NES, SNES, N64, Gamecube, Wii
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racketboy
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Compiling N64 101 Information

by racketboy Tue Jan 08, 2008 1:36 pm

Some of you may remember some of the "Retro Gaming 101" posts we've done in the past. The basic idea is to have a basic run-down of the historical impact of a given console and the information a newbie would want/need to know when shopping around for the console in question and things to make the best use of the machine.

Instead of long paragraphs of information, I prefer to have concise, but useful sentences arranged in bullet points. You can find examples of this in our previous posts:
http://www.racketboy.com/guide/retro-gaming-101

I'm going to post this same info for different consoles, so forgive me if some of the questions are obvious for this given console.

To help out, just write up sentences (or paragraphs, I guess) of useful information. I'll compile them up here and we can keep going until we get a useful guide. Sound good?



Points of interest include:

Background Info: This stuff is what you would typically find in Wikipedia, but if you have anything interesting to add, that would be great

Historical Impact: What innovations did the console bring to the table? what makes it relevant today?

Different Variations of the Hardware

Accessories: What are the essential and unique accessories that didn't come standard with the machine?

Video Connections: What connections are availible for the machine?

Strengths and Weaknesses: This can be for both at the time of its release and in regards to its current relevancy (current perspective preferred)

Emulation: What are the best emulators for PC, Mac, Linux, other, if availible... If there are two good ones, does one have advantages over the other?

Playing Imports: How do you play imports

What other unique things should people know about the machine, what to look for when shopping for one, etc....
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Espio 1919
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by Espio 1919 Wed Jan 09, 2008 2:41 am

Historical Impact: It wasn't the first console to do them well, but the N64 was definitely responsible for popularizing the console FPS scene. First console to incorporate a rumble feature in its games, as well as transferring data from games of a different console (i.e. the Transfer Pak used for Pokemon Stadium).

Accessories: Controller Pak, Rumble Pak, Transfer Pak, Microphone, Expansion Pak, N64 Disc Drive (the final console to have a CD add-on)

Video Connections: RF cable, A/V, RGB (I think), S-Video

Strengths/Weaknesses:
+ Offered faster, smoother 3D gaming compared to the PSX and Saturn
+ Minimal Load Times
+ Long lineup of AAA titles in game library; many of which were from Nintendo and in-house developers like Rareware.
+ Many of the popular titles are very common and affordable most places
- Cartridges were expensive to make and even to this day the most common titles may run at least $20 at game stores (they do here, anyway)
- Not much in terms of quality 2D games
- Small game library, only about 300 games released in North America and 400 in Japan; many big name 3rd parties like EA and Capcom did not offer much support of the system
- FMV sequences and audio on N64 are vastly inferior to its CD console rivals

Playing Imports: It's as simple as removing the dust cover mechanism from your machine, but you'll just have to keep a cartridge in there a lot of the time to keep dust out of the cart slot.

Random fact: The N64 has the honour of being one of the only consoles to host one of the greatest games of all-time (Legend of Zelda: OoT), as well as one of the worst of all-time (Superman 64).
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The Apprentice
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by The Apprentice Thu Jan 10, 2008 9:36 pm

Random facts I can think of:

The N64 is notorious of overheating and generally poor console reliabillity and durabillity.
The N64 has a serious vacuum of good fighting games, which is odd considering the Saturn and Playstation were flooded with them.
The N64 had the WEAKEST gpu of the generation, but had an edge in graphics thanks to its high cpu speed.
Many regard the N64 as being the first sytem to offer analog controls, but in America the Sega Saturn had its 3D pad a few weeks earlier.
The rumble pack was packaged with Star Fox 64 (at least in the US).
The ram expansion pack was packaged with Donkey Kong 64 (at least in the US).
Hatta wrote:Die Hard Arcade has Deep Scan in it. That's like retro inside retro. They must have heard we liked retro (dawg).
Jrecee wrote:What I like to do is knit little sweaters to put on the games.
Jubal
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by Jubal Thu Jan 10, 2008 9:45 pm

The Apprentice wrote:Random facts I can think of:

Many regard the N64 as being the first sytem to offer analog controls, but in America the Sega Saturn had its 3D pad a few weeks earlier.


and that was beat nearly a decade before by the vectrex
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The Apprentice
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by The Apprentice Thu Jan 10, 2008 10:22 pm

I searched high and low to disprove wikipedia. Apparently it is analog.
Hatta wrote:Die Hard Arcade has Deep Scan in it. That's like retro inside retro. They must have heard we liked retro (dawg).
Jrecee wrote:What I like to do is knit little sweaters to put on the games.
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racketboy
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by racketboy Thu Jan 10, 2008 10:35 pm

Jubal wrote:
The Apprentice wrote:Random facts I can think of:

Many regard the N64 as being the first sytem to offer analog controls, but in America the Sega Saturn had its 3D pad a few weeks earlier.


and that was beat nearly a decade before by the vectrex


Did not know that. Thanks!
Jubal
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by Jubal Fri Jan 11, 2008 4:03 am

vectrex is amazing, it really is like having a little early 80's arcade machine

on N64 its distinctive to me for having one of the worst shaped carts for organization. curved top with no end label? do I really have to dig through my entire collection every time I want to play a specific game? I even have the official double drawer with slots... no idea what cart is which, till I pull them all out.
nocturnalnerd
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by nocturnalnerd Fri Jan 11, 2008 7:23 pm

Jubal wrote:vectrex is amazing, it really is like having a little early 80's arcade machine

on N64 its distinctive to me for having one of the worst shaped carts for organization. curved top with no end label? do I really have to dig through my entire collection every time I want to play a specific game? I even have the official double drawer with slots... no idea what cart is which, till I pull them all out.

That has been a problem for me too and I love my N64.
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racketboy
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by racketboy Sat Jan 12, 2008 1:16 pm

I guess I never thought much about that (I've only had about 3 or 4 N64 carts)
nocturnalnerd
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by nocturnalnerd Sat Jan 12, 2008 1:29 pm

yeah once you get up to 10+ carts it gets kind of frustrating
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