Although current consoles have perfected animations, graphics and sound, Nintendo's N64 still remains my favourite of all. The 3D animation made it outstanding at that time and can still provide for a splendid playing experience nowadays, especially for a brief session every now and then. Moreover, its slight outdatedness compared to today's standards and imperfection in regard to graphics and animation lend it a unique character that occasionally reminds of arcade video-games 10 or 15 years ago. Very much like its precedent the SNES, many of the games combine a good storyline with a thrilling atmosphere, flair, lots of special features, charismatic characters plus most games offered on this system are not too complicated in terms of controls.
Unlike most video game systems, this one corresponds in a magnificent way with my aesthetic preferences. Among others, I still prefer playing the following N64 game classics:
Castlevania which is a mixture of adventure, jump'n run and action game certainly still has its place among my favourites. The plot being Transylvania in the 19th century, the environment consists of haunted castles, gloomy deserted landscapes and forests and the likes. This results in a dark and bewitched atmosphere to immediately consume those who appreciate this type of aesthetics. Within these surroundings, the player has to fight against monsters, vampires, ghosts and other creature emerging from the dark side in order to find hidden items and secret doorways and battle his way towards Count Dracula's castle to finally confront him. The player will face a series of shocking surprise attacks, thrilling battles and demanding tasks to fulfill.
Belonging to the later generation of games at that time, 007 - The World Is Not Enough is one of the outstanding games available on that system and still my favourite ego-shooter. It is in fact closely related to the game Golden Eye which unfortunately had been banned in a few countries of Europe due to violent contents. The little rumble pack adds the splendid sensation of being a real part of the virtual reality explored. The numerous weapons that are waiting to be acquired turn the game into a true delight for everyone into firearms. One of the superb traits consists in the variety of multiplayer modes and options which the game offers. Of course, everyone who enjoys the technical gadgets and devices that make the James Bond movies so unique will be delighted concerning the equipment that awaits the player.
A similarly entertaining ego-shooter to be explored is certainly Perfect Dark. In regard to the variety of weapons, gadgets and special equipment to be collected and applied it is similar to 007, however here it is more of a Science Fiction storyline and plot, being that the protagonist, the stunning Joanne Dark, attempts to stop a conspiracy carried out by extraterrestrial opponents. She fights her way through the many levels that provide perfect environments to explore. Among other exciting tasks, freeing hostages, precise assassinations and deactivating explosives are part of the mission. Furthermore, the combat simulator is available which in fact is a game in itself, offering a wide range of options for single- and multiplayer modes. Many more demanding missions are to be carried out here.
All in all, the mentioned video-games make for ideal total environments, conveying a dense and thrilling atmosphere which the player is drawn into step by step. Due to the technical possibilities of that time, the animations have mainly been reduced to the basics and yet still realistic enough for the player to identify with the character. Besides, in my personal opinion, a video game does not have to be completely robbed of the characteristics of artificiality to make for exciting entertainment.
- Selection from The Devil's Diaries Codex Daemonum.