The N64... didn't have very many games. You'd think that every good one that DID come out would have found an audience. Not true! Following is a small list of passed-over N64 gems:
1) Micro Machines 64 - This is seriously one of the best multiplayer games of all time. Up to 8 players with 4 controllers, and the mechanics of the game make it work fantastically. And it's plenty of fun with two players, as well. MM64 is a goddamned riot. This franchise needs to return in style.
2) Bust-a-Move '99 - Four-player Bust-a-Move madness? Sign me up!! Sure, it's couched in a weird, 'party-mode' style with tiny graphics and a handful of fixed stages, but you know what? Still awesome. The New Tetris was a great multiplayer game, too, but I think that game is pretty well known.
3) Yoshi's Story - If for nothing else than the superb music and graphics! But I like this game. It's ornery and particular, but I like it.
I could keep going (not for very long, though), but let's hear what you guys have to say. Can you think of any forgotten N64 classics?
Nagano Winter Olympics '98 - had a lot of fun with this one, especially in multiplayer. I realize the mechanics for many events are somewhat broken, but it's still fun. Hybrid Heaven, Body Harvest, Jet Force Gemini - never finished any of these (rentals) but they struck me as quality titles. I'd be the first to snag them from the VC if they made an appearance.
I agree with Micro Machines, it was a lot of fun at my New Year's party! (We should do another one of those parties, I mean, try to get a couple people to show up...)
Robotron 64 is one for me. Developers did a smart thing, instead of trying to "update" the franchise into 3D they basically just kept the top-down perspective and made a new balls to walls classic-style Robotron game. And it had dual analog control with two controllers, which was really the only way to play it. It's a really tight, intense arcade experience on the N64. And it has something insane like 200+ stages?
Mischief Makers is a neat Treasure gem. A pretty weird game, 2D platformer with shaking, and all kinds of randomness. Super short, but that's Treasure for you.
I'm probably alone on this, but I lovedStar Wars Episode I: Racer back when it released. I thought it was F-Zero to the next level. But I've played it recently and was like... what? It's definitely not as good as F-Zero X. Still, at the time, loved the heck out of it.
Goemon's Great Adventure was a pretty cool 2D/(3D) platformer, that had co-op! Yeah, co-op 2D platformers are all the rage now, but in the N64 era it was a rare thing indeed. People like the first full 3D Goemon N64 game as well, though I find it kind of open and boring and it gave me motion sickness. Bringing it to 2D helped a lot.
And... you know I have to say it. Sin and Punishment: Successor of the Earth, a game that some of us have discovered lately but we never even got in the West back in the days. It's pretty much the best sequel Starfox ever got that wasn't Starfox, and one of my favorite N64 games period. And the sequel is even better, so go buy it already people!
I'd also say Bangai-O, except that we never got that in the West except for on the Dreamcast, and I don't know if the N64 version is any good.
BTW I'm looking at Gamerankings right now and Super Smash Brothers didn't review all that well when it released on N64? Are you kidding me? Sure Melee came around a few years later and blew away the N64 version, but the N64 version was still super good!
@Zero The original Smash was a little rough around the edges, and I think reviewers were looking at it with a critical eye, being so different from the typical fighting game. It was only when the series took everything to the next level, in Melee, that reviewers gave it its due. And Melee is that much better than N64 Smash.
It is much better, but the original Smash Brothers is like... high 7s on Gamerankings, next to the 9s Melee and Brawl got. Even though Melee came around and blew it away, I still think the original was one of the best games on N64.
I came in here to mention Mischief Makers, but I see Zero beat me to it!
I'll second Yoshi's Story and Bust-A-Move '99, and also throw out mentions for Doom 64, Pokemon Puzzle League, and Rayman 2: The Great Escape.
@DungeonO I had forgotten all about Tonic Trouble! I remember renting it and finding it hilarious how this one carrot boss in the beginning would fight you each time you replayed the stage, but the introduction speech was different, because it would always be a different friend or relative of the original carrot boss you killed
@anon_mastermind I didn't look at game reviews at the time the original SSB came out (aside from Nintendo Power's, if you count those), so I didn't know about its mediocre scores at the time. It was definitely one of my favorite games back in the day though. In retrospect however, I think Super Smash Bros. Melee improved on it in nearly every way. About the only thing I would have changed about Melee is choosing some different N64 stages to visit in Melee, as Kongo Jungle, Kirby's Dream Land, and Yoshi's Island were probably my three least favorite stages in the N64 game. They should have had places like Saffron City or Hyrule Castle! And the removal of Board the Platforms was a little disappointing, but Melee was still awesome despite that.
I've never met anyone else who ever even heard of Hybrid Heaven. I remember all the hype that was built up around this game and its "hybrid" gameplay, mixing RPG and brawling. I bought it. I beat it. It was alright. I remember loving the game, and then getting all the way to the end and saying... that's it... really?
And then never touching it again.
I'll third or fourth Mischief Makers.
Blast Corps was tons of mindless, knock stuff down or blow stuff up as fast as you can fun.
One of my favorite games of all time. I still own the original cartridge but would love to play it in 480p on the VC.
And does anyone want to comment on what the best version of Rayman 2 is? (N64 or PS1). I've never played the game, but saw it on PSN and was interested. I don't want to get it if it's an inferior version though.
If you're adding Bomberman: Second Attack, could I count Bomberman 64 as an obscure game? Because I also adored that one...I got every gold card and costume, and I'd do it again if it were released on the VC.