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Super Player's Journey 64; Mop_it_up's gaming blog
Topic Started: Jan 1 2010, 03:51 AM (1,980 Views)
Mop it up
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My New Year's Resolution is to play every single one of my Nintendo 64 games!

I just decided I should do this whilst lying in bed so I thought I'd post it here to encourage myself to do it. I'll post more details when I think of them, but yeah, I'm going to use this year to play every last one of my Nintendo 64 games at least once. There are 296 games and 356 days in the year, so that isn't even one a day.

I've spent more quality time with a packet of crisps than I have with many of my N64 games. Considering I could munch through even a big bag of crisps in five minutes, I came up with a figure of a minimum of 30 minutes for each game, as that seems like enough time to at least make a decent first impression. It would also allow me to play more than one game in a day, as I'll need to play six a week to keep on track. If I find a game I like and want to continue, I can make a note of it, which is sort of what I'll be doing by posting impressions here. I may or may not come back to the games at a later point.

If anyone out there owns the games in the upcoming queue, I encourage you to play the games as well. I'll be working alphabetically, so use this list of North America releases as a schedule:

http://s9.zetaboards.com/Nintendo_64_Forever/topic/7041205/1/?x=90#new

The list so far:
1080 Snowboarding
A Bug's Life
Aero Fighters Assault
AeroGauge
Aidyn Cronicles: The First Mage
All-Star Baseball '99, 2000, 2001
All-Star Tennis '99
Armorines: Project S.W.A.R.M.
Army Men Air Combat
Edited by Mop it up, Jan 26 2010, 05:33 PM.
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alxbly
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Go for it, Mop_it_up! Let us know which games you have played in this very topic and we can play those same games, then discuss their good bits and bad bits.
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dataDyne
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One question: what do you define as 'playing'? Are you going to pop each game in for a few minutes, or are you making a concentrated effort to play each game properly?
Give this man a fish, and he can throw it up eleven times
-alxbly
PSN: LifeIsPreachy
Mario Kart Wii: 0088 - 2869 - 9843
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alxbly
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dataDyne
Jan 1 2010, 06:28 PM
One question: what do you define as 'playing'? Are you going to pop each game in for a few minutes...
Lol, that sounds like my definition. ^_^
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dataDyne
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That's what happens when you buy more video games than packets of crisps. ^_^
Give this man a fish, and he can throw it up eleven times
-alxbly
PSN: LifeIsPreachy
Mario Kart Wii: 0088 - 2869 - 9843
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I've spent more time with a packet of crisps than I have with many of my N64 games, that's why I'm doing this!

That's the question I've been considering though, exactly how much time do I want to put into each one? Considering I could munch through even a big bag of crisps in five minutes, I'm thinking it needs to be at least longer than that. I came up with a figure of a minimum of 30 minutes for each one, as that seems like enough time to at least make a decent first impression. It would also allow me to play more than one game in a day, as I'll need to play six a week to keep on track. If I find a game I like and want to continue, I can make a note of it, which is sort of what I'll be doing by posting impressions here. I may or may not come back to the games at a later point.
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alxbly
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30 mins is usually long enough to form a quick impression on a game, although if you really like the game I imagine you'll end up spending much more time with it. :)
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Applepieman
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Woot, are you gonna create a topic, and make a daily "diary" of your game(s) of the day?
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I wanted to get started on this over the weekend, but on early Saturday morning I had a little accident which resulted in a mild concussion. Perhaps I'll be up for starting tomorrow.
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dataDyne
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Yikes, what happened? Hope you didn't hurt yourself too bad.
Give this man a fish, and he can throw it up eleven times
-alxbly
PSN: LifeIsPreachy
Mario Kart Wii: 0088 - 2869 - 9843
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danny_galaga
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So i'm guessing quite a few of these games you've bought but never played before?

Oh, and sorry to hear about your concussion. While you recuperate, you can play some games (",)
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I'm sorry, but I don't really want to go into the details because it is kind of personal.

