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Episode 264: All Good Things...

by Michael Cole, James Jones, Greg Leahy, and Jon Lindemann - October 23, 2011, 2:31 pm PDT
Total comments: 53

Three and a half years and 175 episodes later, Jon, James, and Greg finally get to pay their respects to the Nintendo 64 with some help from TYP.

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A long time ago, RFN host Jonathan Metts decided that he wanted to pay tribute to the Nintendo 64 with a special episode entirely dedicated to the platform. However, he would do so without the participation of his loyal, N64-loving co-hosts Jon, James, and Greg, as they were callously cast aside in favour of bigger names (and Evan Burchfield). Years passed; history became legend, legend became myth, but those who were left out in the cold never forgot their betrayal.

So, when Jonny made the mistake of being absent from recording for RFN Episode 264 mere weeks after the 15th anniversary of the Nintendo 64's launch in North America, the stage was set for some 64-bit redemption. But first, there's New Business, in which James and Greg both do a bit of portable role playing as sportsmen with Inazuma Eleven and Mario Golf: Advance Tour, plus James reacts to the recent Level 5 Vision event with great anticipation at the prospect of being poked in both eyes simultaneously by Professor Layton and Phoenix Wright.

It's on to the main event in segment two, when TYP joins the disgruntled trio to ensure their frustration is chanelled in the right direction: celebrating 15 years of the Nintendo 64. Our journey begins with a look back through the platform's tumultuous three year pre-release history, from its announcement in October 1993 as "Project Reality" through to its US launch in September 1996, with all the hype, twists, turns, and high profile defections (I'm looking at you Square) in between. For the meat of the discussion though, it's all about the games as we each go through our favourite 15 games for the 64-bit wonder, recognising not only Nintendo and Rare but all the other developers who helped us get through the mid-to-late 1990's with a smile on our face (and the guys who made Quest 64, for some reason).

Don't forget, River City Ransom won the recent RetroActive poll and the discussion has already started in the forums, so post your impressions and analysis in the official RetroActive #20 forum thread!

This podcast was edited by Greg Leahy.

Music for this episode of Radio Free Nintendo is used with permission from Jason Ricci & New Blood. You can purchase their newest album, Done with the Devil, directly from the record label, Amazon (CD) (MP3), or iTunes, or call your local record store and ask for it!

Additional music for this episode of Radio Free Nintendo is copyrighted to Nintendo and Rare, and is included under fair use protection.

Talkback

purevalOctober 23, 2011

What is with all the Patriots bashing on this podcast lately? Just because the closest your teams will get to a trophy is if Brady lets them clean his does not give you the right. Focus on the games.

YoshidiousGreg Leahy, Staff AlumnusOctober 23, 2011

Quote from: pureval

What is with all the Patriots bashing on this podcast lately? Just because the closest your teams will get to a trophy is if Brady lets them clean his does not give you the right. Focus on the games.

Belichick got caught after systematically cheating the NFL for years, and he has never apologised for it or even acknowledged that it was cheating. The way I look at it, that gives every fan of the league "the right" to mock him and the franchise he leads, because he took the piss out of all us and would still be doing it now if he hadn't been tattled on by one of his former assistants.

So, remind me how many Super Bowls have the Pats won since they were caught cheating? Oh that's right, ZERO. Also, you chose to comment on something that Jon said that took up a handful of seconds out of a podcast that lasts more than two and a half hours--focus on the games, please.

LittleIrvesOctober 23, 2011

Oh, snap.

(Go Lions.)

TenserOctober 23, 2011

Top 15 N64 games? I don't think I could name 15 N64 games I liked. I was in my early 20's when it came out and was pretty disenfranchised with the hobby altogether.

Gauntlet Legends
Ocarina of Time
Pokemon Snap
Mario Golf
Mario Party
Super Mario 64
Megaman 64 (played it on the PS1)
Resident Evil 2 (played it on the PS1)

8 is close enough.

Patriots bashing on the podcast lately? Man, we've been bashing the Patriots for years.  I really don't have much against them, but I'm not a fan either, and I typically pile on when I can.

KDR_11kOctober 23, 2011

The N64 is getting a ton of retrospective podcasts lately. But with the lack of games for that thing those podcasts tend to be a bit samey...

broodwarsOctober 24, 2011

I'm listening to the podcast right now, and I have a correction already: Angel Studios did work on N64 games, 3 in fact.  I know them from their miraculous work somehow squeezing Resident Evil 2 onto an N64 cart, which was a pretty good port all things considered.  They also worked on Ken Griffey Jr.'s Slugfest and Major League Baseball Featuring Ken Griffey Jr.

http://games.ign.com/objects/026/026013.html

Apparently, in November 2003 that studio was purchased by Take-Two and became Rockstar San Diego, the makers of Red Dead Redemption if I remember correctly.  Huh.  Go figure.

