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Cube

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  1. 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.
  2. Dual Heroes JP release: 5th December 1997 PAL release: 12th April 1998 NA release: 5th November 1998 Developer: Produce! Publisher: Hudson (JP), Electro Brain (NA), Gaga (PAL) N64 Magazine Score: 50% I don’t quite understand the name of this one – there’s no “dual” aspect to anything of this game. Did someone mistype “Duel Heroes”? Anyway, Dual Heroes is often stated as the worst fighting game on the N64, originally scoring 28% at N64 Magazine. However, Dual Heroes is quite fascinating as it has some really interesting features – which caused N64’s magazine score to bump up to 50% once they could understand what those features were in their English version review. Now, the fighting mechanics are pretty atrocious. Fighters don’t feel very different and they all look like rejected Power Rangers with inflatable butts, with rather ugly designs. Special moves don’t feel very special and it’s quite simple that two of the buttons can be “Punch and kick” or “kick and block” and you can still have blank ones. There’s also a 3D move – which isn’t just a fancy dodge like Midway’s fighting games, but holding the button lets you move around completely in 3D. However, it also breaks the game. When you move around in 3D, you move very fast. Human players will have difficulty landing a hit on you, and the AI can’t manage it at all. On top of that, in their attempt to try and hit you, they’ll often run off the edge of the map (if there are no walls). This means you can cheese any AI fight by running behind them, punching them and just running away until they throw themselves off or the time runs out. Dual Heroes does have some fascinating features that I think modern fighting games should use. One is a “virtual opponent”. These are a list of opponents to play the game against – you don’t fight them directly, they pick a character from a game. They all have different tactics and will play in different ways, rather than one set way for each fighter to react. On top of that, you can fight your own. There is a “robot” you can train by fighting against it – you have to teach it to use each character – and it will fight in your style. You can choose to have it fight the virtual opponents or (using memory cards) another person’s robot. This feature was implemented by the Super Smash Bros series, however it requires an amiibo of each character you want to use. With online systems now, this robot feature (and virtual opponents) seems like great features that will be much better off with sharing things online (not to mention in a better fighting game). Dual Heroes isn’t a good game, but it has some really great ideas that deserve to be tried again. Remake or Remaster? The game doesn’t need updating, but the ideas need to be tried again. Official Ways to get the game There’s no official way to play Dual Heroes
  3. There's Olympic Hockey ’98. Exact same gameplay.
  4. This one got generally good reviews. We'll get to the one that got ridiculed for being the same game shortly, it only came out a few months after this one.
  5. Wayne Gretzky’s 3D Hockey ’98 NA release: 3rd December 1997 PAL release: 1st June 1998 JP release: N/A Developer: Software Creations Publisher: Midway (NA), GT (PAL) N64 Magazine Score: 70% Yearly sports updates are tricky things to review, as some can bring big improvements, some minor improvements and some just update the stats. The first N64 Wayne Gretzky’s 3D Hockey was a decent game and this is no different – literally. Everything feels the same and there don’t seem to be any additional options or features for the main game. Other than player stats, the only thing I could find was that the practice mode has a few extra options, were you can choose between shooting, offence and defence. These just change how many players are on each team. If you want to try out one of the Wayne Gretzky’s 3D Hockey games, you may as well play this version, but it doesn’t really offer anything over the previous. Remake or Remaster? Like with the previous game, a less serious ice hockey game would be nice. Official Ways to get the game There’s no official way to play Wayne Gretzky’s 3D Hockey ’98
  6. Wheel of Fortune NA release: 2nd December 1997 PAL release: N/A JP release: N/A Developer: GameTek Publisher: Take-Two N64 Magazine Score: 17% With a score of 17% from N64 magazine, I was expecting something truly atrocious from this. Yet, despite the wonky looking graphics, it does a good job at what it’s supposed to do. It’s your own episode of Wheel of Fortune in an N64 cart. Wheel of Fortune is essentially a fancy game show version of hangman. You spin the wheel and guess a letter. If it exists in the words, you’ll get the money corresponding to the wheel and if you’re wrong, play passes to the next contestant. The wheel is a big element of luck and some of them can make you lose a turn or take away all the money you’ve earned that round. The N64 version is a little bit ugly, but still creates the feel of a studio pretty well. With options for pass and play or having different controllers, it’s also an easy game to play with others, including non-gamers. I got quite a bit of enjoyment from this with my girlfriend, and she even asked to keep the game handy as it’s fun for a quick round every now and then. Remake or remaster? I’m surprised that there isn’t a Jackbox-style service for classic game shows. There could be some options such as different studio designs from the past (and region-specific) as well as choosing themes and adding your own answers into the mix. Official ways to get the game. There is no official way to get Wheel of Fortune
  7. https://news.xbox.com/en-us/2022/01/18/welcoming-activision-blizzard-to-microsoft-gaming/ For $70 billion. Still needs to be finalised, but they're sure enough to officially announce it. The industry becomes more and more monopolised. That said, Microsoft can probably massively improve working conditions for the staff.
