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Kirk's BestOf Series: N64


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#1 kisrael OFFLINE  

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Posted Wed May 4, 2005 7:51 PM

So it seems like people are always asking "I just got system X, what games should I get for it" or other "what's your favorite" style questions, so I thought I'd come up with my canonical answers and cut and paste as needed. I'll try to limit myself to 10 (games or sometimes series) per system. These are highly subjective of course, but I will try to give a blurb explaining why I think each is so great, and why anyone with tastes even vaguely similar to mine should try them out.

Listed in roughly (very)descending order of brilliance...
it's...
KIRK'S BESTOF SERIES: N64

Super Smash Brothers
It's like someone nabbed our middle school gaming daydreams..."wouldn't it be cool if you could, like, fight Samus from Metroid vs Mario vs Link vs Kirby, all at the same time, and they had their weapons and powers and stuff?"
Mario Party 1 2 3
They started to run this series into the ground (what are they up to, like 6? But the old ones still maintain their high prices) but the concept is brilliant...bring Classic Style gaming into a modern setting. Only the first one gets the board game thing right (the stadium, as minimal as possible) but the minigames are still maximally fun.
Mario Kart 64
This game was the first showcase for the N64's fantastic 4-player abilities, and is still a boat load of fun.
Diddy Kong Racing
Others disagree, but I thought this stood head and shoulders above Mario Kart 64...the Kart engine wasn't quite as good, but it included hovercraft and planes, and battlemodes that were actually fun to play. Plus it had a one player and cooperative "adventure" mode that was terrific...boss battles in a Kart racer, whodathunkit?
Battle Tanx / Battle Tanx: Global Assault
Sadly, there are no "tank" games better than these on any console since the N64...the PS2's "ThunderTanks" (by the same company) completely dropped the ball, but these games have great 4 player deathmatch and single or co-op adventure modes.
Rogue Squadron
Wow. There is something about flying an X-wing that will always have a direct plug into my inner child. More approachable than the PC's X-wing games, largely ground-based missions, but Oh So Cool.
StarFox 64
This is the game that sold me on the system...the first time system I owned while it was still current since the NES. Just the beauty of the start of the first level, you and your wingmen skimming over the water's surface...
Pokemon Puzzle League
It's just Tetris Attack with fewer animations and more sounds, but Tetris Attack's seesawing-"turn the tables" gameplay makes itthe best head to head puzzle game in the history of mankind, so....
Space Station Silicon Valley
Quirky but clever puzzle solving game where you had to work and gain control over a wide variety of robocritters.
Blast Corps
Another puzzle solver, this time controlling a variety of unique robots to clear a path for the nuclear warhead carrying truck.

Honorable Mentions:
Super Mario 64 / Zelda: Ocarina of Time / Mario Tennis / Blitz 2000

#2 kisrael OFFLINE  

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Posted Wed May 4, 2005 7:53 PM

Heh...actually I meant to post this to classic gaming general...though now I'm not sure, what does the N64 belong to?

#3 sega saturn x OFFLINE  

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Posted Wed May 4, 2005 7:55 PM

The kirby game is also awsome for those who like side scrolling platformers. I really should beat that game some day and while im at it buy a copy that dosent have a blockbuster sticker on it. Harvest moon 64 is good to i havent had much playtime with it though honestly.

#4 vdub_bobby OFFLINE  

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Posted Thu May 5, 2005 1:49 PM

No mention of Goldeneye at all? :)

And I'd give props to WaveRace, too.

#5 kisrael OFFLINE  

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Posted Thu May 5, 2005 1:56 PM

Well, the list is subjective, the games that moved ME back in the day...
I got both GoldenEye and WaveRace, but late...like after I'd had a DC. And while I give both game respect for what they were at the time, they kind of feel like "you had to be there", for my money both got outshined by later similar games. I'm sure real fans could point out ways that GoldenEye and WaveRace still haven't been matched, but like I said, it's not meant to be the universal "best of" list...

