The Weird, Weird Games of Nintendo 64

Back when the Nintendo 64 was still known as the Ultra 64Super Mario overlord Shigeru Miyamoto told the Japanese press: “We are going to make lots of weird games from now on.” And he wasn’t lying.

Despite a comparative lack of product when compared to its competitors in the fifth-generation console wars, the N64’s seven-year lifespan offered many fascinating anomalies alongside theZeldas, GoldenEye 007 and influx of Mario Party games. And in their own way, each of the following titles were attempts at launching a gaming future that we now accept as the present—even if they were handled clumsily or marred by top-level corporate concern.

As Nintendo inches towards fixing the reputation of the Wii U and forgetting a cataclysmic financial year, we look at a history of mismanaged N64 ambition.

HEY YOU, PIKACHU! (1998)

To this day, Nintendo has a cagey relationship with third-party developers. Its late president, Hiroshi Yamauchi, was notorious for charging outside companies license fees to create no more than five games a year. His business plan was meant to improve Nintendo’s quality of stock and give them the edge over their rivals. During the Sega-era console wars, this strategy allowed Nintendo to keep a stranglehold on third-party developers, but also gave Yamauchi a dictatorial reputation. Speaking to Games Informer earlier this year, the author Blake J. Harris shared what these third-parties recalled: “Nintendo had you by the balls, and they knew it.”

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Happy 125th Anniversary, Nintendo!

Nintendo Celebrates Turning 125 Years Old Today

Nintendo Celebrates Turning 125 Years Old Today

Nintendo turns a staggering 125 years old today after it was founded on September 23, 1889, by Fusajiro Yamauchi. Originally, the company was best known for its production of Hanafuda playing cards, as many fans and collectors will know. Nintendo Koppai, as it was then known, mass-produced playing cards throughout a number of decades, even popping popular Disney characters on certain packs after…

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