Thursday, July 14, 2011

My Top 10 Nintendo 64 Games

This list is in no particular order and was NOT stolen from another individual. Copyright Infringement will not be tolerated and all property goes to Steven Chung....AH SCREW IT! I don't what you want. :) 

- Blog #37: The Nintendo 64. It's most often called the N64. This is the third gaming console that Nintendo released to the public and it was one of the most anticipated gaming systems of the 1990's. Since then, there are still a couple of gaming fans who continue to use the N64 system, even with the landslide of new and improved gaming systems. Xbox? Nintendo Wii? PlayStation? No way! There are some who still prefer the N64 out of all of them. For all of those people out there, here's a list of games that dominated the world of video-gaming and made a name for the Nintendo 64. Since the game library for the N64 isn't as large as some may seem to think, there will be no franchise rules for this list. Anything goes. I've gone and purchased some of the best N64 games from the Wii and downloaded some other games on the PC. So, let's dust off the old consoled games and press the power button! Here we go...       

1. Star Fox 64 - How many times has this game been brought up in my blogs? Star Fox 64 is the sequel to Super Nintendo's Star Fox game. It's also the first game to feature a Rumble Pak for the controller. Seriously, this game is a god for the N64. How much of an impact was this game to Nintendo fans? I can sum it up in four words: "DO A BARREL ROLL!" Ok...I said it again. Internet, the joke's getting old. Find a new one! The game control is not only easy to comprehend, but the game itself is just addictive. You know a game is classic, when you can easily remember more than 20 different quotes from the game. The dialog is excellent (except Slippy Toad's constant whining and complaining about us needing to save his ass from danger). When comparing this game to other dog-fighters, Star Fox 64 just comes out on top. From the stages where you're saving a base, or fighting team Star Wolf, dog-fighting has never been more fulfilling than this game. Fox McCloud and his team definitely do their best work in Arwings. Fox has been in some pretty great games, but all you need to make a great Star Fox game is an Arwing (or even the Landmaster/Blue Marine). There's multiple paths you can take, incredible 3D graphics, one of the best soundtracks ever, multi-player modes where you can fight on land or in the skys, climatic boss battles, and the epic final fight against Andross. So, where does this franchise go from here? Uh...make another game! It's been too long! Just make a game with Fox, Falco, Peppy, and Slippy in their Arwings! Nintendo fans will appreciate it.           

2. MarioKart 64 - First released in 1996, MarioKart 64 was the perfect sequel to the SNES game, Super Mario Kart. I say "was" because so many new MarioKart games came out afterwards that are, arguably, better. But, we're talking only about the N64. Just like the previous game, there are 3 different levels of racing. 50cc, 100cc, and 150cc. They get harder, the higher you go. You can play as one of eight different characters: Mario, Luigi, Peach, Toad, Yoshi, Wario, Donkey Kong, and Bowser. Each racer has slightly different attributes that make them unique from the others. Some are heavier, some are lighter, and some are well-rounded. The size can affect how well you maneuver or how well you drive. Aside from driving, you are able to pick up and use items, just like the past game. The only new item that's been introduced is the dreaded Blue Shell (Oh god...the damn, horrible, cuss-indulgent Blue Shell). It's the one thing that can lose a racer's momentum and break your possible 1st place lead. Just like all MarioKart games that I've played, the one player mode is pretty fun. However, the strength lies in the multi-player modes. It's more thrilling to play with a friend or two, or three. You also have the ability to pursue Time-Trials, where you compete to finish a course in record time. The music? It's very catchy! There are quite a few memorable tunes in here. It's also a nice brownie-point winner when future MarioKart games feature some of the stages from MarioKart 64, music and all. I would like to say that MarioKart 64 is the best Mario game for the Nintendo 64. BUT...I can't say that...and it's all because of this next entrant...  

