Twitch streaming has become something like a modern re-imagining of the American dream for nerds. A plucky upstart with nothing but determination sets out to do the hard thing that no one else is willing to endure. With the proper combination of willpower and luck, you can seize unimaginable riches and become the poster child for capitalism done right. I personally have no desire to base my financial livelihood on streaming, but I do think it would be a fun way to supplement my gaming hobby by enabling me to share games I love in a very interactive way with people I enjoy talking to: you, adventurers!
Currently I don’t have the resources to stream. My lone computer is an outdated tablet that can barely run a Flash game, let alone maintain a stream. Webcams, microphones, and capture equipment all cost a level of money that I currently cannot justify spending on something that’s ultimately just a hobby. So while I like the idea of streaming for fun, that’s something that is far off in the future – if indeed it’s something I’ll ever end up doing at all. However, while I’m not resourced enough to stream, I definitely have ideas about the games I’d love to share with my followers.
I grew up on the Nintendo 64 and many games from that era resonated with me in a big way. While it would be easy to fill a list with popular games from that era, the games I’d actually want to stream are a little on the quirky side. Maybe you’ve heard of some of these titles, maybe you haven’t. But I think they would be fun to stream precisely because they may not be as universally recognized as something like Ocarina of Time or Banjo Kazooie. I have five particular games in mind, so let’s jump right in and talk about the weird Nintendo 64 games I’d love to share live with an audience!
#5: QUEST 64
Quest was an RPG that, with a bit better execution, could have been ahead of its time. It forsook the typical level-up system in favor of stats that increased as you used them. You battled primarily using spells that commanded the four elements of water, earth, fire, and air. The most basic form of each spell featured a different type of attack – wind blades could hit multiple enemies or hit one enemy multiple times, magical stones traveled in an arc that hit for big damage on impact, columns of water hit only enemies at close range – and using these spells over and over increased their levels and potency. As your magic improved, you gained tiers of new spells that could combine various elements for different effects like barriers, healing magic, or more powerful attacks.
Story-wise the game was pretty standard RPG fare. You played Brian, the son of a powerful monk who went out in search of some sacred text that had gone missing. Brian’s mission was to find his father, but there are dark forces at work and yada yada yada. You adventure between towns, perform quests for kings, slay random encounter monsters in the field, and slowly work your way towards a final boss encounter. I never finished the game as a kid because I didn’t fully understand what I was supposed to be doing, particularly when it came to the system of advancing my magic spells.
This game falls at the bottom of the list for two main reasons. As a game with a more serious tone, it would be more difficult to stream than a funny game from that same time period because the poor graphics and poorly-conveyed story would suffer in comparison to modern RPGs. It doesn’t have a strong cult following that I know of, and to top it all off, the gameplay would get kind of dull. Turn-based battles in an old system where every fight is important for enhancing skills leads to extended grinding, and from what I remember about the game the encounter rates were pretty high. I’d be spending a long time doing repetitive stuff to a game that folks aren’t even that hyped about. So let’s get out of the serious realm a bit and look at playing something a little goofier.
#4: CHAMELEON TWIST
Once upon a time, a perfectly normal chameleon was enjoying a relaxing afternoon in the woods. Suddenly, a white rabbit in a suit jacket with a pocket watch hopped by at an alarming rate. Curious, the chameleon followed to see where the rabbit was going. Not too far away was the portal to a strange world, and following the rabbit inside caused the chameleon to change shape, walking on two legs like a human. The chameleon would have to navigate numerous horrors to find its way back home and return to its normal form.
This is the story of Chameleon Twist, a weird parody of Alice in Wonderland that features anthropomorphic chameleons whose massive tongues are both weapon and navigation tool. The gameplay focuses on using your tongue to maneuver around the world in interesting ways: grappling stakes to pull yourself over chasms or around corners, rotating around an anchor point to reach platforms too distant for your tongue’s natural reach, and even using your tongue to vault upwards and cross challenging vertical distances. Meanwhile, it also served as a weapon, allowing you to gulp up and vomit forth your enemies machine-gun-style to batter mighty villains into submission.
This game would be fun to stream thanks to its weird aesthetic and the funny creatures you have to fight (like the ballerina ant queen who tries to crush you with her prodigious posterior), but those novelties would be the main selling points. Chameleon Twist doesn’t have a lot of dialogue to enjoy or much story to navigate. The platforming is pretty decent and there are certainly hidden collectibles to look out for, but eventually the joy of flouncing about with the power of tongue would probably wear off.
#3: CONKER’S BAD FUR DAY
This game has one huge difference from all the others on my list: I’ve never played it. I was a child when the Nintendo 64 was on the market – the Wii era would be nearing its twilight when I became old enough to play rated Mature games. Of course, even when I was a kid I didn’t know anything about this title. It wasn’t one I ever asked for or that was on my radar in any way. Once I was an adult, I would hear in various internet circles about this super-naughty M-rated N64 game but these rumors were the first I heard of it.
