There haven’t been any games that have caught my eye in the past couple of oh, I don’t know… months? Of course, there have been good games. But other than Majora’s Mask and maybe Codename: S.T.E.A.M., we haven’t seen anything spectacular. We’ve been stuck with these dreams of grandeur. Nintendo has set up some insane scaffolding in my imagination. I want to play those blockbusters, but they aren’t out yet. We have to wait.
So rather than crying while I wait, I’ve been playing my N64. I don’t mean like an emulator or the virtual console. I have my actual N64 plugged into my flat screen TV. Yep, it’s freaking awesome, thank you very much.
The games I’ve been playing are ones that I associate with fond memories. And when I first pushed the cartridges into that nostalgia machine, I honestly didn’t know what I’d get. I could be met with awkward polygons and rugged controls. Would it totally ruin that sense of awe?
I wasn’t disappointed. The N64 held up like a boss. I have always tended toward multiplayer games on my N64. Sure, there are some seriously good single-player games for that console – like Paper Mario. (Ahhhh.) But the multiplayer games I play always make me grin like kid who just found the last Easter egg.
I’ve been playing some high-octane matches of Pokemon Puzzle League. It’s a puzzle game which is criminally underrated. Sure, it’s a Pokemon game, so of course I’ll like it. But I’m also a sucker for puzzle games. This is like my dream come true. But the best part about this game is the quirkiness. Whenever you get a combo, your chosen character duo will utter a very ridiculous saying. For instance, my friend loves to play as Misty and whenever he lines up four or five blocks in a row, she yells, “GOOD BATTLE!” Like, what? We’re still in the middle of the battle, Misty! It’s not over yet!
Another puzzle game that totally rules is Dr. Mario 64. It’s everything you’d expect from a Dr. Mario game, but you can engage in some 4-player action. It gets bonkers when you and your buddies are racing for the victory. And when you’re trying so hard to win, someone is bound to screw up. And when that screw up inevitably occurs, it’s a pain in the butt to dig your way out and you’re pretty guaranteed not to win. All you can do is hope that one of your friends messes up before you do, or more horribly than you did.
We’ve also been playing some Beetle Adventure Racing too. Oh, wait. You’ve never heard of that game? I’m not surprised. Who would want to play a game where, instead of racing with Supra-charged, spoiler-wearing sports cars you race with friggin’ Volkswagen Beetles? I would. That’s who. And it’s so wonderful. It’s one of the most basic racing games in the world, but it’s so unpredictable because you’re in a friggin’ Volkswagen Beetle the whole time. The races are a little long, but it’s such a fun game that you don’t even notice. I mean, I hope you don’t notice.
So the next time you find yourself crying about future Nintendo releases, pick up your N64 or your SNES or something. Play the games that made you love games in the first place.
You can follow Andy on twitter @vElectricv.