Tuesday, February 07, 2012

From the back of my boyhood closet, part two

Remember how I mentioned in this post that some of the game-related treasures I pulled from my boyhood closet (while staying with my parents this past Christmas) surprised me while others brought a smile to my face thanks to the fond memories I have of them?

Well, the "find" seen in the photo below--the Nintendo 64 system that I received as a birthday present far too many years ago--falls squarely into the latter category.

One reason I have such fond memories of Nintendo's third console is that it was so uniquely--some would say strangely--designed and constructed. That bump on the top and those "wings" on the sides signaled to gamers of the day that this system was unlike any that came before it. (Its Batwing-shaped controller, which I also own but which isn't pictured below, suggested a similar changing of the gaming guard.)



Another reason the warm feeling of nostalgia washes over me whenever I think about the Nintendo 64: Despite its technical shortcomings, the system was home to a bevy of awesome games.

Speaking of which, I pulled more than just a still-in-great-shape Nintendo 64 system from my childhood closet a few months ago; I also pulled a pair of my favorite Nintendo 64 games from that cluttered space. One of those games, Paper Mario, can be seen in the photo above, while the second is none other than The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time.

Sadly, I couldn't find the boxes that originally housed these games. I was able to find a rather crumpled manual for Paper Mario, though, so all of my digging wasn't completely without merit.

See also: Previous 'from the back of my boyhood closet' posts

28 comments:

Viewtiful_Justin said...

Nice find! I've got...thirty-ish games for mine. It's on its last legs, though...well-loved!

Bryan Ochalla said...

You've got 30-ish N64 games, Justin? My gosh, that's a lot! I don't think I ever owned more than about 10. Which ones are your favorites, by the way?

I'm really looking forward to playing through Paper Mario again. Also looking forward to acquiring some of the games I used to own and love--like F-Zero X, Mario 64, Mischief Makers and Yoshi's Story...

Marco Grande Arbitro said...

Ocarina of Time has entered the hearts of all ;)

By the way Bryan: You know that now you can find Resident Evil for Game Boy Coloror? Although it is a Beta version is amazing

Bryan Ochalla said...

Yes, Marco, OOT is awesome. I really should re-play that one, too. First, though, I have to re-experience Paper Mario. Gosh, I love that game.

As for the GBC version of Resident Evil: I heard it was about to be released, but that's about it. So, it's out now? If so, I'll have to check it out. Stuff like that always intrigues me...

warp said...

I still have my old N64 and tons of games, all in-box. I was a huge Rare fanatic -- Jet Force Gemini, Banjo-Kazooie, Blast Corps, Donkey Kong 64, etc. Not a good system for niche games and RPG's, but I didn't discover those until the PS2-era.

Bryan Ochalla said...

Ah, I'm jealous, warp! I've always wanted to play Jet Force Gemini, especially. Not sure why I ignored it back in the day. Guess I'll have to look it up soon.

Other than that, you're right about the N64 and niche games and RPGs. Thankfully, the PS1 covered both of those areas pretty well, which makes it easy for me to appreciate all that the N64 was able to offer (great games like Mario 64, especially).

Retr0gamer said...

Very nearly finished collecting every N64 game I feel is worth owning. Have loads of carts and have bought a few on Virtual Console, especially the ones that are too expensive. Unfortunately most are PAL, only got an NTSC machine recently but it's too much hassle to start again looking for US games. Superman N64 was my last (unfortunate) acquisition :) There's not a lot of great games on it which makes it easy to collect for. Still some classics there but I'm surprised how badly a few have aged, mostly the games by Rare.

Bryan Ochalla said...

Yeah, I definitely thought about that, Retr0gamer--that the N64's overall lack of games (esp. good ones) makes it easy to collect for.

I have a rather short list of must-own games, thankfully--the ones mentioned above, plus games like Harvest Moon 64, Majora's Mask, Mario Golf and Tennis, etc.

I've already bought some of them via the Wii Virtual Console, but I can't help but want physical copies of many of them, too.

BTW, which games do you think have aged especially poorly, if you don't mind me asking?

Retr0gamer said...

Goldeneye and Perfect Dark are the big two, they really have aged terribly. Donkey Kong 64 was never good but was over rated at the time. I really don't like Conkers Bad Fur Day. It's an ok platformer and the writing is terrible, not funny and consisting of fart jokes.

Blast Corp is really the only Rare game I'd call a timeless classic on the N64. Banjo Kazooie is still good, Tooie less so but still fun. The frame rate in Jet Force Gemini really lets it down but otherwise I still think its a great game.

Well there's my Rare on N64 rant. Hope I don't start any flame wars, I usually do when ever I mention Goldeneye not being good when the rose tinted specs are lifted.

Bryan Ochalla said...

Well, you won't get any complaints from me RE: Rare, Retr0gamer. I liked the Donkey Kong Country games, but that's about it as far as Rare's output is concerned.

I owned Donkey Kong 64 as a kid and I can't remember a single thing about it, which suggests to me that it was, indeed, crap. I also believe I owned Banjo Kazooie, but I can't remember anything about it, either.