TrueNerdOctober 24, 2011

Can I just say how unbelievably maddening it is that all shooters these days don't have 4 player split screen standard? Both of Sony's shooters, Resistance and Killzone, don't have ANY local multiplayer. There are loads of 3rd person shooters that follow suit.  It blows my mind. Did this suddenly become something people don't care about? Did this stop being fun? Is it that difficult to include this mode when you have online multiplayer? I mean sure I'll always have time splitters 2 but this is a deal breaker for me.

YoshidiousGreg Leahy, Staff AlumnusOctober 24, 2011

Quote from: broodwars

I'm listening to the podcast right now, and I have a correction already: Angel Studios did work on N64 games, 3 in fact.  I know them from their miraculous work somehow squeezing Resident Evil 2 onto an N64 cart, which was a pretty good port all things considered.  They also worked on Ken Griffey Jr.'s Slugfest and Major League Baseball Featuring Ken Griffey Jr.

I'm afraid you apparently misunderstood what was being said because this is not an accurate correction. Angel Studios were mentioned as not having developed any games at the point in the N64 pre-release history segment when Nintendo was assembling the Dream Team, which was in 1994-1995. So obviously none of the N64 games you mentioned had come out yet--at that time, Angel Studios were famous for producing the CG visuals in The Lawnmower Man, not video games.

KDR_11kOctober 24, 2011

I got Shadow Man for one Euro out of a PC bargain bin, that way I could play it in high definition!

If Greg loves hard games including F-Zero did he try Shin'en's FAST Racing League on WiiWare? It got critically panned for being so hard. There's a demo for it available currently.

Quote from: TrueNerd

Can I just say how unbelievably maddening it is that all shooters these days don't have 4 player split screen standard? Both of Sony's shooters, Resistance and Killzone, don't have ANY local multiplayer. There are loads of 3rd person shooters that follow suit.  It blows my mind. Did this suddenly become something people don't care about? Did this stop being fun? Is it that difficult to include this mode when you have online multiplayer? I mean sure I'll always have time splitters 2 but this is a deal breaker for me.

Four screens take more processing power than one (being lower resolution does not make up for that). Since most shooters are optimized for pretty graphics and even sacrificing framerate for that (Rage got lauded for actually running at 60 frames per second!) there's simply no room for running them in splitscreen.

purevalOctober 24, 2011

@John You may well have been bashing the Pats for years, I have been listening for less than a year so this is the first I have heard it. I listened to several episodes in a row so it seemed more pronounced to me than if it had been spread out over weeks.


@Greg My comment was made about several episodes, not just the few seconds of this one and was intended as ribbing between rival teams, not to truly upset you as it seems to have. I do apologize if it did. Although I would like to point out that at least one rival coach has said the footage they got was pointless and could not have been any use in their victories. True they have not won a Superbowl since then, since the Giants managed to twist the injury rules in their favor at the end of the game.


I honestly have nothing against the Bills and wish them the best of luck this season, you guys do deserve to finally have a decent run after these last few years. Now lets all focus on complaining about the games Nintendo is not bringing to the US and/or Europe.

Fiendlord_TimmayOctober 24, 2011

Wow, what's with all the negativity in this thread?

The podcast was good, it was nice to hear the rest of the crew's thoughts on the N64.

As far as the layout of the N64 controller goes, perhaps Nintendo saw how little the d-pad was used and kept that in mind when they created the gamecube controller. But people then turned around and complained how tiny and useless the gamecube d-pad was. Can't please everyone I guess.

EnnerOctober 24, 2011

Quote from: KDR_11k

If Greg loves hard games including F-Zero did he try Shin'en's FAST Racing League on WiiWare? It got critically panned for being so hard. There's a demo for it available currently.

It's a cheap kind of hard where the AI competition rubber bands against you like no tomorrow. Also, the track design doesn't hold up well at the highest speed classes. I bumped my way through the last track on the last cup.

YoshidiousGreg Leahy, Staff AlumnusOctober 24, 2011

Quote from: KDR_11k

If Greg loves hard games including F-Zero did he try Shin'en's FAST Racing League on WiiWare? It got critically panned for being so hard. There's a demo for it available currently.

I've looked into getting FAST because it did actually get a lot of good reviews in addition to a few that seemed offended by its difficulty, but other concerns have been raised as Enner mentioned. I'd still like to try it though--I just haven't got around to it yet.

