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Category Archives: N64

Crash Bandicoot N. Sane Trilogy

The 3D Platformer: How 1996 Witnessed the Birth of a Genre

In 1996, the 3D platformer was born. That’s not technically true, of course, as the first 3D platformer was almost certainly a French game called Alpha Waves that came out in 1990. But Alpha Waves failed to kickstart the 3D platformer genre, and very few people would be comfortable citing its influence on the genre. I’d even argue that it’s been largely forgotten by mainstream gaming culture. It simply came out too early and for the Atari ST, a system that few people owned. Jumping Flash! is another 3D platformer that pre-dates that 1996 mark as well. It launched for the original PlayStation in November of 1995. It too failed to make a significant mark on the genre, though it had the luxury of launching for the PlayStation so it’s better known than Alpha Waves.…

Remastered Turok 2: Seeds of Evil Coming to PC with Multiplayer

The folks at Night Dive Studios have confirmed a remastered version of Turok 2: Seeds of Evil will be hitting PCs on March 16, 2017. This isn’t incredibly surprising, as the studio released a slightly touched up version of the original  Turok: Dinosaur Hunter on December 17, 2015, and it’s been assumed for a while now that Turok 2 would follow. But what is surprising is the addition of multiplayer. Night Dive has added a new gameplay mode called “Last Turok Standing,” which, according to a press release, will let players “battle with friends for an even more visceral gaming experience.” It sounds like a pretty standard deathmatch, but its addition is a welcome one for anybody who’s ever wanted to use Turok‘s assortment of sci-fi guns on their friends (digitally, of course). I actually spent a good deal of time with Night Dive’s remaster of Turok: Dinosaur Hunter.…
GoldenEye 007

The Making of GoldenEye 007

GoldenEye 007 for the N64 is a landmark game that solidified the 4-player multiplayer shooter genre. It was a staple of dorm rooms and living rooms across the nation at the end of the 1990s. On September 2, 2004, Martin Hollis, director and producer of the game, delivered a long speech about the development process at the 2004 European Developers Forum. Below is a full transcript of the speech, courtesy of the now-defunct site Zoonami. Picture the scene: It’s E3. June 1997. GoldenEye the movie came out an embarrassing 2 years ago. The next Bond film has already finished shooting. It’s called Tomorrow Never Dies. It will be released in a few months. The world’s most famous FPS, Doom is ancient history.…
Super Mario 64

Super Mario 64 Was Ultra Game Player Magazine’s 1996 Game of the Year

1996 was a great year for Mario. The smash hit Super Mario 64 launched September 29 in North America (June 23 in Japan), and it was immediately hailed as a masterpiece. In fact, Next Generation magazine gave it the #1 slot on their list of “Top 100 Games of All Time” before the game was even out in the US (they’d received an early copy for review, so they had played it by then). In their 92nd issue (Holiday ’96), Ultra Game Players magazine called Super Mario 64 “The Best Overall Game of the Year,” and they acknowledged that folks (such as those writing for Next Generation) had already taken to calling it “the greatest videogame of all time.” Ultra Game Players praised its depth, the hugeness of its 3D world, and its clean visual aesthetic, among other things.…
Zelda Toys

The Legend of Zelda 30th Anniversary – Celebrate with Us

February 21, 2016, marks the 30-year anniversary of the Japanese release of The Legend of Zelda. We here at Retrovolve are longtime fans of the franchise, and we wanted to find a fitting way to celebrate such a milestone with our staff and readers. So we’ve compiled a list of some of our favorite Zelda-related things we’ve published and we thought it’d be fun to share those. You’ll find them below in no particular order. The Legend of Zelda: The Wind Waker Is a Beautiful, Profound Masterpiece Josh Wirtanen explains why he thinks The Wind Waker is one of the best video games ever made, looking at the art, story, and emotional impact of the game. Read it here. A Link to the Past and the Mystery of Link’s Missing Pants Mandi Odoerfer explores the instruction manual art of the Zelda series to get to the bottom of a strange mystery: Where are Link’s pants?…
Turok Dinosaur Hunter

