After reading an article about how the holiday season has directly impacted the ‘me gift’ market, I have found that I cannot keep my mouth shut. Sure, it is more important to give than to receive and there are many more people in need than ever before, but… well… what do I get?
The holiday shopping season for consumers has always included a ‘special something’ for the shopper to even the playing field of selflessness and I see no reason why an ailing economy on the verge of depression should change things.
A recent article in Game Informer magazine focused heavily on the finest Gamecube games which is a step in the right direction but still you’re talking real money there. I suggest taking it one step further and buying a Nintendo 64.
Crazy you say?
I maintain that while the N64 system is not up to par with the new generation of online multi-super-bit game systems that allow you to connect with teenagers across the globe eager to own your ass in a game of Rainbow Six, it still delivers the goods.
Even if only for a week, the N64 is a fantastic budget fun machine.
A refurbished system and a pair of controller may set you back a maximum $25 and from there the sky’s the limit!
May I recommend a few choice games that will turn your ice-covered den into a funtastic arcade! For games, start with the essentials:
James Bond in Goldeneye-
One of the best shooters ever on any home console system. Sure, the graphics are primitive but the gameplay is downright addictive. I recall fondly the days that my college buddies and I would enjoy an entire evening of ‘Bond’-ing over this game in the multi-player levels. The trip-mines are key in my opinion. What a surprise that the game has aged far more gracefully than the film itself.
One of the all time best flight simulators, I am also quite fond of the talking animals angle that this game revels in. A franchise that still ranks high in the gaming industry, the N64 game has to be the best of the lot.
Star Wars: Shadows of the Empire-
The dark time for Star Wars fans also ended up being its most inventive as this cross-market explosion hit gamers, comic fans, and toy collectors all at once! A thrilling tale that takes place during the proper trilogy rather than the CGI-fest that followed it, this remains one of my favorite Star Wars experiments. The game itself is full of great moments from ‘threading the needle’ on Tatooine on a speeder bike to fighting IG-88 on a junk planet.
Star Wars: Rogue Squadron-
One of the N64′s many exclusive games, I have long heard of the love for this game and it is well-founded. Long before Battlefront and other vast games that span the entire franchise of Star Wars mythology this game stuck to its guns and took gamers for a wild ride through the best moments in the best of the Star Wars films.
Dinosaurs and shooters have never been mixed this well. Turok is one of the last games to stretch the shooter dynamic to embrace new ideas and what a hit it was! Surprisingly later expansions have left gamers cold, but this version still holds up as a fantastic cartridge of joy sure to please the most grudgeful gamer.
At roughly $5 a pop you can set yourself and a friend up for at least a week to a month (depending on how bad the season gets) of solid fun that you will not regret. If you really feel left out, you can hook it up to a VCR and play old VHS tapes at the same time to turn it into a multimedia system but I think you’ll find that the N64 is more fun that you’d think.
So beat the system and look to the past for your fun.
You’ll be glad that you did.