Saturday, July 21, 2012

Top 10 Nintendo 64 Games Part 2

Gamer Monkey's Top 10 Nintendo 64 Games Part 2

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.

5. Mario Kart 64

Super Mario Kart Fun

Mario Kart is constant and consistent fun you and your friends will share for hours on end. It is one of Nintendo 64's top selling games and there is a reason for that. In a word: Variety. There is just so much packed into this racing game it's hard to decide what to focus on. And I absolutely love that.

Super Mario Kart Gameplay

Super Mario Kart Racing

 Let's start with the overall gameplay. While it may not be as polished as other racers such as Diddy Kong Racing, it does add more options for the players to take down their opponents in a fun and satisfying way. There are obstacles in most levels that add unique twists and unexpected stomps on players, these range from having to wait for a long train to pass by or getting squashed by a stomping blue and angry rock thing, I believe they're called Thwomps. Makes sense to me.

Super Mario Kart Items

There are many MANY items players have access to by driving through these, I'll call them Chance Cubes. Each Cube grants the player a specific item or ability to be used. And it's completely random. This adds a fun gamble to the gameplay and a random-chance excitement that will have players hooked. Will you land a homing red shell? Perhaps a triple mushroom boost to your speed? Or will you chance upon a helpful storm cloud that shrinks all the other racers, allowing you to squish them and knock them out of your way? There are many possibilities and each can be used to the player's advantage. There's almost nothing more satisfying than saving that last homing shell for your friend who's just ahead of you and about to finish first. Launch that bad boy at your friend, sending him/her flying into the air, and steal the win from them. This is another great game for parties, right up there with Super Smash Bros.

Super Mario Kart Party

While Mario Kart 64 may lack in the story department compared to Diddy Kong, the variety of items more than make up for it as that's what will keep players coming back for more. On top of that, the multi player is much better than Diddy Kong with more fast-pace maps and game modes, it creates a chaotic mayhem that is only comparable to Super Smash Bros. Hmmm.... Am I the only one seeing the parallels here? Bottom line: You want a great party? Make sure you have this game at the ready along with Super Smash Bros.


 4. Star Fox 64

Do A Barrel-Roll!!!

Ahh Star Fox. Possibly the most action-packed, pulse-pounding game on the 64. And you will be consumed by the arcade-style gameplay that made the original such a hit. This game is fast, and requires surprisingly quick reflexes and intense concentration for those willing and able to go the distance and earn the medallions for every single level. And it's a challenge.

Star Fox 64 Gameplay

Star Fox 64 Action

 As I said, the gameplay is fast and brutal. You'll be hard-pressed to find a game that will have you doing so many things all at once. You'll be dodging and reflecting laser beams, avoiding obstacles ranging from architecture to space debris, enormous waves, and asteroids, and blasting your way through waves of enemies trying to shoot you out of the sky. All the while you're bobbing and weaving, shooting back as fast as you can, using your wits, some strategy, and a bit of luck to pick and choose when you drop your B Bombs and lock on lasers.

Star Fox 64 Levels

Each level posses it's own unique challenges. In one level you're fighting through an asteroid field, blowing up asteroids in your way, and frantically dodging those you cannot. All the while enemy ships are blasting away at you while you fire everything you have at them. In another level you're constantly searching for rings which heal your ship's hull as the heat of the suns drains your health. And yes, all the while you're blasting enemies into oblivion while they're doing their darnest to return the favor. It creates a heart-pounding adventure and the shear frenzy and urgent nature of the game will enthrall you and keep you wanting more and more. And once you get the hang of the simple controls, you'll be using every advantage and trick in the book to bag higher and higher scores to compare with friends.

