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reviews >> nintendo 64
Nintendo 64 Review Archive

written by Shaun McCracken

For those who want to know how games of the past fare, look no further to the Nintendo 64 archive section right here on BlueStorm. Sure, the reviews may be shorter, but you still get the same scoring as the big reviews do, and that's really what you want to know in the end, huh?

1080 Snowboarding 8.75
Nintendo did something in one game that Sony couldn't do in three: make a great playing snowboarding game. Although the course selection was limited, there were a variety of gameplay modes to keep things going. Not until the recent SSX series would we ever see a snowboarding game of this caliber again.
Automobili Lamborghini 6.5
It's an average arcade racing game, with a limited number of courses, a handful of licensed cars and few gameplay modes, but it's suprising to see how much they were able to cram in the smallest capacity for an N64 game.
Blast Corps 9.25
It's by far one of the most innovative, fun and interesting games I've ever played, even to this day. Pretty good graphics (for the time) and sound, but some akward camera angles. But 3-D was still relatively new for Nintendo and Rare, so some of those problems are excusable. If you've never played BC, you've missed out on one of the N64's best hidden treasures.
Body Harvest 7
This oft-delayed title was not exactally the experience I thought it was going to be. Sure, they throw out a ton of vehicles for you to drive, but I really didn't care. This was one game that I just really did not have a fun time with.
California Speed 5.25
An arcade game that probably should have just stayed in arcades. It has the gameplay style Cruisn' USA with the graphics of San Francisco Rush, and some pretty nasty sound to boot. Plus, as a resident of California, I don't think this game really captured everything within the state. Again, an average racing game.
Castlevania 64 7.75
This really wasn't a god-awful game as some people made it out to be. I think the problem with this game, though, is that it really never felt much like a Catlevania game. Plus, coming off of Zelda, which was released two months prior to this, you would find a lot of things to knit-pick about this game. Worth a try to those who are curious to see the first 3-D Castlevania game.
Cruisn' USA 6
I had a blast with this game when I played it in the arcade, and I couldn't wait to get the console version when it finally came out. How disappointed I was to find that this game was really short, and not as much fun after 10 or so replays. The only thing good I can say about this game is that the graphics look a little smoother than the arcade version, but it's still far from great. A great racing game in the ARCADE, but a lacking home port.
Cruisn' World 7
It's better than the first Cruisn' title, and Eurocom did as much as they could to extend replay value by offering a different circuit mode. Still, compared to other racing games, there's just not a lot there.
Diddy Kong Racing 8
DKR is a lot more challenging than Mario Kart 64, and has more variety in race types, but I thought this game went way to "cute" on the character design, plus it never really strays too far from the atypical kart racing design.
Donkey Kong 64 7.5
DK's N64 debut was not as impressive or great as Mario's, which is a shame, because knowing how revolutionary DKC was for the SNES, I was expecting some whole new 3-D platfroming experience with DK64. As it turns out, it's basically Super Mario 64 and Banjo-Kazooie with an awful camera, and I can't really figure out what difference it made to have the Expansion Pak. Disappointing, to say the least.
Doom 64 8
A solid and very challenging FPS, but it has a big problem with the brightness of the picture. Some stages are just too damn dark to see anything! At least the level designs are different from past versions, and is the best looking version of Doom (at least until Doom 3 hit).
Duke Nukem : Zero Hour 8
Not a bad shooter, and it's certainly more ambitious than past DN games, especially within the decision to make it a 3rd person action game rather than a first-person shooter. It's fairly lenghty and challenging, but the some levels seem to run on too long and at times the AI seemed unbalanced.
Extreme G 7.75
Pretty much Acclaim's answer to the Wipeout series, Extreme G was a pretty fun and exhilariting ride. But there were not many courses to choose from, the menu was very clunky and unpolished, the controls were not very tight, and the framerate was never smooth. I still had quite a bit of fun with it, though, and I forgot to mention that the music is pretty good.
Extreme G-2 7
Offered more courses and options than the first XG, but the framerate takes a severe dive with way too many effects going on on-screen. It also wasn't as much fun as the first game.
F-1 Pole Position 64 6.5
Suprisingly, it has nothing to do with Namco's racer of the same name. This is just a mediocre F-1 racing game that is interesting for about 2 days until you get sick of it.