Quote from: pureval

@Greg My comment was made about several episodes, not just the few seconds of this one and was intended as ribbing between rival teams, not to truly upset you as it seems to have. I do apologize if it did. Although I would like to point out that at least one rival coach has said the footage they got was pointless and could not have been any use in their victories. True they have not won a Superbowl since then, since the Giants managed to twist the injury rules in their favor at the end of the game.

I honestly have nothing against the Bills and wish them the best of luck this season, you guys do deserve to finally have a decent run after these last few years. Now lets all focus on complaining about the games Nintendo is not bringing to the US and/or Europe.

Don't worry about it pureval, Belichick upset(s) me, not you, and I appreciate the well wishes for the Bills. The fact that Belichick has never admitted doing something wrong is the worst thing about the whole Spygate saga for me, and as long as he refuses to apologise then I'm not letting it go.

Also, the idea that he gained no advantage from his cheating (whatever anyone else in the game might say) is demonstrably false. Why do it for years if it yielded no results? Belichick has never struck me as someone who enjoys wasting his time while preparing for opponents each week. Secondly, why would the NFL punish the Pats as harshly as they did (taking away a first round draft choice and $100,000s in fines) if this was trivial? Finally, why would Josh McDaniels have been caught doing it as the Broncos HC at the 49ers practice in London for last year's San Francisco vs. Denver game at Wembley, knowing as he must have done that it was illegal and carried stiff punishments having been an assistant at the Pats when they were caught in 2007? Any attempt to minimise the significance of Spygate crashes hard against these facts.

Quote from: pureval

@John You may well have been bashing the Pats for years, I have been listening for less than a year so this is the first I have heard it. I listened to several episodes in a row so it seemed more pronounced to me than if it had been spread out over weeks.


@Greg My comment was made about several episodes, not just the few seconds of this one and was intended as ribbing between rival teams, not to truly upset you as it seems to have. I do apologize if it did. Although I would like to point out that at least one rival coach has said the footage they got was pointless and could not have been any use in their victories. True they have not won a Superbowl since then, since the Giants managed to twist the injury rules in their favor at the end of the game.


I honestly have nothing against the Bills and wish them the best of luck this season, you guys do deserve to finally have a decent run after these last few years. Now lets all focus on complaining about the games Nintendo is not bringing to the US and/or Europe.

http://i1228.photobucket.com/albums/ee445/JD31797/1249956688899.jpg

Can we get back to the games, please?

It's been more pronounced lately because it's the football season.

Anyway, I spent a bunch of time with the first Griffey N64 last year. It surprisingly still holds up, as long as you're okay with accepting Ken Griffey Jr. as a god among men.

I mean, who doesn't?  He's the baseball game equivalent of Bo Jackson.

Don't get Greg started on Belichick or the Patriots.  I tend to stay away from both topics unless he initiates them.  I also don't make eye contact.  Just don't poke the bear...that's all I'm saying.

One thing I didn't mention on the podcast is that, even though I got rid of my N64 long ago (a fact that I regret to this day; I think I traded it in on my GameCube), I still have the pre-order bonus that I received for it.  It's this goofy laminate that has a picture of the system on it...the most pointless gift ever, like I was going to frame it and put it on my wall or something.  I believe this was the EB Games Canada bonus, IIRC.  Good stuff.

Let's put it this way: I had Griffey batting in the 3, Barry Larkin in the 4, pre-roid Bonds in the 6, Aaron Boone on clean-up. We scored a fucking lot of runs.

deadeyesOctober 24, 2011

With all the great N64 platformers discussed, I was slightly disappointed that Rocket:Robot on Wheels didn't get an honorable mention. It was one of those unique 3rd party releases that seemingly came out of nowhere, especially when I'd already filled my quota with more than enough platformers; it really was the flagship console for that particular genre. Now, Tonic Trouble....


Also, I gotta give it to Michael TYP for mentioning Quest 64 without scornful derision  - it may be incredibly flawed, but until this day, it remains to be one of my favorite game soundtracks; a Radio Trivia, perhaps? Although, i'm afraid I'd be the only one who would listen to it.  Oh well, i'll amuse myself by humming the Isle of Skye theme with a hint of nostalgia.

ejamerOctober 25, 2011

Quote from: deadeyes

... Rocket:Robot on Wheels ...

Good call!

