News Article

The N64 and Nintendo’s Fall From Grace

Posted by Damien McFerran

UK magazine EDGE charts the grim days of the 1990s

Highly respected UK video game magazine EDGE has posted up a feature on its website about the fall of Nintendo in the mid ‘90s.

It’s been penned by veteran journo Douglass Perry (who actually wrote for Edge’s US sister publication, Next Generation, which is now sadly defunct) and focuses mainly on the torrid time the company had with its N64 console.

To be fair it doesn’t really offer up anything that hasn’t been said before but it makes for an interesting read if you’re not entirely familiar with Nintendo’s troubled past over the previous decade or so.

Part two is up next week apparently, so keep your eyes peeled for that.

[via edge-online.com]

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User Comments (49)

Bahamut_ZERO

#2

Bahamut_ZERO said:

sigh

"Fall of Nintendo?" Seriously, they're just as good as they were back in the day, we're just getting used to their franchises. When people say "Wah, Nintendo sucks now, they're ignoring their hardcore audience!" they're acting like a child who feels like their parents dont love them anymore because they had a second child. Well Nintendo just has a second audience now, so I hope these people just shut up.

God, Im sick of these articles.

greyelephant

#3

greyelephant said:

I remember the first time I saw a Nintendo 64. I was at ToysRUs with my wife and I remember watching a kid play Mario 64. I knew right then I needed this system. They had some great games (that I still own to this day), but failed in the end when it came to competing with the PS1. In the end, Nintendo lost lots of its 3rd party software parties simply because the cartridges were too expensive to develope compared to disks. I loved my N64 even to this day and can't believe how dissapointed I was to see the crown passed to Sony.

I ended up buying the Gamecube as well. I also bought the PS2 and found it to be superior as well.

Thank goodness for the Wii. Yes, I know I'm somewhat of a fanboy when I say I grew up with Nintendo and always wish to see them do well.

Objection

#4

Objection said:

I loved my N64 and I only fail to play it now because I buy N64 games I don't have on VC.

Adam

#5

Adam said:

@Bahamut Zero
If people are "getting used" to Nintendo's franchises, that means they aren't doing enough new. And being disappointed in a company because it ignores the audience that has been with it the longest is a pretty legitimate attitude, even if you don't agree with it. Saying these people are acting like children is unnecessary, especially when they're not hurting anyone.

Personally, I find myself more and more disappointed with the company's first-party games, but whatever. I hope they return to their roots someday, but until then, there's plenty enough on offer in the indie scene for anyone with a PC. I don't think N64 was that bad, but it was definitely the start of a decline due to the drop in third-party support. Fortunately, Wii seems to be picking up the slack.

Digiki

#6

Digiki said:

Except Nintendo was in their prime during the N64 days, during the SNES they were pretty hot, but everyone knows SM64 beats World, and OoT beats ALttP (so does MM, LA, OoS, and OoA, but I digress) just some people will lie and say they aren't ;)

TwilightV

#7

TwilightV said:

I never even touched a PlayStation until the middle of the Gamecube era. That's how much I enjoyed my N64.

Adam

#8

Adam said:

@Digiki
Blasphemy!!! World (and 3) are better than 64. LttP (and both NES Zeldas) are better than OoT. Do you want to take this outside?
;)

GabboStaff

#9

Gabbo said:

@Adam
Don't listen to him. He's just trying to stir up trouble. Everyone knows that every game on the SNES was better than every N64 game. ;)

James

#10

James said:

Reading that the N64 was Nintendo's fall from grace, as a Sega fan, is fantastic.

Adam

#12

Adam said:

@Gabbo
Thanks, I needed to hear that. ;)

@Monkey
It's okay. I understand you're just a bit confused. I'd say the NES Zeldas were even better than LttP, with OoT being one of the worst in the series.

Actually, the 3D Zeldas are practically an entirely different series, so I don't even think it is fair to compare them with the classics. But since they do bear the same name and all, it's unavoidable. I will continue to swear by the Book of Mudora that the 2D titles are the best. :)

Bahamut_ZERO

#13

Bahamut_ZERO said:

@Digiki: Oh yeah! I totally agree right there high fives

@Adam: Im not calling them children, just that they act like children.........

Okay, maybe I am but still, I have some valid points :)

Adam

#14

Adam said:

The difference there is minimal and still a bit insulting. I wouldn't want someone to say I act like a child because of a simple difference of opinion. Especially when you're wrong. (Just kidding ;)).

NintendoNaut

#16

NintendoNaut said:

What a bunch of crap. Nintendo is the greatest video game company of all time. No company is superior to them. Nintendo IS video games. Thank you Bahamut ZERO in your first comment. Your words sum it up well.