F-Zero X 8.75
The developers at Nintendo had to sacrifice a lot of detail to get this game running at a smooth 60 FPS, along with an outragous sense of speed. There's some pretty crazy courses in this game, and you can race against 29 computer oponents. As long as you don't really care about trackside detail (or even defined textures), F-Zero X was a pretty thrilling racing game. It doesn't seem like much anymore due to the release of F-Zero GX on the Gamecube, but at the time, F-Zero X was a pretty exciting racing experience.
Forsaken 64 8.5
I really liked this shooter, even if it did seem a lot like Descent. For the time, Forsaken sported some pretty impressive lighting effects, and a very different feel to the FPS genre. The game is also better than the PS1 version, due to tighter controls, better level progression, multiplayer modes, and the ACTUAL abillity to save the game. Oh, it also had the blood and gore, too. It's too bad that Acclaim hasn't resurrected this game for the current generation of consoles.
GoldenEye 007 10
It's pretty much the one game that single-handedly changed how we played first-person shooters on a console, and changed our attitudes on games based off of licensed properties. GoldenEye was much different from other shooters at the time. For one, you had multiple objectives to accomplish, rather than star from one point and end at another. Also, stealth played an important role in success, and stealth elements were never implemented or even thought of in past shooters. We also can't forget about the multiplayer mode, which was just downright fun, and a pretty important part of what made this game enjoyable. Then there's the fact that this was one of the first times in gaming history that a game based upon a movie was not only faithful to the film, but also a really good game on it's own. It says something about a game when it's still compared to other offerings 7 years after it's release. GoldenEye 007 was not only one of the most important games for the N64 lineup, but it's also one of the most important games in gaming history.
Hexen 64 1.75
This shooter just plain sucked. Period. The graphics were bad, and dark, the sound was bad, and the controls were bad. Oh, and the stage design was bad, the weapons were bad, hell, let's face it, this is just a bad game.
Hybrid Heaven 6.25
This game is far from heaven, and more like a frustrating, confising mess of an action RPG. The battle design is messy, the gameplay in general is broken, and the graphics are far from great. In the same year that Konami releases the excellent Silent Hill for the PS1, N64 owners had to deal with this broken Konami offering. More like a hybrid hell.
Hydro Thunder 7.25
A pretty good port of the arcade game, but pales in comparison to the Dreamcast version, which is pretty much arcade perfect. At least this version doesn't have the same amount of long load times as the DC version, and doesn't jump to the title screen when you finish a race.
Jet Force Gemini 8.25
A pretty nice looking action game with some pretty large and open environments, but there's a problem with how the game drags the second act into play when you expected the game to just end. The first half is fun, the second half is rehashed and repetitive. Rare really needs to learn that bringing back previous stages over and over is just a cheap cop-out to extend replay value.
(The) Legend Of Zelda : Ocarina Of Time 10
I'll admit, I wasn't excited as everyone else about this game. But after playing the game, I realized that maybe I should have embraced this game a little more. Like Super Mario 64, Ocarina Of Time is a successful transition from 2-D to 3-D, and really re-invents the series with a higher degree of exploration, more challenges and puzzles, and yet still keep what made the series a draw in the past. Ocarina Of Time was one of those rare titles that really did live up to it's hype.
Mario Kart 64 8
The gameplay was there, but the challenge wasn't. It's not a bad racing game, just don't expect a whole lot in terms of difficulty. Pretty much designed with multiplayer modes in mind.
Mission : Impossible 6.75
The game would have been great had it not been for a really poor invetory system and camera. Also, if you blow one objective, the entire mission is scrapped. Suprisingly, has nothing much to do with the film either.
Mortal Kombat Trilogy 6.25
Yeah, I don't really think people were rushing to buy an N64 so they could play a fighting game that could have easily been done on the Super NES. I will say this, it's a lot better than the PlayStation version. You don't have to wait for the game to load in between Shang Tsung's transformations.
Nuclear Strike 7.25
The game fills in a rather absent niche pretty well, but this port is two years too late, and lost the video portions of the PS1 original. The Expansion Pak support really didn't make a difference in the resolution or quality in the graphics. It's a decent game, like I've said, but if you've played one of these Strike games, you've pretty much played them all.
