Review: N64

Justin

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OK N64 turned up today and............

Remember this is my opinion!

what a piece of poo!!, chunky nasty graphics, nasty cheap flimsy plastic build, horrible controllers, awkward, i think cheap just about sums it up.

a decent pc and project64 look and play better, with higher resolutions, filters, sharper looking if you must use the controllers just get a n64 to pc adaptor.

please remove if considered price driving, but it is meant as a review.

not a lot including postage got me a PAL machine with 2 controllers, a memory pack, 2 games and all the leads, but even as this price i'm still disappointed

In summary either get a Dreamcast or emulate

Cheers, JuvUK
 
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keropi

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Re: N64 Review

Re: N64 Review

I have found both the controller AND the lack of rgb-out quite crippling ....
 

Kin Hell

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Re: N64 Review

Re: N64 Review

Those controllers are just horrible for me too keropi. Was never a fan of the console, but trying to have some fun @ a friends just left me with cramp in my hands all the time. One of the most dis-jointed pads ever I think. Heck, the Bug was miles better & yet still pants in it's own right.

Just those 2 titles Juzzer?

Kin
 

keropi

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Re: N64 Review

yeah it has the same horrible effect on me too Kin! But this system has some awesome titles, like the 2 Zeldas ,nd the 2 Castlevanias (for fans that is) ... neoflash.com will release a flash cart for N64 soon (I hope)
 

Firthy2002

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Re: N64 Review

Re: N64 Review

The N64 controller definitely has the marmite effect on people. I personally like it.
 

playgeneration

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Re: N64 Review

Re: N64 Review

While the controller may not be ideal for a lot of games, its perfect for the systems best game (and one of the greatest games of all time) - Goldeneye. I spent a whole lot of time playing that game with friends, its just so much fun. Sure the graphics aren't so hot today, but you soon forget about that.
 

Justin

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Re: N64 Review

Re: N64 Review

playgeneration said:
While the controller may not be ideal for a lot of games, its perfect for the systems best game (and one of the greatest games of all time) - Goldeneye. I spent a whole lot of time playing that game with friends, its just so much fun. Sure the graphics aren't so hot today, but you soon forget about that.

i got goldeneye and mario kart with the system because i really wanted to play goldeneye on the system it was meant for, but the controller and nasty n64 output ruined it, i enjoyed the game far more through project 64, like i said it is only my opinion

cheers, JuvUK
 

RedDaemonFox

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Re: N64 Review

Re: N64 Review

Ever played Oot? That game alone is reason to have one, also, those GFX were state of the art back in '96, beat a PS, but I have 2 agree the DC has MUCH better gfx. I personally LOVE the N64 controller because of it's (then) innovative design.
 

Harrison

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Re: N64 Review

Re: N64 Review

I have mixed feelings about the N64.

I hate the full screen anti-aliasing. It gives the effect of everything smeared with Vaseline! However boot games via emulation and you instantly see how great the games really look when viewed on a system allowing the games to run in higher resolutions with proper anti-aliasing.

This is overcome using the optional 4MB ram expansion you can plug into the N64, and for the few games that directly support this ram expansion the graphics get a big jump in quality. The best of these is Perfect Dark. Try running the game in enhances and standard graphics modes and you instantly see a huge difference. Textures are suddenly clearer and crisp, reflections and light effects are more impressive, and edge anti-aliasing is much nicer.

Audio capabilities are pretty good. However the system suffered a bit at the time because the PSX could utilise CD audio for soundtracks and streaming video, and the N64 was restricted by limited rom storage space.

And as someone else said, the controller is a love/hate device. I've always been a bit unsure of the design, with the digital or analogue hold positions meaning you can't utilise all of the controls on the controller at once, limiting what the game developers could offer. A strange idea, but I suppose it was something to be tried. I also hate the rumble paks that require batteries. The Dreamcast used a similar idea of optional additional plugin rumble packs, but they didn't require batteries. Why they couldn't power the rumble packs from the N64 is beyond me. Bad design. Also you can't have a memory pak and a rumble pak connected to a controller at once, which is annoying.

I actually own 4 N64s, all in perfect condition. 6 original controllers, loads of memory and rumble paks, plus I've got about 50 original boxed games with manuals etc... and a Mr. Backup Z64 unit.

If you don't know what a Z64 is, it sits on top of the N64 and has a Zip Drive in the side, an N64 cart slot on the top and an LCD screen. Boot the N64 with the Z64 plugged in and a cart in its own N64 cart slot and you get the Z64's OS boot menu. From here you can then load N64 roms into the Z64 memory from a Zip disk and boot the game roms, using the original cart as the boot strap to get the game to work. In addition the Z64 also has a hex editor and action reply support. It is a great unit, but now very rare and hence expensive if you can find one. It also allows you to boot roms from any region so is great to run US and Jap games on a PAL system , or other way around if used with an NTSC N64. You can also manipulate the roms, performing things like bit swapping, directly on the unit and saving the results back to the Zip disk. Plus a big advantage of using writeable Zip disks is you can set up the Z64 properties for each game to get them working perfectly, and save the config files for each game to the disk as well.