Hawker

#17

Hawker said:

@Adam: as far as returning to their roots, if you really wanna be technical, they have. The NES was originally marketed towards casual gamers & familys cause no one would give a hardcore gaming system a chance thanks to Atari killing the market. And in a way the market was becoming just more of the same again. All that there is now on the "hardcore" systems are shooters, shooters, & shooters. If a game that isn't a shooter is released on one of these systems it's not even given a chance cause it's not "hardcore" enough for these "hardcore gamers" Bahamut ZERO is right, they act like children.

deadly_by_design

#18

deadly_by_design said:

The N64 is the console that turned me toward PC gaming instead. It just didn't give me what I really wanted. (which isn't to say that it completely sucked, but ultimately meh)

Adam

#19

Adam said:

@Hawker
How is that "technical"? You just gave your opinion, not some scientific law, haha. :D

Come on, look at Nintendo's main franchises. The Mario games were the easiest on there, and they were still pretty challenging. Metroid and Zelda I & II? None of these are "casual" games. The whole casual / hardcore dichotomy is a misperceived notion anyway. Games don't come in two flavors, and even if they did, I never insinuated Nintendo's roots were in one or the other.

I think Nintendo's older consoles are where it's at, and the N64 and Gamecube were disappointments to me. That is my adult opinion.

Cthuloops

#20

Cthuloops said:

I don't see why this article even has relevance now. The N64 days are good and gone. I still play my N64 as it was the very 1st console I owned and I still love the damn thing and I don't really give a crap who won. I just play the games, I don't need to know Ninty's pocket book troubles at the time.

Neomega

#21

Neomega said:

My N64 sees more use (game-wise) then my Wii!

But the emulators help for what I dont have.

Bahamut_ZERO

#22

Bahamut_ZERO said:

@Adam: Well it looks like your adult opinion is alone here. I've got 2 whole people on my side :D

Of course, that is until Alex shows up and rips us to shreds with some totally different opinion that is ;)

Adam

#23

Adam said:

No, it doesn't look that way at all. It looks like two others were not as impressed with N64 as with previous consoles, and it looks like only one other person has the ludicrous notion that enjoying one console over another is somehow childish -- and ironically, the older system.

But then again, as just a child, surely my counting abilities can't be relied on...

I really didn't even think the N64 was a bad console. I'm glad it popularized having four controller ports, even though it'd been done before. It really was "The Fun Machine" when it came to multi-player. I just think Nintendo's first-party style of games took a turn for the worse, not a problem with the hardware necessarily.

Cthuloops

#24

Cthuloops said:

It is childish to bicker over a pointless subject like which console is better. It all depends on your tastes, and fanboyism shouldn't have to contribute to making a persuasive statement. If you like a system enough, then cool, whatever. Start saying things like,"Sega could totally own Nintendon't any day!", and you have a mindless idiot who wants to feel himself superior to someone else. I'm not saying it's just Sega fans either. To me fanboyism ruins gaming as a whole.
Not trying to offend anyone, but if this statement offends you, then you're probably a fanboy yourself.

Nintendork

#25

Nintendork said:

I went back to both the ps1 and the N64 after reading this, and I have to say that the only reason Nintendo got outsold was because of the cartridges. The N64 still has classic games that are still unrivaled today. However, I tried all the 'classic' of the PS1, and all of them have been easily bypassed by titles on the DS and others.

MickEiA

#26

MickEiA said:

nintendo 64 had great games goldeneye,perfect dark,star wars rogue squadron

Objection

#29

Objection said:

I'm siding with the N64 being a decent system despite its flaws but does it really matter 2 console generations later?

Mike1

#30

Mike1 said:

Great system. I remember buying mine way back in March 2000 at Walmart. Seeing Super Mario 64, Zelda: Ocarina of Time, and Castlevania LOD in 3D was awesome since I grew up playing those 3 series on the NES.

Amorous_Badger

#31

Amorous_Badger said:

I LOVE all the fanboy whining after that article 'it's not fair, why do people who wash like video games as well now?'

DamoAdmin

#32

Damo said:

@beastman - This article has tremendous relevance now, actually.

Back in the NES/SNES days Nintendo was seen as unstoppable - the same is happening with the Wii and DS now.

Nintendo made some massive mistakes with the Virtual Boy and N64, despite what your opinion of those two machines might be. Yes, the N64 had some amazing titles - the best of its generation, in fact - but retailers hated it because cartridges were too expensive, third parties hated it for the same reason and gamers of the era were drawn in by Sony's CD-ROM powered glitz and glamour. FFVII simply could not have been done on a cartridge, for example.