In any case, I'm going to officially kick this off tomorrow by starting with 1080* Snowboarding. I rented this one back in the day but I don't remember much of it, other than a general thought that it was too realistic. I've not played it ever since owning it, so this could be interesting. I encourage anyone out there who owns it to give it a quick go as well.
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alxbly
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I'll give it a go. :) It's been ages since I played 1080.
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1080 Snowboarding

Like I mentioned earlier, I rented this one back in the day. I started with a little of the Training mode, then I played a bit of the Contest mode and a few of the Match Races. I now remember why I didn't like it: the control doesn't seem very good. After making a jump, you have to be almost perfectly lined up with the ground in order to land without stumbling or crashing. Any of the trick modes are unnecessarily difficult because of this, not to mention how precise you have to be with directions to get the right tricks to perform. I still can't tell if you have to hold forward on the analogue stick to maintain speed or just to accelerate. You have a damage meter in the Match Race, and it's actually more difficult to simply make it to the finish than it is to beat your rival.

As far as presentation is concerned, it has a few nice touches. Snow flies up when making tight turns, and the clothes of the boarder are blown in the wind when taking a jump. The draw distance is pretty good, and the textures are mostly smooth. There is some slight clipping with the board and the ground though. The sound department is lacking however. The music is pretty awful, but I can't go into much more detail there. The sparse sound effects seem soft and muted, and the few voice samples feel forced and lack enthusiasm.

Score: 5/10
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A Bug's Life

A platformer based on the movie with the same title, don't expect this to be reviewed as highly. You play the role of the ant named Flik, and your main skills are jumping and tossing berries. Main skills? I should say, your only skills. The goal of each level is not to simply reach the end, but to collect all 50 grains, the four letters which spell "Flik", and defeat all enemies using the golden berries item. You can still move on to the next level simply by reaching the end, so I don't know what would happen by collecting everything. And frankly, I don't care to know. You can't make me.

The enemies, in fact, will respawn within seconds if you defeat them using any other berry besides the golden one. There is not much warning when and where they will appear, so they very well could appear right on you. The golden berry item sometimes isn't found until near the end, causing backtracking to get them all.

This one gave me sore eyes in the thirty long minutes I managed to play it. Everything is so grainy especially when combined with the choppy framerate, but the short draw distance is more of a hindrance than anything else. The music is forgettable, I just got done playing it and I can't recall the game even having music. The sound effects are scarce and consist mostly of the squashing sound of tossing berries, and the voice samples spoken by your character get old fast.

The story most likely follows the movie but I've not seen it since it was first released on home video. It is told between levels using a couple of stills which I imagine are taken from the film, along with subtitles. They are of course grainy like the rest of the game, largely due to the decreased resolution of the N64. It likely follows the general progression of the movie, starting with the ant hill, moving through the field with the bird, and going to the city. That's the first five levels, and I don't know how many more there are after that.

I didn't have a memory card inserted in the controller as I predicted I wouldn't want to come back to the game. I was right.

Score: 4/10
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dataDyne
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I played the PSX version of A Bug's Life many years ago, and I recall it being just as terrible. The graphics probably weren't as grainy, but instead were unbelievably choppy and blocky (even for PSX standards). All the textures just kind of molded into a blurry mess of colour. Yuck.

However, it did, of course, have the benefit of CG movies rather than stills (at least I think so...).
Give this man a fish, and he can throw it up eleven times
-alxbly
PSN: LifeIsPreachy
Mario Kart Wii: 0088 - 2869 - 9843
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macN64
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Mop_it_up
Jan 7 2010, 10:57 PM
1080 Snowboarding

I now remember why I didn't like it: the control doesn't seem very good. After making a jump, you have to be almost perfectly lined up with the ground in order to land without stumbling or crashing. Any of the trick modes are unnecessarily difficult because of this, not to mention how precise you have to be with directions to get the right tricks to perform. I still can't tell if you have to hold forward on the analogue stick to maintain speed or just to accelerate. You have a damage meter in the Match Race, and it's actually more difficult to simply make it to the finish than it is to beat your rival.
Did you notice that when you pressed Z, your character crouched down, causing you to go faster? When landing a jump, you have to crouch (press z) before you hit the ground. Think about it - if you jumped up in the air and landed with your legs perfectly straight, it would hurt. I don't blame you if you didn't know this, it's never really explained to you in the game. I think I found out about it in the cheat section of a magazine. Landing a jump is not a cheat. :facepalm:
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dataDyne
Jan 8 2010, 10:13 PM
However, it did, of course, have the benefit of CG movies rather than stills (at least I think so...).
It did, but... I wouldn't think that'd make the game any better.

