It seems the hardest-working man in games journalism has struck again! Yes, Chris Scullion — features editor over at VGC, formerly of Official Nintendo Magazine UK, and Nintendo Life contributor extraordinaire (most recently giving EA's FIFA series a fitting send-off for us) — is back again with another entry in his excellent gaming encyclopedia series.
Having covered the NES, the SNES, and the Mega Drive / Genesis, as well as stopping off to cover the entire platforming genre, Scullion has now tackled the Nintendo 64 library as part of his epic and ongoing quest to make that Billy bookcase of yours earn its keep.
Over the course of 264 pages, he examines the machine which delivered some of the most groundbreaking and beloved software in video game history. Nintendo famously struggled in the marketplace as Sony rose to dominate the industry in the space of a single hardware generation, rewriting the rulebook with its razor-sharp PlayStation marketing, teen appeal, and cheaper disc-based approach versus Nintendo's expensive cartridges. Sorry, game paks. However, the list of all-time greats that the 64-bit system played host to speaks for itself. Seminal works like Super Mario 64, The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time, and GoldenEye 007 would shape the entire medium in the years that followed gaming's early steps into the polygonal realm.
Scullion looks at each and every one of the games released for the Nintendo 64, including Japanese exclusives (so yes, it covers the original release of Animal Crossing, or Dōbutsu no Mori). He also casts his critical eye over the slim yet fascinating library of the 64DD, the Japan-only disc-based 'add-on' system that sat beneath the console.
As you'd expect, Scullion's vast knowledge is brought to bear with all the wit and wisdom you'd expect if you've read any of his brilliant work before. If you're looking for an entertaining overview of one of our very favourite Nintendo consoles, you can't do much better than this.
The N64 Encyclopedia is available now in the UK from all good booksellers, and is coming to the US later in the year.
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