Saturday, July 21, 2012

Top 10 Nintendo 64 Games Part 1

Gamer Monkey's Top 10 Nintendo 64 Games Part 1

This is a list direct from my Squidoo Lens. And while I made this list originally for Squidoo, I thought, why not my Blog as well? It's a very thorough list so I decided to split it into two parts. This list is not based on sales or overall popularity; it is my personal preference. But feel free to let me know what you think in the comments. I'd love to know your top 10 Nintendo 64 games.

10. Diddy Kong Racing

Diddy Kong Racing Up to Speed

Diddy Kong Racing was one of N64's greatest hits. And for good reason. It is in many respects, a spiritual successor to Super Mario Kart 64 with improvements to game mechanics and overall graphics.

Diddy Kong Racing Levels

Diddy Kong Racing boasts 30 levels spanning five worlds that are fun to race in with various vehicles such as karts, planes and hover crafts. The levels are fun, quick, and a delight to master. One of the best things is competing against your own best time.

Diddy Kong Racing Characters

The characters are cute and very child friendly, if not just slightly of an annoyance to older players. They're just so darn cute it may get on the nerves of some of the more jaded and cynical players out there. But hey, this is primarily a children's game.

DiddyKong Racing Gameplay

Diddy Kong racing Graphics

The graphics are significantly improved over Mario kart 64. No more irritating polygons spazzing out on screen. The visuals are bright, crisp, and create a sense of pure elation children will certainly feel and experience.

Diddy Kong racing Bosses

The bosses in the game are hard and challenging, but so challenging that your kid will want to give up. If anything, each time they'll do slightly better and relish the challenge. The hover craft races and boss challenges are especially challenging. But you and your kids will have a blast.

Diddy Kong Racing Replay Value

One of the biggest selling points of Diddy Kong Racing is its replay value. After completing races, players face off against a boss. Once they win, they are given the task of completing the levels for silver coins known as the "Silver Coin Challenge" which places coins out of the way on race tracks (downright hidden in some cases) that make it even more difficult to win. Face off the boss again once this is completed, and the bosses are much more difficult this time around, to get a piece of the amulet. And, well, at the risk of giving too much away I won't say any more. You'll have to see for yourself. In short, this game will have you and your kids playing hours after you think you have beaten the game. (Trust me, you're about halfway there all things considered.)

Diddy Kong Racing Multiplayer

The one place Diddy Kong Racing may lag a bit is in its multiplayer. It is surprisingly and unfortunately limited when compared to Super Mario Kart. That being said, you'll be playing Diddy Kong for the amazing single player rather than the multiplayer.


 9. Perfect Dark

Perfect Dark: Successor to Goldeneye

Just like Diddy Kong Racing, Perfect Dark can be seen as a spiritual successor to another fantastic game. Golden Eye. And the games are very similar in many resepcts. Perfect Dark evolves everything that Golden Eye has to offer and then polishes it even further.

Perfect Dark Visuals

First let's talk graphics. The graphics in Perfect Dark are far superior to Golden Eye as there are more polygons and better, more realistic animations to just about everything the player does in the game, whether it's reloading a weapon, shooting down a hallway and watching the flashes against the walls and ceiling, or taking the time to check out the extraordinary amount of detail painstakingly rendered into the environments. Animations are smooth and crisp with very little hiccups and absolutely flawless in execution when it comes to certain aspects in which you would think there would be some problems visually. Take the Farsight rifle for instance. An alien technology, the Farsight is reloaded with this gelatinous blob-like substance that is absorbed, morphed and integrates into the weapon itself in an amazing visual display. The stark contrast between Perfect Dark and Goldeneye may not be apparent right away, but should you take the time to really observe and compare, what you see may astound you.

