2, Issue 10
February 1, 2000
of a Gamer:
the good old days. The days when innocent children could pop a
video game cartridge into an NES and play and play until their
thumbs were sore and it was past their bedtimes. I remember that
time fondly. I decided to try to revisit those days by making
use of loonys massive collection of consoles and games and
I discovered, much to my dismay, that sometimes there just isnt
any going back.
at a shelf full of familiar favorites and their new, 3-D reincarnations,
I settled on Donkey Kong 64 and Mario 64. Both these
names brought back warm memories of my old Atari, and of the NES
and Super NES that became fixtures in my brothers room as
the years went by. I figured DK 64 would be a revamped
version of Donkey Kong Country, arguably one of the most
fun games in existence. And Mario, well, thats just Mario...who
couldnt have a good time playing that?
ya, though, you just cant judge a new game by its previous
incarnation. Donkey Kong 64 was indeed the brightly-colored,
cartoonish game I expected it to be. Considering that Ive
been playing a lot of dark, violent, and frankly, depressing games
since this column debuted, the silly plot and childish gameplay
were a refreshing change. Basically, King K. Rool and his evil
crew of alligators are out to destroy Donkey Kong and his island.
They capture his friends and steal the golden banana hoard. Your
goal in this game...free your friends and reclaim your bananas.
No problem! I envisioned 3D versions of Donkey Kong Country,
swinging from tree to tree, throwing barrels, and eating bananas.
I hit start to bypass that annoying hip hop sequence at the beginning
and began the game.
thing I had to do, though, was play a tutorial. I think Ive
complained enough about tutorials, so I wont make you read
through another litany. I did get my first lesson in using a Nintendo
64 controller, though. You have to remember that the last time
I held a controller was about 5 years ago, and these things have
really changed over the years. I am now up-to-date on the proper
technique: One hand near the stick thing (sorry, the technical
name of this highly sensitive piece of equipment escapes me at
the moment) and one hand near the key pad. When did this get so
through the tutorial, all happy and excited and expecting to have
tons of fun. And then I found out that I just cant play
this game. First, theres the fact that the game is not a
side-scroller. Theres no reason this should bother me; after
all, Im already used to that in computer games. But for
some reason I just couldnt translate on-screen depth perception
from a computer monitor to a television. I had no idea which way
to go. I swam around the islands a bit, talking to other characters
and trying to find my way to the first level. Fourty-five minutes
later, I finally found the island that was actually the beginning
of the game. I dont know why it took so long...I just kept
getting lost and basically swimming around in circles. I know
that the game does give directions about which way to go, but
frankly, I just wasnt paying attention.