Pilotwings 64 8.5
A lot of people missed out on the other launch title on the N64's debut mostly because of Super Mario 64 being a really big draw. PW64 is a pretty good follow-up to the Super NES original with more challenges and new events to play through, as well as some pretty great graphics and large areas of geography to explore. It's still pretty short, with only so many challenges to take part in. Still, it's one of the lost treasures of the N64.
Quake 64 7
It's pretty much a straight-up port of the PC version of Quake, with some cleaned up graphics and a more subdued soundtrack. To those who had never played the game, it wasn't a bad way to go, but it felt pretty limited compared to other FPS games with just a single-player mode and no real incentive for replay after the game is done. Like Doom 64, the picture was also pretty dark.
Ridge Racer 64 9
Ridge Racer 64 can best be described as a "special edition" of the Ridge Racer games that appeared on the PS1 years back. The graphics have been improved, more cars have been added, and a new course was included. It's also one of the tightest handling Ridge Racer games ever made. Interesting fact: RR64 was not developed by Namco, but by Nintendo's new NST Development Studio in the U.S., which later did Wave Race Blue Storm and 1080 Avalanche on the Gamecube. Now on Nintendo DS under "Ridge Racer DS".
Rush 2 : Extreme Racing USA 8.5
A great follow-up to the original SF Rush, but the graphics really haven't changed and the music is slightly better. Oh, there is a little bit of customization to your cars that can affect their performance. Not many radical changes, but good enough for followers of the series..
San Francisco Rush 8.75
With the exception of the resolution and texture clarity, this version of SF Rush is almost arcade-perfect. In fact, this version includes the Alcatraz edition courses, which the PlayStation version doesn't have. I wasn't a big fan of the physics and handling at first, but SF Rush was one of those games that grew on you each time you played it.
San Francisco Rush 2049 9
The Dreamcast version is clearly better in terms of graphics and even sound, but the N64 version does pretty well for itself as well. Be sure you have the expansion pak accessory to fully take advantage of what the game has to offer.
South Park 5.75
What a letdown. Yeah, I know I shouldn't expect a lot out of a game based upon the South Park license, but it seemed like there was potential for something decent. Nope. The first few stages consist of throwing dodgeballs at turkeys. And the whole game feels as repetitous as these first stages. Basically what Acclaim did was slap the world of South Park into a Turok engine and let that be that.
South Park : Chef's Luv Shack 5
No, it's not another shooter, but a rip-off of the fantastic You Don't Know Jack series. Luv Shack is decent as a party game, but lacks the game-show feel of the Jack series, and some of the bitting irreverance as well. Plus, there's not a whole lot of questions. Do yourself a favor and just listen to the B-52's "Love Shack" instead. It's a lot more fun.
Star Fox 64 8.25
A pretty good follow up to the 1993 Super NES classic, but a real letdown in the challenge department. I just didn't find this game all that difficult to complete, even on the toughest paths you can select. Good, not great.
Super Mario 64 10
If there's one game that made the Nintendo 64 a huge success, it was Super Mario 64, one of the best and most influential 3-D platformers of all time. While the game looks primitive now in terms of textures and polygonal builds, it's still a great playing platformer that most other platformers only aspire to be. Now on Nintendo DS under "Super Mario 64 DS".
Super Smash Bros. 8.25
It's suprising to see that Nintendo didn't come up with this game sooner. The heavy hitters of Nintendo sqaure off in a no-holds-barred fight-to-the finish. Great as a mutiplayer game, but lacks replay value if you plan on playing alone.
Tetrisphere 9.5
Another one of the N64's hidden gems, Tetrisphere is an addictive and enjoyable puzzle game that will have you hooked for hours at a time. A great number of modes, plus a well thought out tutorial makes Tetrisphere easy to get into, but hard to pull away from. Tetrisphere also has a great techno soundtrack, which really fits in with the puzzle action. It may not play like the classic Tetris games, but it's still a hell of a lot of fun to play.
Top Gear Overdrive 7
Top Gear Overdrive would have been a great racing game, if you only had more to do. The options are extremely limited, and the racing is just repetitive. Sure, it has great graphics, but that's really only there to make up for a god-awful soundtrack.
Top Gear Rally 7.75
Top Gear Rally was an impressive looking game in it's day, but that's all that the racing game has going for it. There's only six or so courses, which are raced over and over again (although there are weather conditions). On top of that, the collision detection and reaction is bad. Hit some object, and you go flying in the air, or pointed in the wrong direction. It's a nice attempt to bring the rally genre on to the N64, but the execution really needed to be better.
