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Leeroy ST

Going back, has the Nintendo 64 aged well?

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On 7/14/2021 at 10:46 PM, Leeroy ST said:

Goldeneye saved the console in the US, the N64s only breakout market, and it led the niche interest in Europe, so it will always be a name that's thrown around despite not being that good or innovative imo. But those two games are likely the best FPS games on the N64, wasn't much else close, Turok 2?

I don't know about saved, but it helped sure.  It was doing quite well with the multiplayer peeps and those wanting well made well controlled 3d arena exploration platforming stuff, racers too and wrestling.  There was a solid mix of select genres that made the N64 the go to (for many) second system to own.

 

Turok 1 and 2 definitely were on the good side of things in that arena, but also one of the Duke Nukem games was seriously on point.  Also Quake 1 and 2 on there were utterly fantastic, one being a port, the other was unique which was a surprise.  Doom 64 was a mix of 3D arena but used sprites for enemies yet the game is the true Doom 3 and was fairly recently re-released on all sorts of formats.  Come to think of it, for a dry accurate enough port, despite the hate it I think somewhat unfairly gets, Hexen is solid on the 64.  The system wasn't suffering for FPS games, it's just everyone loved to blow Rare so hard back in the 90s everything supposedly was second tier to them, which really wasn't the case.

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Doom 64 is a rare N64 game that seems more highly regarded now than it was back in the day.

Certainly, it looked very old hat when launching against more modern shooters, but the old-school gameplay still has its fans and having a different set of levels draws in the people who've done the earlier games in the series to death. It's a heck of a lot less of a slog than TNT from Final Doom too.

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2 hours ago, Matt_B said:

Doom 64 is a rare N64 game that seems more highly regarded now than it was back in the day.

Certainly, it looked very old hat when launching against more modern shooters, but the old-school gameplay still has its fans and having a different set of levels draws in the people who've done the earlier games in the series to death. It's a heck of a lot less of a slog than TNT from Final Doom too.

I somehow missed all the criticism. I even had the guide book. Yeah, my friends and I were all playing other things together, but Doom 64 was one of the few games for the N64 I devoted an enormous amount of time to by myself.

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Posted (edited)

I never had any of the 5th generation systems until after I already owned a PS2, but some of my friends and my neighbour owned PS1s and N64s. No Saturns, sadly, and I never saw a Saturn in person in the USA as far as I can remember. I'm sure I did see them in toy/game stores at the time and just don't remember since I was pretty young and have a garbage memory.

 

I did get a cheap used N64 somewhere around 2004, but I had very few games for it. I do not have Mario Kart or Zelda or Super Mario 64 (which I have never played, by the way), or anything else major like that. The only thing I remember owning is C&C 64, which is extremely pointless when you have the Mac/PC version, but I liked seeing all of the differences between the versions, so I enjoyed playing it to see how they did the port. Then I moved to the other side of the country and none of the stores there had N64 games, so I gave up on the system since I had no way to buy games for it. It's still in storage in the USA, actually, unless my father sold it without my permission (he might have), but I don't remember if I ever used it after I moved.

 

Anyway, I did borrow my neighbour's N64 a few times and play Mario Kart and Zelda as his house a lot, but the library doesn't really have a lot of things that make me want to buy a new one or anything, but I do love Mario Kart 64 a lot. By the time I knew that the FPS games on the N64 existed, I had already played things like Unreal and Descent on my Power Mac. I had also specifically played Unreal Tournament online, as well, so I just laughed at the FPS games on the N64 and wondered why the hell anyone would want to play those instead of UT99. I was only like 9 or 10 years old at that point, though, and now I do understand why people would want to play them, as they existed before UT99 did.

 

Since I more or less skipped that entire console generation, I look at the system now compared to its rivals and it's basically "the system with Zelda (which I am not the world's most massive fan of, but some of them are enjoyable and I do very much like the 3DS release of Majora's Mask quite a bit, as I've never played the N64 version since nobody I knew had it), Mario Kart 64 (admittedly one of my favourite games ever), Mario 64, and not a whole lot of other things that I'd be interested in aside from Bangai-O" compared to the PS1, which has basically everything, and the Saturn, which is a Sega system, so I am required to love it by default even if I never played it until last April, but the Saturn has an incredible library that includes the absolute best versions of Out Run, Space Harrier, After Burner II, and Thunder Force III-V, which all remain the definitive versions of those games even now. Too bad they didn't port the real Thunder Force II to the Saturn instead of Thunder Force II MD.