You can also hack the Z64 using custom BIOS images created by the community to replace the Zip drive with CF and SD memory card readers, and/or a harddrive. I've not tried this but it is tempting. Being able to load all of the games onto a HDD would be great. Having them all on hand at once would be just like WHDLoad.

I also owned a CD64 Plus. Similar idea to the Z64, but it sits under the N64 and connects to the console's expansion port under the system. And it has a CD-Rom drive rather than a Zip drive. So you cannot write anything back to the discs ot manipulate the files other than once loaded into ram. Other than that, once a rom is selected from a CD and loaded into the CD64's ram it functions very much the same. I however sold the CD64 earlier this year as I never used it as I prefer the Z64.

There are more good games for the N64 than most people think. I got into the N64 at the end of its life and purchased everything via ebay and second hand stores. I got some real bargains, buying large collections with consoles and lots of games for fairly low prices, and then selling on duplicate games, third party horrible controllers, and games I just didn't like. I ended up with a great N64 collection.

One thing I've however been thinking recently is that many of the game carts have battery backed up save game memory. The batteries in these carts much be getting to the end of their lives and I'm now worried if any of them will leak and damage the carts. Does anyone know anything about the carts of if this could happen? This is also a danger for SNES carts (which I also own a lot of). I must investigate this further.

Finally one other thing that annoyed me with the N64 was that it had no single save game method. The controllers have a port where you can plug a save game memory pak into. However these have silly small memory sizes and can normally only save 2 - 8 game saves on each pak (depending on the game), or alternatively some games had built in S-Ram save game ram (Mario 64 being a good example). For these games you didn't need a memory pak and could just save to the cart and not worry. I don't understand why a better solution wasn't designed into the unit as the single save method. It wasn't like Nintendo hadn't encountered save game features before. With the SNES many carts had battery backed up save game ram built in. But with the SNES it had no memory card/pak feature, so games developers had to come up with their own solutions for each cart. Sony's Playstation memory card slots on the actual unit was a much nicer design.
 

gazcbm

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Re: N64 Review

Re: N64 Review

I think thats a fair review especially having come straight from a Dreamcast. I think that this console was all about being different and probably appealed more to the younger gamer. I love Goldeneye and MarioKart they are great multiplayer games that you can "forget" about the poo'ness as you get further emersed in trying to beat your mates.
 

Harrison

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Re: N64 Review

Re: N64 Review

One thing most people tend to forget these days is that the N64 was the first console to release the first real 3D platform game, Mario 64. This was a milestone in game design and the move from 2D to 3D, showing what was possible. The problem for Nintendo and the N64 was that they did too good a job with Mario 64 and no other developers could live up to the expectations generated from that game.

That in combination with Nintendo choosing to stick with cartridge based rom storage for software, when all other systems developers had switched to mass storage CD-Rom solutions, led to a limited number of third party developers supporting the platform. CD-Roms were a lot cheaper to mass produce than cartridges, and offered a huge storage space compared to expensive rom chips at the time. Many that initially began developing titles for the N64 jumping ship to the Playstation. Square is a great example with Final Fantasy 7, which was originally destined for the N64. Fans were so glad of the switch as Square really showed what the advantages of CD-Rom storage were to game design and enabling rich content and a fully immersive game experience.

This led to the N64 being the least successful console to date for Nintendo. But there were still some great games released for it.

If you want to play one of the best try to get hold of Conker's Bad Fur Day. This is a Mario 64/Banjo Kazooie style platformer, but with full on adult humour. I'm surprised Nintendo allowed it to be released for their console. You even start the game drunk!

Some other N64 games I would recommend include:

Zelda - Ocarina of Time
Zelda Majora's Mask (one of my favourite games on the N64)
Lylat Wars
Waverace 64
Perfect Dark (much better with the N64 4MB ram expansion)
Goldeneye
1080 Degrees
Banjo Kazooie
Mario Tennis
Mario Golf
MarioKart 64 (although dire compared to Mario Kart SNES)
Diddy Kong Racing
Bomberman
F-Zero X
Star Wars Episode 1 Racer
Star Wars Rogue Squadron
Star Wars Episode 1 - Battle for Naboo
Star Wars Shadows of the Empire

Some of the Star Wars games have some of the best graphics seen on the N64 as they require the 4MB Ram expansion Pak. Racer and Battle for Naboo look especially nice. But I think the greatest games on the N64 have to be the 2 Zelda games.
 

Justin

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Re: N64 Review

Re: N64 Review

quick update, got an s-video adaptor from a car boot for the n64, much improved graphics and sound (now it runs through my amp)

controllers still suck mind
 
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