Legend of Zelda, The: Majora’s Mask (Review) (2000)
What a magnificent piece of work The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time was: closest to the nigh-perfect A Link to the Past in scope, one of the finest transitions from 2D to 3D that there’s been, and almost as infinitely replayable as its SNES forerunner. It marked the fifth Zelda game, and was a continuation of the high standards the series had set, along with the fantastic Link’s Awakening and the fondly remembered 2 NES originals.
Ocarina of Time was a game that, for the majority of people, lived up to the immense hype borne from agonising delays. The Legend of Zelda had really become a juggernaut series, and the fans clamoured for a sequel – although given Ocarina’s development time it seemed likely that they’d have to wait for the next Nintendo console.
Towards the end of the Nintendo 64’s lifespan, however, screenshots of a game that appeared to be an Ocarina of Time reskin emerged, with a funny sort of sundial at the bottom of the screen. It looked for all the world like an expansion pack of Ocarina of Time – and indeed, that’s what Majora’s Mask was originally conceived as. Fresh from his role as assistant director with Ocarina of Time, Eiji Aonuma was charged with the task of releasing a follow-up game in the same mould in just one year. The result, naturally, would have to be a condensed Zelda adventure, but could at least borrow elements from its older brother. Could Majora’s Mask stand up against Ocarina of Time? Would it take its place proudly alongside the other fine games of the series?
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Lylat Wars (1997)
* Known as Star Fox 64 in the United States
Starwing (or Star Fox) for the SNES was a great game, in which you played as a talking fox named… er, Fox, who headed up the Star Fox team of four elite mercenary fighter pilots – the rest of the team being made up of Falco Lombardi, Peppy Hare, and the remarkably less talented fourth member, Slippy Toad. The Star Fox team were tasked with defeating the evil scientist Andross, as he led an invasion of the game’s galaxy, the Lylat System, and gained control of most of its planets. They would complete this task by use of four cutting edge fighter ships, called Arwings.
Starwing was the first 3D game for the SNES, a feat brought about by the engineering of the remarkable Super FX graphics accelerator chip, allowing the game to render polygons and advanced scrolling. This enabled Nintendo and Argonaut Software (co-developers of the game and the Super FX chip) to design the 3D scrolling rail-shooter which introduced Fox McCloud and company to Nintendo’s assortment of characters.
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The Days of the Nintendo 64 (2013)
Please be advised that this feature contains strong language.
Technology always marches on with time. It’s a sad thing, but it’s inevitable. And so it was that the Super Nintendo, still in my mind the undisputed king of consoles, had to bow out eventually. But the omens were good: Nintendo’s Ultra 64 was on its way. A 64-bit machine! Far better than the 16-bits of the SNES and the Sega Mega Drive, and still double that of the Sony PlayStation, released in 1995! The Ultra 64, later named simply the Nintendo 64, was released in the US in 1996 and Europe in 1997, already facing stiff competition from the PlayStation following its terrific launch and capacity for 3D games.
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