macN64
 
Landing a jump is not a cheat.
In 1080 it is. I was using the Hori Pad Mini and I often forget about the Z button because of that. Regardless, I still find the game to be pretty bland, and the button combos for the tricks seem needlessly difficult.
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Aero Fighters Assault

I believe I found this at the bottom of a bin at GameStop a while back, but I have not played this game before trying it here and now. This is an air combat game which is basically all dogfighting. Each level is a free-form area containing one or two "bosses" that you must defeat to clear the stage, and they are things like armour aircraft, battleships, giant robots, and more. They are supported by an unspecified number (possibly infinite) of lessor enemies such as F-type fighters, bombers, and ships, but since you have a time limit then you can't waste too much time dealing with them.

There are four different air craft to choose from which each have slightly different weapons; there may be more to unlock but I didn't play that far. You have three wingmen along with you, who presumably take up the three planes that you don't choose... I say "presumably" because not once did I ever see any of them, so I've no idea if they actually help you in any way. Oddly enough, despite that crashing into the ground or a building causes your craft to completely explode, you'll reappear high up in the air with absolutely no damage suffered. If only they could incorporate this technology into commercial airliners...

The environments are pretty scarce and consist mostly of a flat plain beneath you which represents the ground, water, or cloud cover. Fortunately this comes with a good draw distance, and the ability to spot enemies when they're a quite a bit aways from you. Some stages may have a gray block building or two, but there is never any detailed or complex scenery. The enemy planes and ships actually do have some texture work on them, but if you're that close to them then chances are it means you're crashing into them. So stop sucking. There is a noticeable drop in framerate whenever there are a lot of enemies and gunfire on screen, so the game definitely takes some adjusting. The sound effects are your standard fare, though the variety is pretty limited: all machine gun fire sounds the same, all missiles sound the same, etc. Strangely, there seems to be no sound for when your craft is hit by anything, or when you hit an enemy with machine gun fire.

For someone who likes air combat games, this one could provide an enjoyable challenge assuming the slowdown can be overlooked. As for me, it just isn't my type of game, so I don't think I'll be continuing it.

Score: 6/10

I hope Star Fox is better... :mellow:
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AeroGauge

This is another game I found in a bargain bin a while back. Not once have I ever heard anybody claim this to be a good game, much less have I heard anyone say they have played it, which doesn't give me high hopes that it's going to be the least bit enjoyable.

AeroGauge is a futuristic racer akin to F-Zero, and the main difference is that the vehicles are essentially flying and can move vertically in a limited range. Also like its brethren, the A.I. is very tough to beat, even on the Novice difficulty setting. The game has three modes: Grand Prix, Single Race, and a 2-player VS. Mode. With six short tracks and ten unbalanced vehicles, there isn't much variety to be found here. Overcoming the steep learning curve is the only place the game has any longevity.

To put it bluntly, the controls are just awkward. Hold the "A" button to accelerate, press "B" to brake (something which will never be used), and hold "Z" to drift. It sounds simple enough, but the method of achieving the turbo boost is needlessly complicated. To get the starting boost, you must hold down both the brake and accelerator, and let go of the brake when "Go!" flashes on the screen. That sounds like a good way to wear out your brakes. To achieve a turbo boost, you must hold the drift button and turn left or right, and then let go of both drift and accelerate whilst still turning. Immediately after releasing the buttons, you must then resume holding the accelerator. Perfect timing is required in order for it to work. It feels very unintuitive and doesn't seem like it could ever be performed consistently through practice; if the turbo were activated through a more user-friendly method, it would nearly eliminate the frustration factor of the controls. There is also a temperature gauge for the turbo, and if too many are used consecutively then the gauge will fill preventing you from using the boost for a while. The problem with the gauge is that it will become completely full even when it fills up to the point about two bars from the top, making it somewhat difficult to judge if another turbo can be squeezed out before it fills.

The Grand Prix consists of the four tracks available at the start. Before each race, you are required to play a 2-lap qualifier before the 3-lap race, and how good your best lap time is will determine your starting position for the real race. You can skip the qualifier if you so choose, but doing so will put you in last as your starting position. It is a good idea to drive the qualifier as a warm-up when it is your first time playing that particular track, but for repeated plays through the Grand Prix mode, it becomes largely an annoyance.