  8. WCW vs. nWo: World Tour NA release: 2nd December 1997 PAL release: 12th February 1998 JP release: N/A Developer: Asmik Ace, AKI Publisher: THQ N64 Magazine Score: 70% It took a while for the N64 to get its first wrestling game, although it ended up getting a LOT after this one. It’s quite difficult to judge these properly as WWF No Mercy (the first wrestling game I ever played) essentially invalidated all the other wrestling games on the console and set the standard going forward. For the first on the N64, it does a good job. The gameplay works well enough, although putting the special moves on the control stick is a very odd choice (you move around with the D-pad). You punch, kick and grapple. That said, individual matches do go on for far too long – upwards of 20 minutes. But there’s not much to the game. There aren’t that many wrestlers and there are just a few basic modes, the first of which is a 5v5 where they duke it out one at a time. If one wrestler wins, they fight the opponent’s next. Remake or remaster? The genre itself has evolved. Official ways to get the game. There is no official way to get WCW vs. nWo: World Tour
  9. Heiwa Pachinko World 64 JP release: 28th November 1997 NA release: N/A PAL release: N/A Developer: Shouei System Publisher: Amtex N64 Magazine Score: 12% Pachinko, from what I understand is a “totally not gambling” gambling machine popular in Japan. It seems to be a mixture of a pinball machine, 10p machine and a slot machine. As you buy tokens and win prizes instead of cash, it skirts around gambling laws in Japan. You buy balls and then use a dial to aim them into the machine, where they tumble down and activate the various parts of the slot machine, hoping the hit the jackpot. You can walk around three pachinko parlours. Even though these are built in 3D, it controls like a Myst-style point and click game as you turn 90 degrees and only stand in specific locations. The graphics are terrible with really bad tiling everywhere and humans that look like barbie dolls with shrunken heads. The machines don’t fare much better. As they’re based on real machines and not designed specifically for the N64, they try to fit in far more detail so they just look like a blur. You can tilt them for a slightly different view at the vomit-inducing mess. Also, while pachinko is really simple, the controls are terrible. The only actual control is the dial, but all the variation is within one segment of the analogue stick, meaning you have very little control. And, at the end of the day, this is the kind of thing you’ll find in a crummy seaside arcade but with the tickets and prizes removed. What little fun is removed, the whole risk is removed and the whole point – winning prizes is just there. A game version could have cosmetics or something, perhaps a room to decorate, but there’s nothing. It’s a pointless game. Remake or remaster? No. Just…no. Official ways to get the game. There is no official way to get Heiwa Pachinko World 64
  10. Pokémon Legends: Z-A (2025)

    "Releasing simultaneously worldwide in 2025". A rather odd choice of words. Are Z and A two different games, or is there something else its releasing simultaneously with?