Star Fox 64 Visuals

The graphics are a bit of a mixed bag, one moment looking extraordinary with all the lights flashing, explosions and captivating sound and score. All of which will suck you right into the experience. As I write, I notice I'm going even faster just thinking about it. But my point is this. I think this game throws so much chaos at you all at once, it's a bit much for the 64 to handle all at once and there are some texture and rendering problems here and there. But you'll be so focused on the action you'll hardly notice, which is a tremendous relief in and of itself.

Star Fox 64 Variety

Star Fox will have players traversing the solar system not only in the signature Star Fox Arwings, but also in a tank (the Landmaster) and submarine (the Blue Marine), each with it's own unique abilities. Tanks can hover and roll to dodge attacks. Subs have an infinite amount of torpedoes to spam, and believe me, you'll need them. This adds exciting and new twists to the gameplay with controls that are similar but add just enough of a spin to keep things interesting.

Star Fox 64 Multiplayer

It's funny how these things go. You would think that with such action-packed gameplay, the multiplayer would sore high above the ranks. Well, multiplayer is where this game just fails to leave the launch pad. While fun at first, players will quickly realize it's all about who has more patience. When being tagged by a friend, summersault to get being him. He'll then do a summersault to get back behind you. Then you'll summersault. Then he will. I'm sure you get the idea. Funny how the racing games in this list have more enjoyable multiplayer in which the sole purpose is to destroy the opposition. But that is pretty much the only gripe I have with this game. Definitely worth the investment if you haven't already.



The crown jewel of the shooting industry. Golden Eye is, in my humble opinion, the first person shooter that set the bar and has had the greatest influence on just about every first person shooter to come after. Fact is, the modern shooters we enjoy today such as Battlefield and Call of Duty and Medal of Honor, may never have come to pass without Golden Eye setting the foundation of one of the most innovative and competitive genres in gaming. Thank you Golden Eye.

GoldenEye Gameplay

GoldenEye 64 Better than the Movie

What's even more amazing is this is a game based on a movie! I'll say it again. GoldenEye is an adaptation of the GoldenEye movie. That's amazing. Think about it. How many games out there based on a movie are actually good games and not just cheap cash-ins? If you're not familiar with 007, Bond, James Bond, it's time you became acquainted with this game. It's a great start.

GoldenEye Controls

What Golden Eye did was show the gaming world that a first person shooter, a true, 3D first person shooter is not only possible, but has the potential to be among the greatest in the industry. The controls were revolutionary. Players moved Mr. Bond around with the joystick, aimed down the gun's sight with the R button, shot with the Z button, reloaded and opened doors with B, and implemented the C buttons for quick side movements. And the execution was near flawless and impressed millions the world over. No one had really seen a game like it, at least not the size and scope Golden Eye achieved.

GoldenEye visuals

The graphics were phenomenal for it's time with complex and intricate details in the weapons and environments. With added effects and lighting, this game brought a level or realism that hadn't been seen in a shooter before. A prime example of this is the Jungle level where the fog and mists obstruct the players view and makes it difficult to stake out enemies through the dim.

GoldenEye AI

The AI is spot on and downright challenging on the hardest difficulty. And this makes the game something you can play and beat time and again. The hardest difficulty (not counting the unlockable) is extremely challenging, and, like Perfect Dark, will take anywhere from a few days to a whole week or even a month to beat depending on your skill level. The higher the difficulty, the more accurate and deadly the AI is. You take fewer hits before death, and there are more objectives to complete in every level.

GoldenEye King of Shooters

Something many players loved is that GoldenEye struck a perfect balance of action and stealth. At times you're running and gunning, sprinting to cover before peering out and popping off a few shots before ducking behind the corner again as incoming fire misses you by centimeters, and other times you're clearing a room before the bad guys know what hit them. It may be dated, but to this day, GoldenEye is still among the best shooters I've ever played.


 2. Super Mario 64

This was a tough call. When deciding which game would be number two and which would be number one, I was conflicted. But in the end, a decision had to be made and I stand by this list. Just bear in mind, it was close. Super Mario 64 is a work of art and my second favorite game of all time. And I've played many many games.

