20 N64 Games That Were Ahead Of Their Time
8. Mystical Ninja with Goemon
Mystical Ninja with Goemon is a 3D action-adventure game that sees Goemon and his friends try to stop a gang from turning Japan into a theater (seriously). Along the way, they battle giant robots, help locals, and take on a series of increasingly bizarre side quests that often rely on surprising and bizarre humor. Indeed, many of the game’s early reviews (which didn’t focus on this game’s wonky camera controls, that is) mentioned that it might be too weird for Western gamers. Western sales of the title seemed to support this theory.
Years later, though, I think it’s that exact title element that helped it age so well. Not only is this game really fun, but just like the Yakuza and Shen Mue franchises, it really shines whenever you interact with sometimes annoying NPCs, just wander around, or take part in various mini-games. Minor issues aside, it’s one of those games that’s now easier to revisit than so many “classics” of the time due to its abundance of modern personality and ideas.
7. Silicon Valley Space Station
Silicon Valley Space StationThe gameplay of basically requires you to “own” various animals and use their unique abilities to solve puzzles. To put it mildly, this game was a pretty tough sell back in 1998 when it sat on shelves alongside some of the greatest games ever made. Even those who bought into this core idea still had to deal with this title’s sometimes frustrating gameplay and weird sense of humor.
Today, however, it is easy to respect not only Space stationthe infectious personality of but the audacity of its 3D exploration/puzzle-solving gameplay. Space stationn lacked some of the simpler pleasures of other 3D platformers of that era, but it made up for that shortcoming with almost Gate-like puzzle gameplay that always felt satisfying to solve. It’s no wonder the studio that made this game (DMA Design) became the legendary Rockstar North. Interestingly, this isn’t the only DMA game on this list…
6. Jet Force Gemini
Much has been written about Rare’s legendary series of incredible N64 games. While many of these games remain popular today (Banjo-Kazooie, GoldenEye 007), a few of them have only really started to get the love they deserve in the last few years. Of course, there’s arguably no Rare N64 game more worthy of widespread reassessment than Jet Force Gemini.
Jet Force Gemini is a third-person sci-fi action game that could easily be considered the spiritual predecessor of the Ratchet and Clank series. Unlike that excellent franchise, however, Jet Force Gemini still features some of the platforming elements that defined some of the greatest rare games of this era. Granted, not all of those elements worked out for the best (having to save every tribal is still a pain in the ass), but there’s definitely something to be said for how Rare has emphasized the “adventure” part. “action/adventure genre. better than even some of the finest entries of its kind that have followed.