Metalhead Ned’s 10 Favorite Nintendo 64 Games
Not so recently, I did a post of my favorite Super Nintendo games, and it was a very difficult list to come up with. After the Super Nintendo, the next console that I owned was the Nintendo 64. Honestly, it was the last game console that I was TRULY excited about. My brother had a Playstation, and I had a Nintendo 64. N64, is also home to my favorite game of all time!
Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time
In my opinion, THIS IS THE BEST GAME OF ALL TIME!
This has been, and always will be my favorite video game of all time. There is just so much to explore and do, I just loved every minute of this game (except the Water Temple…) When this game came out, I was a kid that was just about to hit the inevitable ‘growth spurt.’ Where am I going with this? Well, I could relate with Link. He was a kid, who didn’t really know exactly who he was, and then he is given a destiny and will eventually be known as the ‘Hero of Time.’ After you grab the Spiritual Stones, you head to the Temple of Time and BOOM! You are adult Link! So there I was, young kid…playing a game of a young Link…who eventually becomes an adult, and I was basically going through the same. This just amplified the experience for me! I remember wanting this game pretty badly (Thanks to Nintendo Power). I knew my parents were having a huge trouble finding it in stores, but low and behold as we were walking through a Target one day before Christmas I saw it and said “Hey mom, there’s that game I want.” There were at least 30 copies of Zelda 64 in the game case. I saw some sort of excitement in my parents eyes like they just won the lottery. My mother then took me over to another section of the store, the fishing section as I am pretty sure my father purchased the game that was set to change my life in gaming forever. All of that aside though, the game play was solid, the story was awesome, brain challenging dungeons, etc. At the end of the whole journey…you really did feel like the Legendary Hero of Time. This game has been re-released over 3 times, and I have played (and own) every version of it. However, I will never forget where it all started…on a grey cart with a sticker on it.
Yes, I know that it has basically the same objectives as Link to the Past (SNES)…but this is where it HIT THE SPOT!
Wave Race 64
This was one of the launch titles on the Nintendo 64. Right when I heard the N64 was coming out, THIS was the game that I wanted…and I really don’t know why. I think I liked the idea of racing on a Jet Ski. At that time, I never rode a Jet Ski in my life, but I just wanted this game. My parents rented me a N64 and I asked “PLEASE GET WAVE RACE 64!” Of course…Family Video was out!!! GAH!!! My Dad asked me, “What game you want for Christmas?” WAVE RACE 64 DAD!!!! I got Super Mario 64, why? He couldn’t find it! (which is another game I wanted, so it worked out) Months went on, cause games were expensive and I couldn’t afford them. Then a trip to Target one day, and there it was…like a glistening gold trophy…Wave Race 64. I pointed it out to my Dad (he knew I wanted that game), it was on-sale, and I heard those amazing words from my dad to a the clerk, “Excuse me, may I get Wave Race 64?”
*CELEBRATION HORN SECTION*
I finally owned Wave Race 64…and it was glorious. The high speeds, cools stunts, re-naming the characters, TWILIGHT CITY (my favorite course). I got so good at this game, that no-one can beat my best times….I loved this game…and I really don’t know what attracted me to it.
Since then, back in 1997…I have always wanted to ride a Jet Ski, and I never did until my honeymoon in 2013…17 years later.
The circle is now complete.
Super Mario 64
No game developers at the time really didn’t know how to properly do a ‘3-D Platforming game.’ Super Mario Bros. was the standard when it came to platforming games, but how do you make a GOOD platforming game in 3-D? Like Super Mario 64, you do!
This game set the standard of how 3-D platforming was going to work, and the way this game is played. If it wasn’t for this game, how would we play 3-D platformers? It was all about that following camera. All of that aside though, the game was amazing. It doesn’t have an epic story like Wave Race 64 did, but it is a must have for all Nintendo 64 fans. Running around the castle and exploring all of the lands was a lot of fun! When you reached each version of Bowser, it was an epic battle, especially the 2nd one. I will say though, I never 100% completed this game. Meaning that I only have 118 out of 120 stars! Will I get all of these? Someday I will…someday.
FYI, the last stars I need are Tick Tock Clock and Rainbow Ride 100-Coin Stars.
Star Wars: Shadows of the Empire
When my brother and I got a Nintendo 64, this was the game that he NEEDED! I needed Wave Race 64, he needed Star Wars: Shadows of the Empire. It was strange though, it wasn’t based on any of the movies, but a book, written by Steve Perry. We had the Star Wars games on SNES, and the Hoth Battle was crazy on those games, but this one had a complete 3-D version of the Hoth Battle that just blew us away! You really did feel like Luke Skywalker flying in a Snow Speeder (especially when you went in First Person Mode).
You played as some dude named Dash Rendar, and you were out to take out the Skyhook ran by Prince Xizor. The music was spot on Star Wars, and the levels were really fun. It also had this really ‘dark tone’ to it, which really brought out the creepiness of some of the levels. The Sewer level? Yea…that boss was terrifying! Also a jet-pack battle with Boba Fett? How much more awesome could it get? Even though Boba ends up in Slave-1 trying to take you out cause he wuss’ out, you can take out the entire Slave-1 with a blaster! Yea man, don’t mess with the Rendar!