Super Mario 64 Gameplay

Super Mario 64 Classic

Super Mario has all the charm and corky funniness you've come to expect of a Mario game. But that's not what really shines about this game. Oh no. What makes this game so amazing is the level designs, perhaps one the best ever, and easily rivaling the number one game on this list. Mario only has a few abilities and tricks up his sleeve, it's how you implement them in these amazingly thought out levels that makes for diverse and unique gameplay. So while Mario can only do a little of this and that, such a Butt-slamming, jumping long distances or up high, or punching and kicking, grabbing onto things and climbing and sliding, you'll be using everything he can do in fun ways you may not expect. Prepare to broaden your horizons a bit and see where this game can take you.

Super Mario 64 Things to Do

The levels have all kinds of things for you to do. Really, they're more like levels within levels within a third level. Stars are earned by doing particular things. It can be as simple as finding all the red coins or defeating a boss at his own game, or taking a frightened penguin pup to his mommy. Each level has its own theme and you'll have to take advantage of its different elements to aid you in your quest of saving Princess Peach. Honestly, what's stopping this princess from spraying Bowser with some mace or something? I guess we wouldn't have a game if she could take care of herself. Mario will be blasting through cannons, jumping over lava pits, sliding through races, avoiding obstacles like vicious electric spheres, flattening enemies with a well placed slam of his rear, flying through the clouds, and bull rushing the opposition clad in metal. And so much more. You'll never run out of things to do and you'll constantly discover new things to do in levels. Not to mention the secrets you'll uncover in each level and throughout the Castle where you access each level through a painting. The puzzles are challenging and the challenges range from easy to nail-biters. Some challenges will require several attempts on your part.

Super Mario 64 Visuals

The graphics are some of the best out there. Bright colors, beautifully pixilated and rendered visuals will captivate you and make you feel as though you could reach through the screen and experience the world for yourself. It's beautiful and invigorating to say the very least.


 1. The Legend of Zelda Ocarina of Time

Ocarina of Time: Best Game Ever Made

We're here. This is it. My all time favorite game. And, in my opinion, the best game on the Nintendo 64, even coming out on top of Super Mario 64 (By just a few notches). Ocarina of Time is a maser piece. It belongs in the Louvre, right next to the Mona Lisa. Hard to believe? Let me convince you.

Ocarina of Time Perfect Balance

To find a game with such a perfect mix of gameplay, graphics, and sound is an anomaly, a rare occurrence indeed. I'd wager even those who haven't enjoyed the preceding Zelda games would enjoy Ocarina of Time if they gave it a fair chance.

Ocarina of Time Atmosphere 

This game will have you journeying through pristine forests, castles and dungeons, deep, dark caves, volcanoes, the bottom of a lake, into the belly of a beast, into a haunted well, through vast desserts, and, of course, many temples to explore and conquer.

Ocarina of Time Boss

Ocarina of Time Visuals

The detail of the world is astonishing and it's remarkable that so much could be accomplished on a simple Nintendo 64. The environments are lush and rich with the perfect atmosphere, whether you're journeying through the deep woods, through the swelting volcanoe, or into the shadows of a haunted well. You can spend hours just running around town, talking to people and picking up clues to secrets and your next objective, many of which are completely optional.

Ocarina of Time Gameplay Mechanics

The gameplay mechanics are innovative and flawless. Simply lock onto an enemy with Z and use your sword with B or your shield with R. Attack, dodge, and reflect blows with your shield in fast and invigorating battle. The whole experience is intoxicating. Use other items and equipment with the C buttons such as a bow, a Hookshot, Deku Seeds, Hammer, and so much more. Each time as it's own unique ability and is used in the levels in fun ways, especially when completing puzzles.

