Tag Archives: Nintendo 64

GreatBitVlog 14: Willy’s big awesome box of GameBoy games!

holyGBGAMES

I’m perfectly aware that I’m a lazy son of a bitch who’ll do everything half arsed. Such as release a Vlog on Youtube, but not release it on my own damn web site! Not to mention it’s a pretty big deal seeing as it’s a big box of GameBoy games sent to me from the hella awesome William Culver, the host of the Arcade USA show on Youtube. But let me get this over and done with; honestly though, I should’ve done this a week ago!

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GreatBitVlog 13: They’re selling N64 Jumper Paks?

YouWot

Time for some catch up, seeing as I appear to still be bad at organising this blog! In Today’s Vlog I talk about something weird I noticed today when I found a charity shop selling an N64 Jumper Pak. The thing you use in order to boot up the console, you only ever remove it if you’re installing an Expansion Pak into your system. But after a bit of talking to people on Twitter it turns out that some retailers where known to remove jumper paks out of pre-owned N64 systems!

Not only that, I talk a bit about the announced Zelda Netflix TV show, Persona 5, and an awesome modded PS1 with a model of Final Fantasy VII’s Midgar on the top of it! Continue reading

Return to the Review: Sin and Punishment

Here’s a review I wrote way back for an old gaming blog I had back in 2007. It was a part of a series of games that were released to promote import games on the Wii virtual console, and us Brits had a chance to play the untouchable Nintendo 64 shooter, Sin and Punishment. Back in 2000, Nintendo of America were thinking of releasing this game to the west, but just as they were organising that, Nintendo of Japan were ready to announce the Game Boy Advance and Game Cube. So there wasn’t a point in localising the game as people were hyped for the new hardware. But I do remember seeing this game in the magazines and hoping to get a chance to play it. Well, in 2007 I did, on the Wii virtual console! A little costly for it’s 1200 Wii Points price, but without importing it and modifying a Nintendo 64 to play Japanese games, the price wasn’t going to cost my soul…
Sin and Punishment is one of those games that made N64 history in Japan, sitting next to Zelda Ocarina of Time, this Treasure classic was released in early 2000 in Japan with the intention to be released in the US and Europe, the problem was that by the time the game released in Japan, the Sega DreamCast was already released worldwide and the N64 was coming to an end. Even if the game was easy to localise, Treasure decided to cancel the International versions despite release the game in 2004 in China for the iQue (The Chinese N64). Due to its limited number of copies it’s one of the most sought-after N64 game for gamers, not just in Japan, but all around the world.
Nintendo began their first series of special Virtual Console games on the European Shop Channel calling it the “Hanabi Festival”, Hanabi meaning Fireworks in Japanese, started to introduce the Virtual Console’s first wave of Japanese import games made available for European Wii owners to buy and download. This included the Original Japanese Super Mario Bros 2, Ninja Jajamaru-Kun and Mario’s Super Picross. The last game in Nintendo’s Hanabi Event is the Legendary N64 game, Sin and Punishment, localised and with a 1200 Wii Point price tag (£8.40 GBP/ €12 EUR /$12 USD) making it the most expensive game on the European Shop channel so far. The price might be scary due to the fact that there are Xbox Live Arcade games cheaper then that, but this game is no simple port, Nintendo and Treasure worked on translating the Japanese text in the menus, options and title screen to make sure that you know what you’re doing. As for in-game, the game already has English voice-overs and the Japanese subtitles still exist.
Sin and Punishment takes place in a near future, 2007 to be exact, how uncanny that they release the game on the Virtual Console the same year that the game is in, heh. The world has been terrorised by an insect-like alien race named the “Ruffians”. The US Army have acquired Ruffian corpses and have been performing weird genetic experiments to make their Army stronger, to discover that the new Ruffian blood infused soldiers have turned into corrupt uncontrollable freaks that mutate into monsters. You play as one of two surviving rebels that want to bring back peace and order to the world, who have to fight against the US army that have been infused with Ruffian blood and prevent any more experiments, to discover that the Male lead protagonist, Saki, is in fact a Ruffian blood infused human and turns into a very powerful, 60 foot vertebrae Ruffian that the US Army has called “BEAST”. Playing as the Female protagonist, Airan, you go out to prevent the US Army to destroy the mutated Saki and turn him back into a human; however you end up being teleported from Japan to the USA and now you got to race to save Saki from being killed by the US Army.
