This is the tale of how a young gamer finally decided to purchase a 20-year-old Nintendo 64 and is having ten times more fun on it than the PlayStation 4.
The 90s was such an exciting time in the world of entertainment. The WWF and WCW were going head to head on a weekly basis, attempting to put one another out of the wrestling business in the iconic Monday Night Wars. Men with strange haircuts, long coats and a love of naughty nose sherbet were claiming their support for either Oasis or Blur. Then, there was the console war.
Nintendo was one of the first companies to bring the gaming world from its sombre slump following the infamous visual bowel movement that was the ET game for the Atari. Everything changed with the release of the Nintendo Entertainment System (NES). Super Mario, Zelda, Mike Tyson’s Punch Out, Contra – I could go on.
However, while Mario was rescuing Princess Peach during a heavy mushroom addiction, I was over on camp SEGA, speeding through jungles and casinos as Sonic the Hedgehog with that annoyingly slow two-tailed fox, Tails on my friend’s Mega Drive. (Side note – Just writing about Tails now is making me think about the bonus stages on Sonic 2 where you have to collect rings while walking through a half-pipe course. Why does he jump a second after I do, thus getting hit by bombs and losing rings, therefore stripping me of my chance to get that sweet chaos emerald? I hate him so much.)
Nintendid Nothing For Me
For a long time as a kid, Nintendo was just the Game Boy and struggling to see the screen when in a car at night. I was purely SEGA and Sony. I didn’t know anyone who owned a Nintendo console so, whenever I wasn’t re-enacting the WWF steroid trial with my wrestling toys, I played on whatever console was around. I always preferred more realistic action type games and Nintendo was more family friendly, so other than the Game Boy, Nintendid nothing for me.
As the mid to latter end of the 90s appeared, Nintendo raced ahead in the console war, having released the Nintendo 64 (N64). Starfox 64, Super Mario 64, WWF No Mercy and *Lovable sigh* Goldeneye 007 were once again just a few of the stellar titles. It’s the latter that really makes my heart all gooey and beat like normal humans. I remember seeing this game for the first time while on a trip to Canada for a wedding (not mine as I was eight at the time) in a family friend’s son’s basement bedroom. James Bond is one of the greatest action movie characters of all time, along with John McClane and the ball chinian in Men In Black 2. Goldeneye 007 looked like an amazing game, but I never pursued it and went on with my Sony-centric purchases.
Appreciating 90s gaming in the modern era
Now, skipping 20 years to 2018, after purchasing every PlayStation and Xbox Console, I now find myself living in a world where nostalgia is king and the appreciation of the 80s and 90s gaming scene has had a mainstream resurgence over the last couple of years. This is most notable in the NES and Super NES with their miniature versions packed with countless classic games all built into their tiny units (size doesn’t matter). This is where my sudden interest has arisen. Gaming right now is somewhat in a strange place. We’re getting movie style quality acting and insanely realistic graphics, but somehow it lacks that wow factor that makes us think so fondly of “the good old days”.
For a long time, I wanted to own a Nintendo 64. Just so I could play WWF No Mercy and of course, my ultimate goal, Goldeneye. I tried playing these games through various other methods but it never felt right. I knew I needed to play it as it should be. With a cartridge and wired controllers (Google it, kids).
Then, on one relatively plausible Saturday afternoon, I finally did it. I purchased myself a Nintendo 64! It felt strange at first, considering many have moved on and are appreciating the current generation of consoles, but for me, I just wanted to be challenged in games again and own a piece of history.
Gaming back in the 90s just had something about it that stands the test of time. Sure there were games that had character models which looked like an acid trip at LEGOLAND and had the movements of stoned potatoes, but there are a plethora of classics that people still want to play in 2018. I currently own Goldeneye, Super Mario 64, Perfect Dark, with 007 World Is Not Enough and WWF No Mercy on their way to me. All fondly remembered and will never leave our minds.
So, how does it feel to own a Nintendo 64 in 2018? Well, I feel as if I’m buying it when it first got released and am excited about all the games I can purchase down the line. Resident Evil 2 being the biggy, however, people are charging £80 and over for a copy. Leon’s hair isn’t that good!
Who knows if this will lead to future purchases of other classic consoles, but right now I’m just enjoying the fact I accomplished my goal and purchased one of the greatest consoles in gaming history.