Why I hate the Nintendo 64

I put ‘hate’ in the title, but that’s probably a bit sensationalist.  Honestly, I only wrote hate to grab your attention.

Did it work?

The truth is I just mildly dislike the N64, and despite collecting stuff for it alongside all other consoles, I find myself playing 64 games rarely and having a mild disdain for the machine itself.   A part of me knows that I only collect N64 for a sense of completeness, rather than any vested interest. There are a few reasons why I’ve never been enamored with Nintendo’s last cartridge based effort.

It’s ugly

The Nintendo 64 – when turned upside down – is so obviously designed to look like a Koala. When it’s right side up, it’s just plain ugly.  There’s nothing aesthetically pleasing or edgy about the N64, it’s just a weirdly shaped husk no matter what color it comes in. The Atari Jaguar looks like it should come adorned with Sidewinder missiles and the original Sega Master System is reminiscent of Darth Vader’s weekend retreat.

The N64 is the kid who gets constantly teased at Primary school because of the testicle that sprouted – ball hairs and all – on his left elbow.

The textures are ugly

It’s common knowledge that the texture engine of the N64 just wasn’t up to par. Most 3D games have an awfully washed out, bland, low res look about them that results in the games aging badly.  If you haven’t played a 64 game in a while, go play one, you’ll see what I mean. They really don’t look much chop.

The cartridges are ugly

Purely personal opinion here, but I think the 64 carts are a bit clunky. The rounded top doesn’t lend well to vertical stacking, and they don’t have any title stickers etc along the top (like NES carts do) so you can’t display carts easily to show off your fave games. I’m sure some people will love 64 carts, and that’s fine – every debate needs a few lunatics thrown in to keep things interesting ;).

There are probably a few other reasons why I have this mixed feeling about the 64, but those will do for now.  I collect it because it IS a part of gaming history so it needs to be represented, but that’s where the affiliation ends.  There’s no love, no kindness.

Just a passing acknowledgement.


6 Responses to Why I hate the Nintendo 64

  1. Frank_fjs says:

    I tend to agree with you, the N64 just lacks charm.

    The shading is horrible, the memory management system is needlessly complicated and difficult to access/manage, the best video output without modification is S-Video and the controllers are awkward and uncomfortable. Not to mention the fact that the analogue sticks disintegrate if you use them more than once.

    It was also terribly overpriced upon release and to this day sells for a lot more than it should. I still have my original unit purchased at release, but had I not kept it I wouldn’t be replacing it at the prices they tend to sell for these days. I think the only group of people who enjoy the system are die hard Nintendo fans.

    I’m not a big Nintendo fan myself, the only console of theirs that I really enjoyed was the SNES. The Game Boy is decent enough but nowhere near as fun as my Neo Geo Pocket Color. I haven’t touched my Wii in years and I generally don’t like the style of games Nintendo develops, although there are some exceptions, such as Mario Kart.

  2. Sean says:

    Interesting point about the Koala face, I had never noticed before.

    I agree completely about the carts being awful. I would say the Super Famicom carts are the worst ever, but N64 ones are probably second.

    THat said, I do like the system. Probably just because I have fond memories of it since my roommate in the late 90s had one and I just really like remeniscing about drunken evenings spent with friends playing Goldeneye in multiplayer.

  3. Swahboo says:

    Say what you will about the N64, but Ocarina of Time and Goldeneye pretty much redeem all the less desirable features it may have.

  4. amiga4eva says:

    As far as Goldeneye is concerned, I think it’s a fantastic game when viewed in the isolation of the time it was released. It hasn’t aged well :P. Ocarina of Time I’ll reserve judgement on as I have it waiting in the mail for me when I get home! (But I did start playing Majora’s Mask a few weeks back and enjoyed it thus far…)

    I don’t mean to hate on the N64 unreservedly, it has a place, it’s just not on my imaginary podium of champions. That honour is reserved for such greats as the Vectrex, SNES and Dreamcast.

  5. Swahboo says:

    Majora’s Mask is a pain in the ass, especially when compared to the sheer glory of Ocarina of Time. I’d go as far as to say OoT is the pinnacle of the Legend of Zelda games thus far. But you’re right, they don’t age well, especially when fond memories turn into horror once you’ve plugged the console into a gigantic shiny TV.

    Also. Dreamcast FTW. I could wax lyrical about it. Why, yes. I do indeed have a small place in my heart for retro gaming. 😛

  6. Did it work? Yes, it did. 😉 Just had to read your post after seeing the headline.

    I wanted to like the Nintendo 64, but sadly I ended up not using it much. The only game I truly enjoyed was Mario Kart 64 with its awesome multiplayer mode. Can play it even today and it is just as fun! 🙂

    The SNES is a different chapter though.. so many excellent games! My favourite is the Donkey Kong-series.. fantastic platform-games. Should not forget various shoot’em up’s either or the old-school Mario games! 🙂

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