m1so wrote:When we're on the subject of N64, it is funny how most of the games have hectolitres of fog and a vaseline coated display. N64 had a CPU 3x faster than the PSX, if the power was used more to improve fludity and draw distance we might have gotten ports of PSX games that had huge draw distances and 60/50 fps framerate. Instead, N64 is virtually unplayable in Europe AFAIK, as most games are 20-25 fps in NTSC already and PAL brings that down to 15-20 fps or worse.
The PAL drop is nowhere near as bad as you make it sound. Yes, some PAL conversions were poor, but most are fine (it's mainly these early four games; Mario 64, Pilot Wings 64, Wave Race 64, and Mario Kart 64 that were poor ports). It's only Mario Kart 64 that (to me) is spoilt by being slow, though all four od the games I name have black borders in their PAL ports. The only other game I can name like this is Beetle Adventure Racing, which runs fine aside from having PAL borders.
Apparently the N64 was very difficult to program, which is why (so I'm led to believe) third party games were mostly technically unimpressive, using fog to (badly) hide the close graphical pop-ups, or un-detailed textures and/or basic environments and room geometry. But look at games like Perfect Dark, or Conker's Bad Fur Day, to see what the N64 was capable of in the hands of people who knew how to program the system. Though games like these are the exception, technical quality-wise, sadly.
d1stortion wrote:I got a N64 some time ago because it was something that I was kinda drooling over at that time. I'm quite disappointed by it. The framerate is indeed bad in most games but that's not the biggest issue. The thing that literally kills it is the analog stick. It's like the worst controller design in history because inevitably the bowl that holds the stick in place will be grinded into white powder and since like 99% of games depend on it you can't play anything. I even got a reproduction controller, but the analog stick on it sucks just as much. Another thing about it is that many games use battery-backed SRAM that will die eventually.
Not sure what to do about it all. I'm thinking I should have gone with a Dreamcast instead
It's certainly true that official N64 joypads wear away in time (well, everything does, but it's especially true for the official N64 joypads). Personally, I don't much like the official N64 joypad design, it really polarises opinion, with some people loving it, others hating it. I never use one, as by far my favourite joypad for the N64 is the Mako Pad 64 (or Makopad 64), which is simply the transparent version of the Superpad 64, and it's fantastic; due to the redesign (it has two prongs, not three, unlike the official N64 controller) all controls and buttons are accessible without you moving your hand, unlike the official N64 pad.
For a review, see:
http://s9.zetaboards.com/Nintendo_64_Fo ... 7186633/1/
(the review is of the Super Pad 64, the top right hand one in the first photograph, one black one with two prongs - the Makopad 64 is the exactly the same but with AUTO-FIRE and SLOW DOWN buttons, and is transparent instead of black.
I've had mine for more than ten years, and it's still as responsive now as it ever was - I've hammered it with Perfect Dark, Goldeneye, Super Smash Bros., and countless other N64 classics. The analogue stick is made of metal, unlike the official controller, so it has not yet even started to wear away.
Or see the video at:
(and ignore the post in the comments section where it says "There wasn't ever a game where you hade to use the dpad and the? analong stick at the same time" - lots of games used both the analogue stick and the D-Pad, such as Duke Nukem 64, Duke Nukem: Zero Hour, and Jet Force Gemini, all of which used the D-Pad to select weapons).
Sadly, you'll probably have to look through ebay, local newspapers, or local secondhand shops to find a Makopad 64 nowadays, but of course that's true of all N64 stuff. And the Makopad 64 comes in two types, the Makopad 64 which is transparent and has a couple of "cheat" switches (Slowdown and Autofire, I think - I've never used them), and an opaque black version called the Superpad 64, which lacks the cheat switches. The back opaque version of the Makopad 64 is called the Superpad 64, see the review at:
http://s9.zetaboards.com/Nintendo_64_Fo ... 633/1/#new
(it's the top right hand controller on the first photograph).
Beware though, as there is at least one other joypad for the N64 called the Superpad 64, which is *not* what you want.
I cannot recommend this joypad strongly enough.
Also, I use third part controller paks (game save memory packs) that are four in one (four banks of game save space, you choose which bank to use with two switches on the back, so you choose 0-0, 0-1, 1-0, or 1-1) and these are EPROM or whatever, they don't use batteries at all, unlike the official controller paks. Some peope say they've had problems with data loss with third party controller paks, but I've had these for around thirteen years, and they've never let me down once).
I can't advise you on the N64 vs Dreamcast situtaion, I suppose it comes down to which genres of games you prefer. The N64 is (to me) the best machine ever for my favourite genre, first person shooter, simply because of Goldeneye and Perfect Dark. Plus I really like 3D platformers, which is another genre the N64 is very good in. But for many other genres, the N64 doesn't do as well as other consoles (maybe for all genres other than FPS and 3D platformer), and the Dreamcast is an excellent machine. But why not keep the N64 and get a Dreamcast too? But try to track down a Makopad 64 or Superpad 64 (make sure it's the right Superpad 64!) as they are very well designed and extremely sturdy.