At the time of writing, we are at the start of July, and we’ve seen many announcements due to E3 being cancelled. The design of the PlayStation 5 console alongside exclusive games coming to it, many indie games and sequels being shown, while Xbox is getting ready to show more of Halo Infinite.
But with Nintendo, the only announcement we have seen so far is Paper Mario, and the whispers have tried to make clear that there won’t be a ‘Direct’ for now.
People are wanting to see what other games and remasters could be coming to the Switch, but the one constant theme is Nintendo 64 games. Currently, there’s no easy method to load up a game from that console unless you have one plugged into your TV somewhere.
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Some have been wondering if Nintendo are going to announce N64 games for the Switch for Virtual Console, and what they may be. Some are expecting the usual roster, but we thought we’d give you five other games that are equal contenders for a potential Online Service.
When someone thinks of Rare and N64, they usually go to GoldenEye, Perfect Dark, and Banjo Kazooie. But there’s one game that only came back into prominence thanks to their ‘Rare Replay’ release back in 2015 on the Xbox One, and that’s Blast Corps. It’s a simple game but the best ones usually are, and here you’re controlling different vehicles to make sure that a nuclear carrier doesn’t bump into anything, otherwise it explodes and its game over.
It’s an overview angle where you try to achieve this task across 57 levels, and there’s even secret levels and challenges to beat your own time in ‘ghost levels’. It’s incredibly addictive, and it’s the kind of game that would be perfect on the Switch for its drop-in, drop-out gameplay style. It probably won’t, due to Rare being owned by Microsoft, but it’s got more of a chance than GoldenEye and Banjo do for a re-release on the console, and personally I hope this comes to the N64 Online Service first.
Mortal Kombat Trilogy
One you probably didn’t expect to see in this list, but hear me out. Mortal Kombat Trilogy is an amalgamation of the first three Mortal Kombat games, before the move to 3D with Mortal Kombat 4 in 1997.
Having the same story as Ultimate Mortal Kombat 3, it introduced brutalities and 37 characters from the three classic games. Even character palets from MK1 and MK2 were available to play with Raiden, Kano and Sub Zero, alongside others. There was even an exclusive secret character, depending on which version you played, but it would be called ‘Chameleon’, a ninja that would switch between all the other ninjas in the game, and you would be able to use their special moves, making this one for the most fun and powerful characters to play.
The N64 version also had the advantage of no load-times, especially with Shang Tsung, the shape-shifting character. In the PS1 and Saturn versions, everytime he would change into another character, there would be a noticeable load time, breaking the flow of the fight, but here, it was instant, bringing lots of mania for when he would transform into a boss for instance. The only caveat with the N64 version was a lack of space for all 37 characters, so you only had 30 here, and no way of playing as Goro, Kintaro and others, but it was still fun all the same, with an exclusive stage called ‘Star Bridge’ being featured.
It was an underrated classic that’s never seen a port or a remaster, and with Mortal Kombat 11 riding high with its expansion, ‘Aftermath’ currently, it could be a great touch to see ‘Trilogy’ released again.
Resident Evil 2
This is known as an impressive port, mainly due to the fact that this is one of the few to feature all the FMV on an N64 cartridge. The full game is here, with both scenarios for Leon and Claire while there’s even extra features such as a randomizer, alternate costumes and much more. It was an effort between Capcom, Factor 5 and Angel Studios to make sure that everything ran as expected, and playing it now on an N64, it’s simply incredible that they managed to pull it off in a 64MB cartridge.
Everything works as expected, and even with the N64 controller the control is fluid throughout and there’s no frustrations when controlling Leon or Claire. Everything works. The only shame was that this was released at the start of 2000, when eyes were more towards Resident Evil 3 on the PlayStation, while the other consoles were slowly being announced and released to the masses. But it’s a fantastic example of what could be achieved on the N64, and how well it played.
Gex 64: Enter the Gecko
The Gex series is a classic nineties throwback, featuring many one-liners that a writer from The Simpsons helped contribute to in the sequel; Gex: Enter the Gecko. It was the first 3D-entry after the first game being a simple platformer, the team were convinced to change tact after seeing a demo of Mario 64.
Full of references to film and TV shows from the mid-eighties to the late-nineties, you would control Gex through many worlds, such as horror, toon, sci-fi, comedy, and many more, trying to collect all of the 120 remotes scattered throughout these worlds and missions.
It was an incredibly fun game, and the N64 version also had a bonus level based on the Titanic. Every level was tongue-in-cheek but respectful to the source material, and it just made for a nice breath of fresh air after playing Mario 64.
It’s one to revisit on the N64 when you can.
This was a game that not many expected to happen for the N64, as the common understanding was that Wipeout was a PlayStation property, but in-fact, its developer, Psygnosis was interested.
After some negotiation, Wipeout 64 was released in November of 1998, being a ‘special edition’ of Wipeout 2097 almost. It featured split-screen for the first time, alongside rear-locking missiles, a new power-up called the ‘Cyclone’ where you could charge up weapons, and even a challenge mode.
It even featured tracks from Wipeout as well as 2097, making the game a fantastic alternative to Mario Kart 64 and F-Zero X.
The music has always been a staple of Wipeout, and it was the same here, with ‘Fluke’ and ‘Propellerheads’ bringing that mid-nineties feel to the soundtrack, which helped add to the fun of the split-screen multiplayer.
Granted, there were some occasional frame-rate issues, but it was nothing that wasn’t seen in other games such as GoldenEye and Killer Instinct.
Wipeout 64 was a game of its time, and it was incredibly fun, especially thanks to the analogue stick of the controller, and the 4-player multiplayer mode, without needing some kind of extra peripheral to achieve this.