Most disappointing console according to Brad. Is it true?

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liquiddragon

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#1  Edited By liquiddragon

I'm wondering if this is really the general consensus. He is a little older than me and maybe he has a broader perspective but I grew up on the n64 and never once thought the system was nothing but amazing. The depth of the n64 catalog is limited in the grand scheme of things but it has some of the greatest games of all time that'll surely live in gaming museums in generations to come. It has some of the most important games that can go head to head against any classics on any consoles.

Do ppl really think the 64 is a bad system? Is my childhood a lie?

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Casepb

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I disagree. The Gamecube was far more disappointing.

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marzz4967

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While there were a ton of really great games for the N64, the system overall was a big disappointment when compared to its contemporaries. There was a lack of long, engaging RPGs; the majority of the games that people love dearly on the system were 3D platformers in the vein of Mario 64; and it just didn't live up to the potential that it could have had. On top of that, the marketing blitz behind the launch of the console was "Our games will look as good as these phenomenal arcade games!" Cruis'n USA and Killer Instinct advertised the Nintendo Ultra 64 hardware, and when the system came home it was HUGELY underpowered and the games looked nothing like the arcade machines.

Just because the system had great games and great memories doesn't mean that it CAN'T be disappointing at the same time.

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bigsocrates

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#5  Edited By bigsocrates

How do you define disappointing? It's clearly not the worst console of all time so he must be measuring disappointment against expectation, and by that metric there's a strong case. After the SNES people were very hyped for the Ultra 64. Nintendo was going to leapfrog 32 bit and go 64, blowing away the competition! In the end it was a decent console crippled by the choice of cartridges over CDs. There are some truly classic games for it, but the library lacks depth and you have to stretch to find 20 must-play games for it.

Considering the gulf between what was expected and what was delivered what is the N64's competition for most disappointing?

Atari Jaguar: Truly a terrible system with almost no redeeming qualities, but nobody really knew what to expect. Might beat out the N64 just because even though expectations weren't super high what was delivered was just pathetic.

3DO: Once again, expectations weren't that high. Might win just on price tag though. People who spent $700 on this thing definitely expected more than they got!

Atari 7800: This one is a very strong contender. People expected it to compete with the mighty NES and it really just did not. Pretty lousy library too.

SuperGrafx/PC-FX: These were never released in the U.S. so I'm not sure if they count, but considering they were followups to the uberpopular PC-Engine and they sold like crap and are virtually forgotten they are probably the winners if we are allowing Japan only systems. The SuperGrafx only had 7 games released. 7!

Nuon: No expectations but once again it has a library of under 10 games.

Overall I'd say that the SuperGrafx is the most disappointing console overall and the 7800 is the most disappointing in U.S. history but the N64 was pretty disappointing, at least to someone expecting a library anywhere near the strength of the NES or Super Nintendo. The Playstation just owned that generation and the vast majority of 3rd party games ended up there (Nintendo's business practices didn't help.)

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Ngilko

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It is probably the console I have the fondest memory of.

I was in my early teens and was able to play some of the best and most influential games of all time, Mario 64, Ocarina of time, Goldeneye (the multiplayer) these games pretty much introduced me to 3d platformers, multiplayer fps and action RPGs respectively and I think a lot of people are in the same boat.

Factor in Mario kart 64, the THQ/AKI wrestling games (still the only good wrestling games ever made and less known gems like space station Silicon Valley, Blast Corps

Perhaps it didn't have the quantity of games of the playstation or its "street cred" but I cared about neither as I was

A) 12

B) not in a financial position to play all the best n64 games, let alone all the ps1 games.

It also had the best football game of its day, iss64, goddam Pokemon stadium (again amazing if you are 12), majoras mask, Turok 4 player games without multi tap...

I loved it, then again brad at the time, would have been older than me, and far more impressed with the ps1 as a console aimed at his age group.

Looking back with hindsight at the significant games it produced calling it a disappointment seems all in all to be weird.

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hatking

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"Disappointing" is such an arbitrary thing because you can just shrug away any argument with, "well, I didn't expect much from that, so it wasn't disappointing to me." Nintendo 64 didn't disappointment me, but I was still pretty young and happily played whatever I could get my hands on. If you want to say that system, in retrospect, doesn't stack up to its contemporaries, maybe you'd have an argument.

The place where I diverge from the crew is how tech based their arguments seem to be. "These games look like shit now" is a sentiment echoed by every generation towards the generations previous. It's hardly a point of critique that technology is better now that it was fifteen years ago, and it's not as interesting of an argument as one based around the quality of the games appearing on that system. I suspect people who grew up on early polygonal stuff will hold those graphics with the same reverence as us old fucks hold the 2D stuff. I'm guessing we're about to see a whole bunch of games that emulate that style in the coming years--it's already starting.