  11. Family Stadium 64 JP release: 28th November 1997 NA release: N/A PAL release: N/A Developer: Namco Publisher: Namco Original Name: Famista 64 N64 Magazine Score: 68% Yet another Japanese only baseball game, this time from Namco. This one, however, features a different style of batting and some other fun features – such as a Namco-themed stadium. Instead of very specifically aiming the bat, batting in this game is focused far more on timing, with you just moving slightly to the side and swinging at the right time. I was able to get to grips with this a lot more, and even scored some runs. Once the ball has been hit, the game switches to a completely different 2D visual style. This works surprisingly well, with your players running and diving for the ball. I felt more in control of the game and based on that, I was able to enjoy this one. Family Stadium also has a bunch of minigames, which serve as great practice and training for each individual part of the game – one for hitting far, one for hitting specific targets, one for catching balls and so on. They’re fun and can be played solo or with others. There are also a couple of minigames which aren’t really related to baseball (or practising one element of it), but are still fun. There’s one where you have to pump up a balloon before an opponent, one where you have to trace a picture and, what seems the most random, a 2D snowball fight minigame. Family Stadium is the first baseball game that I’ve had some fun with – although I’m not sure if those fully into baseball would agree that it’s better. Remake or remaster? Sports games evolve over time – although minigames should be brought back for them. Official ways to get the game. There is no official way to get Family Stadium 64
  12. Chopper Attack JP release: 28th November 1997 NA release: 16th June 1998 PAL release: 1st September 1888 Developer: Seta Publisher: Seta (JP), Midway (NA), GT (PAL) N64 Magazine Score: 81% Chopper Attack (or Wild Choppers) is a game that’s clearly inspired by the [Terrain] Strike series of games. It’s a helicopter shoot-’em-up across eight missions. Each mission will give you certain enemies to destroy, although some you have to wipe out everything. The controls make use of the N64 controller well – the C-buttons move while the analogue stick aims (although there’s no option to disable inverted aiming). There is, however, one important feature of a helicopter missing: controlling altitude. You’ll automatically move up based on terrain. Enemies don’t have the same limitations, so you have to awkwardly try to aim at them – a big problem because the crosshair isn’t pointing at where you’ll fire. Enemies range from other aircraft to tanks, with soldiers also trying to take potshots at you. One really frustrating enemy is a giant Rambo-like man that grabs of your helicopter, messing your controls and missiles up. On top of your shield, you also need to keep an eye on your fuel – take too long to finish a mission and you’ll fail. You also have an assortment of weapons to choose from. Your performance in one level will affect how much money you can spend on weapons on the next. Those range to ground or air missiles, to other non-homing bombs and cluster missiles. The missions rarely set themselves apart and the graphics are just ugly, coming across very poor for an N64 game. It’s all really muddy, blurry textures and levels are brown or grey. The story barely exists, even though the game treats the briefings in a very serious manner. You shoot one group of enemies and then a second group of enemies. The last mission is only available if you play on hard. Like Aero Fighters Assault, aliens are suddenly involved, so your helicopter is sent to the moon on its own to save humanity. The moon doesn’t play or look any differently, and the alien ships are just random geometry. Chopper Attack is a game where you can have a bit of fun with the gameplay, but only in short blasts as he game has no variety. Remake or remaster? Just a standard emulated re-release is fine. Official ways to get the game. There is no official way to get Chopper Attack
  13. Sumo 64 JP release: 28th November 1997 PAL release: N/A NA release: N/A Developer: Bottom Up Publisher: Bottom Up Original Name: 64 Ōzumō N64 Magazine Score: 90% N64 Magazine gave this Japanese-only sumo wrestling a rather impressive 90%. Even so, I was surprised as to how much I actually enjoyed this. Unfortunately, there is no fan patch for this game but thankfully Google Lens did a pretty good job at translating the dialogue – it was a bit odd in places, but I got the general gist of it. And, surprisingly, there really is a lot of dialogue, as this has a fully fledged story mode – not just pitting you against other fighters like every other fighting game, but a proper story about you joining the professional Sumo wrestling and your life outside of the ring. You’ll encounter good or bad events based on how you perform in the matches. Each match is extremely short but very fast paced. The game suggests optimal moves, but you can also do your own thing. To be completely honest, I wasn’t entirely sure what I was doing most of the time and there was a lot of button mashing, but I did deduce that there was a rhythm to the fighting, and performing moves in time to your