So if took me almost four years, but I am finally writing my second blog post. Before I talk about our first month of collecting (which was promised back in 2015!), I am going to make a couple of amendments to my previous post. We have now amassed 82% of the N64 games we wanted (which is double what we had back then), including all the first party titles i.e. all the titles published directly by Nintendo. We have also discovered that of the 242 games, two titles – Starcraft 64 and Major League Baseball ft. Ken Griffey Jr. – are actually Australian PAL releases which could make them a little trickier to source. Finally, the 242 is now in fact 243 thanks to a Kickstarter campaign which saw the release of 40 winks for the N64 in 2018. This game was shelved back in 1998 for the N64, only seeing a release on the original PlayStation.
As an aside, we are also now collecting for the SNES (despite not actually owning a SNES console at present!) as the number of N64 games we were finding in the wild (as opposed to in captivity on sites such as eBay) were getting fewer and far between and once you get bitten by the retro game collecting bug it’s hard to stop. In a weird way, I think it will be a sad day when we finally manage to collect all 243 PAL N64 games.
So anyway…back to our first month of collecting. I’m not going to list every game as that would probably be a bit boring, but I will pick out two or three select titles to look at here.
007 Goldeneye: Published by Nintendo and released solely for the N64 in 1997, this first-person shooter is loosely based on the 1995 James Bond film of the same name. I have fond memories of the twelve year old me switching to Big Head Mode and searching out my brother in the hope of defeating him in a hotly contested karate-chop-off. I have since grown to appreciate the game for its effective use of graphics to create realistic environments and animations along with its exciting gameplay in single player mode. Whilst it was not expected to be a huge hit on release, 007 Goldeneye is now a cult classic that is always given at least 90% in official reviews. It should be a staple in any N64 collection!
Lego Racers: As the name suggests this is a Lego themed racing game which was released in 1999 across a range of platforms. It follows the tried and tested Mario Kart recipe of multiple tracks to master with various power bricks to collect and take down opponents. It even has ‘super slides’ to allow you to manoeuvre the corners more effectively. It does have a nice Lego build feature where the player can obtain achievements to unlock custom builds to design new vehicles and minifigures. This really appealed to the Lego-lover in me. It received mixed reviews in official reviews, but if you are looking for a change from Mario Kart, you shouldn’t be too disappointed.
Pokemon Snap: This quirky first-person on-rail-shooter, released by Nintendo in 2000 (in PAL regions) is an absolute gem. I did not have it first time around and when I heard about the concept of it i had my reservations, but I have to say I absolutely love it! You play as Todd Snap who has been recruited by Professor Oak to photograph all the Pokemon living on Pokemon Island. You play through 7 levels in the hope of snapping all 63 of the 1st Generation Pokemon that appear throughout the game. As you progress your work is rewarded with various items to help you in your quest. For me this was highly addictive; waiting in anticipation to snap ‘the perfect shot’ and then finding out what Professor Oak though of your picture. I soon found myself playing courses over and over again to get the best possible shot. Pokemon Snap received mostly average scores from official reviews and it is maybe a little short, however this has got to be one of the most fun games I have played on the N64.
Well that just about wraps up my much anticipated second blog. I have a couple more ideas at the moment so hopefully it won’t be another four years until the next one. But until then, Happy Gaming!