Rather than wiping out endless hordes of monsters for fortune, glory, and (of course) experience points, Pokémon encourages captivity over annihilation. So much so, that collecting, trading, and training the stubborn little pocket monsters make up the heart of the game.
IT'S ALL TRUE! EVERYTHING DALE SAYS IS TRUE! In fact, everything you've heard or read from critics, gamers, magazines, web sites, television, family, and friends is true. This is the game of the century and who am I to disagree? After all, I'm one of the converted. Nothing I say or do will have any significant impact on your feelings toward the game or its historical precedence, but nonetheless, I will throw in my two cents and let it float out into the endless sea of cosmic thought that already surrounds this legendary game.
Nintendo remained the only developer that seriously believed great games could be done on the Nintendo 64 and to finally prove it they decided to produce one of the most epic role-playing games ever made and let the consumers decide. The Legend Of Zelda: Ocarina Of Time is Nintendo's answer to every question ever asked about video games and video game design. Miyamoto and his team created an imaginary world called Hyrule and invited us to all come play in it.
Make no mistake about it, Final Fantasy VII is a graphical showcase, first and foremost, and an RPG second. No matter what Square says about trying to add movie-like elements to their games to aid in storytelling, they are obviously in love with their SGI machines and are determined to put them to use at any cost. Graphics took such a precedence over gameplay that playing through any part of the game was akin to being lead by a leash; I was allowed some freedom, but if I really strayed, I was snapped back to path by the designers' invisible, yet heavy hand.
One of the most eagerly anticipated games of 1997, Final Fantasy VII (FF7), did not disappoint fans when it finally was released. With plenty of hype already surrounding the game, Sony further promoted it with commercial spots that resembled movie trailers, begging to elevate the integrity of videogames up to a status equal with more mainstream media like film and television.
Defying (if not shattering) the laws of physics, Star Fox 64 is the proverbial second lightning strike. While pretty much following the original's format of being a rail-shooter, Star Fox 64 still manages to present itself with a fresh new style and energy.
Essentially a first-person shooter made to compete with the likes of Quake 2, Jedi Knight tries to separate itself from the pack early on by capitalizing on the Star Wars theme. Utilizing full-motion video cut scenes in between gameplay, complete with live actors on digital backgrounds, Jedi Knight includes something most Doom clones forget: an actual plot!
Nintendo seemed eager to go after all aspects of the game with equal fervor. Even though about half of the game's memory is taken up by the audio, Star Fox 64 is packed with large branching levels filled with superb graphics and a huge variety of enemies. The design of each world shows a level of brilliance that isn't matched by many shooters to this day. There isn't one level that isn't filled with big battles. Whether it's taking on a squadron of Gundam robots or dogfighting with alien ships, everything feels intense yet entertaining.
I wasn't at all as enamored with Jedi Knight as Chi was. Jedi Knight was a great idea but it felt old right from the moment I first played it and I never actually felt like I was a Jedi. Plus, seeing a Jedi storm through levels with a phaser just looks plain wrong and feels even worse. You're given a light saber, a first (to my knowledge) in a Star Wars game, as well as the ability to use the force to push and pull things. They're cool features that are pulled off well but neither can take away from the blandness that saturates the game.
If nothing else PaRappa The Rapper broke all the rules. I remember like Chi, when PaRappa was released and some people dogged it because it was very simple looking game. It didn't have the latest in 3D graphics and state of the art Artificial Intelligence (AI).