In order to take first place, you have to race flawlessly to beat the perfect CPU. Although on Novice they don't travel as fast as they can, on all difficulties they take each turn with ease and never miss a boost. Considering that failing a turbo on a tight turn can cause you to come to a complete stop, it can be very frustrating. On top of this, you are required to stay above a certain overall position that's raised with each race, and there is no option to restart a race.

The graphics are a mixed bag. There is a fair amount of texture work on the environments, but there is also quite a bit of fog and pop-up as well. Fortunately, this comes at a fairly smooth framerate (24 FPS I believe), with no slowdown that I could see even when all eight racers are visible. The music consists of mostly rock, with the N64's signature tinny electric guitar. Each track has its own tune, complete with an up-tempo remix which plays during the final lap. The music is quite repetitive, and usually doesn't last for a single lap before looping. The sound effects aren't exactly suiting of their corresponding action: vehicle engines sound like the engine noise from inside of an airplane, and activating a turbo sounds more like a car crashing into a wall.

Interestingly enough, the groundwork for a great game is here with the game's interesting track designs, relatively smooth framerate, and would-be tight control if not for the awkward method of achieving a turbo. As it stands, AeroGuage is a short-lived tough-as-nails racer for anyone who takes the time to master the spotty control scheme. Unfortunately, its difficulty comes from all the wrong reasons. By the time you grasp the controls, you've already seen everything the game has on offer, likely three times over. Stick to F-Zero for your futuristic racing fun.

Score: 5/10
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Gunstar_Legend
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I can't wait to see what you give Space Station Silicon Valley. I've heard mixed reports
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alxbly
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Mop_it_up
Jan 10 2010, 10:41 PM
AeroGauge

Score: 5/10
You've been generous with that score (IMO); the occasional decent looking track doesn't make up for the broken gameplay. Some of the tracks feel like they've been designed for another game entirely because they just don't work well with floaty racers in them. I'd give it a 3/10.

I think your Aerofighters Assualt score is spot on, though. :)
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floorcat
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Nintendo sixty-floorcat :P
Gunstar_Legend
Jan 11 2010, 03:29 AM
I can't wait to see what you give Space Station Silicon Valley. I've heard mixed reports
Then let me tell you this... if ever anyone has anything negative to say about it, you can safely label them as an idiot. :yeah: Space Station: Silicon Valley is pure gold.
Now Playing: Clash Royale (mobile), Gravity Rush 2, Project CARS, Uncharted 4 Survival Mode ᕕ( ᐛ )ᕗ
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alxbly
Jan 11 2010, 03:46 PM
Mop_it_up
Jan 10 2010, 10:41 PM
AeroGauge

Score: 5/10
You've been generous with that score (IMO); the occasional decent looking track doesn't make up for the broken gameplay. I'd give it a 3/10.
I don't know mate, I can understand your score if it's terms of something worth playing, but looking at it objectively and from a technical standpoint then I don't think it is that bad. I didn't find there to be anything particularly broken about it; it doesn't have any game-breaking glitches, it runs at a relatively smooth framerate, and it has a pretty good sense of speed. It mostly just has a considerable lack of content and poor control setup, which are of course pretty extreme negatives. Though admittedly I may have rated it a bit higher due to the potential I feel it had.

Don't ask me why (seriously, don't), but I was compelled to play it once more so I could write a review of it. It's mostly got a couple more and expanded paragraphs of what I posted up there, but it can be found here:

http://www.gamefaqs.com/console/n64/review/196550.html

At least I didn't give it an 8, eh? :yeah:

As for Aero Fighters Assault, that one was actually starting to make me queasy. It didn't help that I had a headache when I started playing, but even so, I doubt I could play it for more than a half-hour at a time.

Gunstar_Legend
 
I can't wait to see what you give Space Station Silicon Valley.
Since I am going alphabetically then that one will be a while. I played that when I first bought it a couple of years ago, and I actually couldn't get into it. There is nothing wrong with the game, it is just pretty difficult and has unclear objectives... from what I remember, anyway. It's definitely one to which I want to give a second chance. :)
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Aidyn Chronicles: The First Mage

Another game from a bargain bin a while back. I played through this entire game back then; the battles get old fast but some of the dialogue between the characters is priceless. This time around I just played the beginning sequence, as I don't think it is really worth it to play through it again.

