The Legend of Zelda: Majora's Mask
Released: October 26th, 2000
Developed by: Nintendo EAD
Majora's Mask was Nintendo's direct answer to Sony's launch
of the Playstation 2. Both products were literally released on the same day back in October of 2000. Instead of creating
a new engine and crafting a completely new game, Nintendo instead chose to fast-track the development process and recycle
characters and landscapes from the previous Zelda game, and shorten the total amount of dungoens to cut down on development
The Legend of Zelda: Majora's Mask pales to it's Nintendo
64 predecessor in every facet imagineable, and yet it's still a classic Zelda game, complete with a deep, engaging storyline,
memorable boss fights, great music, and clever puzzles that made you think.
Released: November 20th, 2000
Developed by: Rare Studios
The sequel to the million-selling Banjo Kazooie took the
entire series up a notch. Rare made sure to please fans who'd been long-awaiting the oft-delayed Banjo Tooie. Rare started
by literally doubling the number of levels, added Mumbo Jumbo as a mostly-optional third character with special powers, and
made sure to improve the level design, graphical detail, and game sound. The portal system Rare designed for Banjo and
the bird to travel from area-to-area is a welcome addition to avoid back-tracking and confusion, and overall the platformer
certainly made for one of the last great hurrahs before the Nintendo 64 officially died in the summer of 2001.
Super Smash Bros.
Released: April 26th, 1999
Developed by: HAL Laboratory, Inc.
Super Smash Bros. represented Nintendo's first foray into
the 3D fighting genre, and it certainly created quite a following. The Nintendo 64 original spawned two sequels, Super
Smash Bros. Melee for the GameCube in 2001 (which went on to become the system's best-selling title), and Super Smash Bros.
Brawl for the Wii, which will be released one week from the day this is published. Masahiro Sakurai, who is
the man behind all three games, found a way to make a fighting game feel fresh and new. The Smash Bros. series, while it's
name may be puzzling, it certainly describes the experience well. Smashing is exactly what you do.
Mario Party 2
Released: January 24th, 2000
Developed by: Hudson Soft
The Mario Party series, with installments that now number
in the double digits, is a bit of a sordid affair. While certainly all decent games within their own right, not one
of them measures up to the lofty bars that the classic Nintendo 64 sequel set. The imaginative themes set for each character's
board, the ridiculous expansion of the single-player/ "non-board" extras that you could spend dozens of hours exploring
and unlocking, and of course, the now-classic mini-games that to this day have yet to be topped by any recent iteration of
the franchise. Who could forget the infamous balance-ball rolling mini-game? Certainly not anyone with an N64. Just stay away
from Mario Party 3, because it's awful.
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