It’s been a long road, but we’re finally at the end.
Nintendo first announced their plans for a “Dream Team” of developers and publishers to come together in order to produce new and unique software for what would ultimately become the Nintendo 64 in the April 1995 issue of Nintendo Power magazine, more than a year out from the console’s ultimate release date. As we’ve seen, even in that seemingly small span of time, much would change before the company’s entry into the fifth generation of video game consoles would take flight.
The “Dream Team” concept has drawn much derision from both fans at the time and those who can be bothered to remember that was actually even a thing now. Absent from the fold were companies who had effectively been Nintendo mainstays, nearly as synonymous with their consoles as Mario or Link, even sharing the spotlight in endeavors such as the Captain N: The Game Master cartoon. Indeed, the likes of Konami or Capcom (among others) were not to be found here, even though both would go on to support the platform (the latter with only a handful of titles).
Nevertheless, over the last year, we’ve seen what potential the Dream Team had. While not every single member was necessarily a home run acquisition, several had quite a resume in the business, and others would go on to achieve greatness never imagined. To that last point, one has to wonder if Nintendo themselves saw that potential before anyone else did — it makes a strong argument for bringing on the creators of Grand Theft Auto years before they’d jacked their first digital vehicle.
Between various conflicts, numerous mergers, and the presence of the PlayStation juggernaut, though, things didn’t quite work out as well as Nintendo — and perhaps many of the Dream Team members — might have hoped. Even so, there was arguably some payoff to the endeavor, as several memorable titles closely associated with the platform did come from these creators, including Turok: Dinosaur Hunter, Major League Baseball Featuring Ken Griffey Jr., Pilotwings 64, and Beetle Adventure Racing, to say nothing of Rare’s own stack of contributions.
For what it’s worth, the Nintendo Ultra 64 Dream Team was a good attempt, and had it played out the way Nintendo had envisioned, the gap between the Nintendo 64 and original PlayStation might have been a whole lot smaller. But despite the team, it was ultimately Sony’s dreams that came true in the end.
“Hey, wait a minute!”, you might be shouting at your screen. “Weren’t there more members of the Dream Team than that?”
Indeed there were, though for the most part, this series was made to highlight the video game developers Nintendo had signed on. That said, other members included Rambus’s contributions to the hardware side of things, as well as software tools from Alias Research and MultiGen.
If you’d like me to shine the same light on these three companies, let me know in the comments, and perhaps I can add them as a coda of sorts to this whole “Remembering the Nintendo Ultra 64 Dream Team” series.