The 30 best Nintendo 64 games

This is the ninth in my ’30 Best’ series of articles in which I discuss my favourite games ever on a system-by-system basis for the first time in my career. In case you missed them, the full list of other ’30 Best’ articles can be found at the bottom of this page.

’30 Best’ will now be a regular series, thanks to my lovely Patreon followers helping me reach a stretch goal. If you want to contribute, please visit my Patreon page.

Few retro games consoles are as fondly remembered as the Nintendo 64.

The history books list it as the system that was thoroughly trounced by the PlayStation, but with over 32 million sold – more than the Sega Mega Drive – its influence was still notable.

Nowhere was this influence clearer than in some of the games exclusive to the system. The N64 marked Nintendo’s first proper foray into polygonal gaming (I know, the Super FX chip, but whatever), and with it came a bunch of new concepts that would go on to shape the games we play today. Continue reading “The 30 best Nintendo 64 games”

The complete history of Mario Kart

The arrival of a new Mario Kart is always a big event in the gaming community.

For nearly 25 years Nintendo’s racing series has been considered one of the best local multiplayer experiences gaming can offer, and new titles regularly sell in the tens of millions.

Today is a little different, because it marks the first Mario Kart release which is an enhanced version of a previous game rather than a brand new entry.

The reason for this is clear: Mario Kart 8 Deluxe gives Switch owners a taste of console-quality Mario Kart in handheld form less than two months into the system’s life, while also giving those who skipped the Wii U a chance to finally play it.

This is only the latest chapter in the saga, of course. This series has been going for even longer than Arsene Wenger’s been at Arsenal, so what better time to look back at the history of Mario Kart?

Well, I mean, the 25th anniversary in August would be a better time. But fuck it, we’re doing it now. Continue reading “The complete history of Mario Kart”

Mario Kart 8 Deluxe (Switch) review

Nintendo / Nintendo EAD
Switch

For most games, selling 8 million copies would be considered a huge success. Much whooping and hollering would take place, and both publisher and developer would metaphorically and physically kiss each other on the lips at a job well done.

Mario Kart isn’t most games though. For it, 8 million is quite an underachievement. Considering the DS, Wii and 3DS entries sold 23, 36 and 14 million copies respectively, a ‘mere’ 8 million has to go down, bizarrely, as a disappointment.

This was the fate that befell the appropriately named Mario Kart 8, which failed to hit octuple figures through no fault of its own. Indeed, most people who played it considered it the greatest Mario Kart game ever made.

The reason for its relative sales funk, of course, was that it was released on the Wii U, a console that – as genuinely great as it was – ended up being about as popular as an Al Jolson cosplayer at the MOBO awards.

Mario Kart 8 Deluxe, then, finds itself in an interesting position. It’s essentially an enhanced version of a game that, despite already selling 8 million copies, is set to be experienced by a whole host of new players for the first time. Continue reading “Mario Kart 8 Deluxe (Switch) review”

How to buy Switch eShop games from different regions

Yesterday I reviewed Kamiko, a Switch game that (at the time of writing) was only available on the Japanese eShop.

Whereas before Nintendo gamers haven’t been able to access another region’s eShop without either buying another system from that region or pulling off some extreme tomfoolery, the Switch’s region-free policy makes it much easier than you’d expect.

Despite this, a lot of Switch owners have still yet to add other eShops to their system. If that includes you, yer man Scullion is about to show you how to do it, and how to buy games from them once you do. Continue reading “How to buy Switch eShop games from different regions”

I Am Setsuna (Switch) review

Square Enix / Tokyo RPG Factory
Switch, PS4, PC (Switch version reviewed)

With an enormous new Zelda adventure available at launch, it’s understandable that Switch owners may not have been in a rush to buy another RPG that takes 25-30 hours to beat that they’d have to juggle alongside it.

Now that we’re nearly a month into the Switch’s life though, it might be worth giving I Am Setsuna another look if you haven’t yet done so.

Inspired by RPGs from the ‘golden age’ (the 16-bit era that brought us the likes of Chrono Trigger and Final Fantasy IV), I Am Setsuna mixes old-school mechanics with polygonal visuals to give the traditional RPG style a more modern feel. Continue reading “I Am Setsuna (Switch) review”

1-2-Switch (Switch) review

Nintendo / Nintendo EPD
Switch

“This should have come free with the Switch.”

When it comes to hot takes it’s hard to think of one that’s been more regularly bandied about. The combination of 1-2-Switch’s basic gameplay, its family-friendly focus and the increasing sense of entitlement among ‘gamers’ means nearly everyone and their Nintendog reckons this should have been the next Wii Sports style pack-in.

I don’t necessarily agree. While some gamers bought the Switch for its built-in two-player functionality, just as many (if not more) are solo gamers who bought it more for its handheld capabilities.

As such, if Nintendo had bundled 1-2-Switch with its console, you’d have had just as many complaints from other people moaning that they would have rather had the system without the game for a cheaper price.

What we have, then, is a game that half of Nintendo’s audience has no interest in, and the other half wants for free. No pressure, then. Continue reading “1-2-Switch (Switch) review”

Othello (Switch) review

Arc System Works
Switch

“You are welcome, sir, to Cyprus. Goats and monkeys!”

That’s my favourite line of Shakespeare, that is. It’s from Act 4, Scene 1 of Othello, one of yer man’s great tragedies.

There are no goats in Othello for the Switch. And unless there’s an unlockable somewhere that I’m missing, there are no monkeys either. Just a load of black and white circles. Continue reading “Othello (Switch) review”