3. Super Mario 64 - About 2 months ago, I created an "Opposites Attract" list that involved the best Mario games and the worst Mario games. I actually received one complaint, which went along the lines of the best Mario games not having one particular entrant. My first thought: "It's my list, dude. Make your own." My second thought: "Does Super Mario 64 deserve a top 5 spot for 'Best Mario Games'? Hmm...I don't think so." My third thought: "Does Super Mario 64 deserve a top 10 spot for 'Best Mario Games'? Eh....maybe." My final thought: "Does Super Mario 64 deserve a top spot for one of the 'Best Nintendo 64 Games'? Definitely!" Just as the counterpart was released alongside the launch of the Nintendo DS, Super Mario 64 was one of the greatest games to be standing alongside the unveiling of the N64 console. This was one of the first, real 3D games to become a major success, with it's revolutionary camera system and new concept of the old Super Mario Bros. game. It also played a major role in the creation of both Super Mario Sunshine and Super Mario Galaxy. The concepts for the games are very similar. Bowser takes over someplace, he kidnaps Princess Peach (again...), and Mario must visit an array of worlds to collect Stars or Shine Sprites. Saving the day is implied. Mario gets a new set of power-ups that help him throughout the game, for a short period of time. The "Wing Cap" allows Mario to fly, the "Metal Cap" turns Mario into Metal Mario, and the "Vanish Cap" turns Mario invisible. Controlling Mario couldn't be more easier and more fun. He is even given an energy meter, which can withstand more than one hit. Not only was Super Mario 64 ranked the best-selling N64 game, but it's also currently the second most popular title that has been purchased through the Wii Shop. What more can you say? It's one of the most influential games in the history of Mario games.   

4. Duke Nukem 64 - "It's time to kick ass and chew bubblegum...and I'm all out of gum!" It seems like a lot of games had to have "64" in their title, just to emphasize how the game was for the N64. There have been a lot of remarks saying that the PC version of this game controls better than the N64 version. This is one of those games that I downloaded on the PC, rather than the N64. I've never played the game through a console, but it does seem easier to control on the PC. However, it was intentionally made for the N64. Just for that, this game gets a Top 10 spot. There's not really much of a story to this game. It's very self-explanatory. Macho-man, Duke Nukem, is out to rid the Earth of all sorts of alien invasions, with his awesome theme music. It's side-scrolling action bested that of it's later game, Duke Nukem: Zero Hour, which was also for the N64. Not even the new game, Duke Nukem: Forever, could accomplish what Duke Nukem 64 could. I suppose 15 years of development was just too long for another great Duke Nukem game to be created. Sure, there's sexual references and lots of gore. However, it's just a game! Games now have a rating label for a reason! It says "Rated 'M' for Mature" and it's for those who are "mature" enough to handle the content. Learn to follow the rules! Anyway, this could be considered one of the best first-person shooter games. BUT...once again...I can't say that. There is one other game that deserves the title of "Best FPS Game Ever!", even more than Duke Nukem 64...and that game is...   

5. Goldeneye 007 - Finally! A break from the "64" titles! Goldeneye 007 is amazing. producers even awarded this game the #1 rank in three different Top 10 lists. To this day, Goldeneye 007 is said to be the greatest first-person shooter ever. MarioKart 64 and a select few number of games for the N64 are some of the only ones that stand with Goldeneye 007 as games that are still played in modern-day gaming era. Based off the movie, you play the role of James Bond, as he fights off a syndicate from using a satellite weapon to cause global chaos. Both the single player and multi-player modes are addicting as hell. You get to find a variety of weapons, from handguns to paint-guns to time-bombs. There are 31 characters you can play as in multi-player mode, 25 of them needing to be unlocked first. For the time it was created, the graphics were fantastic and the controls for both the PC and the N64 games were phenomenal. This game won so many awards for it's designs and it's controls that I can't even list them all. Look them up. I argue that this game is even better than the likes of Halo or Call of Duty. It's not even easy to describe it any further, unless you actually go out of your way to buy this game. Just like Duke Nukem 64, just go out and blow stuff up. Winning the game, killing people one shot at a time (Yay!). the world!    

6. The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time - If you go outside and talk to someone who plays video games, I guarantee you that a large majority of them have played this one. Do I really even need to talk about why I like The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time? I feel like I don't need to. So many people have heard about and played this game. Tell you what. How about this? If you comment on this particular blog entrant, saying that you want me to talk more in depth about this game, I will edit this blog at a later time.  However, in all sincere honesty, you are not a gamer if you haven't at least tried this game. I don't think I even need to discuss the sheer awesomeness that this cartridge possesses. The Legend of Zelda: Majora's Mask was great for the N64 too, but not many fans seem to receive that same nostalgia value. It's more-so replaced with fear...