opponent’s bar flashing is what triggers your finishing moves. The matches are only on average 30 seconds but extremely frantic and they are surprisingly a lot of fun. As you defeat higher ranked opponents, you’ll gain stars which let you achieve a higher rank, with your goal being to be the best Sumo wrestler. After each tournament, you can also play a minigame. There are five minigames: sleeping, eating, training, jumping and fishing. The first four are short, enjoyable distractions while I couldn’t figure out the fishing at all. They’re a nice, relaxing change of pace for a quick breather before the next tournament. Sleeping has you rolling around a little island collecting stars, eating has a judge calling out food you need to grab before your opponent, training is a “simon says” and jumping has you moon jumping high in the air, bouncing off trampolines and clouds as you pop balloons. Between some individual matches and tournaments, you’ll progress in the story. To begin with, it seems like a bunch of random events as your character interacts with a few different girls (eventually going on dates with all of them), rivals and a few other characters. I am not sure how much your performance in the game affects the outcome, but one girl (Akira) eventually suggests marriage – which was surprising as my main character had stood her up on two dates. On one, he overslept, on another, he forgot and had a date with someone else. The only direct choice was choosing your response to the marriage, although I suspect that saying you want to concentrate on your Sumo for now has the same end result, as if you say yes, Akira suggests waiting until you’re at the top anyway. However, the encounters and dialogue are charming on their own. As you approach the high ranks, the story becomes more plot focused as you get attacked and then discover a “Dark Sumo” illegal gambling ring. You shut it down (you still have no input on this, it’s just dialogue) and the leader vows revenge – which he does on his wedding day as he kidnaps your wife. The ending is both utterly absurd and wonderfully charming at the same time as you have your final fight with this villain and his “ultimate body”. Sumo 64 is a combination of really enjoyable short fighting mixed with charming dialogue (which would probably be even better if it got a proper translation). If you understand Japanese or are willing to point your phone at your TV a lot, this is a surprisingly great game. Remake or remaster? There is another Sumo game in this series on N64, so a compilation of both with a proper translation would be grea Official ways to get the game. There is no official way to get Sumo 64
  14. Automobili Lamborghini NA release: 22st November 1997 PAL release: 1st December 1997 JP release: May 1998 Developer: Titua Publisher: Titus N64 Magazine Score: 67% Another car racing game, and this one is a mixed bag. It’s an arcade-style racer but everyone begins on the starting line (so it’s not a catchup game), and it has an “arcade” mode with a timer and a tournament without. But parts of the game just don’t quite gel with other parts. One thing I was surprised about was that, despite the name, this game isn’t entirely about Lamborghinis. You start off with two of them, plus a bunch of cars which are Lambo-inspired in different colours. However, you then unlock other cars from other manufacturers: Farrari, Bugatti, Porche, Dodge and McLaren. When playing in the Lamborghinis, I found the game to be immensely difficult, and once racers got ahead, there is generally no way to catch up. Once I’d got other cars, the game was much easier. So it seems like the Lamborghinis in Automobili Lamborghini are the worst cars in the game, which is surprising considering the tie in. The handling is very arcadey, and it felt rather nice to turn around corners. It’s possibly my favourite handling in a car game so far on the N64. This then feels really odd due to the pit stop mechanic where your tyres will wear out and you’ll need to play a pit stop minigame. This bit of “realism” feels really at odds with the rest of the game – although you can turn it off. There are only six tracks, none of which are memorable and the game overall just has a really dull feeling to it, it never feels speedy or exciting. The Japanese version (called Super Speed Race 64) has a few extra features, such as fog and night time racing, but it doesn’t help the overall experience. Remake or Remaster? Nothing really needs doing with this, it doesn’t do anything specifically interesting, although a collection of the Super Speed Race series of games would be good for preservation. Official ways to get the game. There is no official way to get Automobili Lamborghini
  15. In terms of design, Treecko is by far the best, with Mudkip also being good. Torchic looks more like a "early, easy to catch" Pokémon with its very simple design rather than a starter. For the middle and end evolutions, they all look rather awful, with the exception of Grovyle. I do remember Treecko and Torchic being big parts of the show, from what I remember, Treecko leaves when it evolves, while Torchic's penis-shaped evolution stays around a while. Mudkip was just comic relief (I think Brock had one, but out of his water Pokémon, I remember a lilypad one more).
