It’s once again the time of year to be festive and merry, consume too much turkey, and have one glass too many of Grandma’s sherry. If you’re a long-time N64 fan, then it may also be the perfect chance for you to once again dominate your family and friends in a GoldenEye 007 deathmatch.
Many of us will have fond Christmas memories of the N64 from the late ‘90s. For those who were children when the system was still current, Christmas Day may have been the only day of the year you could get your hands on that N64 console or game you’d wanted all year – provided you’d been a good boy or girl that is.
The N64 may now no longer be the must-have Christmas gift (although North American GameStop customers certainly want one), but that doesn’t mean it can’t provide you and your family and friends with an abundance of festive fun. With four controller ports and some of the best games ever made, what more could you ask for?
Here are a few suggestions of N64 games that will help you get into the mood for Christmas.
Super Mario 64
Were you one of those lucky people who got to unwrap a shiny new Nintendo 64 console and a copy of Super Mario 64 on the morning of 25 December, 1996? Mario’s first 3D outing will always be linked to Christmas for some of us, so why not go back to it and indulge your nostalgia?
Each of Super Mario 64’s game worlds is immensely fun, but if you truly want to embrace the season then you should explore the two winter wonderlands it has to offer.
Cool, Cool Mountain – one of the game’s earliest worlds – has snowmen, a fun (if somewhat deadly) ice slide and, most important of all, a heck of a lot of snow. Christmas is a time of giving, and this frozen domain gives you the opportunity to reunite a mother penguin with her lost daughter – if that make you all warm and fuzzy inside, then what will?
You’ll find a magic painting upstairs in Princess Peach’s Castle that’ll transport you to Snowman’s Land. It’s perfect for those who would rather be exploring than sitting on the sofa watching a TV Christmas special. There’s an igloo maze to explore and even a giant snowman to climb, although it’s worth noting that the frosty giant doesn’t like visitors and will do his best to blow you away.
Diddy Kong Racing
Diddy Kong Racing’s Snowflake Mountain region is home to four wintery racing tracks that are stuffed full of festive touches.
As you whizz around Everfrost Peak, Frosty Village, Walrus Cove and Snowball Valley, you’ll see giant candy canes, evergreen trees adorned with Christmas lights and, of course, a lot of snow. And if, for some strange reason, seeing all this isn’t enough, then hearing David Wise’s Christmas-inspired soundtrack will definitely do the trick.
Diddy Kong Racing can be played with up to four players, making it a great choice for when you’re with family and friends.
During his quest to stop Altair and his band of baddies from destroying Planet Bomber, Bomberman travels to White Glacier, a floating snow world of penguins, snowmen and ski chalets – oh, and a giant killer spider too, but don’t let that put you off.
Each stage of White Glacier has its own challenges, whether it’s surviving avalanches, fighting Regulus or trying not to slide off the edge of the level in the third stage. You’ll also have to watch out for careless snowboarders; they may look jolly with their Santa hats on, but they’ll run you down if you get in the way.
If you feel like you need a break from all that snow, then you should check out the many warmer destinations available in the game’s multiplayer mode. Forget socks and chocolate, give your friends and family the gift they neither wanted nor asked for: a nice, big bomb.
Mario Party 3
It’s renowned for destroying friendships and families with its competitive mini-games and star-stealing antics. But that doesn’t stop the Mario Party series from being a lot of fun.
If you want your experience to be in keeping with the Christmas theme, then Mario Party 3’s Chilly Waters board is your best choice (it’s also your only choice as, incredibly, that’s the only winter-themed board in all three Mario Party games for the N64). While it may seem like a snowy haven, it’s worth knowing that Chilly Waters is in fact home to a dangerous ice lake and the occasional giant snowball.
Much like Super Mario 64, Banjo-Kazooie has a variety of game worlds for you to explore. But Freezeezy Peak is the place you want to be heading for your festive fix.
Climbing a giant snowman, entering a sled race and turning on the Christmas lights are just some of the things you can do in this world. Sure, the ice-cold water isn’t very nice, nor are the evil-looking snowmen lobbing snowballs at you. But don’t let that put you off indulging in what is otherwise a lot of Christmas-themed fun.