This week, you and I are going to party like it’s 1999. It’s the Retrogaming Chart Show
You should hopefully know the drill by now. On the last Thursday of every month, I give you a rundown of this month’s gaming charts – The only difference is that they’re from the past. This month will be Nintendo 64-focused, looking at the Top 10 UK Nintendo 64 Charts, as taken from the pages of the May 1999 issue of the UK’s Nintendo Official Magazine, previously known as Nintendo Magazine System.
To give you a context of the time period, the Nintendo 64 was in the middle of its lifespan, and admittedly it had already seen its best games. The PlayStation was ruling the roost, and Nintendo’s 64-bit system just couldn’t compete with the number of games arriving for Sony’s 32-bit system, especially at their cheaper price.
But, there were gems to be found in that small N64 library, so let’s see if any of them were actually bought by the UK public.
10. Chameleon Twist 2
First up on this month’s chart is Chameleon Twist 2. It’s a fairly average platformer, and for a console that wasn’t exactly starved for 3D platformers, it’s pretty forgettable. Still, it sold enough to prop up the chart at number 10.
9. Duke Nukem: Zero Hour
At number 9 is a Nintendo 64 exclusive featuring everyone’s favourite washed out, bleached blonde action hero – Duke Nukem. Exchanging his usual first person view for a third person one, this time-travelling escapade delivers the cheesy one-liners and violence that you’d expect from the Duke.
8. Turok 2: Seeds of Evil
The Dinosaur Hunter returns in Turok 2: Seeds of Evil, coming in at number 8. Acclaim’s comic book hero was well-received at the time, being a much better shooter than the original release. Twenty years later, and it’s still a decent shooter, with support for the N64 Expansion Pak as well, allowing for higher resolution visuals.
7. Body Harvest
Before they became Rockstar North, the developers of some of the most critically acclaimed and best-selling games in the world, ever, were a simple little studio called DMA Design developing games like Body Harvest, a third person action shooter with vehicles. And ruddy great big aliens. Here it is at number 7, a far cry from the massive success the studio would have with Grand Theft Auto, the year before.
6. Virtual Pool 64
We’ve never seen a Pool game on the Retrogaming Chart Show, so Virtual Pool 64 bucks the trend at number 6. It’s not exactly exciting in terms of presentation, but it’s a pretty solid pool simulation featuring several different types of Pool to play, and plenty of CPU competitors to play against.
5. WCW/NWO Revenge
Being that the Nintendo 64 was really known for some brilliant wrestling games, it’s no surprise to see one show up in this month’s chart. At number five is WCW/NWO Revenge, the last of AKI Corporation’s WCW-licensed games for the system, before publisher THQ would obtain the lucrative WWF license. This game features the brilliant grappling mechanics that AKI’s games were known for, delivering an awesome slice of sports entertainment.
4. FIFA 99
At number 4 is everyone’s favourite recurring series, FIFA, with its 1999 edition. I think I’ve exhausted every single thing I could say about these games, considering that there’s always one FIFA in almost every UK chart I cover!
3. South Park
Another Acclaim FPS this month, and funnily enough it uses Turok 2’s engine. South Park is of course based around the slightly rude animated series, and was released while the show’s popularity was at an all-time high. Unfortunately, it’s development was completely rushed to hit stores for Christmas 1998, and as such it’s a dull, repetitive game that completely wastes the license. But who cares, when it sold so well, eh?
2. The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time
One of the system’s greatest games holds onto the number two spot, as The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time brings Nintendo’s legendary hero into the 3rd dimension. You must know what this game’s all about, so I shan’t insult your intelligence any further.
1. Star Wars: Rogue Squadron
The Force is truly with Rogue Squadron as it tops the chart this month. Factor 5’s arcade-style take on the popular series’ space combat is a superb release that took advantage of the Expansion Pak for high resolution graphics, and takes inspiration from the original trilogy’s events. It’s also noteworthy as Factor 5 somehow managed to hide the Naboo Starfighter from Episode 1 – The cheatcode was so well-hidden that its existence was completely unknown, even to most of the staff that worked on the game, until Lucasarts released the code to the public, six months after release, in time for the arrival of Episode 1 in cinemas.