Turok: Dinosaur Hunter Tip: Use the Map Overlay as a Reticle

Turok: Dinosaur Hunter originally came out in 1997, and it shows (even in the 2015 remastered version). That’s not necessarily a bad thing, though. While it lacks modern-day FPS features like ADS (aim-down-sites) and target reticles, it really nails the slick, arcadey corridor shooter thing. Admittedly, those attuned to the more user-friendly shooters of today might find the lack of reticle a bit disorienting. Thankfully, there’s a dirty technique that will make this much less frustrating. The minimap overlay (pictured below) has a yellow arrow (it looks like an upside-down V) that can be used as the same purpose. Take note that your guns still won’t be 100% accurate, but it certainly makes popping headshots a bit easier. And, in later levels where enemies soak up more bullets and ammo tends to be slightly more scarce, this can be a life saver.…
Project Dream

Project Dream: Rare Shows Footage of Legendary Unreleased SNES/N64 Game

Rare is the company behind beloved games like Battletoads, Banjo-Kazooie, and GoldenEye 007. They served quite a long stint as a second-party developer for Nintendo, working on classics like Donkey Kong Country. Needless to say, they’ve long been an influential and important development studio with an impressive list of masterpiece games on their resume. Of course, there was one game, commonly referred to as Project Dream, that never saw the light of day. It was originally going to launch on the Super Nintendo, but then focus re-shifted and the game was going to come to the N64 instead. While it never actually came out, it sort of served as the fertile soil that Banjo-Kazooie would be planted it. Rare has finally told the story of its development, and has shown of some footage of the game that never was.…
Turok Dinosaur Hunter

The Remastered Turok Game Feels Like a Rendezvous with an Old Friend

When I was growing up, I had a PlayStation and my step-brothers had a Nintendo 64. Each was hooked up to a separate TV in a separate room, so it wasn’t rare to see our collective attention split between the two. However, there were occurrences when a game would captivate all of us simultaneously, and we’d gather around a single TV, oftentimes passing a controller around and sharing our game time. Since I only lived with my step family for a little over a year, this was one of the few things the step-brothers and I actually got to do as a group. I have very fond memories of bonding over Jet Moto, Super Mario 64, and, of course, Final Fantasy VII.…
Turok Remastered

Turok Remastered Brings Turok: Dinosaur Hunter Back from 1997

Everyone’s favorite dino hunter, my main man Turok, is back for another round of FPS madness. Night Dive Studios (the same studio behind the upcoming System Shock remake) has taken the time to carefully remaster the original 1997 Turok: Dinosaur Hunter game (the PC version, not the N64 version) and put it back into the public consciousness. It’s available on GOG right now (and if you get it right now, you’ll save 20%). If you need any convincing at all, I’ve posted a gameplay trailer below. If the shot of a velociraptor holding a gigantic freaking gun doesn’t force a spontaneous purchase, than I have no idea who you even are.…

N64 and the Miraculous Success of Expensive Toys

Looking back, it’s easy to point to Nintendo’s use of cartridges as the N64’s biggest misstep. Knowing what we do now, the choice makes Nintendo look like a stick-in-the-mud, a company too stubborn and out of touch to realize that the times were a-changin’. But in 1994, things weren’t quite so clear-cut. Back then, CD-Rom technology was still fairly costly, and to many, they looked like an easy way to price yourself out of the market. When Nintendo announced their decision, many praised them for their business acumen, believing that high-priced CD-only systems would never be embraced by gamers. One of those people was Ed Semrad, then-editor of Electronic Gaming Monthly. Semrad’s comments are particularly interesting not just because he praised Nintendo, but what he praised Nintendo for: for understanding that consoles were essentially expensive toys.…
gold n64

The N64 Era Was a Great Time to Buy Video Games

Recently, our Editor-in-chief pointed out that the prices for N64 games were completely ridiculous. Junk puzzlers like Tetrisphere retailed for nearly $70; major releases like Turok and Killer Instinct Gold cost even more. Cartridge manufacturing and the increased cost of development were a deadly combination, and amassing a sizable collection of N64 games was a costly proposition. But while the prices bordered on astronomical, the cost isn’t really what I remember about that era. For me, it was a glorious time to buy video games, high prices and all. The Nintendo 64 launched in 1996, smack in the middle of my baby-sitting prime. Within a year of its release, I had an actual job and actual paychecks, all of which I could use to spend on video games.…

