Sunday, 25 November 2012

Slightly Scummy N64 Purchases


With great reluctance, my girlfriend and I wandered aback through the doors of the newly opened pawn brokers in our small town of Roermond, The Netherlands. I say reluctance, as my girlfriend and I are currently on a tight budget. However, it was bound to happen sooner or later, especially after stumbling across 15 complete Game Boy Advance games for next to nothing prices a month or so ago.

Luckily for us the retro gaming section was very well stocked, and what they did have demanded rather ridiculous prices.€85 for a severely yellowed Dreamcast with one controller? This is mainly due to Sega products in general not taking off in the Netherlands like they did back in my home country of the United Kingdom. As a result Sega consoles and games are considered rarities in their own right, much in the same way that Neo-Geo products ar.

Our attention then became focused on a small row of Nintendo 64 games at the very bottom of a glass cabinet. Peering down, my gaze was immediately fixed on  an unboxed copy of Donkey Kong 64, with my girlfriend eyeing up Mario Kart 64. They were priced at €5 each. Not bad for where we live, not bad at all. In an act of self discipline, we left the shop as reluctantly as we had entered.

Later that evening we returned to buy the games. 


As can be seen in the pictures, these aren't the prettiest looking N64 cartridges around. The price stickers are backed with some terribly sticky glue, which I have evidently left on for the time being. Donkey Kong 64 has a patch of its paper label missing where the previous owner must have torn off a stiky label of similr stickiness to the sticky label I'm having trouble with. In an attempt to cover up the missing label, the previous owner had clearly redrawn Donkey Kong's face.I don't mind so much, as it at least shows that it was at once owned by someone that cared for it, you know, despite defacing it.

Mario Kart 64's label is sun bleached. It isn't that bad, and it may not be too visible on these phots, but the damage has been done. The contacts were also very grimy.I whacked them both into the console without thinking about it, couldn't get them to boot and then realised what I had done. Hopefully I didn't leave too much grime on my N64 contacts.

Unfortunately, we've seemed to have misplaced our second N64 controller so can't enjoy any of the multi-player mayhem that Mario Kart 64 is known for. My girlfriend however is having a lot of fun playing it on her own which I'm very happy to see this as she's not quite as fond of older games as I am.


As for myself, I've only had the opportunity to get a couple of hours into Donkey Kong 64. So far I'm disappointingly unimpressed. The design of this game is clearly heavily based off Rareware classic Banjo-Kazooie, one of my all time favourite games. Donkey Kong 64, however lacks the 'magic' Banjo-Kazooie still has. The environments are disappointingly generic, the level design seems basic and the 3D platforming seems worse to control than it did for Banjo-Kazooie. This is indeed very peculiar for a Rareware game. I haven't given up on it yet though and genuinely hope that it pulls something off later into the game that really gets me hooked.

Have you had the chance to play Donkey Kong 64? Are my assumptions regarding the game premature and incorrect, or have I already sussed this one out? Let me know in the comments section below.

1 comment:

  1. It looks like both of those cartridges have had a hard life... but at least they work. I actually laughed when I saw that Donkey Kong's face has been redrawn. Good stuff.

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