You guys got messed up on your Griffey games. MLB featuring Ken Griffey Jr. (the one I assume James is referring to) came out in '98. Slugfest, the sequel, came out in '99, and was just a straight yearly iteration. I never spent much time with the sequel, so it might have had more of a home run fetish, but they're just two typical baseball games.

Not finished yet, but I might have to do a spot on Connectivity to go over the excellent Goemon games just because they're not mentioned. :)

CericOctober 25, 2011

Quest 64 was not a super terrible game.  I've beaten it from start to finish.  It wasn't a forgiving game though.  When I completed I had to use a guide to simply map out what was the best way to use my little bubbles, its been a while, when I got to the last boss because I chose the right paths he literally couldn't hurt me and I whacked him to death with my staff.

I would like to see someone redo the game and fix a lot of different things.  Mainly even out the leveling curve.  I shouldn't be easily taking out everything in one zone and then being maimed like a noob in the next. (over and over again.)

Music wasn't bad.

broodwarsOctober 25, 2011

It may sound stupid, but back in the day my best friend and I never got tired of laughing at the doors in Quest 64.  Not because the doors themselves were offensive in any way, but because if you knocked your staff on the left side of a two-door entryway the right side would always open instead.

And is "Eh-Dee-Uhn" really the way you're supposed to pronounce "Aidyn Chronicles"?  I always pronounced it "Eh-Dihn".  I don't know whether to be ashamed or proud, but I did beat that game back in the day and...kind of...liked it, despite its many faults.  Maybe it was Stockholm Syndrome, considering aside from Ogre Battle 64 (which you did not mention, James, when everyone was bagging on the N64's RPGs) there really weren't good RPGs on the N64.

It's nice to hear a mention of Shadow Man, a game I owned back in the day and really liked.  I don't know if I would like it now based on the footage I've seen on Youtube, but I remember really liking how the serial killers were handled; the voice acting; and the atmosphere.  That was all stuff companies never did on the N64.

deadeyesOctober 25, 2011

The N64 was also a system meant to re-introduce older gaming concepts with true 3D roaming landscapes. At the time, the idea of getting a 3D rendered version of Shadowgate blew my mind.

jimwood27October 25, 2011

I had a very similar experience to TYP regarding the N64.  I knew nothing about it before it launched (I was still busy with my NES and knew nothing about the internet) and it was playing Goldeneye at a friends birthday party right after Christmas that got me to return the PS1 my parents had surprised my brother and I with for Christmas for a 64.  Never regretted the decision and it was the beginning of gaming becoming an important part of my life.

Killer_Man_JaroTom Malina, Associate Editor (Europe)October 25, 2011

No love for Rocket: Robot on Wheels? I completely understand; it's a 3D platformer with emphasis on collecting things on the Nintendo 64, and thus not really in the spirit of what you were going for with this discussion. Nevertheless, I recall a fondness for that game, though whether it holds up to scrutiny now is a different matter.

Very good job with the feature overall. I wish it wasn't so difficult to get a hold of N64 cartridges, especially for a reasonable price. When I was young, I found car boot sales to be a surprisingly useful resource for used games. Not so easy any more...

Quote from: broodwars

...considering aside from Ogre Battle 64 (which you did not mention, James, when everyone was bagging on the N64's RPGs)...

I believe it is three syllables. But, I definitely mentioned OB64 during recording. I didn't spend much time on it, just noting that I have argued in the past that it is the best N64 game released and that I had given that game enough love as it is. If it isn't in the episode it is probably because it got cut for length. It was in my list through, which I'll paste here:


Here's mine, in alphabetical order (despite numbers)



01. Banjo-Tooie
02. Conker's Bad Fur Day
03. Gauntlet Legends
04. Harvest Moon 64
05. Jet Force Gemini
06. Majora's Mask
07. Major League Baseball Featuring Ken Griffy Jr.
08. Mega Man 64
09. Milo's Astro Lanes
10. Mission Impossible
11. Ogre Battle 64: Person of Lordly Caliber
12. Pokemon Snap
13. Ready 2 Rumble Boxing
14. Star Wars Episode I: Battle for Naboo
15. Star Wars Episode I: Racer



Seriously, go back and listen to the retroactive, at one point I called it the best game on the N64. Show me the map of a mission, any mission (even the optional ones) and I'll tell you the best way to beat it - off the top of my head.  Even those flying bastards who like to jump out behind your stronghold are not unknown. In a way it kinda takes the piss out of the game, because it's more memorized dance than duel at this point. Only the sieges really get me worried, because everything about them is strange.

Mop it upOctober 25, 2011

I played a decent amount of Rocket, and it was pretty good. The best thing about the game is the physics, which are surprisingly fluid. I hope to finish the game up... someday...

