Following the exciting news that Nintendo 64 games are finally heading to the Switch, I have some requests on what to add to the roster…
Nintendo finally answered our prayers (demands?) during the most recent Nintendo Direct by revealing N64 games are heading to an expanded Switch Online service. To be honest, their initial line-up (and the tease of ones coming later) is pretty damn solid and delivers several classics fans will happily gobble up.
That said, there are still a number of amazing titles left out. Much like I did with my Game Boy picks (still scratching my head THOSE weren’t announced during the Direct as well), I thought it’d be fun to break down the games I hope to see come to the service soon.
Star Wars: Episode 1 – Battle For Naboo
While Rogue Squadron is definitely one of my favorite Star Wars games of this era, I never felt like Battle For Naboo (made by the same developers) gets enough love. While other Star Wars games on the N64 can be found, and played, elsewhere (including Episode 1 Racer that got a recent remaster), Battle For Naboo has not. In fact, without an original console, there’s really no good way to play the game.
For this reason alone, it deserves a chance to rediscovery on Switch Online. It’s a solid game, that manages to tighten up the already solid flying controls from Rogue Squadron, while adding in the ground vehicle elements we’d see the Rogue Squadron franchise pick up on down the road.
More importantly, however, Battle for Naboo tells a completely original story set during the events of The Phantom Menace. It offers a glimpse into the perils the people left behind on Naboo had to deal with (and their initial resistance) after Queen Amidala left to plead for help in the Senate. It’s a fun bit of story lore that fills in some gaps, while allowing for plenty of action. Would love to relive this journey without hassle.
Indiana Jones and the Infernal Machine
Indiana Jones and the Infernal Machine takes place after the events of the movies, and even the previous game, Indiana Jones and the Iron Phoenix. It’s a race against the Soviet Union as you seek to uncover four pieces of ancient Babylonian technology (the titular “Infernal Machine”) which could be used to open a portal to another dimension. You know, pretty standard Indy stuff. The action adventure game allowed players to use their whip to navigate various platforming sections, solve puzzles, and duke it out with both real and supernatural enemies throughout.
Though it was initially developed for PCs, Indiana Jones‘ first 3D adventure game actually benefited from being ported to the Nintendo 64. Bringing slightly better textures, enhanced sound, and even major gameplay improvements, it was definitely the better version of this game.
Even so, not too many people were able to play it on the console. That’s because the 64 version was only released in North America, and even then it was a Blockbuster store exclusive. So yeah, it’s not exactly the easiest to track down and get your hands on. Sure, you can find and play it on PCs still, but this is an excellent time to make this version accessible to more people.
Harvest Moon 64
My love of fanciful farming games is well documented, so it should be no surprise that I would love to see Harvest Moon 64 make its way to the Switch. The series has come a long way, that’s for sure, but there’s no denying that its more recent entries have lost some of their magic. The most recent game, One World, felt entirely off the mark and leaves other franchises (Rune Factory, Stardew Valley, etc) to rule the roost.
As such, being able to play the N64 classic would be a great way to allow fans of the series to relive their glory days and have a bit of old-fashioned fun. The formula is the same, and just as addictive as ever. If the clamor from fans to put it on the Wii/Wii U Virtual Console is any indication, a whole bunch of gamers would love the chance to also enjoy it on their Switches.
Ogre Battle 64: Person of Lordly Caliber
RPG Strategy games have been seeing something of a big resurgence in recent years and I, for one, am here for it. With some great new games for the genre on the horizon, Nintendo 64 games on the Switch seems like a perfect time to introduce a new generation to Ogre Battle 64: Person of Lordly Caliber.
Part of the Ogre Battle/Ogre Tactics franchise, the 64 game marked the series’ third game and the first to be in 3D. Combining the epic storytelling of fantastical JRPGs, with the thrill of real-time strategy, the game was just a ridiculous amount of fun and I suspect it’s gameplay has held up over the years.
The main reason for its inclusion here, however, has to do with it’s rarity. For some reason, physical copies of the game are tough to come by, and among one of the rarer carts to find for the N64. Though not impossible to pick up (or even outlandishly expensive), it’s prohibitive for gamers who weren’t around when it first launched.
WWF No Mercy
Oh man, WWF No Mercy. I’m sure I could fill an entire article talking about my love for this old-school wrestling title. Being the last wrestling game on the console, it’s obvious how the developers learned from the previously released games. It featured an expanded story mode that allowed you to play through multiple storylines, and even a fairly robust character creator.
Not only is No Mercy the best wrestling game of that era, it’s still regarded as one of the best wrestling titles around period. Though I’ve enjoyed plenty of Wrestling games over the years, even some of the more recent ones, I can’t help but look back fondly on No Mercy and my custom fighter who’s still the reigning champion on a cartridge out there somewhere.
I’m sure there are a host of licensing reasons why we haven’t gotten a port of this game in any form or fashion (for one, WWF no longer exists and is the WWE). Even so, I’m holding out hope that we can get this game on the Switch sooner rather than later. With Nintendo allowing for online multiplayer for N64 games, it’d be even more awesome to get No Mercy on the service.
Looking back, it’s crazy how good N64’s catalog of games was. With the PlayStation having really started to stake it’s claim in the market and begin dominating the era, there are so many gems from that generation people either never played or can’t find today. Let’s hope these above make it to the Switch.
Which N64 games would you love to see make it to the Expanded Switch Online service?