The game play is pretty simple; it’s an on-rails shooter similar to the likes of StarFox64, Space Harrier and Panzer Dragoon. Except this time around you get the freedom to strafe left and right independently to avoid enemy fire with the D-Pad, whilst moving a cross-hair on the Screen with the analogue stick. The L button on the Classic Controller fires the gun, whilst the R button executes a jump. In close range of an enemy, the player’s gun turns into a light sabre and slashes the enemies, you can use this same move to deflect missiles, hurling them back towards the enemy. The A Button switches between two cross-hairs, a Manual mode, and a Lock-on mode. Manual mode allows you move the cross-hair with total freedom like in a typical shooting game, whilst the Lock-on mode will instantly lock the cross-hair onto the nearest enemy, however by doing this you sacrifice your fire power by 50 percent. The Issue that I have with these controls is Nintendo’s decision to put the fire button on the L Button rather then the R button. The reason why I’m saying this is because it makes sense that the hand you use to aim should be the same hand you use to fire. However in this case it’s flipped around and Jump button is on R instead, which makes the experience very weird. Originally on the Japanese N64 game, you would hold the N64 controller with your left hand on the D-pad with the right hand on the analogue stick, as the Z Trigger fires and the L Button is for Jump, which makes sense, but in this case, it’s quite weird that they swapped the buttons. There are other button layouts that you can try out, Such as using L and R to strafe rather then the D-pad, but this doesn’t really work very well for me, so I stick to the peculiar swapped button layout. If only Nintendo swapped those two buttons around to make it feel more like the actual N64 game, then it would make it a better experience for me, and I would be rating this game higher. Thing is, Nintendo in the past has fixed control problems in VC games before, so it’s very possible that there could be an update for this game soon that will swap these buttons around and will make the game a much better experience.
The Graphics in the game is very “blocky”, I mean fair enough, I can’t expect super quality poly-models on an N64 game, but it does make it feel that Zelda: Ocarina of Time have some poly-models that looks better on the eyes then this game. However the game does sport some really awesome camera techniques that I never thought was possible on the N64. In certain levels, the camera will pan and roll slightly depending on where the cross-hair in positioned on the screen, which gives the game an extra touch of polish. However the best is to come when you play in mid-air level riding on a levitating piece of metal; the whole environment will rock, roll and twist around giving the feel of some crazy mid-air flying, plus there’s a part where you’re practically hanging upside down and you actually feel like hanging upside down, something that I can honestly say, I haven’t ever felt in an N64 game before…
As for sound, it uses typical sound effects that you would find in an anime, even with the over exaggerated machine gun noises. The Voice acting isn’t too bad, but it’s still the typical kind of voice acting you’ll find in an anime, as if the whole game itself is meant to be an interactive anime. The background music consists of generic 80’s style rock music that’s kind of forgettable; however the first level music is only “semi-hummable”.
Overall, this game is still very good and it’s worth every penny, but as I said, the swapped buttons to me are a bit of a let down. I would prefer it if it had the button layout I want, or if Nintendo aloud me to map my own buttons. But the swapped buttons will definitely confuse you at first, here’s hoping that Nintendo will solve this problem with a Virtual Console Update.
Amendment: Even since 2007, they never did fix those weird controls. As I’ve mentioned to people before, I don’t really like playing Nintendo 64 games without an actual Nintendo 64 controller. Maybe I should invest in one of those controller adapters…

What made this Nintendo fan-boy broaden his horizons?

As a kid in the nineties, Super Mario was my hero, and Nintendo is where you played Mario games. My first experience with Sega and Sonic wasn’t a great one as I thought it was too fast and too hard for my 7 year old mind. So through out the nineties I was a big supporter and fan of Nintendo, disliking Sega, and eventually disliking Sony due to the PlayStation’s “slow” loading discs. But by the turn of the Millennium, my tastes in video games were going to grow a lot, but how did this once Nintendo Fan boy buy himself a PlayStation in 2001 you ask?!

