N64 Trick or Treat 2- The Treatening
Two years ago, I went trick or treating, N64 style. That trip admittedly was more trick than treat. Two years have gone by, though, and there has been much connoisseuring since then. Surely, if I were to try this again, it would turn out better for me, right? RIGHT? Well, we’re gonna find out. I took the entire North American Nintendo 64 game library and threw it into a randomizer. What follows is the first five games from the list, presented as the story of my trick or treating experience.
Mario Kart 64
The first house on my path seems like a lot of fun. Through the window I see what appears to be groups of friends enjoying each other’s company. I hear laughter and occasional loud cursing at one of the friends named “Bloochelle.” I ring the doorbell and a very pleasant young couple opens the door and throws Mario Kart 64 into my bag! “Thanks, guys!”, I exclaimed gleefully. “Have you heard of a game called Diddy Kong Racing? This very handsome man on the internets says that it’s an even better game than Mario Kart 64. No matter. Happy Halloween!” Hey, I don’t need to tell you that this was one hell of a good game. What? It’s kind of my job? Oh. Right. Well, Mario Kart 64 was a wonderful game that is still to this day beloved by many and played frequently. If you’ve never played it, ummmm… why?
Trick or Treat: Treat
Related Costume: A tail of banana peels
Halloween Candy Equivalent: A bag of Haribo Gummy Bears. Not just any bag, mind you. This bag is the size too large for even Sam’s Club to carry (or your local giant bulk goods store equivalent). Given to you by Kojima, who pops out of a cardboard box to give it to you.
Red. Blue. I’m the guy with the shell.
Star Soldier: Vanishing Earth
I continue down the road to the end of the block where I see a house that looks widely ignored but I’m not sure why. Seems like a fun house, possibly better than a good majority of the other 295 houses in this neighborhood. I’ve heard people are turned off by the company that built this house because of some previously shoddy work. Well, that doesn’t scare me. I knock on the door, the homeowner answers and drops the wonderful hidden gem, Star Soldier: Vanishing Earth into my bag. This Halloween is really shaping up well for me. This game is a vertical scrolling arcade shooter that is just a ton of fun to play, even with my well documented terrible skill level at these games. It features numerous ships to choose from, cool powerups, and a slightly lower than usual difficulty level for this genre. I know that is a deal breaker for some, but for me and those as bad at these games as I am, it is a welcomed treat.
Trick or Treat: What did I just say? Treat
Related Costume: A Gundam suit. Play through to the first boss, you’ll get it.
Halloween Candy Equivalent: Mr. Goodbar. Have you ever heard of Mr. Goodbar? You haven’t have you? Well, it’s damn good, just like Star Soldier: Vanishing Earth
Oh man, this trip is going WAY better than last time. I cut over to the next block and come across a very futuristic looking house. There is no doorbell but there is an A.I. assistant who fetches the lord of the manor. He promptly teleports the futuristic racer, Extreme-G into my bag. Wow. Three treats in a row. Extreme-G is very cool, very good at conveying a sense of speed, and surprisingly not about a rapper with an affinity for Mountain Dew . It has visually aged very well and the cycles remind me of Tron. It was also one of Acclaim’s last really good games, may they rest in peace. OH GOD THERE THEY ARE! ZOMBIIIIIEEEEEE!!!! No. Wait. My bad. That was just Pop Cap. (Watch out, EA is digging a hole for you next to Criterion.)
Trick or Treat: Treat
Related Costume: Kevin Flynn
Halloween Candy Equivalent: 2lb bag of Twizzlers. Why? Because this game is about hot, nasty, badass speed and that is also my policy on consuming Twizzlers. I love that stuff.
Now for some real User power.
Elmo’s Number Journey
Carrying on my merry way, I turn down a street that looks oddly familiar. Like I had seen it a whole bunch in my childhood and then not again until my nieces were born. I’m not sure why, but I instinctively knock on a trashcan lid. A… creature of some variety pops out, throws Elmo’s Number Journey at my face, and then tells me to piss off. What a nice guy. I mean, for what it was, this wasn’t a bad game. It had the characters you would be expecting, and they were voiced properly which is huge if you actually want your kid to pay attention and learn a thing instead of being held up on voices. Still though, there was an unusual amount of lag for such a simplistic game. Also, Elmo moved like.. well like he had a hand up his ass for 30 years and then suddenly not anymore. Not really a game I can enjoy, but perhaps better suited for Chris Swartz and his daughter, Mae.
Trick or Treat: Trick
Related Costume: Cookie Monster that does not eat fruits and vegetables.
Halloween Candy Equivalent: Chocolate pirate coins. They look appealing to kids, but there isn’t really much substance to them.
Clay Fighter Sculptor’s Cut
Well, this has been a fun round of trick or treating but I must admit, I’m getting tired. I think I’ve got one more stop in me, though. This house has a weird sticker on it that looks like it will ruin the value of the house if I try to remove it. I knock on the door and it is answered by a scantily clad Santa Claus who mutters something highly inappropriate for such a reputable retro gaming website and tosses a cartridge into my bag. Well, what do we have here? It’s possibly the most sought after game on the Nintendo 64, Clay Fighter Sculptor’s Cut. This was one of those Blockbuster only releases and as such, it is fairly rare. That being the case, the price of these things is disproportionately high to the actual quality of the game. It’s at best a mediocre fighting game that tries to cover up for its shortcomings with toilet humor. Don’t get me wrong, I love toilet humor, but I have always taken exception to this game for its unnecessarily high price and for it being the game that every hack collector mentions to try and make it seem like they know what they’re talking about. I have Wikipedia, too. I know it’s rare, thanks.
Trick or Treat: Trick. Sorry to burst your bubble.
Related Costume: Scantily clad Easter Bunny. Equal time.
Halloween Candy Equivalent: Russell Stover chocolates. A whole lot of price with a just a couple of enjoyable pieces.