 

So, yeah, I'd have great difficulty choosing between the PS1 and Saturn, but the N64 really doesn't have much that I personally am interested in outside of maybe about 5~8 games or so, but I'm also quite ignorant about the libraries of all 3 of those systems due to skipping all of them at the time. I don't really think I'd hesitate to choose both the PS1 and the Saturn over the N64, though. I'm more than willing to sacrifice Mario Kart 64 for the best version of Thunder Force IV.

Edited by Steven Pendleton
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I mean, this means very little to ME personally, but I do know that in a modern sense, GoldenEye, Perfect Dark, and Mario 64 are big games in the speedrunning community. (I got drawn into that rabbit hole thanks to youtube...not something I do myself but it can be fascinating to follow)

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Posted (edited)

I do not think it aged very well and thought so shortly after it was released. I bought a N64 on day one and loved Super Mario 64, but I wound up with only five games total for the console and haven't looked for more in the intervening years. The library just never impressed me and even back then the foggy, blurry, simple polygons only wowed me for Mario 64 and that was about it. The end of 1996 was about my cutoff point for tolerating the console's graphics. I also enjoyed Zelda Ocarina of Time, but just for the gameplay.

Edited by pablum

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I remember Doom 64 being ragged on and other dumb stuff said about it, it really threw me off.  Quite a few so called experts(media included) liked to mislead people into thinking it was Doom *on* 64, and then the others liked to dump on it or having sprites mixed with 3D stages like that was a horrible thing.  Given the power of the hardware at the time, N64 on a good Doom 64 map could spit out plenty of things without a creep issue which other games could bump into.  Because of the bs spun and being so early with internet I never bought it new, got it second hand to try out maybe 1-2 years after it came out, and have held onto the game ever since.  It's magnificent for a Doom game, the true Doom 3 vs what hot mess that did release with the endless cheap behind the back pop scares in just cleared areas.

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Posted (edited)
2 hours ago, Tanooki said:

Quite a few so called experts(media included) liked to mislead people into thinking it was Doom *on* 64

This was 100% my impression of doom64. The game's name is as much to blame as anything else. 'Why do I want crusty old doom on yet another platform, when I've got stuff like Goldeneye now!'

 

I never played doom64 before this year when I bought the remake on switch for something silly like $2.50--holy cow, those levels are FANTASTIC. They feel oldschool, but very fresh at the same time--and very different from id levels, or the fan levels I've played. I highly recommend that doom64 remake's tweaked controls. I liked it so much on switch that I also grabbed the steam one.

Edited by Reaperman
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On 7/18/2021 at 6:07 PM, Reaperman said:

This was 100% my impression of doom64. The game's name is as much to blame as anything else. 'Why do I want crusty old doom on yet another platform, when I've got stuff like Goldeneye now!'

 

I never played doom64 before this year when I bought the remake on switch for something silly like $2.50--holy cow, those levels are FANTASTIC. They feel oldschool, but very fresh at the same time--and very different from id levels, or the fan levels I've played. I highly recommend that doom64 remake's tweaked controls. I liked it so much on switch that I also grabbed the steam one.

Yeah common problem, one that repeats.  The PiiU(WiiU) when it came out, I heard well into its life at retail someone ask 'What's that' and some dope sales person say (and I kid you not) that it was an HD accessory for the Wii having hi def and a tablet.  It would get a wow or the like, then UGH at the price, and moving right along.

 

Doom 64 is utterly amazing, the crew who did that was the same who did the Turok conversions in recent years, all using an open source project which you can still google (Doom 64 EX) which I have used off and on for years on PC because it works great on a controller or mouse/keyboard.  It has this neat tool where it takes the Z64(N64 dump) file and rips what it needs into a master file its whole application can use for the visual/audio assets and it's awesome.

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As recently as five years ago, most people would have looked at you as though you'd got two heads to merely suggest that the N64 game was a worthwhile addition to the Doom canon.

 

I think what changed the tide was the fan remake on the PC, as Brutal Doom 64, in late 1996. That's a great game in its own right but it got a lot of fans who either hadn't got past the first few levels or played the original at all to re-evaluate it. The recent ports just sealed the deal on it.

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On 7/15/2021 at 3:00 AM, Matt_B said:

It's not just a handful of American Nintendo fanboys who like Ocarina though. Rather, it got rave reviews across the board including from the cross-platform community both at the time and retrospectively. I'd think that it speaks volumes for its longevity that the game could be re-made for the 3DS with only some relatively minor quality of life and graphical improvements, yet still be the best reviewed on that platform too. You're free to hold a dissenting opinion of course, but there's clearly more to the game's appeal than a lack of knowledge of the history of the action adventure genre.

