Okay, two more N64 games played; Majora's Mask and Jet Force Gemini.
Confession time. Since rebuying Majoras Mask in June last year I'd only played it for about five minutes. So tonight I redone the whole first bit section; find the great fairy shard, return it to the great fairy fountain, blow a bubble at the balloon, find the kids who hide from you, get the code, go to the observatory, get the moons tear, buy the deku scrub plant thingy, confronted the skull kid for the first time, won back my Ocarina, turned back time, spoke to the Mask salesman, got reverted back to normal Link, got the Deku Scrub mask and explored Termina field. Phew.
Majoras Mask is pretty deep. I'd forgotten because it's been a while since I'd played it but this really is a great game. The symbolism throughout and the way the skull kid has been affected make for a compelling story and the dark undertone is never far away. The music is also good, very atmospheric... how can I forget these little details?
It also brought back memories. I remember the first time I completed Majoras Mask... it was New Years Eve 2000. I'd decided not to go out because my Gran was coming down. She got upset at New Year because she always thought about my Grandad who had died a few year before. It was their tradition to open the windows to "let in the New Year"... that's something I've never heard of from anyone else so maybe it's an old Scottish tradition. My gran died only a few years later and I never got the chance to ask her.
Anyway, I finished the last boss about an hour before midnight. It was pretty cool but I remember the last boss being easy because I had the Fierce Deity Mask.
And the other game I've just played is Jet Force Gemini. It's just as I remember it; huge levels, cool weapons and crap controls. I really
don't like the controls for this game, they seem to make it harder to play when it's shouldn't be that hard. Having to press L for accurate aiming (and a crosshairs) worked well in Goldeneye but in this game it's rubbish. Why the **** not just have a target on screen?
Anyway I got used to the controls after playing for five or ten minutes but they still feel wrong. Most of the game is good; gorgeous visuals, nice platforming sections, plenty of enemies onscreen... but there's bad bits as well. Swapping characters is a slight pain (just as it is in Donkey Kong 64, only slightly less of a pain and, thankfully, less characters) and getting a message that says "Vela can't open this door" doesn't make much sense. Why not? Why is it that only Juno can open some doors? To stretch out the game, that's why.
My only other quibble is that some of the levels are too big. It's like the developers at Rare were saying "Look how freakin' big we can make this level look" but they forgot to put interesting stuff to do inside some of those levels. The end result is you go "wow, this is pretty big for a N64 game" but then you get annoyed because you spend five minutes running to the other side, kill some enemies and then you have run back for five minutes to get to the door that opened. Another cheap way of extending the game.
Speaking of big levels, the next N64 game I play is gonna be Banjo Tooie!