Dance Dance Revolution and Dancing Stage…

Yup, it’s a little embarrassing to admit it, but when I went to the Millennium Dome in London back in 1999, there was a tiny arcade inside, and one of the few machines inside, with a couple of Pinball machines and crane games was a Dancing Stage. For those outside Europe, Dancing Stage was the name to Dance Dance Revolution in Europe, no idea why, hunting on Google and Wikipedia didn’t give any results either, but regardless to the name change, it was the same game by Konami with a couple of licensed tracks thrown in. I popped in a £1 coin and began to play the game. As to anyone playing a dance machine for the first time, I was terrible at it, but at least I got to my third and final round before failing. There was a lady in this tiny booth watching me play the game. And when I had finished she walked out and pulled out a plush toy from one of the crane games and had told me that I was the only person who had gotten to the third round since the Millennium Dome was opened. I was kinda chuffed, accepted the toy, and began to think on how to could get that game home.

That’s where it struck me. The only Nintendo versions of Dancing Stage and Dance Dance Revolution were only available in Japan, there was a version on Game Boy Color that came with a mini platform you mounted on top on the portable as you make your fingers do the dancing. I thought that was pretty silly (I say that when most people think stomping your feat on pink and blue glass panels is silly!), there was an actual version of DDR on the N64 in Japan, but it was the Disney Rave Mix, Disney “Rave” Mix? I’d hate to see what happens to Mickey when dropping Es at a rave. In the mean while, I was waiting to go on holiday to the coast to scour the piers and arcades for actual Dance Machines. The waiting and hoping that a version of DDR and Dancing Stage could appear on the N64, Dancing Stage Euro Mix got released in 2001 for the PlayStation. At that point I thought to myself, I can’t play DDR on the N64, I gotta go and get myself one of those “Slow Loading” PlayStations. At the time the PS2 was reaching it’s first year in Europe, and I didn’t care for it then, I wanted to see how cheap I could get a PlayStation 1 just so I could get my DDR fix. Before Christmas of 2001, I managed to buy an original PlayStation 1, not the PSOne, from a bloke at a Market/Car Boot sale for £40 (I still regret paying that price for a second-hand PlayStation) and got myself a copy of Dancing Stage Euro Mix and a dance mat from GAME. So I got what I wanted, a system that I got my DDR fix from. But as time slowly moved on, I would return to the same car boot sale for other PlayStation games that might grab my interest.

Someone bought this for £94.90!? Ouch…

Going with the Rhythm game theme, Europe got Beat Mania, think DJ Hero before DJ Hero existed, and was made by Konami, the same people who made Dancing Stage and DDR. It was a pack that came with a poorly made turn table controller that broke on me. I handed it back to the bloke at the car boot and demanded a refund, but he refused; at around the same time I noticed that GAME were selling off copies of Beat Mania to clear space in their warehouses for a fiver a piece, I bought one, then handed over the one I bought from the Car Boot Sale inside the box that I got from GAME to get my money back.

And into more Rhythm Games, I got a copy of Vib Ribbon. Now this is an interesting game as it never got a US release. Developed by Nana Onsha, the same team behind Parappa the Rapper. Vib Ribbon was a simple game whereby you jump over obstacles of different shapes generated from the sound being made from your music CDs. There are 8 different obstacles, each obstacle had to be jumped over in a different way by pressing a different button on the PlayStation controller; some required you to press two buttons at once. Think of this game like a Canabalt or Temple Run; you play as a wire frame bunny rabbit character who is running to the right (or the left depending on the camera angle) and you jump over holes and walls, it’s a rhythm version of an endless runner game, except it’s not really endless as the level would end at the end of the track.

Something a little different from Rhythm games, Final Fantasy IX. Before I got the PlayStation, I owned the PC version of Final Fantasy VII, and loved the crap out of it. There was a version of Final Fantasy VIII for the PC, but I didn’t know where to find a copy, and Final Fantasy IX never had a PC release. But with my own PlayStation, and a WH Smith £10 book voucher, I got myself a copy of Final Fantasy IX. For the time I had it I enjoyed it, though I didn’t beat it, and by the time the GameCube came out, I traded it in for a copy of Super Smash Bros Melee at a local small Games Shop that I would eventually hate big time.

After this revelation in gaming, this Nintendo Fan Boy was fan boy no more, my taste in games were broaden, and soon after picked myself up a DreamCast, and used eBay and Car Boot sales to pick up other consoles such as the Master System, a Mega Drive, and later on pick up a TurboGrafx and an Atari 2600.

So yeah, DDR made me like other systems, Let’s dance!

Dont ask me why exercising anthropomorphic rabbits and Cotton Eye Joe have in common…  Only Konami knows! lol!