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bigsocrates

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@hatking said:

"Disappointing" is such an arbitrary thing because you can just shrug away any argument with, "well, I didn't expect much from that, so it wasn't disappointing to me." Nintendo 64 didn't disappointment me, but I was still pretty young and happily played whatever I could get my hands on. If you want to say that system, in retrospect, doesn't stack up to its contemporaries, maybe you'd have an argument.

The contemporaries of the N64 are the Playstation, the Saturn, the Jaguar, the 3DO, and the CD-I.

The N64 is clearly better than the Jaguar, the 3DO, and the CD-I. Is it better than the Saturn? Depends what you are into. The Saturn is better for 2D games and RPGs, the N64 wins on most other genres. Most people thought the Playstation was better (and it trounced the N64 in sales.) Anyway, to make this argument make sense you HAVE to start with level of expectations, because the N64 was not even close to the worst console of its generation. I mean the only reason that Jaguar games haven't aged is that they looked like crap to begin with.

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Frybird

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Back when the N64 was out, i was admittedly a Playstation-Fanboy.

That said, even nowadays where i have every console of the current generation, i still think the N64 is a horrible console.

The higher resolution and smoother polygons may be easier on the eyes nowadays compared to what you may see in the dark ages of early 3D, but other than that, i can't really find anything that speaks for the console outside of a small handful of great exclusives.

For one, Nintendo just was really behind the times with going for cartridges than disks. In a way, i'd love modern console tech to go back to something like cartridges, but back then, that meant harder limits on memory, worse sound and higher production costs.

Also, it's obvious that the power of the console was really overstated, resulting in games with horrible draw distances and awful textures. I feel like the expansion some games needed do prove my point.

And then there's the abomination of a controller. If it wouldn't be enough that it handled awful and seemed a mess of very specific use-cases crammed in, there is also the hilariously bad integration of the Memory and Rumble Pak (and you know, the thing where you have to choose one over the other) that makes it even worse. It may have helped to kickstart analogue control sticks, and it is not THE single worst controller of all time, but being so close to it is shameful enough

(also, it kinda seemed like the downfall of good Nintendo Controllers. After the great SNES controller, we have this awful thing, followed by the somewhat idiotic "unconventional for the sake of it" Gamecube Controller, the highly divisive Wii Remote that never seemed to be meant for the "Controller Sideways" configuration many games ask for, and the Wii U Controllers that are almost great, but then mess up with mushy pseudo-triggers, that awful placement of the Sticks and Face Buttons and the issues with compability of three very different Controllers)

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johncallahan

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The N64 had two of the greatest games ever made released on it... Yet despite that I think overall it is one of the weakest consoles to be released.

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audioBusting

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I guess the Ouya doesn't even count, huh?

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Carryboy

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There are a ton of people who grew up with the 64 and love it immensely so people like Brad and Jeff go way over the top in their criticisms, Jeff said he prefered the saturn over it. I mean he might, but that seems kind of crazy to me. I never owned a saturn but looking at lists of top 50 games for that system sure leaves a lot to be desired and most seem to have nights as the best game on the system when in fact jeff knows as I do that Nights is a bad game.

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JayPB08

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I would take an N64 any day over a SNES just for the two Zeldas and Mario 64...they're that good...

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Dragon_Puncher

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Most dissapointing controller at least!

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bigsocrates

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@carryboy: The Saturn had some great shooters and 2D fighters, and some decent racing games/other stuff. I never owned one either (and recently posted about that) but I do think there's an argument to be made, and because the Saturn's best games were 2D they have aged much better than the N64s. Jeff was a big fighting game fan so he might have preferred the Saturn on that basis alone. The n64 does not exactly have a great fighting game library. Smash Brothers is a classic, followed by...KI Gold? MK4? The Saturn has Virtua Fighter 2 and a ton of great Capcom stuff.

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hatking

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@bigsocrates: I guess I was mostly referring to the PlayStation and, the generational half-step, Dreamcast. I don't have much experience with those other consoles.

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TheMasterDS

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Nope nope nope, the N64 was great. What was the most disappointing? Hmm. I guess the Wii? It got a lot of momentum and then did next to nothing with it. There were whole years where mine went untouched during the middle of its run. Pretty bad as consoles go.

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Obsoneti

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As usual, Brad is wrong.

