Nintendo 64 Rumble Pak (NUS-013)
- Vibrating accessory responds to game stimulus. Model# NUS-013
- Different intensities for different game situations
- Easy to switch off if desired
- Batteries not included.
- Only for use with compatible titles
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The Rumble Pak is a removable device from Nintendo which provides force feedback while playing video games. Games that support the Rumble Pak cause it to vibrate in select situations, such as when firing a weapon or receiving damage, to immerse the player in the game.
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As some of you may remember, Star Fox 64 was the game that included this for free with the game cartridge. Unfortunately, not every game was compatible with it since it was released in '97. But after its release, many titles attempted to include rumble functionality, adding a whole new immersion of gameplay in the process.
People take rumble for granted nowadays, so it's difficult to write a review for a product that would likely not stir up the same amount of awe it conjured about a decade or so ago. However, it is easy to pick up one of these devices for a few bucks or so, and thus, the price justifies the "time capsule" factor. Just make sure to check that the games you own or plan to own are compatible.
The N64 Rumble Pak is not a critical add-on to any particular software, though many games utilize it in such a way that makes the price of admission worth it. For example, The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time, one of the N64's most popular titles, has a feature where, upon obtaining a certain in-game item, the controller will vibrate to let the player know there is a Gold Skulltula nearby. It will also vibrate in general gameplay, such as when the player hits an enemy with Link's sword or falls from a high area. Most other games have this same type of basic integration.
A downside to this device is the extra bulkiness that tags along since the device leeches off the back of the N64 controller's slot, though it is not enough extra weight to complain about. Because it uses the back slot, this also means a memory card cannot be present at the same time (though most games save the main data directly to the game cartridge itself, anyway). The worst aspect is the fact that in order to operate, the device needs two AAA batteries. However, the batteries will last a good amount of time, and third-party options are available to those who wish to avoid using batteries altogether.
Overall, I would suggest this for anybody who has or is building a large N64 collection. Otherwise, it is not necessary for an occasional, casual romp with the system.