  16. Diddy Kong Racing PAL release: 21st November 1997 JP release: 21st November 1997 NA release: 24th November 1997 Developer: Rare Publisher: Nintendo N64 Magazine Score: 90% Pretty much all racing games on the N64 so far have the same problem: there’s not a lot of progression for a single player, and you can do everything in a couple of hours. Some of them focused on being great in multiplayer (like Mario Kart 64) but there wasn’t a lot of choice for singleplayer. Which is where Diddy Kong Racing comes in, as it has a very meaty singleplayer campaign with an adventure mode where you find tracks within its hub world. It’s a neat area to explore, although a lot smaller than I remember it being. You’ll find four doors with balloon requirements (which you get from winning races or finding them in the world), with a fifth world hidden until you defeat five bosses. They start out simple at first: you have to win each race individually then defeat the boss in a race. Do that, and it gets much more challenging. You’ll be tasked with finding 8 coins in each race. However, finding them isn’t enough as you still have to win, and then defeat a harder version of the boss. Diddy Kong Racing is a difficult and brutal game and you’ll need to learn its tricks (such as letting go of the accelerator just before boosting) to have a chance of winning. Once you defeat a boss a second time, you then complete in a tournament across the four tracks. There’s also a key hidden in one level of each world to unlock a battle mode challenge. Oh, and also time trail challenges. Once you’ve done all that and defeated the evil Wizpig, it’s time for Adventure Two. This is a mirror mode version of the game, although the silver coins are now in more difficult places. Of course, this amount of content wouldn’t be anything if the game wasn’t fun to play. And thankfully, it is fun. Levels use three vehicles: car, hovercraft and plane. The car and plane are very easy to use, while the hovercraft is more difficult. When you repeat tracks (or choose to play outside Adventure mode), some levels let you pick your vehicle – with some restrictions on a per-level basis – and it’s great having multiple types of vehicles racing alongside each other. One let-down in DKR are the characters. None of them are bad in terms of a design perspective – and this is the first appearance of Banjo (without Kazooie, although some of his voice clips sound like her) and Conker, but they’re a bit too varied in terms of ability, so the game’s difficulty will vary a lot based on who you pick, with Pipsy being the best for hitting boosts (plus the silver coins). The weapon system sets itself apart from other kart racers. Instead of giving you random items, the balloons providing items are colour coded for specific items. Collecting one of the same type you already have will also upgrade the item. Diddy Kong Racing is still a great game, and the only kart game that’s come close to it for single-player is Sonic Racing Transformed (which also had three vehicle types, but it was specific to the part of the track you were on). It set itself apart from Mario Kart 64 and I actually prefer this one. Remake or Remaster? If not a sequel, then Diddy Kong Racing deserves a remake. It would look gorgeous with a Mario Kart 8 style sheen to it and some updates to the control and balance would be great, with some additional options. While it would be nice for all characters to return, I’d still be very happy with the game even if they had to replace most of them. The Switch seemed perfect due to the system’s portability and how it doesn’t have its own Mario Kart. Official ways to get the game. There is no official way to get Diddy Kong Racing Re-releases 2007: Diddy Kong Racing DS (Banjo and Conker replaced with Dixie Kong and a tall, teenage Tiny Kong, coin challenges replaced with tapping balloons).
  17. They didn't develop the (awful) Battletoads reboot. It is strange that you can now buy more Rare games on PlayStation than on Switch.
  18. If they put it in the eShop, it will be a significant enough change to be worth changing it. Pro Mahjong Extreme 64 JP release: 21st November 1997 NA release: N/A PAL release: N/A Developer: Athena Publisher: Athena N64 Magazine Score: N/A Another Mahjong game, and this one is the most basic one yet. There are a couple of main modes, either gambling or pro, and the interface is pretty much non-existent, making it the hardest to understand in order to play, and somehow the controls feel unintuitive – quite an achievement for something so simple. The “selling point” of this Mahjong game is that it features 16 real players. This means that if you’re not interested in the 16 professional Mahjong players from 1997, you’re competing against images of old men who all look like they’d rather be somewhere else – quite a contrast to the colourful and varied cast of the other Mahjong games. Remake or Remaster? Nothing needs to be done with this. Clubhouse Games is a good Mahjong game. Official ways to get the game. There is no official way to get Pro Mahjong Extreme 64
  19. So, a couple of games to possibly get on Xbox, but nothing for the Switch. Shame Endless Ocean isn't a proper game, just randomly generated levels.