And as usual, Dan put him in his place.

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cmblasko

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I think it depends on your age when the N64 was released. I was younger and absolutely loved it. I enjoyed it more than the PS1. But I can see how it would be a disappointment to people who were older at the time, especially if they had been PC gamers.

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mach_go_go_go

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I guess the Ouya doesn't even count, huh?

No. It's a phone without a sim-card that has to be plugged into the wall to work.

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#21  Edited By BeachThunder

Going from a system with a vast array of gorgeously-pixeled games to a console primarily filled with crude 3D models with smudgy textures is definitely disappointing in my eyes.

Edit: Also, the N64 controller was not designed for humans...

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Giant_Gamer

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I think it's impossible to tell which is the most disappointing console, because to do that have to relive each console's anticipation and reception.

To me the closest console to the title "most disappointing" is the PS3. The variety of disappointments that followed its launch is higher than any console i lived through but then sony were to able to change their strategy and save their console from its imminent doom.

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wjb

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#23  Edited By wjb

I remember owning a N64 at the time and the great games that came with it, but those were very few and far between.

The first few years, it felt like a game came out once every two months. I recall counting down the days until I could rent something new from Blockbuster, even if it was crap.

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Junkboy

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I think it was, as a SNES fanboy I pinned everything on the dream of the Ultra 64 but basically found everything on the PSX was a better game. Outside of Smash there are no other N64 games on my top 10 for that gen. For as amazing as Mario 64 and OoT were something inside just drew me to Brave Fencer Musashi, Parasite Eves, Lunars, BoFs, MM Legends and obviously MGS. Thinking back I think I also preferred the Saturn maybe it was something about the style of games.

Also my love for LTTP blinded me from appreciating OoT at the time and I believed OoT to be a vastly inferior game. Also I consider World the GOAT and the only "Perfect game" ever so 64 was also a disappointment for me. Shit thinking back I think I hated the N64 because of my love for the SNES... It's weird though since I went from NES to SNES just fine and PSX to GC/PS2/DC I loved all three.

Whatever though, yes I do think it was the most disappointing console because of what it followed. Might be unfair but it is what it is.

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monkeyking1969

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N64 was just antiquated by the time it hit market. Nintendo's misunderstanding with how CD tech had worked in the past as compared to HOW it could work, made them think carts were the way to go when they were not. Their partnership with Silicon Graphics was likely smart when it started, a few years earlier; but GPU tech leapt ahead of what Silicon Graphics' brute force methods could do very quickly. Sony simply has faster tech, which is not to say better. Sony's LIS GPU/GTE could put up more less textured polygons faster, it could not dress them up as much as N64, but speed & amount matters. Also, while we would commend Nintendo for including analog on their N64 controller, they were slow in realizing that they needed twin sticks or that they three prong joypad was somewhat clumsy.

Which is not to say Nintendo was idle, they were certainly trying and making moves. Things like Controller pack (memory/saves), Rumble pack (rumble), and Expansion Pack (system memory) were nice additions for that game that used them. The 64DD was....err, an idea that likely could have worked if they price had been right. Likely justy using a computer HDD or licensing tech instead of using proprietary tech would have helped.

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alexl86

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After the NES and the SNES, I can definitely see someone being disappointed by the N64 library. It had a really good Zelda game and the first 3D Mario game that was really good for it's time.

GoldenEye that showed that FPS could work on console, but given that Quake, Half-Life and Unreal Tournament came out around the same time, PC was still the place for it. I feel similarly about Super Smash and Paper Mario. They were good games, but stack them against the wealth of fighting games and RPGs on PS1, and the N64 falls short of its competitor.

I guess that's the N64's real problem. Cartridge manufacturing was expensive and CDs were much better for FMV, which were a big deal in the new Final Fantasy games and Metal Gear Solid. The PS1 library kinda won by volume. For the first time, Nintendo was in second place.

The expectations for Nintendo were pretty big. The library of games on the NES and SNES were unparalleled(I recognize that the Mega Drive/Genesis had good games too, but the SNES had an overall better library of games), full of great games that had shaped two console generations. By contrast, the N64 only had a handful of great games, while for the first time a competitor had a bigger library of games, and arguably better games too.

So, yes. N64 was certainly disappointing when put in a historical context. I'd argue that the GameCube actually had a better library, and following a disappointment, it was less disappointing than it's predecessor.