When it comes to RPGs on the Nintendo 64, the choices are more limited than a fast-food menu. To say this is one of the best RPGs on the system sounds good at first, but doesn't actually speak much of its quality when you consider to what it is being compared. This is probably the purest RPG on the system since there are four party members, actual statistics, a money system, level grinding, a confusing, unintentionally nonsensical plot... everything a true RPG should have!

There are perhaps around sixteen or so controllable players, and there are lots of options for customization. Each of the characters' statistics and skills has its individual level, and you decide on which to spend your experience points. Not all skills can be learned by all characters, so it is important to find a good balance with your party members. What really sucks is that there is no way to revive a party member, and so that means that if the main character is killed, then it's game over man. Said character is also one of the best in the game since he can learn all skills and use all weapons, so placing him in dangerous situations can't be avoided.

The battle system is slow and clunky. Your party members tend to start on the opposite side of the field from the enemies, making the first minute or so simply moving into position. Movement speed is the pace of walking, and sometimes there is a second or two delay when choosing an action. Because the target selection is highlighted by a flashing light on an enemy rather than something more clear like an arrow, it can be difficult to tell which enemy of a group you're aiming at. Considering how a bulk of your time with the game will be spent in battles, they could stand to be more streamlined.

The expansive world in the game has quite a lot of detail to it. As you wander through the various regions on your quest, rarely will you come across repeated scenery. From deep forests to snow-covered mountains, from treacherous swaps to dry deserts, every area is different. Each town has a unique look, and even the caves are all distinguishable from one another. There is also a day/night system in place, as well as varying weather. These elements have an affect on fighting, such as the hit rate of attacks, or being spotted by a wandering enemy. It is also possible that it affects the chances of safely opening a treasure chest.

The graphics are pretty good for the most part. The environments are pretty expansive with the fog pushed quite far back, though there is some pop-up with objects like trees. Some of the textures are muddy, such as the grass, though the character models are fairly detailed. The sound is lacking for the most part. The music is pretty simple in composition and rather repetitive, and some of it isn't exactly suiting of its environment, such as the "bouncy" castle tune. The sound effects consist of mostly footsteps and the "thuds" and "thwacks" of weapons, as well as a few generic voice samples for when characters and enemies are attacked.

If you want to see what an RPG would be like on the N64 then this is it. This game has it's ups and downs: it's slow to start and the combat can get tedious, but the writing can be surprisingly witty and the leveling system allows for some customization. There are times when you have a choice of what to say and which characters to take with you, but that mostly just changes the progression of the conversations and doesn't really affect the story at all. I believe it took me about 45 hours to complete it that one time. That's a lot of time to invest in mediocrity.

Score: 5/10
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All-Star Baseball '99, 2000, and 2001

Cheap sports games I got for a buck each at a game store, I own these for collection purposes since I'm not a fan of baseball. Obviously I haven't played these before, and I don't see much point in spending much time with all three. I popped in '99 and 2000 to see what they looked like and what kind of options they had, and then I played a quick game in the 2001 edition.

Honesty is the best policy: I could see no real difference between the three games. They all had the same game modes of exhibition, season, play-offs, and home-run derby, they all had the same features of management, stat-tracking, create-a-player, etc. Beyond the stats of each player representing the season preceding the title year and some cosmetic changes like slight improvements to the graphics and differing commentary, the games are virtually identical.

The controls seem a bit complex for a game that appeals to casual players, but I guess that's necessary to offer realism. On the mound, you select the pitch you wish to use with the C-buttons, then press the A button to throw it to the plate. After you've selected a pitch, the C-buttons then become the buttons used to throw a pick-off throw to one of the bases, which I actually found myself accidentally doing. At bat, you can press the B button to toggle between power or contact swing types, and press A to swing. You can also press one of the C-buttons to "guess" the pitch that will be thrown, though I couldn't figure out exactly what that does. When fielding, you can press A to dive for a catch or B to jump. The C-buttons represent the bases, with C-Right being first, C-Up is second, and so on.

