WinBack: Hidden Operations Overview (N64)

It would be easy to ditch Winback without a second thought. Developed by Omega Force – now famous for the long-standing Dynasty Warriors series and its associated Musou spin-off / crossovers – and released for the N64 back in 1999, it’s probably the least known of the first Switch Online service offerings for the Nintendo 64; a title that falls under the unflattering banner of what is perceived as a robbery of the venerable Metal Gear Solid. However, this is inaccurate. There is a compelling argument that Winback, for all its flaws, is one of the most influential N64 games, making a notable impact on some of the biggest games of all time.

You know, this is not a contradiction. This third-person shooter introduces some innovations that have become full-fledged conventions, and in fact, they are not getting the credit they deserve. His cover system: Do you press A to position yourself behind a wall, crate, or some other similar landscape, and then peek out to take a picture? Clean Gears of war… You also have the free aiming laser sight, which is back in impressive style, most notably in Resident Evil 4.

Sure, Winback isn’t quite as good as any of these classics, but it’s good fun too. It reminded us of most of the Dreamcast games, especially Sega’s penchant for short, sweet and arcade games with linear decorations. It’s very easy to grasp, and this time the Switch controls – adapted from the original N64 controller – actually feel quite natural to play with, with the ZL used for squats (important in gunfights) and the R button together. with the letter “A” is used for aiming and shooting. It’s a bit archaic in practice, but it’s still easy to get along with if you’re not playing with the N64 pad.

There is stealth in the proceedings, with the ability to run up to enemies and cock them, but this is an end-to-end shooter with smooth explosions based on cover, combined with a fairly strong linear stage design, major collectibles (ammo packs for larger capacity, etc.) and partially destructible environments. We would compare this, perhaps a little confusingly, to Die Hard Arcade / Dynamite Deca (but with more shooting) in how he guides you through the individual levels, offering a score after each one.

it’s the same madmen in such an amazing way as only games like this; a whimsical plot and an even weirder turn of phrases give Winback a character – the character, of course, that tends to define the games of this era and elevate them above their relatively nondescript parts into a much more pleasing whole.

Surprisingly, if you’re playing on Nintendo Switch Online and not on original hardware, the lack of Controller Pak emulation makes it impossible to save your game normally. The built-in save states in the Switch Online app help fix this, but it’s a really frustrating flaw that could severely limit the usefulness of the Nintendo 64 feature in the Switch Online Expansion Pack. hopefully Nintendo will fix this soon.

Regardless, Winback remains a nice little game to dive into, and a nice slightly deeper cut for choosing Switch Online. It’s not going to set anyone’s world on fire, but the crisp, thoughtful level design and fast-running potential of great gameplay make it more visible now than it would have been at the time of its initial release. There’s even the boring Versus multiplayer mode, though good luck with someone playing with you.

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