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MacManus avatar 9:24 AM on 06.07.2011  (server time)
E3 Approaches: Why I'm Still Playing My N64

Every year since the mid 90s I've gotten excited for E3. This year is no exception largely because I'd like to know what Nintendo's latest console is. However, when it comes to the games I am most excited for HD remakes such as Shadow of the Colossus. Since summer started I've had a few games that I need to finish but just haven't found the time to. Not because I'm trying to prepare for the GREs, or some sort of trivial matters, I just forgot how much I absolutely love StarFox 64.

I've been wrapped up in the story and facial animations of LA Noire as much as the next guy, but after hearing enough comments from my buddy like; "Why can't you search the trashcan? Why doesn't he ever think to check the back pocket? or Can't you just shoot him and the leg and take him in? Why's he have to kill everybody that runs if they have a gun on them?" Maybe I just excused the games flaws because I'm an English major and it was nice to see some Shelly in a game for once, but after a while the things he pointed out sullied some of the game for me. The reason I bring this up is because there seems to be a grand expectation with games now-adays. Everything has to be balanced, perfect, no stone unturned, blah blah blah. I liked that the PC version of Halo: Combat Evolved had a custom game search. So what if I only played 'Blood Gulch' and 'Sidewinder' and shot everyone is the head from 150 yards with the pistol. It was fun! No need to worry about rank, level, K/D ratio, it was a good time because you got to play how you wanted. Yes, Oddjob was unfair because he was shorter than everyone else in Goldeneye it was okay because the game was so much fun.

Anyways, what I'm getting at is that my problem with new games is that so many are taken seriously to the point where they lose their charm. I loved GTAIII, was I the first to be upset when they learned they took the tank out of IV and stuck cops on every block? Yes. There's a reason so many people got upset when it was made clear that there would be no campaign co-op in MW3, it was fun. I loved playing through games with a friend even if it was just a player clone because it was FUN. After playing MF2's campaign, I'm not too worried that a second player is going to be what screws up the story of the game. Lighten up, tell a joke or something like Portal, make a videogame equivalent to Kenny from Southpark like Gears did with Carmine or whatever identical relative of his they're gonna kill in the third installment.


Remember when you got to play as a rodent fighting a giant of shit? Or as a bear with a bird living in his backpack collecting puzzle pieces and musical notes? Maybe a plumper who leapt through paintings to collect all 150 stars so you could shoot yourself out a cannon and fly because apparently a hat with wings attached to it was in the cannon with you? There's a reason these games are always demanded each time a new generation of consoles comes out. People just want to play their favorite games because they were the most fun. Or maybe like me, people just miss the charms of games that don't try their best to make as much sense as possible and be as realistic as they can be.

Now I'm not rambling about Nintendo games because I'm a fanboy or what have you, the Nintendo 64 is just the console I have the most fun on. Everyone from my neighborhood would gather and play Super Smash Bros or Goldeneye multiplayer. This kind of thing had sadly gone away thanks to online gaming, but for people of my generation who grew up with these games don't seem to always bring their xbox/ps3/wii with them to college. I always see N64s surrounded by a crowd of people playing Mario Kart 64. Was there a glitch where you could jump off the start of Rainbow Road just right and land on the other side of the track? Yes, and it was always fun trying to get it to work.

All I'm really trying to say is that when game companies are always trying to be on the cutting edge they sometimes lose sight on how much fun the game is. Last week my friends and I played GTAIII over IV because we wanted to drive a tank around. Sometimes a bit of the nonsensical can lead to a fun and successful game, like a man made of meat running through a gauntlet of buzz saws and rockets to rescue his girlfriend made of a bandage. I love games like Super Meat Boy. they remind me of games I loved as a kid that had premises that were nothing short of ludicrous. They weren't perfect though, there wasn't any DLC, no bugs overlooked because a company could just "patch it in later." If there was a glitch, it was a fun thing to find. So what if you can beat Super Mario 64 with only six stars? It was fun, sometimes game bugs or even crushing difficulty can be a good thing. Sometimes I think LA Noire baby's you through the cases with the music, though I could just be thinking that because I played MegaMan on the Sega Saturn when I was kid. That game just sticks its middle up finger up as you and says "Good luck, fucker." Could also be why I love Devil May Cry so much. I just don't want game companies to get so hung up on making a game 'real' and 'perfect' that they lose track of what could make the game something people play 14 years later like StarFox while waiting to see the latest and greatest games. I'm very excited for what E3 holds this afternoon and the days to come. I'm sure anyone who has read this and has seen my taste for the lighthearted has already guessed what my biggest hope for E3 is. Until then I'm perfectly happy trying to find the giant Glowbo so I can turn Kazooie into a dragon.

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