Top Gear Rally 2 7.75
What was done in the sequel to Top Gear Rally is just plain confusing. They finally include licensed cars in the game, but there are only three of them. The rest were knock-offs with generic names. Why didn't they go all the way with the licensing? Then there's the Expansion Pak support. I thought the game was supposed to be in a higher resolution, but for some reason the picture is shrunk, off-center, and slightly distorted. At least the racing experience is somewhat better with more courses, but the cars take damage way too often. A nice try, but like the first, it needed more polish.
Turok 2 : Seeds Of Evil 8.25
If you like your games bloody, then Turok 2 is for you. The graphics are much more improved over the original game, and is one of the only Expansion Pak games I've played where I can actually see a noticable difference in the graphics. But there are framerate problems, and the game can slow down quite a bit when there's too much going on. Also, the save points are too few and between, and a game save took up way too many pages of your memory card. It's a good shooter, but there are some sacrifices to deal with.
Twisted Edge Snowboarding 6.5
Twisted Edge really has nothing on 1080. The actual snowboarding in this game is really just too boring and uninteresting to have fun. Plus, you would think the graphics would be pretty good, since it was done by the same people behind Top Gear Rally. But 1080 even beats Twisted Edge in this department. One game that you're just better off passing on.
V-Rally Edition '99 7
Basically a port of Need For Speed: V-Rally from the PlayStation, V-Rally 99 is a basic rally game for the N64 with licensed cars and a handful of enviroments. I found nothing wrong with the game, other than the excessice pop-up, but I'm sure the PS version had that too. In today's market, though, there's nothing really much to care about here.
Vigilante 8 8.5
Ported from the PlayStation, Vigilante 8 is a great vehicular combat game for the N64 that comes with upgraded graphics and an extra stage the PS version didn't have (oh, and 4-player support). Don't expect to find the video sequences of the PlayStation version, though. At least through the Expansion Pak, you can really boost up the resolution, which makes this a sharper looking game than the PS original.
Wave Race 64 9.75
Wave Race 64 was one of those games that you never knew you wanted. While Mario 64 got most of the attention in 96, Wave Race 64 was an impressive game from Nintendo. For the time, the water looked amazing, and moved around like an actual body of water. This is something we had never seen before in a video game, and on top of that, it was fun, addictive and challenging. This was the first game I got for my N64 back in 1997, and I still have the cartridge to this day.
Wetrix 8.25
Wetrix is a strange and interesting puzzle game that takes a bit of time to master, but becomes pretty hard to put down. In this game, you need to lay pieces on a board to form bowls or "lakes" to hold water in. The more lakes you create, the more you score, but you need to be careful of not letting the water escape off of the board from holes or earthquakes. Wetrix takes the idea of Tetris, and really spins the concept around to create something new.
Wheel Of Fortune 6.5
Very true to the gameshow in terms of presentation, and includes FMV of Vanna White speaking, which is pretty impressive to pull off in an N64 game. Wheel is great as a family party game, but NOT if you're playing alone. I kind of learned that one the hard way. Here's something intersting, though: the game supports the Rumble Pak, and vibrates when you spin the wheel or miss a letter. Unfortunatley for games of this genre, the puzzles eventually repeat themselves, and WOF is no different.
WipeOut 64 8.5
A bit of a shock to see a game from a series that was practically exclusive to Sony's system (and now owned by Sony), and not only that, emerge as one of the better games in the franchise. The game design is set up rather strange, but it's nice to see the introduction of the challenge mode, which has been used in every WipeOut game since. Looks nicer than F-Zero X, but doesn't have nearly as many courses or share the same fluid framerate.
World Driver Championship 8
Once again, Boss Studios makes a great looking racing game, but really leaves us wanting more in gameplay and presentation. Clearly trying to be Gran Turismo for the N64, WDC could have been that if the developer actually used licensed cars and offered the same kind of customiztion GT had. While this is better than Top Gear Rally, WDC still left a lot to be desired.
(The) World Is Not Enough 8.75
A lot bigger and better than the PlayStation version, but not quite up there with GoldenEye in terms of replay value and design. Still, this is a very solid Bond game, as well as an action game in general. It's also one of the last great N64 games.