Nintendo 64 Mini - A Speculation Of Games And Tricky Licensing

Nintendo 64 Mini - A Speculation Of Games And Tricky Licensing

A mini-64 seems inevitable after the NES and SNES got the mini treatment, however, it is tougher to project the likely titles for that system because many of the best games are going to be expensive or impossible to include given the rights holders.  For instance, Goldeneye 007 arguably the best game on the system would require getting the rights to the Bond License from the Broccoli family and possibly MGM as well as from Rare which just happens to be owned by Microsoft now. If Nintendo wants to price these throwback systems cheaply it will be hard to pay out for all of these licenses.  So with that in mind lets theorize the games they are likely to include. The NES mini had 30 games and the SNES is rolling out with 21, so I think 20 games or so is what we should expect.

The High Probability Titles :

  • 1080 Snowboarding
  • Bomberman 64
  • Cruis'n USA
  • Dr. Mario 64
  • Excitebike 64
  • F-Zero X
  • Gauntlet Legends
  • Kirby 64: The Crystal Shards
  • The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time
  • The Legend of Zelda: Majora's Mask
  • Mario Kart 64
  • A Mario Party, they have 3 to choose from
  • Mario Tennis and/or Golf
  • Paper Mario
  • Pilotwings 64
  • Pokemon Stadium 1 or 2
  • Pokemon Snap
  • Ready 2 Rumble Boxing
  • Star Fox 64
  • Super Mario 64
  • Super Smash Bros
  • Tetrisphere
  • Wave Race 64
  • Yoshi's Story

Almost all of these are in-house titles so no paying outside the company for the rights and they build up brands they still want to cash in on with new titles, Amiibo, etc.  A few are owned by companies that are easier to license from or have long standing relationships with Nintendo. This list is Mario heavy and I think they might only include a single Zelda title.  It would be nice to get games that are tough to emulate like Pokemon Snap which hasn't been properly re-released.

Possible, But Not Guaranteed:

  • Bomberman Hero - (Doubtful, because Bomberman 64 is the game of choice; On Nintendo Wii eShop)
  • Donkey Kong 64 (Designed by Rare, but is on the Nintendo Wii eShop)
  • Harvest Moon 64 - (On Nintendo Wii U eShop)
  • Ogre Battle 64 - (Wasn't a mainstream hit, but would be a welcome addition. On Nintendo Wii U eShop)
  • Sin and Punishment - (Not released in the USA, but available on the Nintendo Wii U eShop)

The Games We Want And Probably Won't Get:

  • Banjo Kazooie / Banjo Tooie (Designed by Rare)
  • Beetle Adventure Racing (May stick to in-house racers)
  • Blast Corps (Designed by Rare)
  • Conker's Bad Fur Day - (Designed by Rare)
  • Goldeneye 007 (Designed by Rare, plus James Bond license)
  • Jet Force Gemini - (Designed by Rare)
  • Legend of the Mystical Ninja / Goemon's Great Adventure - (Cult Classic, not super mainstream.)
  • Mickey's Magical Tetris Challenge - (Disney license)
  • Mickey's Speedway USA - (Disney license)
  • Mortal Kombat Trilogy (Mature Content)
  • NFL Blitz (The inclusion of real NFL players from the 90's makes this improbable)
  • Nightmare Creatures (Mature Content)
  • Perfect Dark (Designed by Rare)
  • Resident Evil 2 (Mature Content)
  • San Francisco Rush 2049 (F-Zero X might be all the future racing they want)
  • Space Station: Silicon Valley (Great game, but nothing more than a cult hit.)
  • Spiderman (Sony/Disney/Marvel rights minefield?)
  • Star Wars: Rogue Squadron / Shadows of the Empire (Now Disney)
  • Tony Hawk Pro Skater 2 (The soundtrack rights are the toughest hurdle to clear)
  • Turok 2: Seeds of Evil (Mature Content)
  • Wetrix (Great puzzle game, but too obscure)
  • Wrestlemania - No Mercy (Rights are tough and WWE split with many stars here)
  • WCW/NWO: Revenge (Same as above plus the wrong brand name)

Most of these are up in the air because of murky licensing issues.  But looking at this list it could be said the best games on N64 were made by Rare or had licensed characters.  In fact, if Rare made a competing system and had Goldeneye 007, Banjo-Kazooie, Perfect Dark, etc I would probably want it more than whatever Nintendo put together.  Plus Rare might actually let you buy it in a store instead of from a scalper.  However, the other unknown is if Nintendo wants this to be a family system of Nostalgia, or will allow adult oriented games like Resident Evil, Turok, or Mortal Kombat.  Some of these games are easier to attain as they are owned by companies with which they regularly do business like Capcom.  

The Games We Don't Want And Might Get:

  • Castlevania
  • Clayfighter: 63 1/3rd
  • Iggy's Reckin' Balls
  • Mega Man 64
  • Mortal Kombat Mythologies: Sub Zero
  • Paperboy 64
  • Quest 64
  • Ridge Racer 64
  • Superman: The New Adventures (For the love of all that is holy, please no.)

I think we will get at least one head-scratcher (Super C on NES over Contra?).  Several of these are from storied franchises but the 64 iterations happened to be terrible (Looking at you Castlevania). Or maybe they just toss in something more obscure like Hercules: The Legendary Journeys so you can rock out with Kevin Sorbo.

I look forward to wanting this system, but not enough to camp out for one or paying triple the price on eBay.  

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