In today’s world, finding the time to sit down and enjoy a video game or two is becoming increasingly difficult. We work to live (which in this economy translates as: all the time) or live to work if we want any hope of moving up the career ladder.
Thankfully, developers have cottoned on to this fact and most modern games come with useful features that help those of us who are forever slaves to the grindstone. Auto-saves has become a necessity and mobile gaming does a good job of filling in the cracks when we’re away from the living room.
The Nintendo 64 was released in a very different time. Although gaming was finally gaining acceptance as a mainstream hobby back in the late 90s, it was still viewed as unsociable waste of time that made your eyes go square. The technology was different then, too, and game design meant that players more often than not had to force their way through to the next save point if they wanted to log their progress.
Looking back at some games, this seems both bizarre and incredibly archaic. While it’s not quite a password system (although those too were still in fairly regular use), the fact that some games stretched their save points across an hour or so of gameplay is baffling. Did it usually up the challenge? Without a shadow of a doubt, and nostalgic gamers will likely remember the sense of achievement often felt when completing some of these mammoth challenges.
Nevertheless, this puts many N64 games at odds with the titles of today. With games like Body Harvest or Doom 64, players can’t just switch on their system, dive into a quick 15 minute session and drop out again, safe in the knowledge that their play experience will pick up where they last left it. If you want to get the most out of your retro software, we’re afraid you’re going to need to start freeing up some of your schedule.
Thankfully, not all N64 games subscribe to such a model. We’ve sifted through the 64-bit beast’s library and picked out some of the best pick-up-and-play titles for when you need a quick fix. We’re sure that there are more titles out that can be enjoyed in short bursts, so why not share your favourite N64 quick fixes in the comments section at the bottom?
Please note that these are ranked in no particular order.
1. Battletanx: Global Assault
Its main campaign can feel a little long-winded at times (thanks to some unnecessarily long routes), but that doesn’t matter, as Battletanx: Global Assault’s multiplayer mode is the perfect substitute.
Fully playable in single player, modes such as Tank Wars feature a good number of AI-controlled enemies to create the ultimate battlefield. Matches don’t tend to last very long, and you don’t need to worry about losing track of what’s going on in the story.