Previously on My Gaming History…
The Nintendo 64 was released in North America at the end of September in 1996. Nintendo made the courageous and possibly controversial decision to produce another console that relied on cartridges for their games rather than switching to a disc, as Nintendo’s two main competitors had done for the 5th console generation. Both the Sony PlayStation and the Sega Saturn made that jump and had all of their games on CD.
I have to confess, though… I never personally owned a Nintendo 64.
I rode the wave of the Super Nintendo as far as I possibly could. And that got me all the way through the spring of 1998 when I got my hands on a PlayStation. But I’ll save that story for next time. Because even though I did not have a 64 of my very own, I would be remiss to not at least touch on my experience with the console.
That means this post will be short, but so be it.
My cousin got his hands on a Nintendo 64 not too long after it was released. So it was at his house that I first played the system. At the time, the only game he had was Super Mario 64, which I’m pretty sure came in the box. I could be wrong about that… But, honestly, how dumb is it for a console to sell without a game that comes with it. So Super Mario 64 had to have come with the console, right?
Anyway, the first time I got the Nintendo 64 controller in my hand I thought the thing was stupid. It’s got three handles! I only have two hands! The controller, to this day, has never made sense to me. And I blamed the controller for how badly I played Super Mario 64 that first time. I have since come to realize I basically suck at 3D games. I spent so many of my formidable video game playing years getting used to 2D side scrollers that I just wasn’t ready for the transition to three dimensions.
I disliked the system so much that I don’t even remember playing any other games at my cousin’s house outside of those few attempts at Super Mario 64. In fact, it wasn’t until my junior year of college that I would find myself playing the system once more.
One of the guys down the hall had one and would often host split screen tournaments of Goldeneye and Tetris in his room. How impressive was it that we played four player split screen games on a 13″ television. It was rough.
As with any other first person shooter, I was awful at Goldeneye. But my friends and I played so much Tetris that we all experienced what is legitimately known as the “Tetris Effect.” This happens when you play games like Tetris and find that you still see the pieces falling when you’re away from the game. It’s so much worse at night when you’re closing your eyes to try and sleep. You find yourself trying to make those Tetris pieces fall in the right spots using only your mind.
I’m sorry to say that’s really all I have to say about my time with the Nintendo 64. Because I skipped this generation of Nintendo consoles, I missed out on the introduction of Super Smash Bros. to the world and neglected two extremely popular releases from the Legend of Zelda franchise: Ocarina of Time and Majora’s Mask. Actually, now that I really think about it, A Link to the Past may be the last Zelda game I ever devoted any serious time to and that was way back on the SNES.
Did you have a Nintendo 64? What were some of your favorite games? Let me know your thoughts down in the comments below!