Episode 026 – Beauties Of The Beast 64

Adam and I are constantly discussing how ugly we think N64 games are so this episode Adam made our favorite thing, a list. We also discuss all the games we’ve enjoyed over the last two months. It’s available HERE for all to enjoy and thanks again for listening.




Filed under 3DS, Capcom, DS, DSiWare, eShop, NES, Nintendo, Nintendo 64, Podcast, Pokemon, Super Nintendo, Wii, Wii U

3 responses to “Episode 026 – Beauties Of The Beast 64

  1. hyawatta

    A Once in a Lifetime Experience

    I tend to enjoy each new Nintendo console more than the last. However, the excitement and satisfaction experienced during the transition from the SNES to the N64 has not been exceeded by the advancements from the N64 to the GCN or from the GCN to the Wii. The reason lies in that the Nintendo 64 held a unique position as the pioneer of 3D gameplay. When I heard the complaints about the N64’s graphics, it made me realize that, even though I have been hearing those complaints for a long time, this was the first time that I actually took the time to think about it. I have always liked the N64’s graphics. The N64 is clearly a more powerful system than the PSX, multiplatform games looked better on the N64 than they did on the PSX, and I always liked Nintendo’s emphasis on higher quality textures over sheer quantity of polygons for higher performance. In my eyes, it really paid off.

    So what’s up with everyone else’s eyes? It seems to me that the 20/20 vision of hindsight has people looking at the N64 and comparing it to more modern graphical features that are in the newer generations of games. I can understand looking back and feeling amazed at how much graphics have improved. Yes, the graphics we see in today’s games are significantly better than the graphics we saw on earlier systems. However, that does not mean that the graphics of the earlier systems were bad, does it? Can we say that N64 games had good graphics for their time? Or are the graphics so bad that looking back we say that they were bad even during the times that we first played them?

    Playing Super Mario 64 felt like I was controlling an interactive cartoon. I could clearly see and snipe my opponents in GoldenEye without struggling to see through the “blurry” graphics. For the first time, I was able to play through a Zelda game without getting hopelessly lost. You couldn’t tell me that the graphics in StarFox 64 were bad after transitioning from the SNES game. WaveRace, Excitebike, and F-ZeroX all played wonderfully in multiplayer and allowed enough precision to play well in split-screen format. When I hear about how bad the N64’s graphics were, it makes it seem like the games were practically unplayable. These games and more all really looked good to me.

    I figured that perhaps all of my fond feelings about the N64 were based on Super Mario 64. No other game has established so many game-changing innovations. The N64 introduced us to how 3D graphics, 3D gameplay, and 3D design should be done in gaming. Super Mario 64 did all of these things, but I went back and remembered the other N64 games that I played. I could just list a bunch of games, but what really interests me is when I look through a list of N64 games, I see and remember that I had much fun playing them. I had all kinds of different fun playing single-player, multi-player, racing, flying, platforming, puzzle, and combinations of the genres. I was better at playing these N64 games than I am at playing the newer games of the current generation, and I had no problem with the graphics back then.

    I think I understand, technically, how so many people think that the N64’s graphics are ugly compared to the graphics of today, but I hardly hear the same comments about the PSX’s graphics (as if they were somehow better than the N64’s). I believe that the N64’s graphics were great for its time, and I have wonderful memories that reinforce this feeling for me. I had never been so happy with gaming than I was with the N64 and the graphics played its part in that. I don’t have as much time to game as I used to, but I feel downright blessed that I was at the right age and the right time in my life to experience the N64 as I did. Hearing about people having a bad experience with the N64 is so foreign to me that I hadn’t even noticed that I was hearing it until now. Thanks for the wakeup call.

  2. brad guise

    glad to see your sticking with us and our speraditic recording schedule hyawatta, so first off thank you. I also have fond memories of the system. we don’t compare to the other big two of the time (psx and sega Saturn) because we make a big effort to not even mention other systems if at all possible. we try to keep the show all about Nintendo in every way. I’ll mention on here though that I personally think Saturn looked the best out of the three. as amazing as Mario 64 looked I felt then and now that most of the n64 library was ugly. not to say I didn’t enjoy a bunch of titles I just didn’t find them as visually pleasing as say the SNES. like Adam said it felt like many developers were pushing 3d over artistic style and I’ve always been against this practice even as a kid. but you’ve listened for a while and you know how I am. I choose mechanics over everything else in a game including graphics so even though a lot of these games were ugly IMO if they played right with good level design then they were still good games. take ocarina of time for instance. it’s got all the makings of a awesome Zelda title, and I’ve enjoyed what I’ve played of it so far but it’s still one of the ugliest Zelda games I’ve ever played. I’m playing it on the wii so it looks crisper and clearer but I still find it really ugly just based on character design and color choices. basically, I agree with your over all point but I don’t get any nostalgia like you for the n64’s graphics 😉

  3. Alan Chung

    I think I’ll put my 2 cents in as well on this topic. To put it in perspective, the N64 generation, were home console’s first foray into 3D polygon graphics. To give an analogy, early generations, like the Atari 2600, for 2D graphics don’t hold up well either. Many NES, and SNES titles still look great today. I just think it takes time for technology to get to a point where you can’t really make it much better. So while the graphics on N64 don’t hold up well today, like SNES, or Game Cube do, with Mario 64, they hit the gameplay mechanics out of the park. That game is still better than 95% of the games out today, regardless of graphics.

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