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Holiday gift guide: Nintendo 64 games

screenshot
'Mario Tennis' puts Nintendo's most popular character onto the courts  

In this story:

'Hey You, Pikachu'

'Mario Tennis'

Mythical figures

'Legend of Zelda: Majora's Mask'

RELATED STORIES, SITES icon



(CNN) -- The oldest operating name in the platform video game business has a number of new titles for its well-entrenched systems.

Nintendo continues to bring marquee titles to both its Nintendo 64 unit as well as the Game Boy Color portable gaming system. Many of its titles are targeted to a younger demographic. The Pokemon phenomenon has bolstered Nintendo over the past couple of years, and the franchise continues to grow with an array of new titles.

'Hey You, Pikachu'

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"Hey You, Pikachu" for the N64 takes the idea of the virtual pet one step further. Players use a microphone included with the game to talk to and interact with Pikachu. If you are still a Pokemon-neophyte, Pikachu is the popular central character of the game and TV series. It resembles a large yellow mouse with a lightning bolt for a tail.

'Mario Tennis'

The little Italian plumber named Mario dates back nearly 20 years. That's the video game stone age, when we used to put single quarters into huge wooden boxes to play video games. Nintendo's original figurehead character debuted in the "Donkey Kong" arcade game back then, but today he has a different racket. "Mario Tennis" for the N64 pits the diminutive hero against friends and foes in a friendly (and not-so friendly) game of tennis. The large number of characters all have different playing styles and there are a number of different playing surfaces and game styles to beat.

Mythical figures

The Game Boy system is the best-selling hand-held gaming system, with Nintendo reporting sales of more than 100 million units. Disney's Little Mermaid character swims across the Game Boy Color screen in "Little Mermaid II." The game is a cross-promotional title with Disney's direct-to-video sequel to the hit animated film. It could prove popular among girl gamers.

Disney did have its own take on the Greek hero Hercules. But the Herc in "Hercules: The Legendary Journeys" is based on the popular TV series of the same name that starred Kevin Sorbo. While those legendary journeys of Hercules continue in syndication, gamers can embark on interactive journeys of their own in this adventure game for the N64.

'Legend of Zelda: Majora's Mask'

screenshot
'Majora's Mask' is the sequel to Nintendo's massively popular 'Zelda' series  

One of the most anticipated games for the Nintendo 64 this holiday season is "The Legend of Zelda: Majora's Mask." This sequel to the staggeringly popular "The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time" is a continuation of the adventures of the elf-like hero, Link, in the mythical land of Hyrule.

In this adventure, Link has 72 hours to save the world when an ancient curse causes the moon to come crashing down upon Hyrule. The graphics are still cutting-edge for the N64 system but the game play is very involved and even somewhat difficult. Combat is minimal, which is surprising for a fantasy role-playing game, but the game may be a bit tough for younger players. The players' guidebook might be a recommended stocking stuffer to go along with this game.

On Tuesday: A look at the latest offerings for the Sega Dreamcast.



RELATED STORIES:
Review: WWF No Mercy
November 17, 2000
Review: The Legend of Zelda: Majora's Mask
November 1, 2000
Review: Pokemon Puzzle League
October 6, 2000
Review: Nintendo's GameCube controller
September 5, 2000
Nintendo to add Web access to games
August 28, 2000

RELATED SITES:
Nintendo
Hey You Pikachu!
Mario Tennis
The Legend of Zelda


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