Wampa Stompa! (You know what I am sayin’)
This is another that could be considered the one that started it all, the beginning of the mainstream First Person Shooter. This was another game, that if you had an N64…you had this game. Based off of the James Bond movie Goldeneye, this game single handed sold N64 game consoles. Plug in 4 controllers and grab 3 friends and shoot each other!
Many kids or college students would stay up very late at night and just shoot each other! It was a ton of fun man! Proximity Mines really brought out the cheapness of players and if you were Oddjob…we all hated you.
The single player was equally fun, but this game will always be remembered for the multi-player. Which I played back in college in 2010 one night with roommates, filled with Domino’s Pizza, drinking Oberon, and yelling at the television. Just like the old days…minus the Oberon.
Super Smash Bros.
I would like to say that I came up with the idea of this game…seriously! When I was younger, I thought it would be cool to have a game where I could fight as Link and go against Mario, and I really considered sending my idea to Nintendo of America! I never did..
Years later, in 1999, Super Smash Bros. hit the store shelves and I was extremely happy to see this game! Although, if I was an adult at the time…I would have sued! Anyway, where do I begin with this game? It’s still just as fun as it was in 1999. I always played as Link (Reason: See the first post here), and I wooped ass with him! Especially when I grabbed the laser sword, I was unstoppable! Unlocking characters was a heck of a challenge too! I remember reading a Nintendo Power Magazine asking to send in your photos of every unlocked player, so I took a picture of my screen…and the film didn’t get developed for like 5 months, so I never sent it in (this was before digital camera’s people) There are 2 new Smash Bros. games since this version, and they a vast improvements over this game, especially Super Smash Bros. Melee. This game over the years though, has jumped up in value.
Every once in a great while, my friends and I will plug this one in and still have a great time.
Show your moves!
Harvest Moon 64
This game was very quietly released, but I latched onto it as much as I did with Wave Race 64. Which means, I obsessively wanted this game! Strange thing though, is that this game was $10 more than any other game out there, meaning it was $70! That’s STEEP! I looked on this new site called ‘eBay’ searching for a cheaper price, but couldn’t find one anywhere. I even asked for it on Christmas, but my parents told me that it was just to expensive…and it really was! Regardless, I still asked for it on my Christmas list, and surprisingly…there it was under the tree.
Like I said, I was VERY into this game. My friend (who was as crazy about it as I was) and I even built a Geocities fan website, and used our middle school computers and printed out an entire strategy guide for ourselves, which was about 400 pages (Thanks Kenowa Hills!). I read about this game in my monthly Nintendo Power magazine, and it was pretty well hyped up by the magazine, but it wasn’t a Mario game… normal media didn’t really do any advertising for it, so it fell quickly into obscurity. I think I was fascinated with aspect that you lived your own digital life, got married, sold crops for profit, and more.
You know that old thought of “When your a kid, you can’t wait to be an adult.” That was pretty much this game for me, it gave me that taste of adulthood and responsibility. Which now a days, that’s a bad taste (in some aspects)
Star Fox 64
The last GOOD Star Fox game (IMO) Which does beg the question, where is Star Fox??? I bet WiiU would actually sell a few extra game consoles if they made Star Fox game. Imagine the use of the WiiU gamepad with Star Fox? Having Slippy, Falco, and Peppy talk with you there?!?! GENIUS! When this game came out, it introduced a peripheral to the world now known as the ‘Rumble Pak.’ It plugged into the bottom of your controller and vibrated the controller! This was the first time, ‘Rumble’ was brought into gaming. Now, there is no such thing as a controller without rumble (unless its the Six-Axis for PS3) By the way, it took 2 AAA batteries to work.
Star Fox 64! I first played this game at the old Blockbuster on Leonard St. (Now closed…) You could also rent a free video that advertised the game, and it was the craziest thing I had ever seen. Click here if you want to see it, and get ready to be confused. I never actually owned this game until way later and the N64 was no longer supported, so I don’t have a crazy story behind this one. I do consider it though, the best ever Star Fox game to date…C’mon Nintendo…where is a new Star Fox game?!
Mario Kart 64
When people talk about playing Mario Kart, they are normally talking about this one. The first Mario Kart game came out on Super Nintendo, and it was a lot of fun. My brother and I would play that one head-to-head and shoot each other with Red Shells. Nintendo 64 arrived and changed all of that with the inclusion of 2 more players, making 4 player battles a way and potential drinking game. Luigi was always my guy, and if anyone else chose Luigi, I promptly told you to get off my character! Most people usually chose either Wario or Toad though. Toad always pissed me off.
I did own this game at one time, and it still is my preferred Mario Kart game to play. I do remember trying to win a mail-in contest called the ‘Mario Kart 64 Kick Asphalt Contest’ (Here is the commercial for it). I didn’t win it, but I remember only wanting the Nintendo 64 game console, even though I already had one. Man…that would be cool…to have TWO Nintendo 64 game consoles?!
Racing at the speed of sound! The first game on Super Nintendo was pretty cool, but you only had 4 actual racers to chose from. Then this game came around and gave you over 20 different racers to chose from! You were encouraged to make people crash into walls. The best part about this game though, was some of the courses. The one that had you driving on a massive cylinder was crazy! You could even race upside down! At speeds the would rip your skin off! This was the first game that I actually used my own money on at Media Play on Alpine, that store was awesome!