and they do – at least two of them do. c-right spins the board right while c-left spins the board up. It’s impossible to find a good camera angle and adjusting is itself a big pain. When a piece is taken, you see the pieces fighting (similar to Battle Chess), only the designs of al the characters are absolutely hideous and carry no charm whatsoever. As it doesn’t happen with the other pieces on show, it also feels completely disjointed from the main game. You can choose a 2D board. I turned it on and was presented with a really baffling design. I checked the options and found no way to change it – although I eventually figured out that c-left and c-right can change the the look of the board and pieces. Now, there is one aspect that Virtual Chess is competent in, and that’s playing chess. The problem is that it’s too good. While it’s got 17 levels of difficulty, the first beginner level will trounce most people – especially if they’re using the 3D view that makes it very difficult to judge how pieces can move. There are plenty of good chess games, but this is just trash. I’m amazed that it got good reviews Remake or remaster? You can get much better chess games on your phone for free. Official ways to get the game. There is no official way to get Virtual Chess 64
  16. F-Zero X - All N64 Games

    Holy Magic Century / Quest 64 NA release: 10th June 1998 PAL release: 30th September 1998 JP release: 9th July 1999 Developer: Imagineer Publisher: THQ (NA), Konami (PAL) Imagineer (JP) N64 Magazine Score: 71% There’s a lot of curious things about the Quest series. This game was given different names in different regions. In North America, it was the very generic Quest 64. In Europe is was the rather meaningless Holy Magic Century and in Japan it was Eltale Monsters (I think Eltale Book would have worked better). Despite being a JRPG, it also came out in Japan last. Quest got a spin-off in the form of a Mr. Do clone on Game Boy Color called Quest: Fantasy Challenge in the USA and, oddly, Holy Magic Century in Europe (it wasn’t released in Japan) and then a remake of the original game on Game Boy Colour (with an expanded story) called Quest: Brian’s Journey in the USA and Elemental Tale – Jack’s Great Adventure: Satan’s Counterattack in Japan (this one wasn’t released in Europe). As for Quest 64, the game itself is also interesting as it seems like a great starting point for a game, but it feels like it isn’t finished. It works fine and isn’t glitchy, it’s just there isn’t a lot to it. The idea behind the story is interesting, but it isn’t told well. It’s very easy to lose track of what you’re supposed to be doing due to lack of context, and NPCs rarely have anything interesting to say. The combat has some interesting ideas, too. It’s turn-based but you move around in the actual game world. You can move around within a circle (which is more of a circle in the Japanese version) to position yourself and select an attack. When enemies attack you have a bit of movement to try and dodge. You collect spirits in four elements: fire, wind, water and earth (no heart) and as you get more, you unlock more abilities. There are three “levels” of attack but in each new “level” you can mix in another element for a wide variety of spells. Unfortunately, there are just a couple of attacks that are far better than others. By far the biggest issue with the combat is the random encounter system, as the amount you get is extremely overboard. You can be drawn into a new battle immediately after one ends and, other than trying to break the game by hugging walls (or using a Gameshark code), there’s no proper way to avoid battles. What doesn’t help is that a lot of battles won’t reward you with anything, as the game won’t give you an item if you already have one of them in your inventory. You’ll get tired of the random encounters before the end of the first area. There’s plenty to like about Holy Quest Monsters, but also a lot to hate about it. It feels like the developers had a lot of ambitions but had to tone it back during development. It has a lot of interesting ideas, it just doesn’t fully use them. Remake or remaster? Quest 64 definitely deserves a fresh attempt. Refine the combat system, add more context to the story and give NPCs more to do with side quests and other activities. Official ways to get the game. There is no official way to get Quest 64
  17. F-Zero X - All N64 Games

    International Superstar Soccer 98 JP release: 4th June 1998 PAL release: 1st September 1998 JP release: 15th September 1998 Developer: Konami Publisher: Konami N64 Magazine Score: 92% ISS vs FIFA was a big debate for a while, with 1998 probably being the biggest year for the argument. N64 Magazine clearly preferred ISS, but for me, I enjoyed FIFA 98 more. I do think I know the main reason why people prefer each one, as while they seem the same from a distance, they both have slightly different targets. FIFA is more about casual fun, while ISS is more geared towards providing a more tactical experience. Which means that it isn’t a case of which one is better, but rather what kind of game you want. ISS 98 is a marginal improvement from ISS 64, focusing on the World Cup. In Japan, it had an official World Cup branding, but still not player names (other than the Japanese squad), but is the same game. You do get a new set of scenarios, so if you liked those, these are the main new thing in this version compared to the previous year. Remake or remaster? Other than Konami looking back to move forward, not really. Official ways to get the game. There is no official way to get International Superstar Soccer 98 I'm sure @Dcubed can say a lot more about this one.
  18. F-Zero X - All N64 Games

    Their favourite method is just throwing PC versions from the 90s onto Steam with no improvements, no compatibility fixes and no controller support. Sometimes they'll throw in a PS1 rom and a terribly configured emulator. Although they did make a new PC version of Glover, but that turned out even worse. They buy up old games and just sit on them.
  19. F-Zero X - All N64 Games

