#13 : Turok Dinosaur Hunter
At a first glance, Turok seems to just be a mish-mosh of story ideas bundled into one. You take control of Tal’set, a Native American, time-travelling warrior who has been granted the title of Turok. The Turok’s are the eldest male in each generation, charged with protecting a barrier between Earth and the Lost Land, a world that is lost to time and filled with everything from dinosaurs to aliens. The worlds are being traversed by The Campaigner, an evil overlord who’s seeking the eight pieces of a Chronoscepter,a weapon so powerful it can destroy the barriers, bringing all of time together and leaving The Campaigner to rule the world.
The first time I ever played this game, I was completely lost. You drop instantly into the first level equipped with a knife, there’s small collectibles strewn out before you that sort of act as a waypoint guide. Eventually you’ll find your way to a small hub area that acts as your way of transporting between the games levels. But, to get to each level you’ll need a certain amount of keys first. The keys can be annoying at first, since they seem to be scattered randomly. You can be in the first world picking up keys for worlds two, three, and four.
To top it all of, Turok uses a first-person perspective, on a controller that has only one joystick. If you’ve played any number of video games in the last decade and a half, losing a joystick on a FPS game is mind-boggling. That’s not to say that it would’ve been easy to adapt to at the time, going from D-pad only to having a joystick at all. Still, today Turok is a struggle for any first-person fan, but it’s a struggle that’s worth it. The controls are easy to fall into and the game overall is incredibly fun and addictive. Plus, if you happen to struggle just a bit too much with controlling it on the N64, you can always pick up the recently (as of a couple years ago) remastered PC version and control Turok with ease.
Grade : A-
Price : Loose ($9) CIB ($30) New ($130)
#14 : Doom 64
Doom is one of the classic titles that everybody knows, whether you’ve played them or just heard the bad rep they get in the headlines. When all the dust settles, however, this title still stands tall and proud. The second title in the series to be released on console (remember SNES got the original Doom), this game’s story follows the original. After the ungodly hell that was unleashed in the first game, the military sends massive waves of radiation at Phobos and Deimos, hoping to erase anything that remained from the horrors that were.
Instead, something survives the radiation blasts, powerful enough to reanimate the entire demon horde, making it stronger in the process. A strike force is sent in to try and contain the demons, but they were killed. All but one, and it is your job as the last surviving Marine of that group to save Earth from Hell.
Fans of the series will fall right into place with this title. You’ll be fighting your way through 32 levels of pure hell. Your arsenal is any weapon you come across, from your bare fists to Super Shotguns and rocket launchers, whatever it takes to slay the dozens of demonic beasts in your path. Each level, you’ll need to locate switches and keys, opening up your path to the exit, assuming you don’t fall victim to any of the traps scattered about. Or, you know, get run down by demons.
Again we have a first-person title and a controller with only one joystick. What’s funny is the control scheme for Doom isn’t identical to that of Turok. There are some similarities, but not enough to just casually switch between the two games. Later down the road in the Chronicles, we’ll hit South Park which offers two options of control schemes, both of which mimic the titles covered in this entry right here. Just like above, this game can be tough for more modern gamers, but it’s a struggle that is more than worth it. Both of these titles are iconic entries, not just on the N64 but in their respective series as well, and you should more than clear some space for these cartridges in your library.
Grade : A
Price : Loose ($23) CIB ($60) New ($130)
I’m slowly getting back into the world of N64. I recently had a daughter, and doing some remodelling in the house in regards to my gaming area. So I won’t be streaming these for a bit just yet, but I’ve got the computer ready to go for writing up more of the Chronicles. What do we have on tap for next time? We’ll be covering the side-screen fighter War Gods and the dark fantasy Doom-like Hexen. So stay tuned for that and the rest of the 296 titles coming your way!