7. Rayman 2: The Great Escape - Here's a prime example of an excellent 3D platforming game! It may have actually raised the standards of 3D leveling and game play. Evolution did not weaken the original Rayman, by any means! This one takes place in a land called the Glade of Dreams. Rayman must save the land from, not an alien invasion, but a robot-pirate invasion! This invasion is led by their leader, Admiral Razorbeard. This takes the whole "Pirate v.s. Ninja" battle to a new extreme. In order to stop the invaders, Rayman has to travel through a map of different worlds to collect 1000 pieces of the world's core, called the Lums. These Lums will also lead Rayman to collect four masks. The masks will awaken the world's spirit, Polokus, who has been in hiding. Along the way, Rayman must regain all of his lost powers and rescue his friend, Globox. His punching power has been vastly improved, his helicopter-hair power is given to you at the start of the game, and puzzling challenges give players a good run for their money. SPOILER ALERT! If you reach the final boss battle against Razorbeard and his giant robot, you are greeted with a rocking battle theme. After you win the fight, you'll notice that Razorbeard escapes in a small pod. The big question that still floats around is if we'll see another spinoff game featuring Admiral Razorbeard. I mean, we're all awaiting a similar response to the "Mr. Dark Revival" question. As a personal remark to the game developers, Ubisoft, I'd like to make it known. FANS WANT THIS! Remakes of the Rayman series have been made for other systems, like the Nintendo DS. Other games have been produced that are not even memorable (Raving Rabbits...ugh). However, we want a new game that features Mr. Dark or Razorbeard! Give us what we desire! We're the ones who are buying your games! We're waiting, Ubisoft...   

8.  Paper Mario - Once again, here is your favorite mustached plumber! But, wait! What's this? He's...flat? Everything's flat!? Are we playing Super Mario or are we playing with a colorized Mr. Game and Watch? There's no way that a flat Mario could make a good game! Well...surprise, surprise. It worked! Bowser has kidnapped Princess Peach (again...) and Mario sets off to rescue her (again...), like some remote sensor with no other purpose in life. To do this, he is forced to locate seven "Star Spirits" to counteract the effects of the "also-stolen" Star Rod, which has given Bowser invincibility and any other desired wishes. This is the second Mario installment that involves the uses of partners and turn-based battles, the first game being Super Mario RPG: Legend of the Seven Stars. This game was SUPPOSED to be the sequel for Super Mario RPG, but that wish was never fulfilled. Many dreams were crushed. For the most part, you're going to be playing from world to world in RPG style. It's like playing Final Fantasy! The uniqueness of Paper Mario made the game a best-seller. The puzzles are not as challenging as The Legend of Zelda or Rayman 2: The Great Escape, but fans are still stuck in nostalgia-land. The soundtrack? Awesome! Paper Mario would become the predecessor to two more future games.   

9. Super Smash Bros. - This one has some ups and downs. A vast majority of the game play is best featured in the multi-player modes. I've already talked about the Smash Bros. series and how it's awesome, but the best work is done while playing with friends. What's better than taking your favorite Nintendo characters and beating the living daylights out of each other? This game started a legacy of Smash Bros. games and it will always be remembered as "The Game that Started it All!" Not surprisingly, Super Smash Bros. was given the "Player's Choice" title, since the commercial release of the game. The only problem is the single player mode. It's not bad. It's just too short and the novelty gets very boring, very quickly. However, I'm willing to let that slide because it was fantastic for it's time. The blending of games was a totally new concept for Nintendo. It worked fluently in later versions of Smash, for the GameCube and the Wii. This was only the beginning for one of the greatest selling games in the world.         


- This was an extremely difficult choice. Pokémon Stadium or Pokémon Stadium 2? Both games are very similar in their game play. Who needs a storyline when you have turn-based battles, outstanding graphics, mini games that are addictive, and lots of Pokémon? Both of them are beloved by many critics and many gamers. It's surprising that this little competition isn't as big as others, like Super Smash Bros. Melee v.s. Super Smash Bros. Brawl. There are positive qualities for each game that counter out in a way that makes a verdict nearly impossible. Pokémon Stadium has the nostalgia factor and Pokémon Stadium 2 has more Pokémon. That being said, I've made the ultimate choice. The winner is...   

10. Pokémon Stadium 2 - Why? Not only does the sequel have more Pokémon, but there's so much more. The graphics have been improved, but not to a point where the series is barely recognizable. The mini games are more fun, in my opinion. While the first installment allowed players to transfer Pokémon from the RBY games, Pokémon Stadium 2 allows players to transfer Pokémon from the GSC/RBY games. You might have to be a fan to understand what that last statement meant. Believe me, though. I highly recommend both games! But, in my case for making a list, there can only be one winner. A sequel beating down an original in a battle of "Which was better?" I guess it CAN happen.      

- I do have a short list of Honorable Mentions. Here they are:

~ Banjo-Kazooie
~ Donkey Kong 64
~ Doom 64
~ The Legend of Zelda: Majora's Mask
~ Mario Party Series (1-3)

- Done.

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