Top ten N64 remasters we wanted to see
Remasters can be a great way to present new experiences to new players and revitalize old experiences for experienced players. This can be especially important for companies like Nintendo that are constantly trying to appeal to new and old generations of gamers alike. Here are ten games we think Nintendo would be wise to remaster and fans would be eager to pick up for an updated playthrough:
This game came after Yoshi’s Island on the SNES, which, as one of the most celebrated 2D platformers of all time, was a tough act to follow. Because of this and other issues, it got a bad rap. It was too short and easy, reviewers said. While this may have been true, it was also aimed at a younger crowd than Yoshi’s Island was. Ideally games can be entertaining for anyone of any skill level, but this isn’t always true. At the time of its initial release, a game like Yoshi’s Story would have to be sold physically as a full title, but now that we’ve moved on technologically, Yoshi’s Story could be re-“packaged” as a virtual title on the Switch’s e-shop.
Yoshi’s Story has already reappeared on other Nintendo virtual consoles, but a remaster on the Switch could give players an extra incentive to pick up the discounted title as they might try a less expensive indie game. Plus, the mobile capabilities of the Switch would be perfect for the pick-up-and-play brevity of Yoshi’s Story in a way that the original N64 version wasn’t.
Kirby 64: The Crystal Shards:
Kirby 64 doesn’t get enough credit. The entry introduced new characters like Ribbon and Adeline which have been mostly ignored since their creation, but at least some of which will be appearing via cameos in the upcoming Star Allies for the Switch. It also introduced power combinations of copy abilities, a concept which has been experimented with since with Squeak Squad and Star Allies. This similarity, in particular, makes it so that it’s now the prime time to remaster The Crystal Shards in order to familiarize new players with the concept while allowing fans of the original to see it in a new way.
The cancelation of Megaman Legends 3 was a big bummer for fans of the Blue Bomber. It had people questioning whether Megaman would ever return to his former glory, especially after the spiritual successor Mighty No. 9 failed to impress critically. With the return of classic Megaman first in Super Smash Bros. 4 and now the upcoming Megaman 11, it seems that question has been answered. What better way to build on that hype than a remaster of the original game in the series that sparked so much disappointment in its sequel’s cancelation? It wouldn’t be Megaman Legends 3, but the remaster would still be quite the redemptive move.
Both of these were already remastered for the Xbox 360, but so what? When it comes to classic collect-athons such as these there’s no limit to how many players should have access to them, and the bear and the bird would be right at home on a Nintendo console where they belong. It might be difficult getting the go ahead from Microsoft to put remasters of these games on the Switch, but not impossible; after all, a Diddy Kong Racing remake was allowed for the Nintendo DS long after Rare was bought by Microsoft. Besides, we live in a day and age where Crash Bandicoot’s main series original trilogy can appear on a Nintendo system, so anything is possible.
Jet Force Gemini:
A third-person shooter from Rare, this one is considered a classic by fans of the era but is relatively unknown to modern gamers. A remaster could solve that problem and maybe even inspire a sequel. The game has plenty of off-beat humor and sci-fi fun to go around and with some updated controls it could be a blast to play on the Switch regardless of what comes after. As far as remaster choices go, this one could work. Since it’s lesser-known too, it might be easier to get Microsoft to allow Nintendo to use it than Banjo Kazooie.
Cameras, in my Pokémon? It’s more likely than you think. Pokémon Snap was one of the stranger spinoffs for the franchise and it involved going to on-rails safari locations to take pictures of the little pocket monsters that you pass by in order to earn praise and points from Professor Oak and open up new abilities and locations. The game has a cult following and a remaster could make it beautiful in addition to working as a springboard to a sequel, which has been in demand since at least the Gamecube era. Plus they could pretty easily add some Pokémon from future generations as Easter egg cameos in the old courses, which would be a fun surprise for players of the original.
Shake shake! Mischief Makers is an obscure 2D puzzle platformer starring robotic lab assistant Marina Liteyears. Gameplay involved the usual running and jumping of the genre but added in occasional 3D elements and, yes, shaking things. Combat was done through throwing people and objects and overall the whole experience was a quirky mix of Japanese tropes that became very memorable to anyone who experienced them. Players deserve a chance to ride ostriches and search for tricycles with improved graphics on the Switch, and a remake would provide just that.
GoldenEye on the N64 was THE first person shooter of its day. Fans have wanted a remaster for a long time. One fan remake for the PC added multiplayer but the official remaster for the Xbox Live Arcade was canceled. If Nintendo was able to get the rights to it, a remaster would be in high demand for the Switch for sure.
Super Mario 64:
Super Mario 64 was remade for the DS, but the controls were iffy and the graphics weren’t as good as they could’ve been even with improvements. A full console remaster for the Switch is just what Dr. Mario ordered for the beloved game that set the baseline for 3D platforming as a genre. The controls would be better than in either existing version, the graphics could be a joy to look at, and Nintendo could even keep in the additional playable characters and bonus stars that were added for the DS version. A Super Mario 64 Switch game would certainly be the definitive version of the title.
Donkey Kong 64:
The Donkey Kong Country games have gotten sequels since the NES days from Retro Studios, but what of Donkey Kong 64? Given its dishonor as the game that is usually credited with killing off the collectathon genre, usually the game is brought up with a tone of disdain at best. A remaster could change that with graphical and gameplay improvements that made the game not only look better and feel better to control, but also work better. If Nintendo changed the game so that players could swap Kongs out on the fly rather than needing to go to a barrel to change characters every five seconds, most of the problems gamers had with the original would be solved just like that. This remaster could be redemptive and literally game-changing, and that’s why it’s number one on the list.
So what do you think? We didn’t have enough room to include every great N64 game, so what would you include on your list of remasters? We’d love to hear from you in the comments, and we’ll be keeping our fingers crossed for remaster announcements for sure.