    Thankfully I'm not forcing myself to fully complete every single one. I'd go insane, Wetrix PAL release: 29th May 1998 NA release: 16th June 1998 JP release: 27th November 1998 Developer: Zed Two Publisher: Ocean (NA/PAL), Imagineer (JP) N64 Magazine Score: 74% As Tetris set the standard for puzzle video games, other puzzle games try to have names similar to it. A water-based puzzle game? Of course it has to be named Wetrix. Wetrix is all about keeping water from falling off your square “island”, raiding the environment to keep it contained. Different “blocks” will fall down from the screen. Most of these are upwards arrows which will raise the land in that shape, along with water to fill up the enclosed areas you make. The goal is to keep as much water contained as possible, as if to much falls off the sides, you’ll get Game Over. There are other kinds of “blocks” as well. Down arrows will reduce the level of the land, bombs will blow up holes in the island that you’ll need to repair (on that note, don’t try to launch a bomb down a hole, the game will punish you for it), ice to freeze water and fireballs to get rid of some water. I can definitely see the appeal of Wetrix, but I really could not figure out how to do well at the game. There’s a bunch of different modes, including one where you can change settings to make the game even more difficult. It’s not for me, but it’s a solidly made game. Remake or remaster? A new version would be nice, alongside a collection of the various Wetrix games on N64, Game Boy Color, Dreamcast and PlayStation 2. Official ways to get the game. There is no official way to get Wetrix.
  20. Star Trek Masturbatathon

    https://variety.com/2024/tv/news/star-trek-strange-new-worlds-renewed-lower-decks-ending-1235969332/ Strange New Worlds has been renewed for season 4. Lower Decks has not been renewed and season 5 will be the last.
  21. F-Zero X - All N64 Games

    Pachinko 365 Days JP release: 29th May 1998 PAL release: N/A NA release: N/A Developer: Seta Publisher: Seta Original Name: Pachinko 365 Nichi N64 Magazine Score: N/A Another Pachinko game. While I still have zero interest in the Japanese hybrid of slot machines and 10p machines, this one at least seems competently made. You can properly walk around the three Pachinko parlours to find machines and they look alright. You can also talk to the guests, who have various things to say about Pachinko. The pachinko is still just pachinko, but the a and b buttons now increase/decrease the ball release lever, actually giving you control over how the balls are fired. There are five machines, one of them being an “old style” one. n this one, you manually launch the balls into the machine, instead of the standard autofire ones. It adds a bit of variety. The goal of the game is to play over the course of one year (with a day being sped up) to try and earn as much money as you can. Remake or remaster? Nothing, really. Official ways to get the game. There is no official way to get Pachinko 365 Days
  22. F-Zero X - All N64 Games

    Robotech: Crystal Dreams (Prototype) PAL release: N/A NA release: N/A JP release: N/A Developer: GameTek Publisher: N/A N64 Magazine Score: N/A Based on an American/Japanese sci-fi animated series, Robotech: Crystal Dreams was an extremely ambitious flight simulator game that ultimately went over budget and was cancelled when it needed another six months of development. The prototype for the game features a demo area you can fly around, there’s a large ship and you can find some of the logos from the very nifty-looking opening. You can see your character’s reflection in the cockpit window and can even look around the cockpit. It controls really well and seems like a good starting point to build a game from. The ship also has a few different transformations. You can also turn on random dialogue, and there’s a surprising amount of it in the prototype. The plans for the game was that this would be fairly open-ended. You’ll collect missions from bases that you can walk around then go out into space to complete them. A simple “crystal” enemy was designed for the console in as the specs of the N64 weren’t well known. On top of this, over 40 minutes of dialogue was already done at this point. With only three programmers, the game proved too ambitious for the company and they were unable to get the funding and publisher needed to finish. Should it be finished? With the script and many design aspects finished, it would be great to see what this could have been like.
  23. Year of Shadow

    Mobius was mentioned in some early game manuals but abandoned after Sonic Adventure. They just started calling it Earth.
  24. Year of Shadow

    He's the ultimate lifeform created by Professor Gerald Robotnik (Dr. Robotnik's granddad) and an evil alien who was setting up a long-term invasion of Earth. He then ended up in stasis for 50 or so years before Dr. Robotnik finds him. He looks like a hedgehog because the professor saw an ancient prophetic mural depicting Super Sonic.
  25. F-Zero X - All N64 Games

    Major League Baseball Featuring Ken Griffey Jr. NA release: 25th May 1998 PAL release: 1998 (Australia only) JP release: N/A Developer: Angel Studios Publisher: Nintendo N64 Magazine Score: 74% With this being published by Nintendo, you would hope for a fun and solid portrayal of Baseball, similar to how NBA Courtside did the same for Basketball. Unfortunately, while this does go for a more arcade-style format, it’s rather clunky and messy by comparison. This features a similar system than most of the other N64 baseball games, and this seems to be the easiest to hit the ball – but still almost impossible to actually do anything with it, struggling to land a hit that doesn’t go straight to an opponent, while the CPU hit a home run first try. One thing I do like is that the games seem snappier and go by much quicker, so you can get through a match in a decent time, but this is just an average baseball game. Remake or remaster? Newer baseball games are likely better – although it’s interesting that Nintendo once had the Major League Baseball license, as Sony have now had it for a while. Official ways to get the game. There is no official way to get Major League Baseball Featuring Ken Griffey Jr.