I got Quest 64 around launch and sold it after I beat it. It wasn't that it was bad, more that I'd rather put that money towards a multiplayer game. The collector in me regrets that since I now have the game again but no box or manual, but it was a good decision for the time.

I find it funny how Aidyn Chronicles feels like a sequel to Quest 64 even though it isn't related in any way. It uses a similar battle system to Quest 64, except with actual party members and other expansions that make it more engaging. Unfortunately, the game still has a myriad of problems, usually in the form of glitches. The main one is that party members can't be revived, although the item that was intended to serve this purpose is still in the game, except it's now an extremely expensive item with no use. This is especially a problem in the first parts of the game before your characters grow strong, and losing a member pretty much means you have to reload your save or else it would be very difficult to continue, and I think the story would also be a little different without most characters.

Like Broodwars, I've also beaten the game and got some enjoyment out of it. I think the key with it is that it's refreshingly different from the typical PlayStation RPG, which tend to have pre-rendered graphics and static battle scenes. So despite its issues, it was still nice to play an RPG that's fully 3D, in both graphics and gameplay. Most of its conventions have probably been topped by more recent RPGs, I wouldn't know, but the game still has some merits.

broodwarsOctober 25, 2011

For me, I think what made Aidyn Chronicles appeal to me was that there was so much exploration and the Western-style character development (where you allocate points to certain stats and schools of magic) was really new and interesting to me.  There really aren't any other games on the N64 like it, though Quest 64 is close in battle mechanics.  It's a pity that the game really did look like crap, and it has such a steep learning curve at the beginning.  And yeah, I got lost in that g-damn castle at the beginning for at least an hour just like everyone else.

Every person I've ever met hates the hell out of that castle. It is resounding failure of usability testing.

gojiraOctober 25, 2011

I love the N64.  I wasn't necessarily going to buy it day one.  Embarrassingly I had actually planned on waiting until Crusin' USA came out and I buy it then with a wheel peripheral for that awesome arcade experience.  That was until I got a videotape from Nintendo Power showing Super Mario 64, Pilotwings 64 and Shadows of the Empire (plus a teaser reel at the end).  Mario especially sold me and I had to get the system right away. 

I didn't have a real job at the time (I was 16 when the system came out).  I don't remember exactly how I got the money (mowing lawns, borrow some, other odd jobs) but I had enough at launch.  But I couldn't find a system for a couple of weeks.  I was able to get Mario right away so I had the game before the system and that was kinda weird. 

Even though the N64 wasn't able to fill all my gaming needs (I had to get a PS1 eventually), it was still a great system for me.  My library of N64 games is one of my largest (larger than my SNES, DS and any non-Nintendo system).  And honestly I don't really own any bad games either.  I think it gets more crap than it deserves because many people remember it as the system that sent people defecting from Nintendo.  And those defectors maybe didn't play many of the great games that did come out on the system.

And a few games I wanted to mention that weren't talked about on the podcast.  One of my favorite games was Extreme-G.  It wasn't particularly difficult, but it looked great and had awesome music.  Killer Instinct Gold was mentioned, but not talked about.  The music alone was great (love Orchid's song).  It was one of the few fighting games I enjoy and had a lot of fun mastering the combos.

The last games I'll mention are some racers.  There's the Top Gear games (I was a big fan of the Rally ones).  There's also World Driver Championship.  Which looked great and was really engrossing.  It was kinda mentioned in the same breath as Gran Turismo.  It was certainly the closest thing the N64 had to GT, but it wasn't about car porn.  It just had good graphics and good racing.

I actually spoke of the SNES Top Gear about a year ago during one of the live Radio Trivia games, and later on a few RFNs. It has a neat little bug that lets you get the points for first and second place if you hit the finishline marker just right and bounce back over the line (thereby crossing the line twice, and getting the points for both positions).

ejamerOctober 26, 2011

N64 didn't have the biggest library and was sorely lacking in quality sports and RPG titles, but will always hold a special place in my heart for the multiplayer madness it generated. Mario Party, Smash Bros, GoldenEye, BattleTanx, Tetris and Guantlet were some of our most played games and great time-wasters during my university years.


Not saying that single player was a miss - landmark titles like Banjo-Kazooie, both Zelda games, Rogue Squadron, and Star Fox 64 are still considered classics for good reason. But the N64 was really about spending quality gaming time with friends for me.

CericOctober 26, 2011

Its a shame Nintendo did take the next logical step from the N64 to the Cube and have built in Online capability and support.