#6 ubersaurus OFFLINE  

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Posted Thu May 5, 2005 5:58 PM

No mention of F-Zero X?

Still one of the fastest racers, even today.

#7 Red 5 ONLINE  

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Posted Thu May 5, 2005 6:13 PM

Harvest Moon ?

Paper Mario ?

Perfect Dark ?

Banjo Kazooie ?

#8 kisrael OFFLINE  

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Posted Thu May 5, 2005 9:32 PM

Remember, it is a subjective list, just the games I enjoyed the hell out of.

F-Zero X might deserve an honorable mention...

Harvest Moon ?

Never got into it, but RPG farming sims don't sound like my cuppa.

Paper Mario ?

Can't stand RPGs.

Perfect Dark ?

Overtaxed the system, never got into it.

Banjo Kazooie ?

Felt like just another platformer by the time I got to it.

#9 Shannon OFFLINE  

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Posted Fri May 6, 2005 12:46 AM

Yeah there are quite a few gems for the N64 and I personally think the system does not get a whole lot of credit that it deserves (kinda like the dreamcast). Although my gaming tastes cover a very BROAD spectrum and most peoples do not. But overall those two systems have alot of top notch titles. It just depends on your taste.

As for perfect dark. I didn't care much for the single player mode. But for me where it was at was the challenges. One of my favorite parts of the game. Brought to you buy those nutjobs who make "Time Splitters". What ARE these people on anyways?

As for Goldeneye I avoided it for a long time cause I though how could someone outdo DOOM or Duke Nukem, but I really was pleasently surprised when I got round to trying it (about a year after it's release). Had lots of multiplayer goodness fun with my wife, niece and nephew on this one!

#10 pinball22 OFFLINE  

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Posted Fri May 6, 2005 8:11 AM

Here's my Top 10 for the N64... it's my favorite console since the 2600, so a lot of these are among my overall favs ever.

Super Mario 64
Starfox 64
Ocarina of Time
Paper Mario
Blast Corps
Banjo-Kazooie
Tetrisphere
Pokemon Snap
Mario Golf
Mario Kart

#11 shep OFFLINE  

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Posted Fri May 6, 2005 9:35 PM

I've been playing Mario's Tennis latley, got it off ebay, and I am really enjoying it! Its becoming one of my favorite 64 titles. I think the character models look good for the 64 too.

#12 kisrael OFFLINE  

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Posted Fri May 6, 2005 10:39 PM

I've been playing Mario's Tennis latley, got it off ebay, and I am really enjoying it!  Its becoming one of my favorite 64 titles.  I think the character models look good for the 64 too.

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Very much so...only the utterly flat rackets seem odd.

Actually Tennis is a game that scales down well, since you don't need a full 3D engine for the court. I think there was a Mario Tennis for GBC, and it looked great. In fact, Activision Tennis still ain't bad.

You know, I'm kind of increasingly annoyed with having to master 1 player versions of primarily multiplayer games in order to unlock all the characters...

#13 sega saturn x OFFLINE  

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Posted Fri May 6, 2005 10:39 PM

Pokemon stadium is not very fun or deep but the graphics are amazing. Looks almost 128 bit if you ask me.

#14 shep OFFLINE  

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Posted Fri May 6, 2005 10:43 PM

I've been playing Mario's Tennis latley, got it off ebay, and I am really enjoying it!  Its becoming one of my favorite 64 titles.  I think the character models look good for the 64 too.

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Very much so...only the utterly flat rackets seem odd.

Actually Tennis is a game that scales down well, since you don't need a full 3D engine for the court. I think there was a Mario Tennis for GBC, and it looked great. In fact, Activision Tennis still ain't bad.

You know, I'm kind of increasingly annoyed with having to master 1 player versions of primarily multiplayer games in order to unlock all the characters...

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Yep, the GBC game is pretty good except the matches tend to get a little long and boring, there is also a decent GBC tennis game starring Snoopy characters.