I'm not an FPS fan, so I've always avoided Goldeneye and Perfect Dark. Really, the only Rare games I wish I had played but didn't is Jet Force Gemini (and maybe Star Fox Adventures?).

dste said...

N64, not many great games but the ones that were are absolutely brilliant.

I have to disagree with Retr0gamer on Goldeneye, I think it's still a brilliant game to play. Yeah, the graphics are obviously not on a par with today but I still find it to be a fun game to play, even with having to suppress the urge to bloody shoot Natalya.

Retr0gamer said...

Maybe it's me being a PC gamer at the time but I liked goldeneye when it was released but as soon as Half Life came along, it really started to show its age. It was very creative for it's time and as some good levels but there's a lot more really poor levels than good ones. The framerate is atrocious and some of the level design choices like flakey stealth mechanics and respawning enemies deserve to be relics of the past.

Don't even get me started on the framerate :)

@Bryan Ochalla I'm actually not that big a fan of DKC. They're competent platformers but there's way better out there. When I hear people say they are better than Super Mario World it makes me want to go all Kevin Spacey in Superman :)

dste said...

Things like framerate don't bother me in the slightest, as long as I find a game to be fun and enjoyable then generally I'm not fussed about the other stuff.

It's why I can still play on a Spectrum. ;-)

Sean said...

I have a lot of good memories of the N64 too. One of my roommates in the late 90s had one and the three of us spent massive amounts of time playing the great multiplayer games for it (Mario Kart 64, Goldeneye, etc). I would actually say that is the thing that really sets the N64 apart from the Playstation, which has a terrible record in terms of multiplayer games.

Bryan Ochalla said...

dste: Yes, you're definitely right about the N64 having just a few games, but a good percentage of them are great.

I can't speak to Goldeneye, though. Never played it, never wanted to play it, honestly. I'd probably enjoy watching someone else play it, though...

Bryan Ochalla said...

Retr0gamer: Oh, don't get me wrong when it comes to the DKC series. I liked them well enough when they were new, but even then I knew there were many better platformers out there. (People who think they're than SMW or Yoshi's Island should be sent to Siberia for a bit, IMO.)

Bryan Ochalla said...

dste: I'm not a graphics whore by any means, but stuff like frame rate definitely can bother me. Only when the frame rate is tremendously low, though...

Bryan Ochalla said...

Ah, yes, Sean, you're right about the good ol' N64 having some great multiplayer games. The game I played most often with others, though, was Mario 64. It's amazing how that game attracted gamers and non-gamers alike at the time...

Adam said...

I don't think any of my N64 boxes lasted very long. That and my GBA ones. Such cheap cardboard.

OOT is my favorite game of all time, and I actually played the original PM on the Virtual Console. I thought it was a good bit better than Thousand year Door on gamecube

Bryan Ochalla said...

Hey there, Adam! Oh, yeah, those GBA boxes are/were the worst! The N64 and even SNES ones weren't much better. (I hate that some of the later SNES games didn't come with the little protector "sleeves," by the way, but that's a topic for another post.)

As for Paper Mario: Oh, yeah, it's a great game. I like the N64 original better than the GC sequel, too. The latter is a great-looking game, and a lot of fun, but I still prefer the original.

Viewtiful_Justin said...

I'm looking to buy Mischief Makers again, too! I loved that game, and I regret selling it. Blast Corps, too...but my favorites? Rocket: Robot on Wheels, Space Station Silicon Valley, Super Mario 64.

Bryan Ochalla said...

I didn't know you had gotten rid of Mischief Makers, Justin! Too funny that we're both looking for it now. As for the rest: I forgot about Space Station Silicon Valley. Guess I'll have to add that to my "to buy" list, which is becoming surprisingly long...

Viewtiful_Justin said...

Yup. Mine was huge when I bought a PS2...it seems that e spend a very long time wanting games for systems we don't currently own...that's what stops me most often from buying a PS3...so much out there!

Bryan Ochalla said...

I agree, Justin. It's always so hard to juggle which games and systems to buy, isn't it? I'm still trying to acquire all of the Famicom and PC Engine games I've been thinking of for years, yet on top of that there are 3DS and Genesis and N64 and PSP games enticing me, too. Why can't we just win the lottery or something? :P

sharc said...

pretty sure i have a box for ocarnia of time sitting around somewhere, gotta double check first but you'd be welcome to take it. encouraged, even.

Bryan Ochalla said...

Hey there, sharc! Well, if you do have it and if you do really want to give it away, I'd gladly take it! Just let me know. And thanks for offering, regardless!

sharc said...

yep, i do have one. it's missing the cardboard insert that holds the cart itself but you can poach one of those from anywhere.

no idea how to exchange info to send it though, don't have a blogger account. if there's any kind of private contact method kimimi might be able to act as an intermediary.

Bryan Ochalla said...

sharc: Not sure if you'll get this, but here's my e-mail address -- bochalla(at)yahoo(dot)com

If I don't hear from you via e-mail in about a week or so, I'll contact Kimimi and see if she can contact you for me :)

Thanks for offering this, by the way!