The Game Art HQ Nintendo 64 20th Anniversary Tribute: Happy Birthday N64!
Wow, I can’t believe that the Nintendo 64 turns 20 today, I myself imported the console from Japan a short time after it was launched there together with Mario 64 and Pilotwings 64 on June 23. 1996. Both games looked awesome back in 1996 and both were super fun as well and made a great use of the Analogue stick controller.
A ton of great games were released on the Nintendo 64 in the following months and years, ranging from more platformer gems like Banjo Kazooie and Conker as well as revolutionary four player first person shooters like Goldeneye 64 and brilliant racing games like Mario Kart 64. The Legend of Zelda series saw two excellent 3D entries on the system, Super Smash Bros. was released in 1999 and everyone knows that it is one of Nintendo’s biggest franchises now.
Reason enough for the Game-Art-HQ community to respect and remember the Nintendo 64 and many of the games we played.
Have fun viewing the artworks we created and read a bit about the games that were released between 1996 and 2001 on the N64
The Nintendo 64 was first released in Japan on June 23, 1996. It was first sold in North America on September 26, 1996 and launched with only a very few games: Super Mario 64 and Pilotwings 64 were the only games for a few months until a couple of really awesome games arrived with Wave Race 64, Killer Instinct Gold and a few more games that were liked by some as well (Star Wars: Shadows of the Empire, Cruisn’USA). Last but not least the great Mario Kart 64 was also released in December 1996 in Japan.
The Nintendo 64 was a long time in development, it was first called Project Reality and Ultra 64 and arrived later than first planned. It was the last big TV home console that would use cartridges instead of Discs, which caused some developers to focus on other consoles while others continued to create unique games for the Nintendo console.
Super Mario 64 is till today known as the first great 3D Platformer game and probably inspired a big number of other later 3D based games that used similar mechanics and game designs as seen in the game.
While the Nintendo 64 got only a few but really great games in its first year, a wave of around 50 titles were released in 1997. James Bond 007: Goldeneye, became one of the most influential first person shooters on video game consoles and even today in 2016, modern games get mods that are based on the gameplay of Goldeneye 64.
Many game series known from the SNES days like Bomberman and Star Fox celebrated their Next-Gen debut while the system got also completely new developments like Turok: Dinosaur Hunter.
1998 was a very important year in video gaming, with a ton of new games and many new ideas in them. The Nintendo 64 received actually the most games of its lifetime in 1998. The Legend of Zelda saw its first new game since around 5 years, and what a big title LoZ: Ocarina of Time was. Nintendo continued a couple of their older series with games like F-Zero X, brought the successful Pokemon IP to consoles with Pokemon Stadium and released completely new developments like the awesome 1080° Snowboarding.
The third-party support was not as big as on the SNES but the Nintendo 64 still got a lot games by companies like Konami, Akklaim and especially Midway Games in 1998, all in all it was a great year for N64 owners!
1999 was another important year for Nintendo 64 owners with games Super Smash Bros. that became one of the most important game series for Nintendo that started on the Nintendo 64.
The console received almost as many games as in 1998 but the system also started to lose more and more ground in a direct comparison with the Sony Playstation that became the most popular video game console of the mid-late nineties. The expansion pak was released with Donkey Kong 64 and used to enhance the graphics of some of the games. The third-party support was still there but it was shrinking already which started to hurt sales and the image of Nintendo.
The Nintendo 64 did not receive many more games in these three years, but the majority of the released ones were great games that raised the standard of their genre’s.
Perfect Dark by Rare was another superb first person shooter, Conker’s Bad Fur Day is till today known as a masterpiece and the maybe best looking N64 game. Namco finally ported Ridge Racer to a Nintendo console and gave it a super fun 4-player mode, the Legend of Zelda: Majora’s Mask and Paper Mario are known as some of the best games of their series still.
The Nintendo 64’s Lifetime ended with many Bangs.
Thank you for viewing and thanks a ton @ everyone responsible for the creation of the Nintendo 64!
Big extra thanks go to SuperEdco of course who creates one Logo after another for GA-HQ now since years and was also responsible for the N64 Anniversary one
Our Nintendo 64 Anniversary Tribute is a free project by fans, for fans, by gamers for gamers without any other interests than to remember the great times we had with this console.