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The Magic of Nintendo 64

Eric Prister | Tuesday, November 24, 2009

There’s something about multi-player Nintendo 64 games that brings out the worst in people. Even the most mild-mannered person can be seen screaming when his he loses his last life in Super Smash Bros., or when he gets a star stolen from him in Mario Party.
But there’s also something about these games that brings people together, some small enjoyment that comes from competition that requires nothing but some hand-eye coordination and basic video game playing skills. I suggest that every dorm room should include a Nintendo 64 (something that can now be purchased relatively inexpensively) and these few games which can provide hours of entertainment, and often some bitter rivalries and excessive yelling.
Super Smash Bros.
Arguably the greatest multi-player video game of all time, Super Smash Bros. is a must-have for any Nintendo 64 owners. The enjoyment comes from being able to match your fighting skills with someone else’s, one-on-one, and proving that you can beat up your opponent, even if it’s only in a video game. Intensity and hilarity can ensue when the lives start slipping away and it starts coming down to the last few attacks, especially if someone finds a hammer. And no, using Kirby is not cheating. It’s just smart game play.
Mario Party
Why play a regular board game when you can play a Mario board game complete with mini-games and the frustration that comes with happening spaces and chance time? Mario Party appeals to all because of the combination of strategy and luck, and the variety of mini-games allows everyone to excel at something. And what brings more intensity than the end of a round of Mario Party, waiting to see who will get the coin star, the happening star and the game star, all in the pursuit of the ever-elusive Super Star. Wow, I’m a nerd.
Mario Kart
A game that tends to be more lop-sided in favor of those who have experience playing the game (or those who have memorized the courses forwards and backwards), Mario Kart is a game that should be played with players of comparable skill level. The 16 courses provide variation that gives the game replay value, but the ability to play as many or as few races as you want makes it a good game for filling any amount of free time. Just remember not to drink and drive. It’s against the rules.
Mario Golf
Another game that takes some getting used to before it really becomes fun, Mario Golf can provide a much-needed golf fix in the midst of the cold winters of South Bend. One drawback is that rounds of 18 holes can take a while, but Mario Golf offers a save feature which can postpone rounds for later. Nothing is more frustrating that missing a short putt for the win, but nothing is more exhilarating than chipping in or recording the rare albatross. Don’t forget to factor in the rain, though. Or the lie. Or the wind.

If any of these appeal to you, the I strongly urge you to find a Nintendo 64, get some friends together and play one of these games. Just be prepared for the biting insults, a lot of yelling and the occasional controller-throw. Just make sure that you don’t hit the system too hard, or it will freeze. Epic fail.