Who needs a dozen red roses or a fancy box of chocolates when you can spend Valentine’s Day playing classic N64 games with your significant other?
In all seriousness, it’s silly to compare the N64 to a candlelit dinner, but at the same time not everyone wants Valentine’s Day to be about extravagant gifts and over-the-top romantic gestures.
So if you and your partner much prefer a quiet evening in then why not dig out the N64 and enjoy some classic gaming? We’ve even come up with a list of games we feel are a perfect fit for the occasion.
Will the N64 be making an appearance during your Valentine’s Day? If so, let us know on Twitter.
Set your heart racing
Mario Kart 64 isn’t the first game that comes to mind when you think about romance; getting taken out by a loved one’s blue shell is almost equivalent to a dagger to the heart. And let’s not even get into the heated rivalries for which the game’s Battle Mode is wholly responsible.
If you can put those well-founded feelings of pain and betrayal aside for one evening, you may find that Mario Kart 64 can, in fact, set you on the path – or track – to love. The Grand Prix mode can be played with up to two players, so why not team up with your partner against the CPU-controlled racers to win a gold cup co-operatively?
Show that you can be the bigger person by offering to hang back and take out any CPU players that get near to your partner’s position. And there’s nothing more heroic in our view than someone who takes a red shell for the good of the team.
Want to monkey around instead?
And if you thought monkey around meant something naughty then banish the thought, you cheeky sod; we’re strictly referring to Diddy Kong Racing! By default, Rare’s animal-filled kart racer doesn’t have a two-player adventure mode. However, if you use the cheat code “JOINTVENTURE”, you can now work together to put an end to Wizpig’s nefarious plans.
The James Bond films have shown us that espionage is pretty much always a hot ‘n’ saucy affair. Therefore, it makes perfect sense for you and your partner to equip your spy gear and go on a secret mission this Valentine’s Day (and not to the bedroom either – well, unless your TV happens to be there).
There are 20 missions you and your partner can play through together across three difficulty settings. Gunning down swathes of armed guards may not seem like the sort of activity that’d make two people feel closer to one another. But the more you protect your partner (and they protect you), you’ll soon realise that you quite literally couldn’t survive without them.
Carrington Villa: the ideal secluded retreat for two?
Perfect Dark’s fourth mission tasks you with saving the hapless Daniel Carrington, who’s been taken hostage at his own private villa.
Normally you are tasked with saving a negotiator at the start of this mission. However, if you play on Perfect Agent difficulty in co-op, one of you takes on the role of the negotiator while the other must save them. It’s the ultimate test of trust and love, although don’t take it as a sign you’re not meant to be if it turns out your partner happens to be a lousy shot.
Love is a battlefield
Nothing says I love you quite like cutting down hordes of orc soldiers and lizard men. That said, there are definitely much easier ways to win the affection of another person.
Gauntlet Legends isn’t a great Valentine’s Day game because of its violent content, but rather because it’s a straightforward hack ‘n’ slash game that requires teamwork (although thankfully not too much coordination).
If you’re having a double date this year then Gauntlet Legends has got you covered – it can be played with up to four players (although you’ll need an N64 Expansion Pak for this).
Save the (next) date
If all goes well in your battle against Skorne (and, of course, your conquest for love) then there’s a good chance you may want to have a follow-up date on the battlefield. One of the great things about Gauntlet Legends is that you can save your character’s personal progression as you work through the game. And thankfully you only need a single memory card (but you’ll need one note and four pages of save space per character save file).
Therefore, it’s worth investing in a memory card if you haven’t already got one; your partner will thank you for it when you get to the game’s more gruelling later stages.
Take a trip together to a faraway land
It’s always nice to have the chance to go away somewhere with your partner, but often there’s a cost involved. Thanks to the power of the N64 though, you can be transported to a fantastical world for a very affordable cost (although at the rate that N64 game prices are climbing, we may have to edit this bit out in future).
Goemon’s Great Adventure (Mystical Ninja 2 Starring Goemon to those of us in Europe) is our top choice here; it provides a lighthearted jaunt through a version of Feudal Japan where all Japanese folklore is true and historical accuracy isn’t considered. Better yet, it’s a 2D platformer (with 3D visuals) that can be played co-operatively with another person.
One of Goemon’s Great Adventure’s oddest, yet most entertaining features is its giant robot battles that take place after you beat each region’s castle stage. Taking control of Impact, a giant, semi-autonomous clockwork robot, and his female counterpart, Miss Impact, seems incredibly apt given the occasion.
The game doesn’t shed much light on their relationship (although the game’s instruction manual mentions that Impact has feelings for Miss Impact), but thankfully the gameplay conveys just how dependent they are on one another. You and the other player must use them simultaneously to battle a single robo-monstrosity.
One player sees the battle from a first-person perspective, while the other controls their robot who is situated in the background. The robot at the back can’t do as much, although they can interrupt the enemy’s movements with a well-timed hit. The most important element here is the baton; players throw this between one another to swap perspectives, and you’ll need to do this to counter certain unblockable moves.
Good communication and teamwork are the key here – much like in an actual relationship!
Forever alone? Have no fear: Getter Love!
If this year’s Valentine’s Day is looking like a takeaway meal for one then don’t fret: the N64 can help you with your search for love!
Getter Love!!: Chō Renai Party Game Tanjō is a 1998 dating game developed by Hudson Soft that only released in Japan. In this party game, you must do your best to win a girl’s heart – all while potentially sabotaging the romantic efforts of the other players!
There is one slight snag though; the game is entirely in Japanese, and it’s incredibly text heavy. So unless you understand Japanese, there’s a good chance this game will make about as much sense to you as the real-life game of love. Ouch.
Tell us your plans
Will you be spending Valentine’s Day this year with your N64? Let us know on Twitter.