Nintendo 64

Mario Kart 64 (Video Game Review)

Video Game Review
Mario Kart 64
Nintendo 64
1997
Developed by: Nintendo
Published by: Nintendo

Mario Kart 64 by Nintendo might be the perfect video game. It’s fun, easy to play, fun, beautiful in its perfect balance of simplicity and chaos, and most importantly, fun. If you play Mario Kart 64 and don’t have any fun, you may be dead inside. Sure, the graphics are slightly above what some would consider rudimentary 3-D and there are plenty of other games that offer a bunch of other options way beyond what Mario Kart 64 offers but few can come close to touching Mario Kart 64 in terms of overall quality. Many of the kart racers that were released after Mario Kart 64 were akin to being a jack of all trades but master of none. Mario Kart 64 takes the core gameplay of kart racing and perfected it. Legitimately, if Mario Kart 64 is the only kart racer that you have ever played and then you play something else, chances are you’ll be sadly disappointed by the new game and go right back to Mario Kart 64.

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Mario Tennis (Video Game Review)

Video Game Review
Mario Tennis
Nintendo 64
2000
Developed by: Camelot
Published by: Nintendo

The Nintendo 64 spawned a renaissance in Mario sports titles mostly due to the fact that the only games that were selling on the system were fun multiplayer experiences. Mario Tennis is fun and is a multiplayer experience which makes the game a perfect fit for the system. However, as a Nintendo 64 game, it could have been better. It looks good and plays good but still feels lacking.

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The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time (Video Game Review)

Video Game Review
The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time
Nintendo 64
1998
Developed by: Nintendo
Published by: Nintendo

While Super Mario 64 had opened up the transition from 2D games to 3D games, many were worried about how other noteworthy franchises would handle the addition of an extra dimension. Some franchises, like Castlevania, fell flat on Nintendo’s fun machine. People were frothing at the mouth for a new Zelda experience and every precaution was taken to make sure that the jump to 3D would be a solid evolution for the series. The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time is a fantastic game that really makes the Zelda universe feel almost real. Nintendo took great care with their property and it showed.

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Super Mario 64 (Video Game Review)

Video Game Review
Super Mario 64
Nintendo 64
1996
Developer: Nintendo EAD
Publisher: Nintendo

When game companies think up ideas on how to sell their games, the phrase "this will change the way you’ll think of/play videogames" gets thrown around quite a bit. Rarely is this ever true and is nothing more than marketing hype. Super Mario 64 was more than just and really did change everything. Nintendo’s premiere mascot was busy showing off what he could do in the third dimension and what magic can come out of the Nintendo 64. Playing Super Mario 64 for the first time back in the mid-90s was an incredible experience. Even today, the game does a great job drawing the player into the world of the Mushroom Kingdom.

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Super Smash Bros. (Video Game Review)

Video Game Review
Super Smash Bros.
Nintendo 64
1999
Developer: HAL Laboratory
Publisher: Nintendo

It wasn’t exactly a unique idea because school children had debated this stuff for decades and other franchises have tried the formula. Leave it to Nintendo to release a fighting game called Super Smash Bros. which became one of the most popular fighting franchises of all time. It started off small on the Nintendo 64 which was a system that had already coughed on the dust on the original Playstation. It gained such a cult following that only its sequel that offered more features on a more powerful console managed to dethrone it as the choice fighter for the genre’s enthusiasts around the globe. Even today, many people will still play the original game due to its charm and simplicity. Even though there is bigger and better out there, it is still an enjoyable trip and better than many of the fighting games coming out today.

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Banjo Kazooie (Video Game Review)

Video Game Review
Banjo-Kazooie
Nintendo 64
1998
Developer: Rareware
Publisher: Nintendo

When the Nintendo 64 launched, they set the bar of 3D platformers way too high. Super Mario 64 was available from day one and it set everyone’s imagination on fire on the possibilities within a truly 3D landscape. After Mario though, there was a bunch of garbage. Players may have been dreaming up innovation but developers were perplexed on how to move platformers into the 3D dimension. Many were poor copycats of Mario while others were simply gimped copycats of Mario. Then Rare decided to make a game like Mario but bigger and have much more to do. Banjo-Kazooie is one of the biggest adventure games on the Nintendo 64. Sometimes bigger doesn’t necessarily mean better and for a lot that Banjo-Kazooie has going for it, it misses the boat on plenty as well.

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