More than two decades may have passed since Mario first graced our tiny CRT TV screens in glorious 3D, but there are still plenty of people out there enjoying the N64.
It’s easy to understand why: the N64 has a lot of great games that are always worth coming back to. But in 2017 (and every year in fact), we think it’s important to try something different when it comes to the N64.
That’s why we’ve come up with a list of New Year’s resolutions for all N64 gamers. Feel free to give these a go or, better yet, come up with your own resolutions and share them with us on Twitter.
Improve your aim with Perfect Dark’s shooting range
Dual-joystick controllers have long been the standard for playing first-person shooters on home consoles, so it’s understandable if you’re a bit rusty when it comes to playing an N64 first-person shooter for the first time in ages.
Thankfully, Perfect Dark features a fully equipped shooting range, where you can practise your aim with its many weapons. It’s a great way to once again get used to the combination of the N64 controller’s analogue stick and C-buttons. You could mix things up by switching the controls so that you look/aim with the joystick – a great way to train yourself for games that don’t use Perfect Dark’s standard control setup.
101% Donkey Kong 64
Fully completing Donkey Kong 64 is a mammoth-sized task that requires a lot of dedication, patience and, above all, backtracking. It’s by far the biggest game on the N64 in terms of the sheer amount of collectibles you have find in order to achieve a perfect 101% completion.
If you take on this challenge, make sure you set aside enough time and perhaps stock up on snack supplies – it’s no walk in the park.
Play something different
How many times have you saved Hyrule from the evil clutches of Ganondorf in The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time? Or got at least 70 stars and tossed Bowser into a spiked mine to rescue Princess Peach? More times than you can count?
It’s great to revisit our favourite games of yesteryear, but it’s also exciting to try something new every now and again. Did you know that the N64 has 388 games in its software library? There are a lot of great games outside of Nintendo’s own titles for the system that are really worth trying.
Love Banjo-Kazooie and Super Mario 64? Why not try the zany Space Station Silicon Valley? Always playing Diddy Kong Racing or Mario Kart 64? Take a break from them and give Snowboard Kids a go. And if you only tend to play action games or first-person shooters, then why not broaden your horizons by trying some of the N64’s excellent puzzle games such as Wetrix?
There’s a lot of choice on N64, despite the perpetual misconception that the system doesn’t have any games. If you’re stuck for ideas, check out our games page.
Take better care of your N64 collection
Overall, a lot of N64 kit, such as the console and game cartridges, is pretty robust, but keeping some bits in good condition after around 20 years is becoming increasingly difficult. In particular, the cardboard boxes that N64 games came in were fragile even in the late ‘90s, and they haven’t gotten any more durable with time.
Thankfully, there are some excellent products you can buy to extend the life of your N64 collection. Plastic box protectors not only prevent your game boxes from becoming dog-eared, but they help make them look shiny new.
If your collection is unboxed, then there are still things you can do to protect your cartridges (exposing them to the elements can result in the cartridge pins suffering from oxidation). You can buy custom cases with reworked original box art that offer good protection and look great.
Naturally, this comes at a cost, and if you don’t have much cash to spend (especially after the massive expense that Christmas time can be), then why not set aside a drawer or storage box to neatly keep everything in?
Invite friends round for regular multiplayer sessions
The N64 has four controller ports for a reason. With a wealth of multiplayer games to choose from – many of which are quite simple and straightforward compared to some games today – the N64 is an absolute powerhouse for multiplayer fun. So why not get some buddies round to yours for a few GoldenEye 007 deathmatches and some pizza? If competitive multiplayer isn’t your thing, then there are plenty of co-operative N64 games you could attempt to beat with a friend.
What are your N64 New Year’s resolutions?
Let us know on Twitter.