Hey You, Pikachu! Uh, Hello? Pikachu? Hey?

Remember Duck Hunt? That NES game where you plugged in a light gun to the console and played with that? Well think like that, only with a little yellow microphone that you’ll most definitely wind up screaming at for half an hour while Pikachu throws tissues around your room and laughs maniacally. Oh yes. It’s a voice controlled video game, and your voice will always be misheard.

Hey You, Pikachu! is an endless, day-by-day, slice of life Pokemon game in which you, the random person with no designated title, wander aimlessly through different levels to accomplish minor goals. It is very experimental even in its most complex aspects, which is something to admire, especially considering it’s an N64 game. Whether you go to the forest to collect ingredients for soup, or to the beach to collect treasure, or even to the woods to help some Caterpies evolve into Metapods, Pikachu will screw with you every step of the way.

I mean, there’s a lot that can go wrong. “Put a sock in it” can be heard as “shock it,” and then Pikachu will transform your Rare Jewel into charcoal. When you’re making soup, Pikachu will grab random ingredients and ask if they’re right. Telling him no is hard, because he’ll always second-guess you, then shock you if you don’t hurry up and tell him what the crap you want him to do with the stick he’s given you.

Hey You, Pikachu!

I suppose there’s a little bit of plot to cover, just for the sake of completeness. You, the main character, are given a device by Professor Oak. Supposedly, it allows you to communicate with Pokemon, so you go out into the wild to test it out. On your trek, you encounter a wild Pikachu with some serious attitude. You talk with it a bit, then it decides to follow you home and be your pet for a bit. Together, you two progress through three different kinds of days, each of which holds a different task-oriented theme: Daring Days, Discovery Days, and Play Days. Pretty self-explanatory.

Now here’s the sad part. If you remember the scene from the original Pokemon series where Ash sends Butterfree away, you’ll know how much Pokemon can make you cry. If you spend 365 in-game days with Pikachu, Professor Oak will call you in and tell you to release the cute electric yellow bastard. After all, it is a wild Pokemon, and you can’t officially keep it.  Don’t worry, though. After the credits roll and you spend a long time being alone and sad, Pikachu shows back up and you can keep on playing! Yeah!

Hey You, Pikachu!

Now, this isn’t exactly the biggest game. It doesn’t have a massive variety of stages, and it isn’t equipped with a super in-depth twisty plot. But you know what, Hey You, Pikachu! doesn’t need that crap. It’s a cheerful, unorthodox game that you don’t really encounter the likes of which in more mainstream gaming. While it can be a little clunky and hard to communicate sometimes, you won’t feel as if that takes away from your overall enjoyment. Believe me. I spoke in Spanish to Pikachu, and we got along just fine.

If you do want to invest in this little slice of N64 gold, I highly recommend performing an online purchase or visit to a video game hobby shop. The Hey You, Pikachu! microphone is a bit of an artifact, but you can trust Pokemon gamers to maintain that little device in pristine condition for your purchasing pleasure. Great to have, great to play. That’s all you need to know.


N64 Onslaught Part V, Super Smash Brothers

This is the pinnacle of classic; a game based off of a unique gameplay concept that kicked off a series that wound up drawing the attention of gamers worldwide. Take characters from Nintendo and put them in 3D in an environment that allows 2D motion, and let them beat the crap out of eachother. That was the premise for Super Smash Brothers. And holy crap, it proved to be more than successful.

At first, you wouldn’t expect that this kind of game would be received well. You see Mario, Donkey Kong, Link, Samus Aran, Yoshi, Kirby, Fox, Pikachu, and wonder just who the hell would try to cram all these famous characters into a single game and just make them hash it out? I’m sure a fair few were skeptic of how this would play out, but even they would inevitably fall for the seductive wiles of Smash Bros. Jigglypuff, Ness, Captain Falcon, and Luigi are waiting to be unlocked! How could you deny them?

I’m sure most of you already know how the Smash Brothers games work, but for those who are unfamiliar, here’s a quick refresher. Players are spawned on a 2D platforming stage with a 0% in their game emblem at the bottom of the screen. By using standard A attacks, character unique B attacks, and R throws, the goal of the game was generally to rack up your enemies’ damage percentages as high as you could. The higher it goes, the further they fly when you hit them. This could be done one of many ways: Limited number of lives, limited time, coin time challenge, 300% to 0% HP stamina matches, even super sudden death, in which you start out at 300% damage.

Super Smash Brothers

That encompasses multiplayer and CPU fights, but doesn’t conclude the description of this game’s contents. A single-player mode in which the player selects their character, the difficulty, and the number of lives allowed provides several stages of standard combat plus various challenges. These challenges range from platforming time attacks to target breaking time challenges to gigantic battles against millions of purple, crystalline polygon creatures. If you manage to survive until the very end, you’ll be granted the chance to face off against Master Hand, the final boss character who’s kinda actually a white glove that just smashes the crap out of you and shoots finger rockets.

I might as well hint you in the right direction since this game is much more fun when you have all the characters unlocked. Jigglypuff is the easiest, just beat story mode any way you want and she’ll challenge you. You need to beat her to unlock her, as is the case for the other three hidden characters. For Captain Falcon, beat single player mode in less than 20 minutes. For Ness, beat single player mode on normal with only 3 lives, and don’t use continues. For Luigi, beat all the target smash stages with the original eight characters. Once you’ve got all that done, you can unlock the Mushroom Kingdom stage by beating single player in any way with all eight original characters.

Super Smash Brothers

And that about covers it! It’s an experimental game even for its time, but as you can plainly see (Super Smash Brothers Melee/Brawl), it was a huge success. It created a legacy, I think, a legacy that reminds you not to forget that even the greatest games started off as a simplistic idea that just got tossed around with curiosity. That actually goes a bit further to speak for the gaming industries of today; if you don’t experiment with your games, you’ll never have anything new. You can’t make a new world-renowned character with sequel after sequel.

Anyway, Super Smash Bros is an excellent N64 game that can kill time or serve as an intensive stress reliever, considering you can beat the crap out of people with hammers, bats, turtle shells, fire flowers, and so forth. Don’t go for the emulators unless you have a proper N64 controller, because PC controls are rather difficult to manage. Do they even make USB N64 controllers…? I hope so.