The graphics are nothing spectacular but get the job done. Texture work is simple, which works fine for the grass and dirt, but makes the crowd look like a motionless coloured blob. The characters have a real photo of each player pasted onto their faces, which never change expression, making some of the smiling ones unintentionally creepy. The animation of them is also choppy. Fortunately the game runs at a solid framerate with no dips, and there is no fog either. Could you imagine? Fog in a baseball game? Couldn't see the stands? Music is non-existent save for a couple of stadium fanfares that have the quality of an 8-bit MIDI, so the majority of the sound you'll hear is the announcer and crowd noises.

I played a 3-inning exhibition game using the two All-Star teams, which seemed like the fitting thing to do, and I took control of the national league team to represent teams nearest my hometown. The final score was 3-1, my team.

Rating this one is tough. Because I'm not into baseball, I don't know what kind of features one with such an interest looks for in a baseball game. The management features seem quite extensive, especially with the create-a-player feature, and the basic game is intact with no hiccups or broken mechanics that I could see. Still, with more baseball games on the Nintendo 64 to be played, I can't rate it too highly.

Score: 7/10
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All-Star Tennis '99

Hooray for dirt cheap sports games I found in the depths of a bargain bin! I've not played this before now, as I'm not big on Tennis and so Mario Tennis is plenty for me.

The game has three basic modes: exhibition, tournament, and Bomb Tennis. There are eight real-world "all-star" players to choose from, which would likely be instantly recognizable to tennis aficionados but are completely unknown to me. There is a good selection of courts from around the world, but most of them seem like palette swaps or recolourings of each other.

The controls are simple and allow for various types of shots in theory, but in execution, there's almost no noticeable difference between them. There is a delay between when you press a button to swing and when the racket hits the ball, which makes it all about timing. This amount of time changes depending on your position on the court, which makes it needlessly difficult to be consistent. On top of this, it's incredibly difficult to aim the ball without hitting it out of bounds.

There are three difficulty settings for the A.I. player, but the only real difference between them is the reaction time. On any setting, the computer player will not only always return the ball if it is within reach, but also hit it perfectly in the spot that you're not standing. There are a couple of gimmicks intended to spice things up but feel rather out of place in an otherwise realistic game. There is a power meter which fills up with good plays, and once it is full, a difficult-to-return special shot can be used. The aforementioned Bomb Tennis mode leaves a bomb on the ground wherever the ball bounces, and if a player hits a bomb, they will be stunned for a few seconds.

Creating models of real people has always been dubious on the Nintendo 64; with such limited hardware, it's simply impossible for them to resemble the people they are modeled after. Still, the impact of this shortcoming can be lessened with good animation, but the already muddy models are as choppy as an old projector. The court itself has no real detail, and the crowd isn't animated. In the sound area, there is no music, so all there is to be heard is the distinct sound a tennis ball makes when it is hit by a racket, and the occasional grunt from the players when they make a desperate attempt to return the ball. There is also an announcer who sometimes spouts generic commentary, but it is so forgettable that mentioning it almost slipped my mind.

When it comes to tennis action, Mario Tennis just does everything better. Even if you want a realistic tennis game, I can't recommend this one as it just isn't solid.

Score: 4/10
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Armorines: Project S.W.A.R.M.

Armorines is a first-person shooter that runs on a modified game engine that was originally used for Turok: Dinosaur Hunter. It isn't as polished or interesting as the game from which it borrows its engine, but it is more focused on action than exploration. I didn't really catch the details of the story as I couldn't be bothered, but it has to do with a lone soldier taking on an army of alien bugs because everyone else is either too incompetent or too lazy to take action. Whichever one sounds more realistic.

I played the first three levels in my short time with this game. The first level is a winter level which reminded me of Goldeneye's opening Dam level, and then made me long for playing a better game. It opens with a first-person viewpoint of one of the bugs, and then your character comes in on a helicopter and shoots the bug, and poof! You're now in control of your soldier. Awesome. I didn't get to make the first kill.

The second level takes "on-rails shooter" literally and has your character on a monorail car, manning a rocket launcher with rather underwhelming explosive power. The third level is a big dumb missile silo that has you traversing the same hallway several times, occasionally throwing a bug or two your way. I think there was actually more than one hallway but it's hard to say because it all looked the same. There are objectives to accomplish for each level, and though they sometimes sound complicated in their descriptions, they are nothing more than going from point A to point B.