Ocarina of Time Level Design

The temples in this game are amazing. The layout and intricacy will blow you away. Nothing is wasted. Nothing in the level will have you feeling déjà vu. And nothing will make you think "This is boring". Even something as simple as climbing up a wall is its own fun puzzle as you must decide where to climb, and whether or not you should take some precautions first. Everything in this game will make you think. Cause and Effect. That's what you'll grapple with in the most fun and compelling ways I've ever experienced in a game. And yes, that includes all the recent Zelda games too.

Ocarina of Time Combat

Ocarina of Time Puzzles

 The puzzles are complex and challenging. Prepare for a headache here and there. And yet, you won't mind. You'll relish the challenge it presents as you consider the possibilities and the next course of action. Each puzzle forces you to think outside the box and use what you have to your advantage. It could be reflecting light with your shied, pushing this block here and that block there, sniping a target with your bow and then rushing to the next point of interest before the time runs out, using a fire spell to potect you from wooden walls of death closing in to crush you, maybe freezing something with some ice arrows so you can run across, and then melting whatever is in your way, or lighting some torches a precise way. Of course, these are just minor examples and the reason why I provide such simple examples is because I just don't want to give away the genius behind this game. You need to play it for yourself and I just don't have it in me to ruin the surprise for you.

Ocarina of Time Combat System

Fighting is exquisite. It's simplicity is its strength. Press b to draw your sword and press it again to a backslash. Press forward to do this sort of arching-stab, tilt forward slightly and you'll swing from town to bottom. Spin the joystick around fast and Link will execute a spine attack. Hold down the B button and charge it up for devastating affects on targets. All the while the enemy may be dodging your strikes and blocking your blows just like you are. Take one several monsters at once to really get your heart pounding as even one enemy can be a challenge in this game. That's how smart the AI is. And it's so satisfying to battle against a worthy foe and finally strike the fiend down with your blade.

Ocarina of Time Strategy

Ocarina of Time Quests

Besides the main story, which takes many hours to play through and will have you addicted. There is a plethora of side quests ranging from reeling in the largest fish in the pond, to forging your own massive two-handed sword. You'll play archery gallery games, bomb games where you launch what are called Bombchus at targets, obtain and ride your own horse to get around the Kingdom of Highrule, take on horse archery contests, capture the souls of defeated Poes, find bottles to store useful potions and fairies, improve and upgrade your equipment such as larger bomb bags and quivers or larger wallets, collecting pieces of heart to game more life force, finding Skultullas, seeking out hidden treasure, traveling back and forth in time with real effects. For example, talk to a man who will tell you a certain boy did this and this and this seven years ago, and then go back in time and do it, such as planting a magical bean in the ground that, once fully grown, you can ride on to reach high places as an adult. There's so much more I could discuss with this game so I'll leave with one last thing.

Ocarina of Time Bosses

The bosses in Ocarina of Time are among the best I've ever played against in a video game. Each boss will challenge the player to think and adapt their strategy to find and exploit the weaknesses of the boss while compensating for Link's weaknesses. I won't give anything away but here is some advice. Sword not working? Think: What else can I use against this guy? Some arrows? My hammer? A magic spell? A Hookshot? And use your environments to your advantage. Bosses are dynamic and change their strategies on you in a way that truly makes them feel like they adapt to you and are capable of making their own decisions in terms of how to best take you down. For example, one boss exposes its weak spot while trying to ensnare you. I kept my distance to let it come to me. After I hacked away at it for a bit, the boss only extended itself by so much, forcing me to come to it, and making it easier for it to grab me and drain my life. When I worked around that it changed tactics yet again and rather than exposing its weak point for an extended period, it left a small window of opportunity and waited for me to make a mistake in trying to land a blow. I challenge you to find a game with bosses like this. It was such a thrill to experience and overcome the bosses in this game. If for whatever reason you don't have a game on this list, please allow me to make a recommendation. I'm sure you can guess. Ocarina of Time and Super Mario 64. You have them, you're set.

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Top 10 Nintendo 64 Games Part 1


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