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Nintendo 64's 20th Anniversary

Sep 30, 2016

By: Max Cannon

The Nintendo 64 was the first console my parents ever bought for me, so it was incredibly influential in my love of video games. Though it originally released on June 23, 1996 in Japan it didn't hit my home in North America until September 26th of that same year. There were a handful of games that I loved on that console at 7 years old when it came into my arms on Christmas Eve but there are some games that mean more than others. Though I loved playing Pokémon Snap it was far from the best that the console had to offer. 

Nintendo 64 ConsoleNintendo 64Courtesy of Nintendo

Super Smash Bros.

I spent many of my gaming hours playing alone in a corner of my bedroom but some of the most fun was when I sat on a couch next to my friends and family and beat their butts. Super Smash Bros, was the ultimate multiplayer game. A cast of characters that I had grown to love from Mario to Link made for one of the best rosters in any fighting game, this seemed like a game that a friend would make up on the playground, I mean come on "a game where Luigi can beat up Pikachu with a light saber on Yoshi's Island" sounds too good to be true.

Super Smash Bros set the bar for mascot fighters and it set it high. It's combat is unique but easy to understand, rather than get your opponents down to no health you'll be trying to knock them off the map. Each stage has items falling from the sky to help you beat your friends into orbit. And struggling to get that little bit of air you need to barely make it back to the platform will have you sitting on the edge of your couch. Man, I want to go home and pop this game back in.

Super Smash Bros' Box Art for the Nintendo 64.Super Smash Bros' Box Art for the Nintendo 64.Courtesy of Nintendo

The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time

Not having experience Metal Gear Solid on the PlayStation, I had never played such a cinematic game as The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time. I was a dumb kid and spent months and months stuck on the first three stages and when I finished that third level up I had seen the most mind blowing twist of my life - I also wasn't allowed to watch The Sixth Sense yet. I couldn't believe games were as open as Ocarina of Time, when I first walked out to Hyrule Field and took the long walk to the castle I didn't even notice that the sun had gone down both in game and real life, I lost sense of time with that game. The graphics, the story, the music, the world, the gameplay, everything about this game is as perfect then as it is now.

Fun fact: Shockingly enough, Zelda had a positive impact on my schooling. I was so obsessed with this game that I forced myself to become a better reader just so I could fully absorb the walls of text the game threw at me, a daunting task for a 7 year old.

If you haven't played this game you're missing out, if you don't have access to it on the Nintendo 64 there is a fantastic remake on the Nintendo 3DS. Play it.

This screen looked less blurry back in the day.This screen looked less blurry back in the day.Courtesy of Nintendo

Super Mario 64

Another fun fact: I wet my pants playing this game in a Wal-Mart when I was 5 years old. My mom sent me off to run to the bathroom and I went to the electronics section to play some Mario. 

Even that emotionally scarring memory can't deter my fond memories of this game. Super Mario 64 is a perfectly paced game and probably the best game to ever be a part of a launch library. Every second of this game is fun. Learning the different jumps, slides, and cheap ways to speed through the game makes Super Mario 64 a definitive "easy to learn, hard to master" game. Each step of this game is charming, from the cute start screen to the grunt of Mario as he spins Bowser in circles. This is the perfect example of a game that is pure and simple fun.

The box that Super Mario 64 came in.The box that Super Mario 64 came in.Courtesy of Box My Game
Have Your Say!

I clearly have a weird love of the Nintendo 64, but what about you? What was your first console? What memories do you have of it? Share your thoughts below!