Nintendo 64 Games Reviews
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Hot Wheels Turbo Racing - Nintendo 64
Let's take a stroll down my childhood. Most of my 'hood was spent buying the die-cast models, trading them with my friends, and occasionally ramming them into walls at high speeds. I was obsessed with them. Hell, I even wanted to become a Hot Wheels manufacturer when I grew up. Although that dream has faded away, I don't think I would be declining a potential offer as I have tons of ideas.
Playing this game at the last teen stage I realize how much I had been missing this game all through my childhood. Though I didn't know of it back then, sub-consciously I was waiting for a game like this, something that could take me away to the land of burning plastic rubber and seriously awesome vehicles.
Those who know me best know that I love racing games. Turbo Racing may not be vehicular combat as Extreme Racing was, but this one is tons better. It has awesome, though somewhat out-dated 3D graphics, tracks typical in the Hot Wheels universe, and fast-paced intense racing action.
You get more than 15 cars, some well known, others not so much, more than 7 well constructed race tracks and adrenaline-pumping music that really puts you in the drivers seat. I always pick Rash 1 for all levels, though the main name of the game is to find the suitable car for the track, so that you don't get hindered by its shortcomings.
In all, Turbo Racing is a great game and easily one of my favorites from the racing genre. Just be sure to download / buy the N64 version; the PS1 version is not worth it, but it does have Metallica, though!
Happy Vader's rating:
San Francisco Rush 2049 - Nintendo 64
Introduced to me at the same time as the Cruis'n series, Rush 2049 - though no doubt one of my favorite racing games - is not to the level of the Cruis'n games, especially Exotica.
It has interesting tracks with enough turns to keep you at the edge of your seat, but a painfully limited vehicle choice which are not at all interesting. In fact, the vehicles may very well be the boring line-up in a video game ever.
Unlike the Cruis'n series which have an excellent collision detection and Jupiter-like gravity, the collision detection in 2049 is somewhat lax and though the jumps are very flexible, sometimes the cars get difficult to control and often swerve sideways after a long jump, and often-always have brick-like turning.
But, in conclusion, 2049 is a fun game, and though it doesn't bring anything new to the table, the experience is very nice. Try it out, you might enjoy it!
Happy Vader's rating:
Star Fox 64 - Nintendo 64
Easily one of the greatest efforts in video-gaming, Star Fox 64 is an immensely likable heroic tale in space. It sees a fox, a falcon, a hare, and a toad battle evil forces, including a wolf and a pig, and finally Andross himself, an ape!
Star Wars with animals? Not quite. Star Fox 64 employs excellent graphics that, unlike its other '97 companion Super Mario 64, has stood the test of time well. Not to say Mario 64 isn't a great game, it is, but frankly it sure is quite embarrassing in today's standards.
The theme is epic, one of my all time favorites. As much I love every crook and nanny about Star Fox 64, I didn't enjoy the voice-acting much. Sure, Mike West as Fox McCloud provided an assuring voice to our furry hero, the others were decent enough. I'm not speaking about chemistries or line-deliveries but rather the lack of connection in the voices and the characters. The voice of Slippy, however, was infuriating. Every time he spoke in that androgynous voice of his, I wanted to shoot his Airwing down. I mean, shouldn't he be dodging trucks and cars and crossing the road? What the hell is he doing in space?
The boss battles are epic. I had such a fun time defeating them, though of course most of the excitement came from the fact that I had the "unlimited health" cheat ON. Yea, I do that a-lot in games. But the biggest pleasure, the biggest of them all, was not defeating bosses, was not the great theme, was not the entertaining and exciting gameplay; but rather the first-person mode.
That's right. Except in some moments, you get the option to switch to first-person view, and though it does limit your vision, the fun doubles. At-least it did for me. I cannot tell you exactly why I love it, but I did - and still do.
In conclusion, Star Fox 64 is a *must* play. There are 3 paths, all different but having the same destination. Expect one path to finish in 1 hour. So there you go, 3 hours of solid game-fun!
Happy Vader's rating:
BattleTanx - Nintendo 64
Battletanx, part-anachronistic, part-patriotic, was an insanely fun experience. The story sees a virus which seems to affect women more than men, and with women's ratio less than men - for every thousand men there is one woman - the primitive male instinct takes over. Oh, come on, you know about that, don't you?
The story is intriguing, misogynist even, but since I rarely care about stories in games, I'll let this one pass, too. You are Griffin Spade and you take control of a tank. Completing mission after mission, which sees enemy tanks both traditional and futuristic, you must rescue the love of your life, Madison - who has been taken by the US Government because of aforementioned reason.
The environment is pretty much destructible. You can destroy the already decayed buildings, blow up vehicles, take out garbage cans and lamp-posts. We all know the best part of war or strategy games is the driving; Battletanx is an extended version of that. Even in its limited space, a few street blocks per level, the levels feel open-world. You can practically do anything and finish off the level however way you wish.
I have never before played such an immersive, interactive, and engaging war game. It does everything right, and I find myself going back for more, though the heavy gun-smoke and fog does indeed get frustrating.
In conclusion, Battletanx is an exciting game, and easily one of the best I've played on the N64 so far. You have to play it.