Perfect Dark Gameplay

Perfect Dark Weapons

 The weapons in Perfect Dark are intense and fun to use. With a bout 40+ weapons at your disposal, half the fun to picking ad choosing your favorite and figuring out which work best depending on the situations. For example, using the Phoenix which has really cool explosive shells, would be ideal in a narrow space with enemies crammed in front of you (Not too close). But I wouldn't use it with an ally running around. Each weapon has a cool secondary function. The RCP 120 cloaks the player and makes him/her invisible for a time. The awesome Laptop gun will really have you feeling like a futuristic Mr. Bond as the laptop folds out into a automatic gun. Or, if you're feeling lazy, switch to its secondary feature, throw it out in front of you and let the automated turret do your dirty work. Nice.

Perfect Dark Improved AI

The AI has seen some improvements, even the lower difficulties are a bit more of a challenge than the lower difficulties in Golden Eye There are three main difficulties, plus a surprise secrete at the end that's really worth beating the whole game on Perfect Agent. You can beat the whole game on agent in not much time at all. Expect Perfect Agent to take anywhere from several days to a month to complete, depending on your skill. It took me about a week, I'm pretty average. It took my brother about three days. It's fun and really jumps up the replay value as every increase in difficulty not only makes the levels harder in terms of how accurate the enemies are and how much damage the player can take, it also adds to the objective that must be accomplished to complete the level.

Perfect Dark Multiplayer

The final thing I will discuss the is plethora of options in the multiplayer. Perfect Dark is the model and in my opinion, the game that truly launched all the different options players have come to know and expect in today's more modern shooters. Players can completely customize multiplayer matches from the way they look to the types of weapons on the map to the type of music being played, how much health everyone has, and even includes bots controlled by the computer, and players can control just about everything they want with the bots as well. Tweak their look and how hard they are to beat to add to the fun. For added value, Perfect Dark sports many unique challenges for the player to overcome, often with fun twists to make it more challenging or just fun and bizarre.


 8. Majora's Mask

Majora's Mask vs. Ocarina of Time

Majora's Mask has come under some fire over the years. It seems to be a game you either love or hate to love. And while I'm a much bigger fan of it's predecessor, even I can't deny what this game is at it's core. Fantastic.

Majora's Mask New Additions

Majora's mask looks and controls much the same as Ocarina of Time but with a game-making twist. The masks. As the name implies, much of what the game is about involves these magical masks Link can use to aid him in his quests to save the world. Each mask grants Link a unique ability such as swimming really fast as a Zora, rolling around and knocking everything out of your way as a Goron, or gliding around as a Deku Scrub. That's right, if you're a fan of the original and ever wondered what it would be like to be one of those characters, you now can as Link places the mask on and transforms into a Link-like manifestation of the respective races. What's more, there are tons of masks in the game from one that allows link to become giant, to one that allows him to join in the fun and dance around, which is a huge kick. One of my personal favorites is the Bunny Hood, those who have played the original may know of what I speak. The Bunny Hood grants Link improved speed and comes in handy against enemies and when you have to get from point A to B as fast as you can.

Majora's Mask Gameplay

Majora's Mask Visuals

The graphics have seen some improvements overall with more polygons and better rendering of what is displayed on screen. The levels are more detailed and the same goes for the outdoor environments. Link alone looks and feels more alive and organic without taking away from that spark that made him so appealing in Ocarina of Time.

Majora's Mask Level Design

You can't talk about a Zelda game without mentioning the levels and temples. The temples in Majora's make as fun and challenging and integrate well with the new masks at Link's disposal. For example, in a certain level you can expect to be using the advantages of the Goron Mask and the immense strength Link gains as a Goron. You'll have to think outside the box for sure, and don't be surprised if you get stuck here and there and don't know what to do right away. Would it be a Zelda puzzle otherwise? As with all Zelda games, it's a welcome challenge and really fills the player with a sense of accomplishment when they finally figure it out.

Majora's Mask Controls

The controls that made Ocarina of Time a household name (among so many other things) are back just about exactly the way they were, unchanged and flawless. And with the slightly bumped up AI, it's nice to know you'll still be locking on and swinging your sword at the enemy. But with better graphics and more fluent movements and animations, it just looks even better.


 7.Super Smash Bros.