Anyone who's played Turok will have the controls memorized already. Use the C-buttons to move and the stick to look around, use Z to fire and A to change weapons. The aiming with the control stick is overly responsive, and a slight push will have your head spinning. The game seems to try to compensate for the finicky control with an auto-aim system, but since it means your shots are usually aimed at the enemy, a moving target becomes difficult to hit.

The graphics have that famous fog from the Turok games, which seems even worse indoors than outside, for some reason. There are actually some lighting effects for when shots are fired, which help keep the visuals from being too generic. In the sound department, I wish I could remember the music. Or maybe I've forgotten it for a reason. The gun sounds may have a tinny quality to them but at least they're all present. The machine gun goes "pew pew pew!" and the laser goes "zap!" and the grenade launcher goes "boom!" The only thing unfitting is that the female selectable character still sounds like a dude...

I kind of wanted to put more play time into this one, to see if it gets more interesting. With no shortage of good shooters on the Nintendo 64, I don't see a reason to push through mediocrity.

Score: 5/10
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dataDyne
Forum Dinosaur!
Haha, oh noes, Amorines rears its ugly head once again! I've been criticising that game for a solid 10 years now. I rented it once when it was released (late 1999), excitedly thinking I was about to indulge in an amazing FPS akin to Turok 2. How wrong I was...

The thing that sticks in my mind most about the game was the painfully bland level design. Turok 2 is notorious for its somewhat boring backgrounds, but Amorines took it to a whole new level...
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-alxbly
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Mop it up
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Army Men Air Combat

This is one I got for I think $3 when GameStop was liquidating their stock of older games. It's a helicopter shooting game with a top-down perspective involving toy soldiers, and it takes place in real-world environments that are larger than life for the little guys. You take control of a helicopter from the Green Army and are at war with the supposedly evil Tan and Blue forces; there doesn't seem to be much of an explanation as to why these toys can't just get along, which almost makes it seem like the game has some sort of subtle social commentary. Almost. Let's not go there.

I played through the first three levels during my session with this game, all of which took place in a garden. The first two missions were basically going from point A to point B, but the third mission involved finding a battery to power a train, and then protecting the train as it travels along the track to its destination. This gives hope that the remaining missions also contain more interesting objectives than simply speeding through and blasting everything in sight. There have been only a few enemy types so far, which include foot soldiers, tanks, and machine gun towers, so let's hope the variety increases in later levels as well.

The control seems a bit clunky and would probably benefit from a setup similar to shooters like Turok. The stick moves forward and backward, as well as turning left and right, and the left and right C-buttons are for strafing. It would seem that using the C-buttons for movement and the stick for just turning would work out better, but is not an option. The machine gun will auto-aim at targets, which can sometimes be a little problematic when there are multiple enemies on the screen and you're trying to aim for a specific one. Missiles must be aimed manually and have a limited supply, so they are not to be wasted.

Visually the game is competent, but nothing special. There is a fair amount of texture work, though some of it seems rather pixelated. The framerate is a bit low, but steady, so it is manageable. The soundtrack consists of tinny rock music, and it sounds awfully familiar... Wait a minute, this game totally steals its soundtrack from BattleTanx! This is why you went out of business, 3DO! F*ck you! *ahem* Sound effects are fitting... you know what? I'm sure the sound effects were swiped from another game too, but I'm not sure if it's BattleTanx or Army Men. In any case, there is also some sparse voice work,but it doesn't really add anything.

I found myself enjoying this one quite a bit, so I think I may return to it and finish it at some point. Checking GameFAQs, it seems there are only 16 missions, so it probably wouldn't take long. It isn't pretty, but I could do a lot worse for $3.

Score: 7/10
dataDyne
Jan 25 2010, 06:21 PM
The thing that sticks in my mind most about the game was the painfully bland level design. Turok 2 is notorious for its somewhat boring backgrounds, but Amorines took it to a whole new level...
With so many repeated environments, you end up asking yourself "Haven't I been here before?"

Then you start wishing you were somewhere else. Anywhere else.
Edited by Mop it up, Jan 26 2010, 05:28 PM.
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