Podracer is an excellent title! The way the pods felt were great and made it feel like you were actually piloting the same thing that you saw in the movie.


I got the N64 in late 99, and it came with Podracer and Zelda Oot. I mainly wanted it for Podracer, and played that first. But when I got around to popping in Zelda, I was absolutely blown away. It was a massive awakening to how good games could be. Up until that point I only had a Megadrive and later a Gameboy for Pokemon, the experience with the N64 pretty much instantly made me a big Nintendo fan!


Btw I think this retrospective was the best N64 one we have had on the site!

Quote from: Traveller

Btw I think this retrospective was the best N64 one we have had on the site!

Good thing we dropped the dead weight.

Quote from: deadeyes

With all the great N64 platformers discussed, I was slightly disappointed that Rocket:Robot on Wheels didn't get an honorable mention. It was one of those unique 3rd party releases that seemingly came out of nowhere, especially when I'd already filled my quota with more than enough platformers; it really was the flagship console for that particular genre. Now, Tonic Trouble....


Also, I gotta give it to Michael TYP for mentioning Quest 64 without scornful derision  - it may be incredibly flawed, but until this day, it remains to be one of my favorite game soundtracks; a Radio Trivia, perhaps? Although, i'm afraid I'd be the only one who would listen to it.  Oh well, i'll amuse myself by humming the Isle of Skye theme with a hint of nostalgia.

I always wanted to try Rocket, but never had the chance/monies when it came out. And I'm glad to hear there are some others who think fondly of Quest 64! Also, Quest 64 was on Radio Trivia long, long ago. Check out Episode 10!

I may have missed it, but did anyone mention any of the Bomberman 64 games?  Always had a ton of fun playing those.

My first experience with an N64 was a display system at Electronics Boutique showing Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time.  I was blown away with the way it looked, but because of my little kid status, had no resources to get the system.  I went to my cousin's house several times a year just to covertly play LOZ:OOT, WCW vs NWO, MarioKart, and Goldeneye.

Through other friends later I would be introduced to some other favorites like Smash Bros, Mario Golf, Perfect Dark.

abeOctober 27, 2011

for the past 4 years I have been listening to around 10-15 videogame podcasts a week and I can honestly say this one has been the best one yet!

Quote from: Crimm

Quote from: Traveller

Btw I think this retrospective was the best N64 one we have had on the site!

Good thing we dropped the dead weight.

Haha

@lolmonade Bomberman 64 was on my list.  I love that game.

NinSageOctober 28, 2011

Another stellar show.  The RFN crew is such a great combination of passion, knowledge and humor.  It's essentially the Triforce of podcasting....

My responses to the episode...
1. I did not own an N64 until my girlfriend (now wife) moved in with me.  I distinctly remember looking at the PS1 and the N64 and ultimately it came down to upcoming games like FF7 (still my favorite game of all tiiiiiiime) and Street Fighter Alpha 2.

2a. Given the PS3 and PSPGo, I don't think this industry has moved beyond the "hubris" discussed in this episode.

2b. We are also not beyond letting buzz-words dictate perceptions of quality.  "HD," "1080p" and now "3D" are the new versions.

3. The N64 controller has to be my vote for worst controller ever.  Everyone is entitled to their opinion and I applaud the genius attempt at catering to both 2D and 3D gaming.  However, the "three prong" design just made for such an awkward experience.  Especially since it seems I'm not alone in almost exclusively using an asymmetrical middle+right prong grip.

4.  I remember a night in high school when I was hanging out with three girls and they suddenly were like "there's four of us! we should play smash bros!" and I was like "...what bros?" - I can't say I really knew what was going on or that I enjoyed even it (didn't get in to Smash until Brawl).  However, spending a high school evening in a finished basement with three girls playing video games? Thanks, Nintendo.

5. Battletoads will probably always be the pinnacle of my Rare gaming in my experience ^_^

6. Per TYP's point, I loved the era/concept of buying a game and playing it 'til you knew every part inside and out.  Now I find myself devouring games and merely "playing through" them.  Granted, I always go for 100%, but it just feels so much more "on to the next one" now.  I know there are factors like my ability to attain more than a few games a year.  But I also think the industry has tried to become more rapidly consumable, forgettable, and ultimately disposable.  And that's not good.  Back in the day, it was about owning a game and playing it whenever you felt like you wanted that experience.  Modern gaming feels more like a push towards "OK, the experience for August 2011 is Game X. In September we are releasing Game X: The Expansion Pack so you will be playing that.  After you complete these, you will never play them again because you will trade them in to buy Game Y.  After all, we are shutting down the DLC/servers in December so.... you won't want them anyway!!"

