Posted by: seanmalstrom | May 1, 2017

Email: N64

Howdy again, Malstrom!

So, I was perusing some of your older posts (just to get caught up, as it had been awhile since I visited your website), and one of the themes I happened upon is your apparent loathing of the N64 (“Controller looked like a spaceship” – that’s more than a little harsh!).

Now, don’t get me wrong – everybody’s entitled to their own opinions, and video games are no different. Far be it for me to ever try and convince somebody else to like the same games that I do!! I also get your point of not caring for Mario in 3d, as that’s absolutely a personal opinion as to whether you like that style of game or not.

I do want to point out though, that the one thing the N64 did exceptionally well, was the implementation of four controllers – that was a big deal, back then! I remember the first time I put Mario Party on when I had some friends over (guys that were absolute PlayStation fanatics!!), and they just could not get enough of that game! We would be up to 4am playing game after game after game – it was incredibly addictive! Yes, the N64 was a ‘3d machine’ on the surface, but one of those ‘hidden’ Nintendo gems you seem to notice in their other systems and appreciate, was the localized social playability of that system. And for that one reason alone, I honestly don’t think it deserves the amount of hate you consistently lump on it.
…oh, and by the way, the other thing I loved about my N64 (and one of the very same things you seem to love about the Switch), was the fact that the games were on cartridges!! I loved Nintendo for sticking with cartridges, at a time when everybody was demanding CD-ROM. Sure, it was done solely for control and profit, but as a collector I love nothing more than owning cartridges – discs have always felt ‘cheap’ and flimsy to me. Give me a hefty cartridge any day, over a disc!

Stop the N64 hate!

 

There are three main game console markets: Japan, North America, and Europe. (I am not forgetting South America, Australia, New Zealand, and the rest. It is simply those markets are not as large as the big three.)

The NES DOMINATED (i.e. monopoly) Japan and North America. NES had limited exposure in Europe because Nintendo of America was constantly being taken to court in America (often by Atari, the sore loser).

During Generation 4, Super Nintendo largely dominated Japan (there was some PC-Engine action going there), Sega Megadrive largely dominated Europe, and SNES and Genesis were even in America with SNES coming out on top at the end (thanks to Donkey Kong Country).

Generation 5, N64 sold at the same rate as the PS1 in America for a while until, I believe, the release of Final Fantasy 7. Then PS1 overtook N64. N64 flopped in Europe and Japan.

Generation 6, Gamecube sold almost as much as the Xbox did in America, but it flopped everywhere.

Generation 7, Wii everywhere.

Generation 8, Wii U flopped everywhere.

Generation 9, Switch time! We will see where this goes.

N64 was probably the worst console Nintendo ever put out. Aside from a handful of titles that gave it some traction in America, no one bought the N64. The N64 introduced a new way of thinking for Nintendo which was: “Fuck you. Every game we will make now will be in 3d. Fuck you.” Under this grand philosophy, Nintendo would make the Gamecube which sunk their market even further.

Under no consideration can the N64 be considered a ‘success’.

Mario 64 almost destroyed the Mario brand with that stupid voice and ramming 3d down everyone’s throats. Mario 64’s sales were not impressive, sorry.

Zelda: Ocarina of Time, despite its great sales, destroyed its franchise by delivering the series to Aonuma where, until Breath of the Wild, every Zelda game would be a Ocarina Remake With Aonuma-isms.

No Metroid.

Mario Kart 64 has aged the worse of all the Mario Karts.

The N64 controller alienated people.

I see the N64 as the source of the poison that would tear 1980s Nintendo apart. It would be funny if Nintendo makes a N64-Mini, and no one buys it. The demand for it is going to be tepid.

When I came on the scene, N64 was praised left and right. I couldn’t figure it out. Then I realized there are three reasons why N64 was being praised.

One: Nostalgia.

The best console is going to be the one you grew up with. I have nostalgia over the Vectrex. While I argue its graphics have aged the best out of all consoles (ohhh, those lines! Those vectors!), it is just a Vectrex.

Personally, I wish there was more said about the Sega Saturn which did have many great games (not just those rare ones) for it and is largely not heard much about. Yeah, the Saturn destroyed Sega, but N64 destroyed Nintendo’s home console business market. That cannot be denied.

Two: Nintendo developers LOVE the N64 and its 3d Manifest Destiny

Miyamoto has a sick, sick obsession with 3d. If you tell a Nintendo developer, “I love the game you loved making,” they will go, “That’s right! We need to make more of them!” If you tell a Nintendo developer, “I love the game you hated making,” they will go, “What!? You don’t really like it. It is just stupid nostalgia. You really want the game I enjoy making.” This has been the Nintendo policy since the N64 Era.

“We want more 2d Mario.” Fuck you. Here is more 3d Mario.

“We want Zelda more like the original.” Fuck you. Here is more Ocarina of Time.

With the success of Breath of the Wild, it blows up the last remaining pillar of the N64: Ocarina of Time. I’ve always thought Ocarina of Time was like a GTA before GTA. People liked the freedom of that game. Most people didn’t even COMPLETE Ocarina of Time which worried Miyamoto. But with the sales of BoW “Wow!”, it is clear Zelda sells as an Open World experience, not a ‘Ocarina Formula With Aonuma Puzzles’ experience.

After the N64, Nintendo abandoned the GAMEPLAY of the NES and SNES. This is reason enough to despise the N64. It also destroyed Nintendo’s home market.

Nintendo revived the N64 spirit with the 3DS and consequently nearly destroyed their handheld market. No one gives a shit about 3d. When will Nintendo learn???

It was the disaster of the N64 Era where the Nintendo President, Yamauchi, resigned. Iwata became president after the Gamecube launched.

And to top it off, the N64 games have not aged nearly as well as the 16-bit or 8-bit era. At least PS1 and Saturn had awesome 2d games, but N64 was, “No, we are 3d and only do 3d. Fuck you, Malstrom!” So I and the market fucked the N64 right back.

You don’t hear much about me with the Virtual Boy or Wii U because it is universally accepted those consoles are failures. But with Nintendo and many people such as yourself, you still hold the N64 as if it wasn’t the worst thing ever to happen to Nintendo which I take as denial of reality.

Nintendo cannot afford to deny reality. They will lose billions. They denied reality and ended up with the 3DS and Wii U disasters.

Also, Mario Party is not a Nintendo developed game. It is a Hudson game. And Hudson is dead now.

Above: He’s not wrong.

Three: Competitors loved the N64

It was common to see an executive or third party developer or game journalist praise the N64 and its games. Nintendo fans would squeal and go, “See? See? The games ARE good! My tastes are redeemed!” But they were so easily played.

Of COURSE Nintendo’s competitors praise the console that destroys Nintendo’s market. Nintendo competitors say, “Make more games like Mario 64. Oh yes!” Games like Mario Galaxy were ‘praised’ by all. They knew 3d Mario wasn’t going to do anything. But when NSMB Wii was shown off, the hate spewed fast and furious. Why? NSMB Wii moved hardware which is not what Nintendo’s competitors want.

You don’t see Nintendo praising the PS1 or PS2, do you? No, Nintendo wants Sony to make more PS3s or Vitas.

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