Quake 2 for the Nintendo 64
The tables have turned.
Everything from Quake applies
here, but it's even better because the game was designed
with colored lighting in mind. Rather than slapping blue
light over brown textures, they coordinate texture and
lighting colors, and it works even better than the already
beautiful Quake. The models are higher poly than Quake's,
the art style is distinct, and it feels satisfying to blow
enemies into approrpiately meaty giblets that are,
surprisingly for a Nintendo console, deep red when they
could have copped out and went yellow and that still would
sort have worked.
And yes, it does still have the framerate issues. That's
kind of amazing, though, since the models and level
geometry are more detailed than its predecessor and it
still runs just as well as Q1. At least, without the Expansion
Pak, anyway. I don't own one, so for all I know, it's a
perfect 60 FPS with the addon. I wasn't willing to spend
$40 to try.
It's... better than Quake. Sounds like blasphemy, but
it is. It has more enemies, different weapons, and a more
developed keycard/objective system. Not knocking Quake,
it's a classic and one of the best PC games, but I can
appreciate different if it's done well. No more is it just
"press this button to get this key", now, as an example,
in one level you have to take an explosive charge to
blow up a generator to open a force field to get a key
to open a door to exit the level. It's subtle, but
having a more complex structure to your goal than "find
the gold key" is appreciated and makes you feel like you
have more of a purpose, and so more of an effect on the
world around you, than the more shallow structure of the
The new weapons are also really good. The shotgun,
rather than the weak little thing that was more or less
a button pusher in the first game, can down a weak enemy
easily without wasting your ammo for more important
baddies, while the hyper blaster is better for ripping
and tearing through large groups or more resillient
bosses, which might occsasionally combine... but we'll
get to that later on.
Quake 2's singleplayer makes use of multiplayer power
ups to switch up gameplay, which its PC version apparently
didn't do. I appreciate this, especially when you take into
account the controls. Now you can deal with the tougher
enemies much easier and sometimes in a much more satisfying,
gory way rather than them making your life a living hell
with how wonky the controls are.
Quake 2 on the N64 is an impostor
Unlike Quake 1, Quake 2's N64 "port" was really a port of
its engine. The mechanics are the same but it's a whole
new set of levels, think of it more like Doom's N64 port than
Quake's. If you liked Quake 2 but wanted more of it, this
is worth it because it's a unique experience, and really
not at all just a port.
Like Quake, Quake 2 cost $15 to buy and get shipped, a
far cry from what would likely have been a $60 or $70
game new. And it's absolutely worth it... provided you already
had a Nintendo 64 to play it on. It's not a
reason to buy an N64, but it is a very good time
Much like its predecessor, your
controls are your worst enemy. Not that other living
beings don't try, since there are really tough dudes
actually surprisingly early on, somewhere around the
fifth of twenty levels. If that wasn't bad enough, let's
gang a couple up on you inside of an enclosed room while
you're trying to grab an access card (this game's
equivalent to keys). Hope you have enough buckshot and
explosive shells to quell this horde of enemies with
more than 100 HP, otherwise you'll have to gun down
dangerous game with an energy pistol, which is
appropriately useless in all but the earliest of
situations. You even get the shotgun before any actual
combat could happen, that should be telling
Quake 2, as stated in the Quake 1 review, takes the
frankly superior Preset B control scheme and makes it
standard. You use the D-pad or C-buttons to move around
and you use the more fine control stick for aiming and
neither are encroached by any other functionality, which
is a control scheme which I personally consider the only
logical one for a first person shooter on any console with
only one analogue stick on its controller. It's wonky, and
you'll die from the low sensitivity of the stick which
you're not given the option to change, but it's much
better by default than its predecessor.
It sounds just like Quake 1. I've never played the PC
version of Quake 2, so I can't say whether or not that's
appropriate, but with the more diverse cast of enemies,
the repetition of "YOU! STOP!" will eventually start
irritating you to no end and even bleed into Quake 1
whenever it uses the effect. Still, it does sound good
on many occasions, especially when ripping apart enemies.
|Better than Quake 1 for
the same system and framerate!
|You face way more
humans. The sounds get repetitive.
Otherwise, it's Quake but better.
|It's a whole new game
within the Quake 2 engine.
|It's a great time and
I'd recommend it to Quake fans with N64s.
You want Quake on consoles? You got Quake on consoles.
It even has deathmatch.