I know that modern fighters are HD and push the “realistic highly detailed” character design. Nothing wrong with that. And of the few fighters, that remain, can trace their roots right back to the 90’s arcade. They were franchises that were popular among the gaming community and has retained their place in our hearts as that community of gamers grew up. They have gained new fans over the years as new gamers embrace them. They are almost like ghosts that hang around, shadows of those early years. And really not much has changed in those games, improvements, yes. Back then everyone tried to get in on the popularity. Various companies tried to cash in on the craze with their fighter entry. They was what was on top, what was hot, and those who mastered them were demigods among the gaming crowd. We don’t have that craze anymore, that frenzy. Fighters are mostly lost in the large video gaming ocean.
It was so different when we had to congregate at the local arcade. Anything news worthy came through game magazines, which was old news, there was no net. The arcade of the 90’s became a meeting place which created an atmosphere that birthed a community of gamers. Friendships were formed, built, and grew. Fighters were one of the genre that became the center of popularity. We didn’t have the HD realism. The games had a mood, atmosphere, demanded skilled gameplay, yet simple, and fun. And that is really what retro gaming is all about. It is going back and finding what “made” those games, and enjoying that simple fun. Dated? Well yes, that is what retro gaming is all about. (And I am so thankful we don’t have to deal with that bloodsucking DLC.) Those top franchises, due to their popularity, over shadowed anything that was introduced, be it arcade or home console. That is why I think that the fighting games on the N64 were tossed aside by reputable gaming magazines. Their minds were tainted with the rose colored glasses of popular franchise bias, prejudice. It feels so good to retro game. In going back and retro gaming, I believe you actually have a different perspective when approaching a game. You can enjoy the game for what it is. Kind of like playing and enjoying an Indi, or homebrew, game.
Here are my ratings for the fighters I own on the N64. Games are listed in the order of the rating. And I know that for a lot of these games I find it is either a love, or hate, with many gamers. Seemingly, there is no in between. But I have rated these games by fun factor and enjoyment. Only frustration, unfinished feel, and irritation in the game can work against, and unseat, or tone down, any fun. I have placed Fighter Destiny and Flying Dragon with their counter parts simply because they are really basically the same game with enhancements and improvements, both games worth owning, IMO. Not all are geared toward “the arcade genre” in their gameplay, but they have had the influence in their design.
My N64 Fighting game ratings.
- Super Smash Bros
3. Fighter Destiny 2 / Fighters Destiny (3D)
4. Flying Dragon 2 / Flying Dragon
5. Killer Instinct Gold
6. Mace the Dark Age (3D)
7. Super Robot Spirits
8. Mortal Kombat Trilogy
9. Xena Warrior Princess (3D)
10. Clay Fighters 63 1/3
11. Dark Rift (3D)
12. War Gods (3D) “Needs tweaking, unfinished feel.”
13. Transformers Beast Wars: Transmetals (3D) “Needs tweaking, unfinished feel.”
14. Deadly Arts (3D) “Needs tweaking, unfinished feel.”
This fighting series of blogging has mainly been impressions, mini reviews, and certainly not full blown detailed reviews. This has been fun, especially the part where I added new games to my collection. I tried to spend a week with each game, with some exceptions. I had to switch controllers. The original N64 controller just wasn’t doing it for me. I used a “Performance Superpad 64.”
And in playing the Japanese imported games you have to do one of four things.
1. Switch out the back of the cart with the back of a US cart.
2. Cut the tonsils out of the US N64 console so you can insert your imported cart.
3. Purchase a Japanese N64.
4. Purchase a converter which allows you to play Japanese games on your US console.
I purchased a used N64 at an outdoor flea market for a small price ($10 for console, memory extension, controller, AC power pak, hook-ups, sweet) and cut the tonsils out. My original first N64 was untouched in that violence. It is only a cosmetic regional lockout on the console that matches the physical game cart. The round peg can’t go into the square hole idea, so to speak. This has not been an exhaustive look at the fighters of the N64, because there are some that I have missed. I just felt that they really did not fit in with these fighters. There are the wrestling and boxing games. And there are some that don’t fit a category. (I might just have to continue doing reviews with those games.) But it does answer the question, “Does the N64 have any fighting games?” The Nintendo 64 was the most powerful console of its generation and many of its games have stood the test of time.
My Wife gave me a Japanese N64 as a gift during my Fighter reviews.