Quake 2 presents something that is more than acceptable on Nintendo 64. This is a fun, engaging title, worth playing.
As a result, it was met with a critically good reception and became a renowned title amongst PC owners around the world. So come a sequel, the game improved on nearly everything the game featured. It was almost double that of the 1st Quake.
People were just wowed by how vast the changes were in the Quake series between this new game and the original legend. The story was heavily improved, the multiplayer became even more of a stand out feature, and the graphics and sound were just outstanding compared to anything else released back in 1997.
Like Quake 1, it met good reception and its warm reputation was immense, so immense that it warranted two console versions: The Playstation edition, that altered the game slightly to suit Sony's grey box. And the Nintendo 64 edition, that was almost a completely different game.
In the Nintendo 64 version, if you thought the changes were vast between Quake 1 and 2, you'll be just as surprised to see how much is actually new compared to the one we saw on PC . This Nintendo 64 version of Quake 2 has almost a completely different set of levels compared to the overwhelming PC version and while this is not the only compromise, clearly, be glad to know that Quake 2 on Nintendo 64 isn't a bad game at all.
Firstly, lets go over the visuals. They're impressive on Nintendo 64, very impressive. In this version, developers were able to produce graphics similar to the 3DFX chip in the PC. It isn't as good, some animations are removed or re-imaged on the 64, but this is heavily balanced by the varying amounts of detail on each level in the game. The environments really do look with scarred, metalic looks suiting the game's bleak, machine themes all running at a decent frame rate.
Sound is also approached significantly in this Nintendo 64 version of Quake 2. The sound effects are all intact for each gun, enemy and bleep. They're all done very enthusiastically and sound very much as how you would expect them to sound like.
The sounds also help build on the very atmospheric setting in Quake 2, this is something that is less used in the PC version. The music can be very quiet and tends to blend into the atmosphere, however can be noticeable when there is action during play.
Speaking of action, Quake 2 plays very intense as expected from the first person shooter that it is. As suspected, this delivers well to impress the gore and violence fans that grows rapidly by the day. The arsenal of weapons range from laser pistols to plasma launchers and famous Id weapons like the rocket launcher, BFG and Shotgun all make appropriate appearances.
The game is very linear, being mission based with a short load time at the beginning of each one. The missions tend to be lengthy with objectives that often need not to be noticed to understand what to do. Like other Id games also, Quake 2 on Nintendo 64 is very corridor based and does well to give gamers a claustrophobic twinge in their spine during play. This tends to work though, as it can often lead to a sudden panic or outburst from the player when their hear or see something unusual, which makes the games provocative and addictive.
Multiplayer also makes an expected appearance in Quake 2 for Nintendo 64 and it feels very standard since it lacks the advantages of PC modding and customisation. The maps also tend to be small since games only limit up to 4 players, the maximum amount of players on any Nintendo 64 console. Since the game has no access to lan, co-op or online play either it doesn't deliver what in many gamers minds are the most important features in Quake 2.
Make no mistake that Quake 2 is different on Nintendo 64 with new, exclusive enemies, levels and perhaps even story. The game does frustrate though, thanks mainly due to the very precise controls implanted into the game. Also, the developers, Raster, has inexplicably left out any check points or save points in between levels of the game which really does take a toll on the overall enjoyment from the gamer.
While the presentation isn't necessarily bad for N64, there is much to be desired in this category as far as story and cut scenes are concerned. The biggest flaw comes from that sadly this game doesn't match the quality of any other first person shooter already on N64, with games like Goldeneye, Quake, Duke Nukem 64 and Turok all being far better optimised for the Nintendo 64.
If you're still looking for a game to expand your games collection on Nintendo 64 and want to play something else after hours of play on Turok and Goldeneye, Quake 2 presents something that is more than worthy on Nintendo 64. Even with the gripes gamers will have to put up with, this is a fun, engaging title, worthy of your time.