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Monday, June 25, 2012

Guide to Nintendo 64 Blockbuster Exclusives

Remember Blockbuster? That movie and game rental store from all of our childhoods that was recently bankrupted by RedBox and Netflix? Yeah, that’s the store I’m talking about.

Blockbuster peaked in the mid 90’s and early 2000’s at around the time that the N64 also peaked. Nintendo worked with Blockbuster to create Blockbuster-only games. This literally meant you could only rent the game, never buy it except when it was thrown in the bargain bin after it had been rented-out a hundred times.

These N64 games are unique, a few of them are rare, and they are all collectible. A game that is any sort of "exclusive" means that there is a special value to it. These games could only be obtained in a limited way and games with an interesting story behind them are always going to be worth more to collectors and emerging "video game historians".

It is very hard to find these games complete with box and manual as they were often put on the shelves as display and absolutely destroyed by kids in the stores. Complete copies can often go for two to three times as much as just the cartridge alone.

Clayfighter 63 1/3: Sculptor's Cut

Blockbuster ExclusivesCart: $65 | Complete: $900 | See Current Prices

Sculptor's Cut is probably the rarest N64 game. It was released early on in the N64 life span. This version was improved from the original by adding 4 extra characters. These extra characters were added at the expense of cutting several of the other characters' special moves. Even though it is an "improvement", Sculptor's Cut was released largely unfinished. Some people estimate that as few as 20,000 copies of this game were released.

Stunt Racer

Cart: $25 | Complete: $150 | See Current Prices

Stunt Racer is different from other Blockbuster exclusives because it is actually a very good game. It is fun, it is fast, it is pretty. It is also hard to get ahold of, especially with the original box and manual.

Transformers: Beast Wars Transmetals

Cart: $20 | Complete: $60 | See Current Prices

Initially Transformers was a only available via rental but due to poor performance in the rental only business it was re-released in standard retail stores. It is a 3D fighting game. The game featured 8 characters and 5 secret characters from the Transformers universe.

NFL Blitz Special Edition

Blockbuster Nintendo 64Cart: $5 | Complete: $70 | See Current Prices

Blitz Special Edition is identical to the normal version but had updated rosters, schedules, and uniforms.

Razor Freestyle Scooter

Blockbuster N64 GamesCart: $5 | Complete: $20 | See Current Prices

Only the N64 edition of Razor is a Blockbuster exclusive. It was extremely mediocre and sold (rented) so poorly you can still buy sealed copies. This is due to Blockbuster's "Guaranteed to Be There" marketing strategy. Blockbuster overestimated the demand for a crappy Tony Hawk knock-off. So it was severely overstocked

International Track & Field 2000

Cart: $3 | Complete: $10 | See Current Prices

This is one of the few games where the rental only aspect was a good choice. Most of the mini-games in this one were short, fun, and brutal. This is the kind of game you rented once to play, then you got sick and tired of the button-mashing and you never wanted to play it again. Hence, a great game for a rental.

Indiana Jones and the Infernal Machine [Limited Exclusive]

Blockbuster Video GamesCart: $20 | Complete: $40 | See Current Prices

Developed and published by LucasArts originally for Windows 95 and 98 it was ported to the N64 afterwards. Praised for good graphics and great story it was rendered nearly unplayable by awful controls. The idea to make it Blockbuster exclusive was LucasArts and they seemed happy about it. It was also available for sale through LucasArts website.

Daikatana [Limited Exclusive]

N64 DakiatanaCart: $18 | Complete: $25 | See Current Prices

This was a port from PC that fell short. The gameplay was ok and so were the graphics. As a rental only, it didn’t do as well as planned so it was later published and stocked in other retail locations.

Read our guide to the Rarest and Most Expensive N64 Games

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