There’s a big problem with the Nintendo 64 library on Nintendo Switch Online: a sizable chunk of the good titles for the system were released by a studio that is now owned by a rival business. Rare was considered one of the best, if not the best, developers of N64 games. In the 90s Nintendo owned a controlling interest of Rare’s stock and their games were released exclusively on the N64. Early in the Gamecube era, Nintendo cut Rare loose and Microsoft, needing reasons for people to purchase their new XBox console, bought them outright.
Every now and then you hear about an unreleased game from the past finding its way to the Internet, and the sheer number of discoveries in recent months has given everyone hope…unless you’re a fan of Rare’s golden years on the N64. You see, Rare used a special development cartridge of its own invention that would self-erase its own ROMs every time the carts were disconnected. That means the odds of uncovering a lost and desired N64 game from them (like Dinosaur Planet or Twelve Tales) is painfully low.
Rumors have been blazing all over the cybersphere regarding the imminent arrival of the N64 Classic this holiday season. This mock-up appeared online, showing a model N64 with four proprietary plugs. An automated ad from Target was regarded as a leak. One website claimed there would be a second Nintendo Direct this month where the miniconsole would be announced, and that Banjo-Kazooie would be confirmed as part of the installed game lineup.
In one of the weirder news stories to come across our desk this month, a German game studio announced they were beginning work on a sequel to the critically panned, publically mocked 1999 platformer Glover. In the game, you made a living glove walk around and push a ball past obstacles to the end of multiple stages. It got some attention, but for the wrong reasons.
Dinosaur hunting games Turok 1 and 2, which first debuted on the Nintendo 64, are coming to the Xbox One in March. The newly remastered versions of these games have previously been released on PC and will cost players $19.99 each.
Turok 2 will even feature a brand new mutliplayer mode that was not present in the original title. It will include a combination of levels and weapons from the N64 version of the game as well as the more recent PC edition.
As you might have guessed from its name, Yooka-Laylee is a tribute to the retro 3D platformers that were first introduced to the world two decades ago, most notably taking inspiration from Rare’s Banjo-Kazooie. It has been crafted by Playtonic Games, made up of several former Rare staffers, and was funded due to a highly successful Kickstarter campaign that grabbed attention by promising to recreate a faithful experience to what fans had expected from games of this genre in the 90s.
There are countless mods, hacks and unofficial sequels of Mario’s 2D games floating around the Web. But past the point when the series moved to 3D, not so much. It’s a lot trickier to rearrange the elements of a level made of polygons than it is to alter one made of pixels and sprites. However, it CAN be done.
Remember last April when a glitch in Paper Mario was discovered that would take 416 years to execute if attempted? The same man who discovered that glitch has unearthed another one. It turns out plenty of time-related bugs exist in the game due to no scripted limit being placed on them.
Back before the Nintendo 64 ever even came out, Nintendo was promising an add-on would make up for the shortcomings and diminished space of the cartridge format. It would be a Zip Drive-like attachment called the N64 Disk Drive, or going by its final name, the 64DD. But the 64DD hit multiple delays in development and many of the titles that were supposed to show it off (like Ocarina of Time) were ported down to the cartridge format instead.
Right on the heels of Rare’s video revealing once and for all what the mysterious “Dream” video game was all about, the company put out another video on Christmas Eve detailing the making of their 2000 Nintendo 64 FPS Perfect Dark.
Earlier this month the prototype for an unreleased Nintendo 64 game, Viewpoint 2064, was finally discovered and footage was posted online. Now, twice in the same month, it’s happened again, this time in the UK. The alpha cart turned up at a flea market in the town of Guileford, and was spotted by an anonymous fan of the website Unseen 64, who recognized the name “Freak Boy” written on the prototype in marker. He immediately purchased it, filmed footage of the game running with his cell, and sent nine little short video clips to Unseen 64. They can all be viewed at this link instead. You can check out some of the footage that was revealed in the player below.
If you hunt around, you can find information about cancelled or vaporware games for just about every console that’s ever been sold…and even some consoles that never made it. Far less frequently does one of these lost games actually show up. Viewpoint 2064 for the Nintendo 64 was one of those games…until today.