  20. Aero Fighters Assault NA release: 21st November 1997 JP release: 19th March 1998 PAL release: 12th April 1998 Developer: Paradigm Publisher: Video System N64 Magazine Score: 58% I very rarely suffer from motion sickness in video games, but Aero Fighters Assault was so nauseating that I got a pretty bad headache as a result. The game has a very choppy framerate and the levels are so bland that they’re extremely disorientating. These are things that you need to take care of in an aircraft fighting game like this. While this is the first jet game on the N64, it’s important to note that the PlayStation had received two Ace Combat games to set an example of what this genre should be offering, with some solid campaigns. Aero Fighters Assault has an extremely bare bones plot that doesn’t give you much of a clue of what is going on, even with the manual. Phutta Morgana (not sure if it’s a person or organisation) has melted the ice caps and flooded most of the world and has “totally immobilized the world’s ground units”. With the navy focused on rescuing people, it’s up to a squad of four pilots to save the world (even though it seems like the world has already lost). There are seven main levels to play through (plus a couple of bonus ones). In most of them you have to destroy a massive boss vehicle. The biggest challenge is finding it due to the game’s terrible radar, but you can ignore other enemy craft for the most part – they present more danger to your teammates and you’ll miss out on a bonus star if they’re shot down (although good luck finding them when they’re in trouble, they don’t appear on the radar). One level has you defending a space shuttle from ground units and one you have to kill all enemy aircraft. There are no actual dogfighting manoeuvres, so if an enemy gets behind you, your only real tactic is to just fly as far away and hope they give up. The final mission gives you the intel “Lar has been sent to Earth to destroy all humanity”. After flying through an ice cave, you enter a spaceship and destroy an alien eye. Was this eye leading the organisation? It’s never explained, but with how awful the game is to actually control, the lack of actual story is probably the most entertaining part of the game. There’s also not much excuse for such a dreadful feeling flight game as the developers worked on Pilotwings 64. Another thing that I noticed was the poor hit detection for collisions – many crashes seemed like I missed the object I blew up on. Aero Fighters Assault is a bare-bones game and didn’t do anything special when it came out – other games in the genre had already set much higher standards. Time has also done the game no favours and it comes across even worse now than it probably originally did. For me, it was an utterly horrible experience, and that isn’t even counting how it made me feel physically ill. Remake or Remaster? The earlier games in the series had a good reception, so having a collection would be quite nice, with this included just for the sake of preservation. The third game is currently available on Switch. Official ways to get the game. There is no official way to get Aero Fighters Assault
  21. The translation thing is unfortunate - still, luckily it's just a minor part of the game, I just found it amusing after Duke Nukem. I've updated my thoughts based on what @Dcubed said. San Francisco Rush: Extreme Racing NA release: 7th November 1997 PAL release: December 1997 JP release: N/A Developer: Midway Publisher: Midway (NA), GT Interactive (PAL) N64 Magazine Score: 82% When I hear the name “San Francisco Rush”, I think of one of this game’s sequels, 2049, as it was something N64 Magazine loved. I never saw a lot of discussion of the original. After playing this, I can understand why it got good reviews when it came out, but I can also see why it isn’t talked about too much. San Francisco Rush still has remnants from the arcade game – such as the annoying checkpoint/timer system, but at least all the other racers start alongside you and feel like opponents. The tracks are quite interesting in this game. There are six of them (plus a hidden one that wasn’t fully finished – but is actually really fun) and can be played mirrored and/or backwards. They’re also not all basic loops, as some have different routes you can take – you can even go in the opposite direction to other racers on some parts. The tracks also have hidden shortcuts and collectables to find, and even a hidden stunt area. These are best done in “practice” mode where you are given a lot more time. It makes the tracks feel much more real and exploring them is almost great – but the game respawn system is really annoying. When you crash (or don’t move for a few seconds) your car is whisked up and you’re taken to where the game thinks you should be, so if you’re going a different route to what the game intends, it will ignore it and put you on the “proper” one. What’s odd is that I’ve crashed and the respawn system put me in a higher position than I already was. This applies to practice mode, so if your car crashes in the stunt area, you’ll have to drive all the way back. A lot of the shortcuts are also high risk, and some barely save any time but are just a ton of fun to do, jumping over rooftops and spinning in the process. The game is let down a little bit by the modes, though. The main circuit mode just chooses some random tracks (with backwards/mirror also being random) rather than set cups. There are some extra cars to unlock by winning (and by finding the collectables), but when the game only supports one other person, you expect a bit more. That said, San Francisco Rush is a very solid foundation to build upon, so I’ll see more as I reach the sequels. Remake or remaster? A new Rush collection would be quite nice – or even a game that combines the features, cars and tracks of the first three games in a new package. Official ways to get the game. There is no official way to get San Francisco Rush: Extreme Racing