I think there’s a lot to be said for streaming a game like this. While I personally never heard of it until adulthood, it was apparently popular at the time and unlike the other games on my list, people probably actually heard of this one. It’s also apparently hilarious, and there’s a type of appeal that a blind playthrough has for an audience. This is particularly true when its a blind playthrough of a game that most of the viewers have already played – they get to watch knowingly the streamer’s genuine reactions to the twists and turns of the game.
I think the biggest reason this one isn’t higher on the list for me is because I genuinely don’t know what to expect from it. Just because a game is celebrated as great doesn’t mean I’ll think it’s good, and that goes double for a game celebrated as being “funny” and “adult.” My sense of humor is very much in the realm of wordplay, witty banter, and sarcasm – slapstick humor doesn’t entertain me and jokes focused around body parts or body functions particularly make me roll my eyes. A mature rating doesn’t mean the game itself is mature, and I feel like there’d be a pretty solid chance that I’d find this game more crude than clever.
#2: MISCHIEF MAKERS
Is that a bird? Is that a plane? No, it’s the Ultra Intergalactic Cybot G, Marina! She’s a cyborg (android? I don’t know) with a power to really shake things up! When her inventor is captured by an evil empire, it’s up to Marina to battle her way across the planet Clancer to take down the emperor’s minions and save the man who gave her life. This game is chock full of ridiculous characters – on a planet where every inanimate object has the same face as those ridiculous characters. In addition to the small boy who is actually the mighty superhero Block Man (literally composed of blocks), there’s a team of over-the-top bounty hunters with giant robots and even a kitten who tries to murder you via dodgeball tournament.
As if the cast and the setting weren’t quirky enough, Marina’s abilities are pretty unique in the world of gaming. She’s super strong and can grab enemies to throw them into each other with an immensely satisfying crunch that causes their little ghosts to float away. If killing isn’t her aim, she can also resort to highway robbery by vigorously shaking people instead. Shaking is a big part of Marina’s repertoire, and you’ll hear her chime “shake shake!” many a time as you shake literally everything to try and interact with the game world. There are some platforming elements involved as well thanks to Marina’s various rocket boosters, allowing her to launch herself vertically or horizontally and giving her some unique movement patterns.
This game is both funny and features some really interesting gameplay that’s actually somewhat challenging. There are lots of collectibles to find that even lead to a secret ending when you’ve conquered the entire game. I think it would be a ton of fun to stream both because the crazy plot and characters leave a lot of room for laughs and because the game is sufficiently interesting to watch. There’s nothing wrong with Mischief Makers as a game for stream, but there’s one game that I feel is just a little more right:
#1: MYSTICAL NINJA STARRING GOEMON
Mystical Ninja was one of my favorite games growing up, and the first game that I ever beat without the help of an adult. It’s a fun game that features a lot of interesting game mechanics. There are four playable characters each with a unique weapon to wield as well as other unique inventory items. Each character also has a unique magical power that allows them to interact in the world a different way. Goemon effectively becomes a super saiyan, using his strength to push past physical obstacles, while his portly partner Ebisumaru shrinks to the size of a mouse. With lots of different environments to explore and a number of unique tools to navigate those environments, Mystical Ninja offers a lot of gameplay variety that would be enjoyable in a streaming environment.
The big selling point of this game, though, is how absolutely anime it is. The characters in this game are thoroughly ridiculous, from the stereotypical Native American (?) villain who wants to literally turn the entire world into a stage from the safety of his peach-shaped UFO to the unassuming fisherman who is actually a powerful magician that grants superpowers to all of your party members and can for some reason turn into a mermaid. The game regularly breaks the fourth wall, tells egregious puns, and even features canned laughter in the background during dialogue. As if all of that wasn’t enough, there are regularly giant robot fights where you pilot a mech who moonlights as an American movie star when he isn’t helping you kick some villainous butt.
Ultimately, I think for me this game hits the ultimate combination of what I think would be fun in a stream. I have lots of personal memories of it from my childhood that would inspire nostalgia-filled rants about my first time encountering each obstacle. I could do goofy voices for the over-the-top characters and laugh at the ridiculous storyline that never takes itself too seriously. And I could enjoy sharing this hilarious and goofy game with people who potentially never played it before, introducing them to the world of Mystical Ninja for the first time. I think it would be a lot of fun to experience all of that, so if I ever got the opportunity to stream some N64 games, this one would be my number one choice!
That’s gonna be it for me today, adventurers. Now I turn the conversation to you: have you played any of these games? What are some of your favorite moments? Any funny anecdotes to share about the ridiculous characters? I doubt I’ll be streaming anytime soon, but just sharing why these games would be fun to feature on a stream has been an enjoyable process and I may do it again sometime for another console!