I'll also agree that Diddy Kong Racing is far above Mario Kart 64. Mario's single player was and still is just plain awful.

Edited by shep, Fri May 6, 2005 10:45 PM.


#15 kisrael OFFLINE  

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Posted Sat May 7, 2005 7:29 AM

Well, Mario Kart 64 single player wasn't *awful*, in my book...it was nothing special game play wise, but it was very pretty. But Diddy Kong Racing really put some thought into it, ramping up the difficulty pretty well (though the very last fight in the space station is atrocious, only beat it once), boss fights, generally wandering around the zone...very well done.

#16 Lost Monkey OFFLINE  

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Posted Wed May 11, 2005 8:58 AM

I picked up Beetle Adventure Racing last week and started playing it last night... what a great game this is!

If you like arcade style racers, this one has everything except for car variety (they are all Beetles).. the tracks are looong and change with each lap, there are huge Wipeout style jumps, loads of alternate routes and short cuts, outrageous hazards (including a T-Rex and a burning village) and great control.

The graphics are great and the frame rate is pretty solid.

This game could very well be one of the greatest console arcade-style racers of all time - or at least this week. ;)

#17 kisrael OFFLINE  

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Posted Wed May 11, 2005 9:48 AM

Yeah, an underrated racer...I thought the graphics in particular were amazing for the time, after having so much fun w/ kart racers it was interesting to see what the N64 could do in terms of realistic graphics...

#18 beamrider2600 OFFLINE  

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Posted Wed May 11, 2005 9:56 AM

Well I disagree quite a lot. Heres my personal N64 top 10, can't hurt to have 2 sets of opinions:

1: Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time
Sorry, but this is the best game of all time as far as I'm concerned.

2: Banjo-Kazooie
Close 2nd for the system IMO, this is much better than Mario 64, better levels, better gameplay, great presentation with great sence of humour. OK, so its more of the same after Mario 64 but it stood the test of time much better. Yes, a lot of people are right to criticise it for being done before, but I think its the best example of the genre.

3: GoldenEye
Technically its been bettered, gameplay-wise its been bettered, but it certainly hasn't for atmosphere and overall feel. Theres something special about it, deffinatly.

4: Paper Mario
I haven't actually played many RPGs, so this is my favourite almost by default. I don't know whether there are better ones out there or not, but this is very enjoyable.

5: Legend of Zelda: Majora's Mask
Unusual game thats quite confusing and frustrating at first. Despite using the Ocarina of Time engine it really feels nothing like it, and so long as you don't give up its a great experience.

6: Jet Force Gemini
Unique 3rd-person shooter, often overlooked.

7: Turok 2
Great series on N64, ignore what people say. This is probably the best one, but the others are not far out of the top 10.

8: Perfect Dark
Beats Goldeneye in every way but lacking that extra something meaning its not quite as enjoyable

9: Conker's Bad Fur Day
This adult-humour themed videogame has its critics but if you're in the right frame of mind it can be funny and it has some good gameplay.

10: Yoshi's Story
People would've loved this if it was on SNES but no-one was tocuhing 2D platformers on N64 so this got itself a bad name. Its actually really unique and enjoyable.

The N64 is one of my favorite consoles, such a high quantity of great games, its almost unknown anywhere else.

Edited by beamrider2600, Wed May 11, 2005 10:00 AM.


#19 Dones OFFLINE  

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Posted Wed May 11, 2005 10:25 AM

I picked up Beetle Adventure Racing last week and started playing it last night... what a great game this is!

If you like arcade style racers, this one has everything except for car variety (they are all Beetles).. the tracks are looong and change with each lap,  there are huge Wipeout style jumps, loads of alternate routes and short cuts, outrageous hazards (including a T-Rex and a burning village) and great control. 

The graphics are great and the frame rate is pretty solid. 