I got FF1 on my 13th birthday.  I beat it on the morning of my 14th birthday.  And damn it, at the time, that felt like a good, enjoyable, money-worth-getting pace.  If I wanted, I could start playing the entire game again today.  Will the DLC-riddled games of this era be able to say that in 15+ years?

As the for the industry being more "disposable" than ever, I would agree that on the marketing side there's much more media push to buy buy buy.  But on the game side? Hell no.  In fact, the trend is exactly towards the opposite end of the spectrum.  Devs/Pubs are doing all they can to keep you playing their games as long as possible now; it's just that with social media and the internet, you know EVERYTHING about EVERY GAME coming out ALL THE TIME.

With games like Skyrim (probably 100+ hours of playtime), Skyward Sword (probably 50+ hours of playtime), Uncharted 3 (single-player game that has a quality multiplayer tacked on just to keep you playing it), Modern Warfare 3 (deep multiplayer along with Call of Duty Elite community features to drag you in even more),  Halo Anniversary (deep multiplayer that ties in to Halo Waypoint for stat tracking), and more coming out this holiday season, I'd say no, the trend is not towards the games themselves being more disposable.

The trend is towards GAMERS disposing of games more quickly, and developers trying to counteract that.

famicomplicatedJames Charlton, Associate Editor (Japan)October 29, 2011


The first time I played an N64 was in a HMV, they'd imported one from Japan, which is a little odd now I think about it now, I remember just being dumbstruck at how Mario 64 looked and played.
It was only a short 9 months later till I could play it in the UK! (and a further 7 months till I got one for my birthday)

@ Greg - VERY happy to hear someone lay praise on Blast Corps, my first game on N64 and still one of my favourites. It also saddens me that there is no other way to play this game. I'm assuming M$ have the rights to it.
I was surprised however that you didn't give NoE a bit of stick when Paper Mario was brought up - it never came out in the UK if you remember! ("screw 'em they never play Mario RPG anyways", was probably the thinking there)
As for Shadowman, I followed the 10-month long preview features in ONM, I was foaming at the mouth by the time it came out and got a 90%+ score ("It's like a dark Zelda", was the quote that sold me)...BUT, somehow I couldn't get into it and barely got 20% through it, it somehow didn't click for me.
Diddy Kong Racing - I also owned this over Mario Kart 64 (my mate had that, so I was covered) and finished the single player twice (mirror mode) and beat every TT time trial ghost, a lot of hidden techniques in that game.



@Lindy - I know you dumped all over 1080 Snowboarding back when you played it on VC, but I still think it holds up in terms of controls. Much like Wave Race where you control the character rather than the board/jetski, makes it play so well. It'd be in my top 15.
The only other sports game I owned (other than Mario Tennis) was ISS 98, one of the best and most fun football games around. I don't think it got released in NA though?


@Joneszy - Pod Racer - hell yeah! I loved that game, I even got good with the dual-controller setup, which in turn helped me for playing the arcade game which I put one too many £1 coins into...
Jet Force Gemini was so awesome too, I dont think you guys mentioned the co-op mode, which was basically the "girlfriend-mode" from Mario Galaxy. Another game with forced mutliplayer split screen that didn't need it!
Mission: Impossible - yikes, I bought this too, it is "broken" in so many ways, mostly the controls and graphics, but as a huge fan of the movie, I loved every minute of it!


Also, glad to hear talk about the not-so-obvious N64 hits.
It's funny talking about the gaming drought it had though, as it never affected me. I reached an age where I could get a decent job near the end of the N64's life, so I went mental with game purchases.
I had about 6 driving games, and a total of about 25 games in the end!


Thanks for bringing back memories, some of them good, others traumatising!

Mop it upOctober 29, 2011

Quote from: famicomplicated

The only other sports game I owned (other than Mario Tennis) was ISS 98, one of the best and most fun football games around. I don't think it got released in NA though?

It was released in NA. I can confirm this because I own it.

NinSageOctober 29, 2011

Lindy-

I totally see what your saying and I both completely agree and also disagree (magic!).  Here's how...

I think you are completely right that the length/content of (most) games is increasing to all-time highs.  I also agree that the concept of burning through games is driven largely by, as you said, knowing about every new game and the marketing push to play them.

All true and well said.

The disagreement is perhaps in a difference of how we are each treating the term "disposable."  Certain (downloadable?) games might be so "bite-sized" that they never even really ask the user to get attached to/invested in them.  However, for all other games, the philosophy USED TO BE that the industry was selling you something whose value did not have a built-in time limit.  I could pop most games from previous generations into their respective systems and know I was getting the full experience I originally signed up for.  It is mine. I paid for it. I own "the experience."