Ocarina of Time: How My Journey Through Hyrule Made Me A Better Person

I am fully aware that you have been beaten over the head with Ocarina of Time love for the past fifteen years. There is even a bit of apprehension on my part for venturing down a path so often traveled. As strong as my desire to offer forth unique reading material is, it needs to take a backseat in this instance. Sometimes, I must simply recognize something for truly remarkable and not worry about how recycled the take may be. The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time for the Nintendo 64 changed my life. I would usually chuckle at anyone suggesting that a video game had such a profound effect on their existence, but I have no choice but to concede that a plastic cartridge greatly assisted in my growth as a human being. I can still visualize my first experience with the game with the utmost clarity.…
Star Fox 64

N64 Games Were Ridiculously Expensive When They First Came Out

People seem to view past generations of gaming with nostalgia-tinted glasses, and I’ve encountered a fair share of forum chatters around the Internet who seem to remember games being a lot less expensive than they actually were. So I did some research (to be more accurate, I forced Retrovolve’s Mandi to do some research for me) and dug up MSRP (Manufacturer’s Suggested Retail Price) information for a slew of N64 titles for comparison. These prices come from various issues of GamePro, which listed MSRP prices alongside their game reviews. Here’s what I found: Killer Instinct Gold – $79.99 (Source: GamePro #101) Turok: Dinosaur Hunter – $79.99 (Source: GamePro #103) Star Fox 64 – $79.95 (Source: GamePro #106) Multi Racing Championship – $79.95…
Ocarina of Time Demo

Ocarina of Time Could Have Been the Ugliest Zelda Game of All Time

The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time is one of the most beloved video games ever made. But, believe it or not, at one point in its development history, it looked like this: This is a shot of the Zelda 64 demo that Nintendo showed off while it was gearing up to release the Ultra 64 (which became the Nintendo 64 before it hit store shelves). This screencap comes from the February of 1996 issue of Next Generation magazine, so the general public wouldn’t get its hands on the actual game for over two and a half more years. It was a radically different game at that point. It was initially supposed to be a launch title for the 64DD (or “Bulky Drive”), a compact disc add-on to the N64 (think Nintendo’s answer to the Sega CD) that never launched outside of Japan.…
Super Mario 64

Super Mario 64 Is Not the Best Video Game of All Time (But Don’t Tell 1996 That)

The September, 1996 issue of Next Generation magazine’s cover story was a list of the top 100 games of all time, which they promised would be “extremely controversial.” And perhaps it was, with the number one spot devoted to Super Mario 64. Almost two decades later, that seems a tad bit unreasonable. Don’t get me wrong, Super Mario 64 is one of the most important games of the 1990s, and it absolutely deserves to be on a top 100 list. But the number one spot? It makes a lot more sense when you consider the context. That game was brand new when that issue came out, and it had just ushered in the 3D era in glorious fashion. It blew our minds because it was proof that game developers had unlocked a whole new world of game design possibilities.…
Pokémon Stadium

Pokémon Stadium Brought the Pokémon Craze to Our TVs in 2000

Any gamer my age will recollect with much fondness the Pokémon craze of the late 90s. What started as an innocent-enough JRPG for Nintendo’s Game Boy handheld exploded into a worldwide phenomenon and masterfully-executed scheme by Nintendo to take absolutely all of your money. There were spinoffs, cartoon series’, trading card games, comic books, action figures, and more. Anything you can imagine, Nintendo stamped a Pokémon logo on it shipped it to store shelves where legions of Poké-crazed juveniles gladly surrendered every cent of their allowances. I was most definitely one of them. Pokémon Red/Blue/Yellow were some of the most successful video games in history. The game had an incredibly attractive premise: Collect as many monsters as you can and battle them against anybody that was brave enough to test you.…
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Crash Bandicoot N. Sane Trilogy
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Pokemon Nintendo Power
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