Super Smash Bros. Choose your Character

Super Smash Bros. is famous with two highly successful sequels that have run away with an interesting and innovative spin on some of Nintendo's most beloved characters. In no other game can you pit favorites such as Mario, Link, Samus, Captain Falcon, and Fox against each other all at the same game.

Super Smash Bros. Simplicity

The idea behind Super Smash Bros. is simple in premise. Beat up the other guy with fun fighting moves and items and knock him or her off the level. There are many players to choose from including Link, Mario, Fox, Donkey Kong, Kirby, Samus, Pikachu, Yoshi, and others including a few secret characters you have to earn. My personal favorites are Link and Kirby (In the Original Smarsh Bros.)

Super Smash Bros. Combat

The gameplay is fun and engaging. Super Smash Bros is, perhaps, one of the best and funnest games to play with friends. Slap this bad boy into your N 64 at a party and let the competition begin. You'll be crashing into each other, knocking one person into the air only to have the third person throw you over his shoulder while you try to take the opportunity to kick the fourth player who happens to be trying to steal your KO with an item, land on the ground ,pick up a hammer, and chase after the competition while they scramble to get out of the way and find their own item to counter yours. There is a beauty to the chaos and mayhem, and it's addicting. You'll be hard-pressed to find a game in which so many different variables come into play all at once. You may be pummeling your friend one moment and then retreating the next as he manages to grab an energy sword or pokeball to aid him, and now you're the one losing. It's fast and furious throughout.

Super Smash Bros. Gameplay

Super Smash Bros. Single Player

 The single player pits you against all the characters in their own special-themed levels, such as Hyrule castle for Link and the Great Fox space ship when you're taking on Fox. Add on the fun Break the Targets where you use each character's unique skills to break targets, or board the platforms where you do the same only try to reach and land on platforms and even race to the finish where you dash from one point to the next using quick reflexes and a knowledge of your character's more subtle abilities to get where you need to go as fast as possible. Set the difficulties from 1 (so easy you could win in your sleep) to 9 (Good luck) for increased replayability.

Super Smash Bros. Party

What will have you returning to this game time and again is playing with your friends in 4 player team deathmatch or free for all. You'll spend hours competing and having time. At the end of the day, you'll all wonder where the time went.


 6. Donkey Kong 64

Donkey Kong is back

Donkey Kong 64 is a stunner. Think of a game like Banjo Kazooie and essentially double it in scope. This game features not only our boy Donkey Kong, but four other Kongs including Diddy Kong (My personal favorite in this game), Tiny Kong, Chunky Kong, and Lanky Kong.

Donkey Kong Gameplay

Donkey Kong Abilities

Each Kong has his/her own abilities, weapons, and musical instruments that allow the player to reach and earn those hard to get bananas and banana medalons that grant players new skills. For example, Donkey Kong shoots coconuts and plays the congas while Diddy Kong shoots peanuts and plays the electric guitar. And as I said, each has their own abilities as well. Chunky Kong is, as you may imagine, strong and can lift and break heavy objects. Tiny Kong can shrink in size and glide using her hair just like her sister in previous games, and Lanky Kong can climb up steep slopes using his hands and inflate himself like a balloon to reach high places. Each ability is unique and fun to use. Give each a go and pick your favorite. I personally like Diddy's electric guitar, Chunky's gun, and Lanky's funny abilities like walking on his hands and inflating himself.

Donkey Kong Level Design

The levels in Donkey Kong are huge and dynamic. The more Kongs the player unlocks, the more he or she will realize just how expansive the levels are as this game will constantly tease you with objectives and items you can see, but perhaps cannot reach. For example, you can jump and slide all you want for that medallion, but you won't reach it until you acquire Lankey's special skills. You know you have to get through that door but I tell you what, you aren't going anywhere until you get Diddy a sick jet pack and a pair of peanut pistols Laura Croft-style. Of course, these are just a few examples. There are hundreds of things to do in each level as each Kong has his/her own objectives and each contributes in helping the others obtain those yummy bananas and useful medallions to earn and unlock new levels and abilities.

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Top 10 Nintendo 64 Games Part 2

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