These days? A lot of games being sold are really extended rentals.  What happens to that value when the "extra map pack/new final boss" version hits in a few months? When the DLC is no longer available? When the servers go offline? When the online anti-piracy verification goes offline?

Bad things, man, bad things (veiled Bruce Smith reference should Greg be reading).

Disclaimers:
A) This is not about whether or not one "gets their money's worth."  We are getting plenty of bang for our buck and I'm not making any statement otherwise.  It's more about ownership and good faith in a product.  After all, it's not like we can ask for our money back when the game no longer plays like the day we bought it, right??

Though that would be pretty bad-ass to try.  "Hello, Bethesda? Yea, I have Fallout 3 on a new system but you stopped offering the add-on packs for download.  Can you reimburse me for those? Thnx! Luv ya!"

B) I am aware that a handful of old games like Street Fighter II had 18 iterations which made each previous version obsolete.  Those are called exceptions.  I know internet discussion rely heavily on exceptions to counter points which, logic would dictate, were not dependent upon being complete tautologies.

These days, however, most every ""AAA"" title has some sort of after-initial-purchase purchase to gum up the works.

I s'pose that's a big reason why, this generation, Nintendo became my favorite company for the first time since the NES.  Ain't never gonna see "Super Mario Galaxy 2: Undead Nightmare."

Yeah, you're right about the whole "this game works until they take the servers down" deal.  Console owners up to this point have been insulated from this phenomenon, unlike over on the PC side where they've been dealing with it for years (Tabula Rasa, Star Wars Galaxies, Hellgate: London, etc. - all MMOs, but it's the same problem). 

Some developers have circumvented this by allowing gamers to set up and run their own servers, or people hack the code to allow them to set up servers, but of course console gamers can't do this as the consoles are closed systems.  So yes, in terms of online play games definitely have an expiry date.  For example, Atlus just decided to continue with online server support for Demon's Souls into 2012, which makes me happy but at the same time kind of sad; it means that at some point, I won't see people's ghosts running through the game world, and won't be able to re-enact their deaths via bloodstains, which really sucks.

adadadOctober 30, 2011

Quote from: famicomplicated

I was surprised however that you didn't give NoE a bit of stick when Paper Mario was brought up - it never came out in the UK if you remember! ("screw 'em they never play Mario RPG anyways", was probably the thinking there)

Sorry, I don't believe this is true - I'm a UK gamer (and UK only, unlike Greg), and I played the hell out of the first Paper Mario. Maybe you're getting confused and there was simply a large delay?

NinSageOctober 30, 2011

Lindy-

Word to that, brotha.

Perhaps someday the industry/consumer will find some middle-ground on this...?

For instance, policies where the server control becomes public or something??? That'd be pretty neat.  I know I played Phantasy Star Online for the first time ever about 2 years ago.  It was cool.

famicomplicatedJames Charlton, Associate Editor (Japan)October 30, 2011

Quote from: adadad

Quote from: famicomplicated

I was surprised however that you didn't give NoE a bit of stick when Paper Mario was brought up - it never came out in the UK if you remember! ("screw 'em they never play Mario RPG anyways", was probably the thinking there)

Sorry, I don't believe this is true - I'm a UK gamer (and UK only, unlike Greg), and I played the hell out of the first Paper Mario. Maybe you're getting confused and there was simply a large delay?

You're totally right! I just checked wiki and it came out a month after the GameCube was launched in Japan (which is when I imported mine).
So for me, yeah, it didn't exist.

Talk about national betrayal.

famicomplicatedJames Charlton, Associate Editor (Japan)November 01, 2011

I took it in the **** from NoE for 3 generations, the N64 was the straw that broke the camel's back.
Have you played an N64 with PAL borders? It's like fake-widescreen!

Oh and back to Paper Mario and it's ridiculously late release, by that time the N64 was SO dead in the water, I wouldn't be surprised if it wasn't even put on store shelves, except maybe in a corner near the 3rd party accessories.
If you look back on every Nintendo system it's the same deal - awesome games released a few weeks before after the predecessor console comes out...

TJ SpykeNovember 02, 2011

Quote from: famicomplicated

Have you played an N64 with PAL borders? It's like fake-widescreen!

This is what pisses me off about Fox primetime shows and many "widescreen" DVDs. I don't like watching TV or movies and seeing black bars at the top and bottom of the screen, it's basically wasting 20% of the screen.

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