If you’re like me, you were raised on the Nintendo 64 classics such as Super Mario 64, The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time, GoldenEye 007, and many more. Those games took 3D gaming to a whole new level, and their influence can still be felt to this day.
Unfortunately, there’s some glaring issues when trying to go back and play those games in the year 2019. Framerate issues, blocky graphics, and low resolution across the board make most N64 games a struggle to play, and some of the more technically demanding ones such as Perfect Dark borderline unplayable.
But in our modern age, people are willing to go above and beyond to use any available tools and resources to bring a new flavor to our childhood classics. One such person has undertaken the task of recreating some of the N64 classics in the Unreal Engine 4, and the result is, well, beautiful.
Unreal Engine 4 Presents
CryZENx has made some eerily good remakes of N64 games using Unreal Engine 4; the set pieces he’s recreated will be instantly recognizable to anyone who’s played the original games, but they’ve been dolled up and improved with all the tools of the modern age that UE4 offers.
While most of these are available for download so that anyone can mess around with them, there’s no fully recreated games to play through from start to finish; likely for the obvious reason that Nintendo would banish CryZENx to the Shadow Realm before he could ever finish the final product. But the various snippets that are available are worth trying to see how those childhood wonders stack up in the current day.
Diddy Kong Racing – Hub World
The scene is bright and colorful, and complete with many of the bells and whistles in the first area of the game, as well as the opening cutscene where Taj the Elephant makes his debut. While this demo is incredibly limited (you can only drive around the initial part of the island, not in the beach, cave, or snowy areas,) this tiny piece of Diddy Kong Racing makes you itch for a full person of the racing classic; or even an HD remake from Nintendo itself!
Zelda Ocarina of Time – Temple of Time HD
If this doesn’t match you yearn for an Ocarina of Time remake done to this scale, I don’t know what will. A wonderful piano mix of the Temple of Time theme hangs over this incredibly detailed and improved section of the game. The lighting and polish throughout the temple help bring it to life rather than the dull gray color of the original, and CryZENx even added in statues and candles that really add to the atmosphere of the place. While still only a small area, there’s so much to explore and appreciate that it will be worth the download.
Super Mario 64 – Road to Bowser
The first time you had to run through this level and fight Bowser had equal parts terror and anticipation, and this remake helps recapture that feeling. The stormy weather and chilling music as you run through this gauntlet help build on the vibe of the original.
The entire level is available here (with the exception of the fight against Bowser, which is also available separately on the same channel,) and it is filled with all the moving platforms, Goombas, and fire traps of the original, making this a touch more challenging than the other examples. While the controls may take some getting used to, soon you’ll be zipping around this incredibly well-designed remake and praying that Nintendo just goes all out and remakes Super Mario 64 with this graphic style.
If you are curious to see more of these amazing recreations, check out CryZENx’s YouTube channel and peep more of his content; the hard work he’s put in certainly shines through in the quality.