 

For my part, it certainly wasn't the first such game I'd played, or even the first 3D one and I appreciate it as an evolutionary effort rather than a revolutionary one. I'd seen bigger game worlds, better graphics and experienced stronger stories too. There just wasn't anything else that brought it all together quite so well in the one game.

 

That said, I'd agree that there's a lot of stuff written about it that's cringeworthy. You're going to get the same with all popular games, but try not to mistake such articles for the reasons why people like them.

"Primarily" console centric reviews were giving it extremely high scores including ex and current Nintendo leaning outlets that skewed the aggregates. It was definitely many putting the game in isolation.

 

Me mentioning that doesn't mean the game was "bad" but there's a difference between a 10/10 game and an 8 or 7/10 game. Most people only have a problem with people challenging it's reviews because they dont want people to knock it down to a more realistic score.

 

Also it is mostly a US problem, if such games really had such a reception that elevated the N64 so highly it wouldn't had doin poorly in comparison EVERYWHERE else and the biggest rated overblown games would have sold a lot more. It's also not just an N64 thing it's a Gamecube thing as well to a lesser extent. Same exact hype, same cult mentality, same locations for 99% if sales.

 

I feel like such a strong artificial push hurts the consoles ageing problem since your pushing an insane standard even today that.

 

On 7/15/2021 at 9:01 PM, Matt_B said:

Nintendo really shot themselves in the foot on the JRPG front, as the media was so restrictive.

 

Developers wanted to make games with vast worlds, cut scenes, voiced dialogue and lavish soundtracks that'd span multiple discs on the PlayStation and Saturn. Having to cram all that onto a single cartridge was never going to go down too well with them.

N64 lost games that barely took advantage of CD audio too. I just think some devs were burned and didn't want to deal with them. Sure there are several that did ditch N64 for CDs but there are also plenty were it's not that straight forward. There were other developer inconvienieces developers had to deal with on and before the N64.

 

Even the 3DO had more jrpgs. Of course Jrpgs would only really help in japan FF7 and 8 excluded.

 

 

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On 7/15/2021 at 3:25 PM, Black_Tiger said:

Still disappointing that the library is so light on JRPGs, war sims and adventure games.

 

I strongly agree -- I was torn between purchasing a N64 and a PlayStation (both towards the end of their commercial lifespan), and I went with the PlayStation simply because its game library was much closer to my taste.  

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1 hour ago, jhd said:

 

I strongly agree -- I was torn between purchasing a N64 and a PlayStation (both towards the end of their commercial lifespan), and I went with the PlayStation simply because its game library was much closer to my taste.  

 

You know I was thinking, the N64 controller as it's designed would have worked well for point and click adventures.

 

Holding the controller the limited stick would work well with a cursor on screen and the face and c buttons could easily be used for actions and short cuts.

 

The Saturn and PSX sticks had bigger range and were not as restricted in movement, so a cursory wouldn't be as accurate, but on an N64 controller it would be, and games that use cursor menus on the N64 prove this imo. Very sturdy and accurate.

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Some N64 games have aged well but others not so much. 

 

Graphically speaking, it may depend on TV type, size and input method.

 

I know some games look better on different types of TVs and screen size.

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On 7/21/2021 at 3:43 PM, Leeroy ST said:

 

You know I was thinking, the N64 controller as it's designed would have worked well for point and click adventures.

 

Holding the controller the limited stick would work well with a cursor on screen and the face and c buttons could easily be used for actions and short cuts.

 

The Saturn and PSX sticks had bigger range and were not as restricted in movement, so a cursory wouldn't be as accurate, but on an N64 controller it would be, and games that use cursor menus on the N64 prove this imo. Very sturdy and accurate.

The Saturn and Playstation had many more types of controllers, as well as actual official mouse "controllers"... plus actual point and click games that supported them. :)

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3 hours ago, Black_Tiger said:

The Saturn and Playstation had many more types of controllers, as well as actual official mouse "controllers"... plus actual point and click games that supported them. :)

Yeah but it would be cool to see a pint and click work well with a standard pad for joe consumer.

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9 minutes ago, Leeroy ST said:

Yeah but it would be cool to see a pint and click work well with a standard pad for joe consumer.

I'm always down for a pint and click adventure!

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