  22. Puyo Puyo Sun 64 JP release: 31st October 1997 NA release: N/A JP release: N/A Developer: Compile Publisher: Compile N64 Magazine Score: 80% My main experience with Puyo Puyo is Dr Robotnik’s Mean Bean Machine – a game I couldn’t enjoy because of colourblind issues, so I was dreading playing this one. However, in the options, you can adjust the colours of the different Puyo, even going as far as completely greyscale and relying on the (a bit too minor when the game goes fast) different shapes completely. With the options set to how I like them…I actually really enjoy Puyo Puyo. It’s geared towards a 1v1 setup, as creating sets of four will send bad beans to the opponent’s screen – but if you score combos, you’ll send a load at once. This creates a risk factor as you can try to set up elaborate combos (something I’m not good at) but wait too long, and your opponents will scupper your plans with some bad blocks. The story mode has you battling lots of colourful characters as you get amusing little snippets before each match, with some nice animation. It’s all very silly, but also quite entertaining – and there’s more swearing in this than Duke Nukem 64 (while the voice acting is in Japanese, a few words are in English, including the swearing). The story mode has you battling lots of colourful characters as you get amusing little snippets before each match, with some nice animation. It’s all very silly, but also quite entertaining, with lots of unfortunate events happening to absolutely everyone. Of course, every problem in life can be solved by a Puyo Puyo battle. There’s also a good amount of different modes. Puzzle Puyo is essentially a training mode, giving you a guide to help you set up combos, and you can then test out these skills in a mission mode, which gives you tasks but you have to figure it out yourself. There are also endless, tournament and versus modes, giving you plenty to deal with. I have not played any later Puyo Puyo games so I don’t know how this compares, but I found this to be genuinely entertaining and it was a blast to play. Remake or remaster? A collection and official localisation of the earlier Puyo Puyo games would be nice. Official ways to get the game. While there are newer Puyo Puyo games, this particular version is not available anywhere. And some completely random trivia - the name of Puyo Puyo Sun in this Saturn Power review - they called it Ijidkijidk Sun, mistaking the Japanese on the box for English characters.
  23. Good old fashioned piracy. Although I did only use a legitimate website dedicated to archiving the digital history of humanity.
  24. If there's one person that would never steal a game, it's the Nintendo-approved version of... Duke Nukem 64 NA release: 31st October 1997 PAL release: 14th November 1997 JP release: N/A Developer: 3D Realms / Eurocom Publisher: GT Interactive N64 Magazine Score: 86% Duke Nukem 64 is a port of Duke Nukem 3D, a PC game from a 1995. It still retains that “DOOM” feeling, although the levels are much more 3D. That said, it still has the sort of “puzzles” involving pressing random buttons and trying to figure out what has changed. On top of this, you are sometimes presented with a series of buttons and need to guess the correct combination to progress. From a technical standpoint, Duke Nukem 64 has some graphical changes, with much better 3D explosions but lacking proper sky effects. One major problem is the sound: other than on the title screen, there’s no music whatsoever. It makes the game feel incredibly empty and lacking in atmosphere. But those aren’t the biggest changes to the game. In order to release on the N64, Duke Nukem 3D is heavily censored. The voice acting has been completely redone to get rid of swearing, and women have been covered up with more clothes, with lots of posters changed completely. Some levels have been changed as a result, with an adult video store being replaced with a gun shop and a chapel being removed. The thing is, all that stuff is pretty much what Duke Nukem was about, the N64 version is just very toned down. There’s no reason to play Duke Nukem 64, stick to the main version. Especially as the main feature for the N64 version – co-op – has now been added to Duke Nukem 3D. Remake or remaster? The proper version of Duke Nukem 3D has been remastered and updated over time, so stick with that version. Official ways to get the game. Duke Nukem 3D is available on Steam.
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