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MocBucket62

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#28  Edited By MocBucket62

The N64 was my first console and I definitely loved it for playing Super Mario 64 and a few other titles like Star Wars Episode 1 Racer and Super Smash Bros. I think if you look at specific genres, the N64 was disappointing when you look at its RPG and Fighting game library. Sony had Nintendo beat big time in those categories as the PS1 had Final Fantasy 7-9, the original Tekken Trilogy, Rival Schools and many more. The N64's best RPG was Paper Mario, which came out in the West in 2001. While stretching it, Smash Bros was the console's best fighting game, unless you count AKI's wrestling games. Sony also had more mature action games early on and the PS1 was where games like the Tomb Raider series and Metal Gear Solid became monster hits. Nintendo's edgy exclusives would come later in its cycle with games like Perfect Dark and Conker's Bad Fur Day.

Looking back, the only genres I can think of that the N64 might have beat the PS1 in were first person shooters and wrestling games. Nintendo should be thankful for Rareware for their involvement on the N64 because looking back because Rare made 11 N64 games over the console's span from 1996-2001. Two of which are beloved shooters Goldeneye and Perfect Dark. There was also Turok for the N64, another critically acclaimed shooter. PS1 had Medal of Honor, but many of its other shooters were multiplatform titles that were also on the N64 and PC. None of those titles hold as much reverence by many people as Goldeneye when it comes to console shooters of that generation. Also, AKI made all their wrestling games in that generation on the N64, and pretty much destroyed the PS1 library of wrestling games when it came to gameplay.

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deactivated-5e49e9175da37

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The N64 is about as big a letdown as the PS3 until 2010 or so. One company dominates two consecutive generations with good technology and the very best games on the market, and then releases something that has little third-party support while their competitor rakes in the best studios and franchises.

I was 12 when I got the N64 and I realized pretty quickly that all my favorite genres and franchises were now on PS1. I ended up playing spending more time with my SNES in those years than I did with my N64; unless I had friends over, which was rare.

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Marcsman

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Try playing a Virtual Boy. Now that is the worst system.

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liquiddragon

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@dudeglove: Games have to be a big part of the consideration when you're judging a console, I mean that's the whole point. Who cares about any consoles if it wasn't for the games. The name? Not great but stupid? The design of the system. Ok you didn't like it but I thought it was neat looking (didn't know anyone really hated it that much). The cartridge did have major step backs but no loading times right? And looking back, it's seems fitting that Nintendo was rocking cartridges when everyone was doing cds and in a retro sense, it's kinda cool. The controller design I can't argue Nintendo was outta their minds but you can't down play the analog stick. I also can't get behind most of the peripheral stuff but you're really gonna diss the rumble pack? Analog stick and rumble are still essential.

anyway, just the other side of your argument.

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Sergio

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I guess I haven't gotten to that part of the Bombcast, but if that is what Brad said, he is wrong.

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Jesus_Phish

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#34  Edited By Jesus_Phish

Coming off the back of the NES and SNES and how it was touted as being this beast of a machine I can see how it was ultimately disappointing. Like every Nintendo home console since, it failed to live up to what it could have been.

That doesn't make it the worst console ever made but it could've been better than it ended up being. Sony made a similar blunder with the PS3 coming hot off the success of the PS1 and PS2, but they managed to pull it out towards the end of the consoles life, if only by virtue of the generation going on for so long.

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BradBrains

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n64 is a shitty console that had some good games despite its awfulness. it started the trend of nitnendo consoles only being for nintendo games.

the choice to have cartridges basically gave the playstation the easy win.

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BradBrains

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@bigsocrates: I think thats kinda a bad argument. no one thought he jaguar or the 3d0 was gonna be good. nintendo came off the snes. and they followed it up with a system that was outdated basically the minute it was released.

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deactivated-5a0917a2494ce

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It's the general consensus among people our age (I'm early 30's). After the SNES, the hype around the N64 was insane. I was so damn excited for it. I got it day one, played Mario 64 and then just kind of didn't care much anymore. It was a poorly thought out console with a spattering of good games. I ended up getting a PS1 shortly after and spent 90% of my time on that console.

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deactivated-5a0917a2494ce

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@jesus_phish said:

Coming off the back of the NES and SNES and how it was touted as being this beast of a machine I can see how it was ultimately disappointing. Like every Nintendo home console since, it failed to live up to what it could have been.

That doesn't make it the worst console ever made but it could've been better than it ended up being. Sony made a similar blunder with the PS3 coming hot off the success of the PS1 and PS2, but they managed to pull it out towards the end of the consoles life, if only by virtue of the generation going on for so long.