If you ignore the past then you're doomed to repeat it, so like I said, this kind of retrospective is always worth reading.

gamerwizz

#33

gamerwizz said:

@Damo: nintendo where only seen as unstoppable in the NES era not the SNES because in 1993 thanks to the help of the mega drives superior version of Mortal Kombat 1 the Mega Drive took the lead in the console war with a 66% market share and it was looking like sega couldnt be caught but nintendo just pipped Sega at the end of 1994 with the help of Donkey Kong Country the Snes only won cos of Donkey kongs fancy graphics so in the end people chose graphics over gameplay

Adam

#34

Adam said:

"Graphics over gameplay"? Isn't that why Sega's MK was chosen, too, because it had the blood effect instead of Nintendo's "sweat"? Other than that, I thought the games were identical. And DKC may not have been the next Mario, but it was still a good platformer, just a bit sluggish.

Outrunner

#35

Outrunner said:

I agree that the N64 Zelda's were better than the SNES ones but World 1 and 2 were way better than Mario 64 imo. Galaxy on the other hand... Oh well, to each his/her own.

gamerwizz

#36

gamerwizz said:

@adam:even without adding the blood code to mk on mega drive the gameplay was a lot better than the snes version the snes port is considered one of the worst ever ports of a mk game its incredibly buggy

marktheshark

#37

marktheshark said:

Honestly, I had over 40 games for the N64, only 2 of them Rareware games, & I still enjoyed the N64 from christmas 1998 when I got my N64 to right now at the time of this post. I enjoyed most of those 40 games except for like, 3 or 4, but still. I liked N64 way more than the PSX. Now don't get me wrong, I do like some PSX games, but it's laughable to think that such filth, the PSX, would somehow be in my possession.

LinkGalaxy

#38

LinkGalaxy said:

If one company rules through the decades, that's Nintendo! :P
And, if one company holds the high score for Quality Games,
that's the company in the first line!

StarDust4Ever

#39

StarDust4Ever said:

One fatal flaw with the PS1: Loading times - sometimes a certain area in a game could take over two minutes to load - with N64, it's instant gratification ;)

Oh, and I don't care what anybody thinks; Mario 64 P'wn3d!!!
BTW, so does Galaxy, w00t!

timp29

#40

timp29 said:

I sold my 64 to buy a ps1 so I could play Tekken 3 and Tony Hawk Pro Skater.
Yes I loved my N64, Mario and Zelda and Mario Kart and Goldeneye were and still are some of my favourite games. But by alienating their 3rd party developers, Nintendo lost their stranglehold over the market. Tekken and Tony Hawk were new franchises to me at the time and without significant 3rd party support, all nintendo had to offer was sequels with the occasional original title. Anyway, once I had my fill of Tekken and Tony Hawk, I played PC for a year or two.

Anyway, where was the gamecube critique in that article?

dagreenone

#41

dagreenone said:

The 64 was an excellent console for its time, the problem is that a lot of its games have not aged well at all. Take for instance Goldeneye and Mario Kart, everybody loved these two games. However playing them today is not the same, they are completely bland. (IMO Goldeneye died as soon as Perfect Dark was release way back in 2000).

Bahamut_ZERO

#42

Bahamut_ZERO said:

We're actually not bickering over what console is better, we're bickering about the people bickering about Nintendo not being as good as they are being child-ish. Im for they're child-ish, Adam is against.

Dwarfer

#43

Dwarfer said:

The last time I checked the N64 was the greatest console of all time. Hold on, let me check again... Yep still is (along with it's big bro the SNES). The Playstation only sold better because it had disks, nice shiny disks, idiots love shiny things. Only a complete jelly brain would try to claim the Playstation as a better console than the N64.

The_Fox

#44

The_Fox said:

@post 43:
Yeah, I mean look at all the awesome third party support the N64 had over the PS1, such as ...........um.........well.........huh.
The N64 was a good system, but it was an F'n mess for Nintendo. Poor business descisions, overpriced carts (from a publishing and consumer perspective) and flat out refusal to abandon an antiquated medium, and general dickishness towards developers meant that Nintendo was scrambling throughout the consoles life.
Again, the system was good and I've always had a soft spor for Nintendo since the SNES days, but let's not white wash the past with a coat of fanboyism.

marktheshark

#45

marktheshark said:

I don't get why so many people hate the N64's 3rd party support. I understand that there isn't as much 3rd party support on the N64 as there is on the PSX. I honestly enjoyed a lot of 3rd party games back then & now to this day. You just gotta look a little deeper to find what you want though. Last, but not least, there're systems out there with worst 3rd party support than that of the N64's.

I'll pull up a list of great 3rd party N64 games if anyone's interested.

JRAPOCALYPSE

#46

JRAPOCALYPSE said:

I agree with #8 and 9,the snes was better than the n64 in a huge way but the n64 was still good but just did not have many good titles.

Clayfrd

#48

Clayfrd said:

@Adam - Agreed. World and 3 are better than 64, but that could be because I prefer 2D gameplay. It's all subjective, though, so what does it really matter?

BananaJane

#49

BananaJane said:

The N64 just never had as many BEST-GAME-EVER's as the other consoles.
Even the Dreamcast had more.

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