This game could very well be one of the greatest console arcade-style  racers of all time - or at least this week. ;)

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I am BAR fan as well. The game is great and its fun. One of the best arcade racers for the N64. It's hard to criticize it for lack of car variety because the game makes it very clear it is about Beetles. When it came out those cars were the latest fad and the cool thing to have. Still it was fun to unlock the police beetle (you honk and cars let you pass by [easy way to win a match]) and the alien beetle (X-Files was very cool at the time). Multiplayer, although a bit short, is fun too. Highly recommended for N64 collectors.

#20 Nuclear Pacman OFFLINE  

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Posted Wed May 11, 2005 4:50 PM

N64 is a great machine. Everyone always mentions the same games though, I get the feeling alot of people haven't really tasted all the system has to offer. People hardly ever mention:

-Starcraft 64: A great port of the PC classic, including all the Broodwar levels if you have the expansion pak. Decent resolution, and Blizzard utilized the N64 controller quite well to compensate for the lack of mouse/keyboard. Multiplayer is hindered to 2 players, but can still be fun for beginners. Experts should just play the PC game.

-Command & Conquer: revamped and updated levels along with updated 3d graphics. Again, great controller utilization, and good cursor speed. Sadly no multiplayer.

-Tony Hawk 1,2,3: I always thought the TH games were just a tad bit better on the 64, but thats just me.

-San Fransisco Rush 1,2,3: Beetle Racing is good, but it doesn't beat these fantastic arcade ports sans 2(which is a N64 exclusive). Beetle Racing is better than the first Rush, I'll concede that, but Rush 2049 is a dream come true and blows away any other racer on the system.

-Ogre Battle 64: Classic and I don't like rpg's. Its not a real rpg anyway, more of a strategy game with rpg elements. Probably why I can get into it.

-Doom 64: Definitive console version of the Doom. Best graphics, alot of brand new levels, lots of secrets and plenty of enemies on screen that the N64 handles smoothly. Also, an exclusive weapon to the N64(I believe), the Alien gun.

There's alot to choose from on N64, I also dig Starfox, 1080 Snowboarding, Nuclear Strike, and there are a couple great F1 style racing games, and some GT style racers like World Driver Championship and GT64 which aren't bad. Plus if you were a wrestling fan back then, the N64 had the best wrestling games around by far.

#21 sega saturn x OFFLINE  

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Posted Wed May 11, 2005 7:22 PM

The only thing holding doom 64 back from greatnes is its lousy save system imo.

#22 kisrael OFFLINE  

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Posted Wed May 11, 2005 9:56 PM

The only thing holding doom 64 back from greatnes is its lousy save system imo.

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You mean the controller plugin, or having it on a per-cart basis?

#23 Shannon OFFLINE  

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Posted Wed May 11, 2005 11:39 PM

Every console has some little annoying quirk to them, but I would hardly exempt them from classic status for something that silly.

Dont get me going on Yoshi's story. The opening theme song is enough to make me think of suicide or decapitating the poor soul crazy enough to load the game in my presence.

#24 kisrael OFFLINE  

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Posted Thu May 12, 2005 5:36 AM

Every console has some little annoying quirk to them, but I would hardly exempt them from classic status for something that silly.

Dont get me going on Yoshi's story.  The opening theme song is enough to make me think of suicide or decapitating the poor soul crazy enough to load the game in my presence.

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Hee, that's part of whats in my head as I try to get it running on my flakey N64...actually not sure if it's the opnening or the one you get between chapters or if they're the same.

2 things about that game, I *really* like that screen with all the Yoshi's running around, and then you pick one and it runs off,,,and overall, this game has a great, unique look. Not much happened with the look because then everything became "Paper", so it really stands out as a neat way, not realistic, not just cartoony.

#25 Dones OFFLINE  

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Posted Thu May 12, 2005 7:38 AM

The only thing holding doom 64 back from greatnes is its lousy save system imo.

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You mean the controller plugin, or having it on a per-cart basis?

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Yeah, how was it lousy? You could save with your memory card and if you didn't have that you could write down a password. I can't blame them for that.




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