The PS3 started pumping out great games fairly quickly. Plus, it had a blu-ray player, so I used it a lot. Sure, it was a bit of a letdown but was nothing compared to the N64. I actually think the PS4 and Xbox One may be more disappointing than the N64. They have some great features but they are extremely underpowered, have relatively few good first-party games, and feel like they've been around for 5 years already. Most of my friends are moving away from consoles and are going back to the PC.

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MeierTheRed

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Most dissapointing controller at least!

Got that right.

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bigsocrates

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@bradbrains: the 3DO cost $700 and sold like 2 million. Some people thought it was going to be good. Some people also expected the Jaguar to be good. Those people were a smaller group than anticipated the Ultra 64 being good, but they ended up with much worse experiences than N64 gamers. They were more disappointed (MOST people who got N64s loved at least some of the games.) It all depends how you define most disappointing.

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Lord_Anime

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This is such a tough determination to make. You really need to get a sense of the anticipation, hype, expectation, of a console and then what is the general consensus of how it performed during it's life. Systems like the Ouya, PSVITA, Atari Jaguar, I would say are worse console's than the N64. But disappointment is so subjective. It's expectation vs. result. Is there any other system out there that had a competitive flying high hype train which could be compared to the N64 with a wider gap on hype to general consensus of performance? Did no one find the Dreamcast or the Saturn disappointing? And then the hype for the dreamcast probably got muffled a bit after the Saturn really not performing that great with its competition.

The N64 being disappointing doesn't necessarily mean it was a worse console than the Saturn or GameCube for example, it just means it had a bigger gap between's it's performance consensus and hype train. And you can imagine the hype after the NES & SNES were such beloved standout platforms.

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Zirilius

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#43  Edited By Zirilius

If we are talking Consoles that mattered then yes the N64 is complete garbage. It had a handful of good games but overall is my least favorite console ever owning.

In generally I feel like the Atari Jaguar and Phillips CD-I are the shittiest consoles to ever exist but in terms of innovation or historical resonance don't do very much.

Edit: should note that I've been gaming since the atari 2600 so I've pretty much seen it all.

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ArbitraryWater

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The N64 was my first console, and it came out when I was like 4, so it's not exactly like I can compare the hype built around "The Ultra 64" and the end product like old man games writers with a 19-year-old chip on their shoulder can. I can see why it would be considered a disappointment after the juggernaut that is the SNES, but it served me well through my childhood and I can count plenty of games that I enjoyed on it. Is it better than the PS1? Naw. The PS1 has the advantage of sheer number of games released.

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Mortuss_Zero

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Bah, Brad's just stuck on how bad the graphics have aged. The Wii is easily a more disappointing console. And that's ignoring the small mountain of garbage/barely known consoles.

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deactivated-601df795ee52f

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To be disappointed you must have some expectation, and I was preeetty young when an N64 walked into my house so I didn't really have any.

In retrospect, it was a terrible console. It had a handful of fantastic games but that's really it. The Playstation by comparison blows it out of the water.

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cornfed40

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I think Brad may have been rather hyperbolic there. Wasn't the most disappointing at all, but that doesn't mean it didn't suck. Controller enough was enough to make me hate it back in the day. It also just had this "plastic, cheap console for babies" vibe about it that still makes me laugh whenever I see one. Ide go out there and say that, other than a few portable entries, ALL Nintendo consoles since the SNES have been objectively garbage. A handful of classic games on each one for sure, but bad consoles.

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ajamafalous

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Disappointment is measured against expectation. Saying it's the most disappointing doesn't mean it's the worst; there are certainly plenty off worse one-off consoles, but those didn't have the potential to be great, they didn't have the Nintendo names and IPs behind them, and they weren't the followup to the SNES.

Most disappointing relative to expectations and what it could've been? Yeah, probably. Worst? No, not by a long shot, and that's not what Brad is saying.

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sparky_buzzsaw

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Compared to the Wii U, the 64 was fantastic.

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BradBrains

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#50  Edited By BradBrains

@bradbrains: the 3DO cost $700 and sold like 2 million. Some people thought it was going to be good. Some people also expected the Jaguar to be good. Those people were a smaller group than anticipated the Ultra 64 being good, but they ended up with much worse experiences than N64 gamers. They were more disappointed (MOST people who got N64s loved at least some of the games.) It all depends how you define most disappointing.

for sure but that wasnt the consensus. not by a long shot. nintendo had a proven track record. for some people thats all they knew. the hype was crazy. yea some peopel fell for the 64 bit thing but I dont remember like one person getting on at the time.

so yea they meant have been disappointing for people looking for an alterntive but its in no way the most disappointing . worse, yea. but thats not the same thing.