Happy Vader's rating:
Tony Hawk's Pro Skater 3 - Nintendo 64
Being one of the most recognizable names out there, it's no wonder that both Tony Hawk and Pro Skater are among the most appreciated. I remember playing the first one on PS1 and thinking, "This is the coolest video game ever". And that viewpoint hasn't changed one bit. How does the third fare up?
Basically, the gameplay is the same. Almost nothing has changed, except maybe for the new characters, decks, a few new tricks and better graphics (of course). The ability to free roam has always been one of the series' trademarks. Finding that ability here wasn't a big surprise. What was surprising, however, was how big you could free roam. I want to liken the feeling to a sandbox game, but sadly you can see the perimeters.
I played this on an N64 emulator, so control-wise it wasn't that enjoyable but I managed. I guess a keyboard is no substitute for a controller for a series like this. Music-wise, this time you get a fairly better collection of sounds, though to me they all sound the same; except for the one at the start, which is by Motorhead.
In conclusion, Pro Skater 3 is great fun, but it is ultimately a standard skating game, and virtually indistinguishable from the series' previous two outings.
Happy Vader's rating:
Killer Instinct Gold - Nintendo 64
This is going to be difficult. Is it a good game or... oh, this is ridiculous. Killer Instinct Gold is, waitforit, a Vs. fighting game that's simultaneously like and unlike other Vs. fighting games.
You get a selection of cool killers, all with their unique storylines and combos and whatnot's. I personally don't understand the worldwide fascination behind Vs. fighters; their game logic is confusing and silly at times. How can a guy whose skull gets clearly broken get up again and fight as if nothing happened? or how can get get up, when he has clearly died?
The original KI for the SNES is somewhat good because it has smooth gameplay and let's face it, it is kinda cool. KI Gold does have good graphics, but it also has glitches and bugs, and not to mention very limited and somewhat boring gameplay.
Though I enjoyed the character roster, the cool combos, virtually everything in KI Gold is been there, done that. To me personally it didn't offer any solid gameplay, just entertaining enough to finish off the game with one character.
Speaking of which, man am I in love with Black Orchid now. The first time she appeared on-screen I couldn't get my eyes off of her. Some might say it's because of her, *ahem*, provocative dressing, but that's not the sole reason. Black Orchid has to be one of the sexiest designed video game characters ever. And Glacius one of the coolest.
In conclusion, Killer Instinct Gold is fun, but since I'm not a major fan of Vs. games, KI didn't impress me wildly. It's a good game, however, to play in short bursts. Or if you want to see Orchid again!
Happy Vader's rating:
Mario Party - Nintendo 64
In the absence of a typical gift apropos for a 10 year old, I decided to give her Mario Party, in the hopes that she will enjoy it and that it will make up for the lack of a proper gift. Not that she minded, but since she designed an excellent card for my last year's birthday, I wanted to give her something special.
The game starts off in a charming manner. It shows Mario and his friends and enemies arguing about who's the best. When everyone's main strength is bought to light and when jealousy takes over, Toad proposes an idea; that they all go on an adventure, and the one who comes out on top gets to be the Super Star - this term has a double meaning. The cute little cutscene then ends with the characters running for the warp pipe, with Wario in the lead, no less.
You get to play as either Wario, Mario, Luigi, Princess Peach, Yoshi and Donkey Kong. Toad appears as the de-facto leader of the cause and as the narrator. Koopa Troopa's appear as friendly npc's who give you bonus coins. Bowser, as usual, appears as an antagonist, who steals your coins and surprisingly, awards you with coins when you have none. I liked how he was a - largely - non-interactive character, but was slightly disappointed when I found out you couldn't play as him.
Keeping in theme of the aforementioned birthday, I chose the Princess Peach Cake level. I chose Yoshi and my sister chose the level's titular character. It largely plays out like a real-life standard board game; you roll the dice, and when you land on a specific spot, the effect represented by the spot activates. But alas, in real life, you cannot "roll" a dice with your head, bowl your friends over, trade coins, go bobsledding, and knock the other off of a ball into the ocean.
Even at 20 turns, there is still so much to do. The mini-games are excellent, with the aforementioned ball-knocking being my personal favorite, and the face-tilt my sister's. Clocking in at a little more than 1 hour, the time played this game was well spent. I loved the interactivity and the fact that the game never stops, there is always something happening, whether it's on your character, or the computer's.
Having originally played it single-player, I agree the main fun lies in multi-player, even if it is just one person. Not since the time of growing up on Ludo, Cluedo and Monopoly had I had an immense time anticipating and predicting what the roll of the die will bring me next.
I loved every aspect of the game and I'm hoping on playing it further more down the road. Oh yea, the final results of the 1 hour fun-a-thon; Yoshi (that's me), first with 3 stars, Peach (my sister) second, Wario third, and Mario fourth - No stars and two coins shy than that of Wario's.
In conclusion, Mario Party is an engaging and fun game, though I must admit it doesn't get addictive. The long sequences where you don't get to control your character do indeed soften the fun, but I didn't let that discourage me the slightest bit. You should definitely play it!
Happy Vader's rating:
I hope you enjoy my reviews, and if you have any recommendations for me, do let me know.
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